Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Bands of Flying Monkeys

The wingnutosphere's politics of hate laid bare

More reaction from around the web to the assholes who think stalking a 12-year-old and his brain-damaged sister is what "politics" is all about:

John Cole, now a former Republican thanks to this incident:

If you look through this family’s dossier, it appears they are doing everything Republicans say they should be doing- hell, their story is almost what you would consider a checklist for good, red-blooded American Republican voters: they own their own business, they pay their taxes, they are still in a committed relationship and are raising their kids, they eschewed public education and are doing what they have to do to get them into Private schools, they are part of the American dream of home ownership that Republicans have been pointing to in the past two administrations as proof of the health of the economy, and so on.

In short, they are a white, lower-middle-class, committed family, who is doing EVERYTHING the GOP Kultur Kops would have you believe people should be doing. They aren’t gay. They aren’t divorced. They didn’t abort their children. They aren’t drug addicts or welfare queens. They are property owners, entrepeneurs, taxpayers, and hard-working Americans. I bet nine times out of ten in past elections, if you handed this resume to a pollster, they would think you were discussing the prototypical Republican voter. Hell, the only thing missing from this equation is membership to a church and an irrational fear of Muslims and you HAVE the prototypical Bush voter [...]

I simply can not believe this is what the Republican party has become. I just can’t. It just makes me sick to think all those years of supporting this party, and this is what it has become. Even if you don’t like the S-Chip expansion, it is hard to deny what Republicans are- a bunch of bitter, nasty, petty, snarling, sneering, vicious thugs, peering through people’s windows so they can make fun of their misfortune.

I’m registering Independent tomorrow.

More John Cole:

You know, it has barely been a month since the Malkin/Limbaugh/Wingnuttosphere freak-out over the MoveOn ad, but I think it is worth noting the clear message:

Questioning a political General is treason, bullying a 12 year old is patriotic.


This is the politics of hate. Screaming, sobbing, inchoate, hate. It would never, not in a million years, occur to me to drive to the home of a Republican small business owner to see if he "really" needed that tax cut. It would never, not in a million years, occur to me to call his family and demand their personal information. It would never occur to me to interrogate his neighbors. It would never occur to me to his smear his children.

The shrieking, atavistic ritual of personal destruction the right roars into every few weeks is something different than politics. It is beyond politics [...]

This is not politics. This is, in symbolism and emotion, a violent group ritual. It is savages tearing at the body of a captured enemy. It is the group reminding itself that the Other is always disingenuous, always evil, always lying, always pitiful and pathetic and grotesque. It is a bonding experience -- the collaborative nature of these hateful orgies proves that much -- in which the enemy is exposed as base and vile and then ripped apart by the community. In that way, it sustains itself, each attack preemptively justifying the next vicious assault, justifying the whole hateful edifice on which their politics rest.

Jim Henley:

What we’re seeing here is the same tactics of personal destruction Movement Republicanism previously justified as necessary to winning The Greatest War Ever, now normalized as appropriate to handling a budget dispute. They wanted to get Jamil Hussein arrested or killed. They wanted Scott Beauchamp ruined or even fragged. They clearly want to destroy the Frost family. That’s why you just show up at someone’s workplace implying to their bosses and co-workers that they are liars, that they are trouble. To ruin them.

They wanted a war. Now they want everything to be a war. Any war.

Our own Hunter:

I seem to recall spending a whole evening watching for and purging Malkin's home address from comments, the last time the righties pulled something like this, so that she wouldn't get the exact kind of stalking that the righties are now celebrating gleefully, again... but from their end, it's all good. That kid had the audacity to express a political agenda, and so he, his parents and his family must be destroyed. It's as simple as that.

I actually remember that day, when I and the contributing editors immediately decided with no dissent that we wouldn't allow people to post Malkin's address on the site, and tasked Hunter with policing that decision. I still don't regret that decision, and would enforce it again. Too bad the other side doesn't feel the same way.

David Neiwert:

What she and her torch-bearing cohorts are tapping into, of course, is the right's innate eagerness to form ugly eliminationist mobs bent on purging anyone who opposes their agenda. Indeed, the ease with which they form bands of flying monkeys -- even when the story isn't just false but an embarrassing mistake -- has also been duly noted [...]

This isn't simple wingnuttery, though, which while noxious enough in its own right is at least a little laughable. This goes beyond wingnuttia.

For once, the smear-meisters' efforts are backfiring, as traditional media outlets start examining this despicable effort. And the more they look, the more they see that the bloggers' smear efforts aren't the isolated insanity of a few fringe party elements, but that they have the full support of the GOP apparatus.

“This is a perverse distraction from the issue at hand,” said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Reid, D-Nev. “Instead of debating the merits of providing health care to children, some in GOP leadership and their right-wing friends would rather attack a 12-year-old boy and his sister who were in a horrific car accident.”

Manley cited an e-mail sent to reporters by a Senate Republican leadership aide, summing up recent blog traffic about the boy’s family. A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declined to comment on Manley’s charge that GOP aides were complicit in spreading disparaging information about Frosts.


Republicans on Capitol Hill, who were gearing up to use Graeme as evidence that Democrats have overexpanded the health program to include families wealthy enough to afford private insurance, have backed off, glad to let bloggers take the heat for attacking a family with injured children.

An aide to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, expressed relief that his office had not issued a press release criticizing the Frosts.

What a spectacular flameout. The GOP was damaged enough by Bush's veto of the hyper-popular SCHIP program. They've now compounded that damage many times over.

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