Glenn Reynolds, a born bully, clearly resents the increasing popularity of the anti-bullying movement, so in classic wingnut fashion, he’s trying to redefine “bullying” until it’s meaningless. And, being a tried-and-true bully and morally bankrupt asshole, feels a good place to start is to define it as “bullying” for a woman who was shot in the head to continue living and speaking out on issues that matter to her. As opposed to dying, I suppose. What next? Are the doctors who saved her life “bullies”? The aide who stood by her side and tried to stop the bleeding? Since it’s “bullying” to exist in the world and remind Glenn Reynolds of the damage done by the policies he supports, the field is wide open. Most policies he supports have real world victims and plenty of them walk around disapproving of those policies, as victims, and thus are “bullies” who need to go away because their existence triggers the tiny spark of conscience that still exists in his shriveled-up, evil heart—at least until he kills it off completely through actions like taunting a shooting victim on Twitter.
I was done with conservatives screaming “politicizing” every time someone tries to enact policies to stop social problems that wingnuts would prefer continue. This accusation of “bullying” is part of the constellation of that argument. The thought process goes like this: Politics isn’t about real world problems, but is just sports for nerdy people. Thus, when real world problems occur, it’s off-limits for politicians to try to pass policies to stop those problems. In fact, it’s “bullying” for them to describe the problems as problems at all, even if your actual body—in this case, Gabby Giffords’ obvious brain damage from being shot in the head—is living proof that this is actually a problem. This is only true if conservatives prefer the problem to continue. The last clause is critical, because it’s not “playing politics” or “politicizing” for conservative to politicians to pass their preferred policies through political systems. Only liberals. Or in this case, only 90% of Americans of both political parties who have the crazy notion that it should be somewhat harder for criminals to get ahold of guns.
You can, if you’re not an asshole, see the multiple problems with this childish bit of logic, but if not, I’ll spell it out for you: Politics is not a game, and if we can’t use politics to solve real world problems, then there’s actually no point to it at all.
Obviously, those who believe that gun manufacturer profits shouldn’t be slowed or impeded even slightly by concerns like preventing mass murder are only resorting to this line of argument because they can’t actually defend their preferred policies. It’s worth noting that this is a common theme in right wing rhetoric, addressed yesterday with regards to the abortion issue. They can’t defend their preferred policies, so they throw up a bunch of lies, bullshit, and distractions in hopes they won’t have to. The gun industry won this round, but the price they’ve paid to get here is massive exposure of how terrible and full of shit they and their lobbyists are. No wonder a heartless asshole like Glenn Reynolds is lashing out.