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:

  • His blog is too popular; and
  • As a libertarianish blogger, Glenn is not right wing enough (or conservative enough).
  • 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.

    UPDATE: Ooooh, this one clearly rankles old Insty, because he actually responded... Oh, no he didn't. He called me a "shill" for Media Matters and accused me of being on a listserv. Its days like this I'm glad that when I was deciding what side of the political aisle I wanted to be on, I didn't make the same mistake as Glenn Reynolds and choose the one where we encourage people to shoot cops.

    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:

    Hey, as Glenn says, "Free Mumia!" (And while we're at it, how about academic tenure for cop killers?)

    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


    This is like Kos claiming the popular libertarian and right leaning blogs are all taking money from politicians, when it was he himself who admitted taking money from politicians when he first started.

    Their complains say more about themselves than anyone else, they are just projecting their own thoughts and feelings.

    Even their complains are little more than hate filled ranting. It's amazing they can't see that. It's like when politicians say "If the other party weren't so partisan we'd get things done"

    Certainly I've known some pretty hateful people on the Right, but I've known a lot more on the Left (maybe because I work in Theater and so know many lefties, as well as many lefties who depend on government handouts and charity as the arts often do). No one has a monopoly on hate.

    plutosdad   ·  April 8, 2009 11:22 AM

    Really, at some point doesn't this become ridiculous enough to be considered comedy?

    Just because it's the Funniest End of Civilization Ever, doesn't mean it's not the end of civilization.
    And by "end of civilization", I mean, either a world-wide conflagration or America becoming a smiley-faced, fascist state where anything that's not "Good For You" as determined by our masters, is illegal. Think, "Loss of freedom"="civilization ending"

    I'm only half joking when I say Funniest End of Civilization Ever, I still have some hope, but I trust much more in the inherent evil that seems to motivate much of mankind.

    Veeshir   ·  April 8, 2009 1:54 PM

    To paraphrase Clevon Little as Sheriff Bart, being on the "cop killing side of the aisle" might be a pretty groovy gig pretty soon.

    Phelps   ·  April 8, 2009 2:14 PM

    The idea is to prevent the counter-revolution... and the people you just described were fine when things were moving to the restructuring... as they believed the points, but not the methods, they were useful..

    ah... but as soon as things turn, they are not fellow travelers, and so they will expose where the new program diverges from the stated utopian one.

    like a zealot they will get real involved with the betrayal, and they have a following and so forth.

    its pre-emptive... they ahve to remove them from their position, because when it changes more, they will use their position to go against that end, because by then the end is clear, and its not what they thought they were working for.

    the ones who were the most forward useful idiots, are the ones that get attacked first, even before everything else.

    useful idiots, and such are all trained in how to subvert their own states... whether they realize it or not, the protests they do are political terrorism because they do them before the system can even addres the issue under the presumption that the system does not. so the idea here is to paint the system as unchanging so that protesters get to define the agenda, while their fellow traveler leaders get to define the protestors (and inject a few extra special ones who will take things past a point and get the others there in the soup when hell breaks loose).

    ultimately when they see they have been used (hows the glbt world i russia, china, and cuba? hows womens rights for the nike women in barraks making sneakers? do their collective rooms come with a view as the feminists/communists said? (see mckinnons work before you say thats not what they are, and read the minutes from commintern stuff))

    right now its a lot easier to deflate them than later when what they say matches whats going on...

    technically they have had majority control for 65 odd years... even though we dont realize it... so obama is not changing the status quo... he is solidifying it to the point that it cant change. that its taking its final form...

    thats what these would oppose as they are independent thinkers who independently entertained the final goal of argument, but ignored the reasons why that argyumetn was being used and taking up our time.

    got to go...

    artfldgr   ·  April 8, 2009 3:17 PM

    Glen Reynolds used to get slammed by the libertarians too-- for not being 'libertarian' enough, I guess. Pretty much soley because of his support for the Iraq war. For instance, some of the staff over at Reason Hit & Run would get almost personally abusive when mentioning him a few years ago. David Weigel (who appears to be gone now) was especially so; he even referred to Glen as the "Instaputz" once or twice, which is of course the Kos-crowd preferred term of slander.

    I thought it made Weigel look pretty stupid, actually. Reynolds, to his credit, has never been anything but gracious towards them and often links to Reason posts. It seems like their relationship (Instapundit + Reason) has healed recently, but only because Reynolds has a pretty thick skin.

    justanotherlurker   ·  April 8, 2009 5:00 PM

    There is something going on. Lately, the comments sections of right leaning blogs have been filled with people attacking from the left. This is not simply a few blogs. It seems to be widespread and, if anything, more numerous and more vicious that the lead up to the election.

    My take is that these commenters are loosly organized and the objective is to discourage dissent. It isn't working, but on same days in makes the comment threads quite long. You have identified one in Althouse, but it is all over. If Glen Reynolds allowed comments, his comment section would be overrun too.


    Rick Caird   ·  April 8, 2009 8:13 PM

    For a party that espouses a desire for the multicultural, the lefty Dems have been running a fever trying to burn out desenting voices.

    There most definitely is something going on and it is coordinated. Commenters I've not seen before have appeared to attack the host's position or that of other commenters. And they come with talking poiints neatly packaged and even links to left leaning blog posts.

    There's an aura of fear in their words and actions. They target blogs with large and varied audiences. It's as if they (or who ever is directing the attack) are afraid that people might just wake up to what is really going on behind the wizard's curtain.

    joated   ·  April 8, 2009 8:48 PM

    To Rick Caird:
    I wouldn't be surprised that there is a concerted effort by the left to infiltrate right leaning blogs. But, the cop killing issue should transcend left vs. right.

    Just after the incident that I believe provoked the killing of 4 white Oakland police officers, I posted on this site trying to tweak the owner into posting about it. At the time, Eric was busy renovating a rental in Berkeley, next door to Oakland, and didn't respond.
    That incident was the blatant murder by a white Bay Area Rapid Transit cop, Johannes Mehserle, of an unarmed black man who was pushed to his stomach and shot at point blank in his back. The entire event was recorded by phone video and broadcast repeatedly by Channel 2 in Oakland. This was on New Years Eve.

    Fast forward to the March 21 cop killings when pay back occurs with a vengeance.
    Lovelle Mixon, a black felon wanted for rape, sets up 2 motorcycle cops, shooting them in execution style while they were prone on the ground. He then, oh so conveniently, flees on foot (with his car still in service?!) to his nearby sister's apartment where 2 more cops are lured to their deaths. Is it a coincidence that this occurs in the same general neighborhood as the Oakland Fruitvale Bart killing?
    I don't think so.

    So, what I want to know is why the right, or the libertarian right, can find the thuggery of a Clinton FBI or BATF gone berserk at Waco or Ruby Ridge, or the kidnapping of Elian Gonzales by what they called JBT"S (Jack Booted Thugs) - why this kind of police overbearing is abhorrent, but the repeated beatings and killings of ghetto blacks is just policing.

    Frank   ·  April 8, 2009 11:03 PM

    I always thought Ann Althouse was left of center?

    dusty   ·  April 9, 2009 4:17 AM

    Two words into their comments one knows what's up. I just skip their mewling.

    Brett   ·  April 9, 2009 7:47 AM

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