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Great Moments In Wingnuttery

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Looking at the posts readers had recently clicked on, I stumbled upon this. The Schiavo case is one of the more striking examples of all manner of wingnuts fomenting hysteria based on lies. And at the same time. much of the media collaborated by at a minimum arguing that the people who were furious that judges decided to apply Florida law rather than heeding Bill Frist’s long-distance diagnoses had their fingers on the Pulse of America, when in fact their crusade was not merely morally reprehensible but extremely unpopular.

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  • R Johnston

    The Schiavo case is one of the more striking examples of all manner of wingnuts fomenting hysteria based on lies

    The Schiavo case is more an example of how it’s impossible to tell whether a wingnut is lying or whether he believes what he actually says. They foment hysteria based on both lies and their inability to distinguish between reality and delusion.

    The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter whether they’re lying or whether they’re sincerely deluded. They’re equally wrong and dangerous in either case.

    • LosGatosCA

      Pretty much.

      Truth or fiction is irrelevant to their mission from their god (money or religion).

    • The Schiavo case is more an example of how it’s impossible to tell whether a wingnut is lying or whether he believes what he actually says.

      Don’t forget that Liberal Mickey Kaus agreed with the right on this one issue.

      • rea

        When has Mickey Kaus ever taken a liberal position on anything? Other than marriage equality for capriphilians?

        • Wasn’t the sarcasm obvious?

          • LeeEsq

            Never assume that sarcasm is obvious on the internet.

          • Furious Jorge

            Missing the sarcasms is an Internet Tradition that you are clearly not aware of.

          • but rea got to use the term capriphilians

          • Njorl

            The correct form of that sarcasm is “…even the liberal Mickey Kaus…”

            The “even” is very important.

  • Fighting Words

    My favorite part of the Schiavo case were the people who came to her hospital and tried to give her food and water – even though actually giving her any water or solid food would have suffocated and killed her.

  • Warren Terra

    I didn’t read his blog until rather later, iirc and haven’t gone through his archives to reconstruct his drift and realignment, but this is the episode that Balloon Juice’s John Cole credits with inducing his final break with the GOP, which I’d argue has been a good thing for the liberal blogosphere. It really was an egregious episode, which Cole and some others recognized.

    • Malaclypse

      I don’t necessarily disagree, but: this was a party that, in that time period, green-lighted torture, decided to staff FEMA with incompetent cronies, tries to privatize social security, etc, etc, etfuckingc…

      What makes the Schiavo case stand out, in that litany of horrors? This is not snark – the case does stand out. Is it simply that this was an area that the upper 20% realized that this time it could mean them as well?

      • Rarely Posts

        First, Shiavo occurred a few months before Katrina. I’d say that those two incidents were a real one-two punch to the gut for a lot of moderate Republicans because they highlighted Bush’s and the Republican’s evil and incompetence in a very obvious, undeniable way. No matter the media coverage and conservative talking points, the plain facts and images were incredibly powerful. In comparison, an attempt to privatize social security (essentially dead-on-arrival), or legalization of torture (no, really “enhanced interrogation techniques”) can be spun. To truly understand them, particularly given our absurd media conventions, requires a lot of work.

        Second, for a lot of people, end of life issues hold a particular emotional intensity because they’ve seen beloved relatives go through them. And, finally, you’re right that everyone can see themselves or someone they love being in that position.

        • snuh

          First, Shiavo occurred a few months before Katrina. I’d say that those two incidents were a real one-two punch to the gut for a lot of moderate Republicans because they highlighted Bush’s and the Republican’s evil and incompetence in a very obvious, undeniable way.

          i was going to say this exact thing, so thanks for saving me the trouble. i’d be curious to see a graphic representation of bush’s approval amongst self-identified “independents” over time, to see what happened to it in the middle of 05. but i couldn’t find one in a few minutes of googling.

      • Njorl

        You underestimate the popularity of torture.

  • c u n d gulag

    Please read Charles Pierce’s great book “Idiot America” for the best description of this egregious incident.

    The right wants not only to control who, what, when, where, why, and how, you schtupp, and what happens afterwards, but how you die.

    I’m old enough to remember when Republican/Conservatives thought the government needed to stay out of your personal life. And were against snooping into it.

    Jeez, I AM getting old…

    • Malaclypse

      I’m old enough to remember when Republican/Conservatives thought the government needed to stay out of your personal life.

      And I’m old enough to remember that this was always a myth.

      • c u n d gulag

        Maybe I should have been more specific.

        The Upstate NY Republican/Conservatives I used to argue with thought that way. Even on abortion.
        Then came Reagan.

        But nationwide, you’re probably right.

        • From a commenter in the above-mentioned Balloon Juice blog yesterday, this tidbit.

          • c u n d gulag

            Thank you. I’d never read that before.

      • DrDick

        Yep. On the other hand, I am old enough to remember when the Republican Party was still sane. Still deluded authoritarians, but sane. By the way, Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! We are now celebrating the year of my birth, the Dragon.

      • efgoldman

        And I’m old enough to remember that this was always a myth.

        I’m loath to admit it, but my friend gulag, even though he’s a Yankee/Giants fan, is right.
        The Republicans I voted for in the late 60s into the 70s – Saltonstall, Brooke, Volpe, Sargent – would have been appalled at the idea of even discussing the Schiavo mess in Congress, let alone legislating about it.

        • Davis X. Machina

          In Massachusetts of the 70’s and early 80’s a lot of the Democrats were Republicans, and a lot of the Republicans were Democrats. Hell, I voted for Frank Hatch over Ed King, and would have done it more than once if I could have.

          The non-goo-goo/Dukakis wing of the party was all Irish and Italian — with the odd Pole or Lithuanian Dixiecrats, basically.

          • Malaclypse

            Yea, I remember moving here in 1991 to go to BU, and needing to decide between Weld and Silber for governor. I finally decided to vote for Silber, not because I thought Silber was better, but because I thought he would do less damage as governor than he did as president dictator of BU.

    • witless chum

      Pierce is really, really excellent on this. He profiles the hospice workers and police who were caught up in the shrapnel of crazy and had to do their jobs while being screamed at by gangs religious nuts. I had never heard the part about threats that closed the neighboring elementary school.

      During this portion, his writing just sizzles with rage at what these people were put through for the crime of going to their job. And well it should. Those evil motherfuckers.

  • LeeEsq

    I think that Scott’s point about media collaboration is important. American political and social life might be a bit better if our media is willing to call a spade and a spade and point out wignuttery when it occurs. Stewart and Colbert do this to an extent but are hampered by a need to be funny and not offend potential conservative/libertarian fans too much. We need a media that can point out wingnuttery without the need to be humorous.

  • DrDick

    The entire conservative agenda is based on ignoring the fact that their positions are not merely morally reprehensible but extremely unpopular.

  • I.M.Shocked

    You need to have an echo effect when you say the title.

    Hey, don’t forget that the Republican-led congress passed a super special 11th hour bill, and President Dubya, coming off one of his month long benders, I mean vacations, signed the bill into law, allowing a federal court to overrule the state court’s ruling. States’ rights, yeah!

    Dubya’s brother, then Florida Governor John Ellis Bush stepped into it by sending in the state police to seize Schiavo and re-insert the feeding tube, but backed down when he realized the hospice had the local police backing them.

    Normal people, realizing they had to ride the Bush/Cheney crazy train for another term, started screwing with the GOP/corporate media messaging – see the big guy, middle right, holding the sign here;

    Also too, bonus points for his Ramones T-shirt.

    This has been another Great Moment In Wingnuttery – nuttery – nuttery *fades out*

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