Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Doing Anti-Colonial Stuff

The new Doing Muslim Stuff?

Points for Maitri:

Next, remember the Town Hall meeting before the last presidential election in which McCain placated an audience member with, “Obama is not an Arab.” Wait up. Being an Arab is bad? Listen to what comes out of their mouths: Being anti-colonial is bad? Conversely, colonialism is good? Armed with this realization, liberals now challenge conservatives like Gingrich and D’Souza on whether they agree with this notion.

What's really going to bake your noodle: a bunch of people criticizing the President as "anti-colonial" while standing around waving Gadsden flags and dressing up like patriots of the American Revolution...against colonialism. The congnitive dissonance deafens.

If any of you are wondering, you may count me against the unsustainable and destructive international practices of colonialism. I apologize for thinking the general consensus of history had moved beyond that particular argument, much like the issues of slavery and geocentrism.

Colonialism failed as a system. The world is still dealing with the progress-resistant legacy of colonialism today. The United States became a nation through engaging in a violent rebellion against our colonial masters. These are unchallengeable historical facts.

But we're still arguing about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the US Senate election in Kentucky, so I guess I shouldn't take anything for granted.

On with the meta:

Luckily, Weigel dismantles D'Souza's drivel over at Slate, but brings up an interesting point. Every new lunatic, reality-bending theory someone on the right-wing brings up, Democrats and liberals bring more attention to it when they try to debunk it.

When it comes to narrative, especially those based only on fear and emotion, Democrats and liberals are at a loss. First of all, the nature of the reality-based community is to address reality-based issues in some way. There is no adequate defense for problems that exist in the land of make believe.

If we attempt to debunk these revisionist tendencies about the past, the fantasy-land interpretations of the present or the breathless and unprovable theories of future doom on the part of the right-wing, we only add fuel to the fire. Those who believe the nonsense aren't going to change their minds based on salient facts because those people don't recognize facts as facts. They see facts as part of the conspiracy against America.

On the other hand, ignoring these lunatic memes only allows the always-percolating rightwingosphere to propagandize unchallenged. This gives right-wingers an always morphing whisper campaign through email chains, untranscripted talk radio and anonymous comments on news sites.

Finally, the worst part isn't the folks who refuse to recognize that this happens. There are a lot of otherwise reasonable voices on the conservative side of the aisle who are willing to let all of this nonsense go because A) they acheive some real political gain from it, or the lay folks who B) enjoy the catharsis of driving liberals crazy.

Update AJC: While D'Souza has to reach deeply into the recesses of Never-Never Land to discover TEH KENYA ANTI-AMERICAND-COLONIALISMZ motivations behind President Obama's political behaviors, David Frum doesn't have to go far to figure out why Newt Gingrich is so boldly follwing that line of thinking down the rabbit hole.

HT: Cynthia Tucker, who wonders which bigot is worse, the true believer or the one who's just doing it for the votes. Meanwhile, Jay Bookman wonders why conservatives like Frum have been driven from the movement to be replaced by the crazy.

I wonder myslef how my real conservative friends can defend this behavior from the GOP's national leadership and the idea generators on the right. I know y'all don't like Obama and all, but how can you still listen to this crap with a straight face? It is one thing to win elections based on real policy differences, and the voters making a choice between two governing philosophies - but this is attempting to win elections based on the Big Lies. What can possibly be acheived by giving the keys of this nation to legislators rewarded only by engaging in this kind of sinister, overemotional reactionism?


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