Today in the wingnuttery Olympics
It’s so hard to decide what my favorite moment in wingnuttery was today. Was it this story from the Rachel Maddow show, as reported by Chris Hayes?
Or was it the Daily Caller, eager to find a new low to sink to, calling the men of Journolist ugly? It’s so hard to decide!
On one hand, the Iowa Republican party declaring that they want to instate what they call the “original” 13th amendment in a sad effort to kick Obama out of office is about as classic as wingnuttery gets:
*It’s winking at racism without coming right out for it—the actual 13th amendment banned slavery, and so this is a way of suggesting that wasn’t a super important thing to do, certainly not on the level of stopping people from accepting titles from foreign rulers. Playing footsie with racism with plausible deniability firmly intact is one of the top three favorite wingnut things to do.
*It’s about creating implausible schemes to attack the President’s right to hold office for the sole purpose of riling up their followers, giving them more shit to mutter about angrily, particularly after they’ve had a few.
*They get to take a swipe at scientists, intellectuals, and the idea of peace itself without coming out right for it. The scheme is there to suggest that the Nobel prize is the equivalent of taking a title such as “Duke” or “Baron” from a foreign crown. They may play off like it’s just an unfortunate side effect that this would strip the citizenship away from the hundreds of American Nobel prize winners who have been rewarded for science, literature, and peace-keeping efforts, but make no mistake. If this scheme worked out, they would enjoy showing those smarty-pants what for thinking they’re so special.
*This is stupid, ineffectual, and kind of crazy—much like freaking out over fluoride or black helicopters. Whatever the appeal of that is to wingnuts, it’s obviously there.
But the “men on Journolist are so ugly!” nonsense is also fucking awesome, for many reasons.
*The complete lack of self-awareness, so beloved by wingnuts. In general, I think that it’s a bad idea to put your picture up when you’re calling someone else ugly, because you invite scrutiny that pretty much no human, especially online, can really endure. But it’s especially tone deaf when you’re Mark Judge and your hair styling choices jump right out at scrutinizing viewers.
I’m not one to make absolute fashion rules. (*cough*) But I will say to the balding men of the world that all attempts to distract from your receding hairline are bad ideas: combovers, toupees, hair plugs, growing your hair long in the back. And of course, Judge’s assumption that making your hairline tall will somehow distract from its backwards drift. This is not usually something I’d bring up, but there’s a real glass house/throwing stones problem going on here, and Judge would have been wise to think about that before taking this story on.
*The beating a dead horse aspects. This is just another attempt to dwell on the non-scandal of Journolist, which at this point simply amounts to making an enemies list for an audience that responds more to hate than they do to actual ideas, of which most conservative pundits have none.
*The sad sack attempts at being funny, which almost always cause me to move from being annoyed to pitying the would-be jokester. Simply pointing and laughing at people isn’t a joke. Burning motherfuckers is an art, and we all know how conservatives feel about artists. (Especially if there’s a threat of them winning the Nobel prize, though there sadly isn’t one in burning motherfuckers. Yet.)
*And there’s always something nauseating and unnerving when conservatives even come close to talking about things tangentially related to sex and feeling good, like if someone’s attractive or not. For instance, Judge has taken it upon himself to evaluate the hawtness of a bunch of male journalists and college professors, no doubt as a shield against accusations of sexism for when they inevitably do the hits-trolling follow-up “Women of Journolist Are So Ugly” post. Unfortunately, this has put him in a situation that is just a teeny-weeny bit gay. So he spends time on page two trying to cover up for that by making it clear he’d totally fuck Sarah Palin if he had a chance, and Andrew Sullivan—a for real gay dude—would not. The result was typical of conservatives trying to play like they’re not sexual miscreants, which is to say that it makes you long for an old-fashioned screed against the evils of sexual liberation:
Palin is a triple threat: a pretty jock who is also incredibly sexy (pretty and sexy are two different things). In high school she was the kind of girl that the school newspaper nerds – the future Journolisters – despised. Pummeled with so much raw beauty, athleticism and sex appeal – and she’s nice, too, goddamn her – these fearless chroniclers of reality were left sputtering – and seething.
Due to our sexual bitterness, therefore, the left immediately started camping out at abortion clinics to scream invective at sexually active women that weren’t having sex with us, tried to restrict access to birth control out of angry revenge, and obsessively tried to keep sex education out of high school classrooms so another generation of cute high school girls that got all the boys were duly punished with unplanned pregnancy.
Oh, wait. Sorry. Why don’t we go back to talking about how the real 13th amendment didn’t repeal slavery at all?