The party of imagined bravery and craven victimhood

Eugene Robinson asks a great question in today’s Washington Post… “When did the loudmouths of the American right become such a bunch of fraidy-cats and professional victims?” Here’s a clip:

…The thing is, though, that the manufactured brouhaha over the Park51 project is part of a larger pattern in which the far right embraces victimhood and stokes fear. The faction that likes to portray itself as a bunch of John Waynes and “mama grizzlies,” it turns out, spends an awful lot of time cowering in the corner and complaining about how beastly everyone else is being.

Witness the frequent eruptions over instances of reverse racism — real or imagined. The Shirley Sherrod affair was the most recent example of how eagerly the far right wants to sell the false narrative that African Americans, once they achieve positions of authority, will use their newly acquired power to punish whites for historical discrimination. The facts of the Sherrod case, as they finally emerged, argue persuasively against this fictional tale of longed-for revenge. But it will be back.

And look at the hysteria over illegal immigration. Facts don’t matter — for example, that the flow of undocumented migrants has decreased, or that border enforcement under President Obama is much tougher than under George W. Bush, or that illegal immigrants are not responsible for any kind of crime wave. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), has gone so far as to sound the alarm about alleged “terror babies.” The idea is that undocumented pregnant women would cross the border so that their children could have U.S. citizenship, then take the babies away to be raised as terrorists — who would be able to come back in 20 years or so, with legitimate U.S. passports, and presumably wreak untold havoc. No, I did not make that up…

Robinson, as he often does, hits the nail right on the head. Today’s Republican party is one of fearful, little people who fancy themselves valiant patriots, willing fight bravely to their last breath, and, if necessary, die to protect our sacred Constitution – a Constitution, by the way, they’d also like to completely rewrite. It’s lunacy. It reminds of me when John Kerry was running against George W. Bush in 2004, and Republicans took to wearing little bandaids on their fingers with purple hearts drawn on them, as if to say that the wounds Kerry recieved in battle – the wounds that earned him a Purple Heart – were nothing more than scratches. The implication, of course, was that they, were they in his shoes, would have just sucked it up and kept on fighting, like Rambo. Do you remember that? I still can’t believe these fanny pack-wearing delegates at the Republican National Convention had the audacity to stand up in public, waving their bandaged pinkies in the air, laughing at the wounds a man received in battle while serving his country in Vietnam. And all this while supporting a craven coward who had his powerful father pull political strings so that he could sit the unpopular war out with other wealthy douche bags in a squadron of the Air National Guard referred to as the “Champagne Squadron.” But these Republicans were then, and still are today, beyond reality. Facts don’t matter to them. All that matters is spin and image. If you fancy yourself a little John Wayne, then, damn-it, that’s who you are. To hell with reality. To hell with the fact that you’d shit yourself if into a coma if you so much as heard that a member of the Viet Cong might be lurking nearby.

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15 Comments

  1. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Sheeeiiit, you’re just mad the Glenn Beck Tea Party Militia hasn’t tried to shoot you yet so you can pretend you’re living in the 60’s. Sour grapes.

  2. What's In A Name
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Other than the Champagne Squadron misspelling, I agree wholeheartedly Mark!

  3. Juniper
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    “The consequences for disputing progressivism can be socially immense for people who live within this community…”

    -Brackinald Achery

    (I was wondering what the “socially immense” consequences are since I read it the other day, I’m sure they’re quite horrid and would have most of us rushing out of the dinner party in tears. “I can’t believe they offered us MERLOT with the duck and fig au jus when everyone else was offered PINOT?! Do they think we’re swine?!!!”)

  4. Posted August 24, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    I changed the spelling. Thanks… Obviously, I don’t get a lot of exposure to champagne.

  5. Knox
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    It’s not a question of left and right, Americans have become pussified. If we had to fight World War II right now, we’d be sunk.

  6. Kim
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    The problem with the WWII generation is that, having experienced war, they babied their kids and raised a generation of spoiled brats.

  7. Alice
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    There’s a new seed-stage venture capital firm opening up shop in Ann Arbor, and they’ve announced that their first investment is in your friend Dug Song’s company Scio Security.

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/25/new-seed-fund-in-michigan-resonant/

  8. Edward
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I think you meant that for another thread, right, Alice?

  9. Edward
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I don’t know that it’s relevant, but I’ve heard that John Wayne wore women’s panties.

  10. Robert
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Don’t get so upset, BA. Mark’s just pushing your buttons.

  11. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Razm frazm!

  12. Lorie Thom
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Mark – thank you for this post. Nicely done. (no, I’m not sucking up just a little feedback).

  13. Meta
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Here’s some of that fear you’re talking about. Glenn Beck is warning his fans who come to DC for the August 28 event on the Mall to stay out of predominantly black areas because they can be scary.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/23/glenn-beck-rally-attendee_n_691578.html

  14. EOS
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    C’mon Meta – read your own link. Glenn Beck was not the source.

  15. Meta
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    You got me. It’s just his fans that are racist.

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