April 08, 2009
A new low? In comedy?
Over the many years I've been blogging, I have seen countless scurrilous attacks on Glenn Reynolds by leftie bloggers. He is hated with a unique passion, for two primary reasons:
The latter may sound counterintuitive, because in logic, why should a leftie hate a blogger for not being right wing enough? The reason is that leftists fear the destruction of the well-worn, left-right dichotomy, and as a non-conforming libertarian type, Glenn upsets the stereotype. Thus, he has to be portrayed as "far right" -- whether he is or not.
This is further aggravated by the fact that leftists don't believe in free thinking, but leader-directed group think. People who agree with Glenn Reynolds are seen as pawns who have been led, or somehow tricked. This means that to "counter" Glenn Reynolds, his true, hard core, inner "radical rightism" must be exposed, and his more influential "followers" condemned as crypto-fascists. (If they happen to be libertarians or political moderates, this proves the concealment of their evil radical rightist "agenda.")
Lately this process has become so exaggerated that it's reached almost comical proportions. I'm tempted to call it a new low, but there's really nothing new about it, and I'm not sure whether new lows are possible. (After all, how low can bottom-dwelling sea slugs go?)
Perhaps the latest attacks represent a new twist on the vintage Alinsky approach of "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Perhaps not; I have been distracted lately so I haven't had time to keep up with everything that's going on in the blogosphere. So I don't know whether it's a pattern. (I think it's worth pointing out that there's also a renewed attempt to tar Milton Friedman as a Nazi. Once again, it's a tough time to be a libertarian.)
Anyway a couple of apparently unrelated attacks strike me as a new low.
I'll start with the apparently serious attempt (led by prominent leftie blogger Oliver Willis) to link Glenn Reynolds to a demented, Nazi-sympathizing cop-killer:
The conservative blogs are enraged that people are pointing out that they have and are stoking the fires of an atmosphere of hate that leads to police officers getting killed. As I've written for years, this is part of their pattern of behavior in America and for too long we've accepted their verbal diarrhea and incitements to violence as honest political dialogue and not the insanity it is.Since when are demented cop-killing Nazis on a particular "side" of the "political aisle?" And since when has Glenn Reynolds been "choosing" the "side" encouraging cop killing? (Shrinkwrapped looks at the psychology involved, and argues that "only someone who believes that other people have no independent agency can believe such nonsense")
Considering the glorification of cop killing (and cop killers) that has long occurred on the left, the logic of this is almost comical. See Don Surber's "Selective outrage on cop killing."
Or, for that matter, watch this video:
As if one new low isn't enough, I've been amazed by the venom directed at Ann Althouse -- ostensibly for the crime of becoming engaged to a man who has commented on her blog. I for one am delighted that Ann Althouse has found love, and I wish her the best. But to the leftosphere, her engagement represents little more than another opportunity for new attacks. It wasn't enough merely to resort to ridicule, though; Ann Althouse had to be falsely smeared as an anti-Semite by a Democratic hit man (Pandagon's Jesse Taylor, formerly a communications director for Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.)
Ann Althouse, anti-Semitic "Jew baiter"? I have to say that's so low that despite my jaded nature it got my attention.
What on earth can be going on? There's an interesting analysis here which concludes Jesse Taylor was merely following orders from above. But whose orders? And why? Might it be because Althouse (who voted for Barack Obama) cannot be dismissed as a right winger and thus represents a dire threat?
I don't know which is more ridiculous -- charging Althouse with anti-Semitism or linking Reynolds to cop-killing Nazism, but when the attacks are seen together, I think they represent a new low.
But maybe I'm taking this too seriously.
Really, at some point doesn't this become ridiculous enough to be considered comedy?
posted by Eric on 04.08.09 at 10:27 AM
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