Matthew Yglesias says of Jonah Goldberg:
… holding captives in secret where they’re hung by shackles from the ceiling and occasionally beaten to death is fine by him, but efforts to curb smoking are “liberal fascism.” And now this line of thinking seems to have completely taken over the right.
The difference: dark foreigners are hung from ceilings, whereas white Americans are kept from smoking. Which reminds me of what Mel Brooks said about stepping into a manhole versus getting a paper cut: if the first happens to you, it’s comedy; if the second happens to me, it’s tragedy.
(I think the Brooks quote was about cutting your finger, not specifically a paper cut, but it’s the same idea.)
TPM quotes a reader
who jogged by the big gathering of angry people in Washington today:
Interestingly not a lot of American flags but a lot of other flags including the yellow don’t tread on me flag.
I had a similar thought when I saw a photo
of one of the demonstrators, a guy carrying a modified American flag: the old 13-stars-in-a-circle flag but with a “II” in the middle to indicate that the Tea Party movement is like the second American Revolution. Basically, an American flag wasn’t good enough for this guy; he wouldn’t settle until the flag had been made into an emblem of the Tea Party movement.
I’m indifferent to flags unless they represent something I find hateful (the usual suspects: Third Reich, Confederacy). But I think it’s worth noticing that you can no longer predict what flag the flag wavers will be waving. For decades we’ve heard them talk about America-love as the one supreme virtue, and about the American flag as the supreme expression of this virtue, and now their love has frittered itself away. These days they’re into novelty items. That’s a big change.
I don’t claim to know the reason, though I guess many of my fellow liberals would point to the election of a black president; my preferred explanation, for which I have no evidence, is just the schlockification and t-shirt-ization of modern life.
Some in the crowd appeared to be low functioning zealots suffering from serious mental illness and/or undisguised racial hatred. However, most of the people who marched by my vantage point appeared to be rather earnest but misled members of the lower middle class who were just regurgitating Fox News memes concerning imagined threats to America.
Okay — lunatics and dumb people. But where are the venal con men