Posted by: coloradokiwi | February 23, 2009

Suburban Commandos: Diaper Brigade

Greenwald has up an excellent piece centered on a Glenn Beck segment that essentially War Games the upcoming civil war (yes, that one with all the angry white guys outfitted with deer rifles and army surplus gear—or Eddie Bauer for the well to do—successfully flouting the commie Obama regime).  Read the whole thing (which I normally wouldn’t necessarily recommend of Greenwald unless you’re used to grad student type workloads—let’s face it, the guy’s the bloody Faulkner of political commentary).  

But to summarize anyway, the whole anti-government movement among conservatives is back, after being AWOL over the last eight years.  This is the same movement that during the 1990’s were convinced that Clinton was going to declare martial law and take away their guns, and pretty much acted as if some kind of dictatorship was imminent, so don’t forget that can opener when you stock the bunker, son.
This piece really resonates with me, because that hypocrisy is probably the number one thing that turned me away from the Republican party (aside from actual policies, of course).  I basically came of age during the Clinton years, and between this and living in a pro-gun culture, I spent a lot of years legitimately worried about the over-reach of the Federal government, highlighted by the bumbling and atrocities at Waco and Ruby Ridge, among other things.  There were other issues, which seem stupifyingly insignificant nowadays, that were certainly worrying if seen in the right light.  I mean, ostensibly the point of the parts of the Brady Bill that outlawed certain types of “assault rifles” and required that all ammunition essentially have a use by date were to reduce violent gun deaths and undermine domestic terrorists.  However, is this not also a high priority for anyone who wants to keep an armed citizenry from resisting major incursions on civil liberties?  Far fetched, maybe, but also not completely paranoid given what went down in the aforementioned tragedies at Waco and Ruby Ridge.  “My people” were gently mocked via characters like Dale Gribble on “King of the Hill”, but it was nonetheless a worthwhile and honorable thing to be suspicious of any authoritarianism.  At the time, this seemed like possibly overzealous but ultimately merely wary watchfulness.  
However:  then came Bush’s even more extreme over-reach, with warrantless wiretaps, secret prisons, the destruction of habeas corpus, etc. etc. etc.  For some reason the majority of the good, vigilant “patriots” I grew up with were eerily silent, or had even become cheerleaders of this, and the only reason, as far as I could see, was because Bush was a “regular guy” and a Republican.  Of all the cockamamie emails I received from conservative friends and family over the years, NOT ONE detailed any concerns about these issues, or expressed any inkling that maintaining a militia “for the people” against “the government” had ever once entered their heads, or should do so under Bush.  Overall, the “patriotism” I respected and considered myself a part of turned out to be nothing more than tribal, pants-wetting hypocrisy.  At least, that’s surely what it looked like over the last few years.  The about face during the Obama presidency underscores this fact, not only because, as Greenwald suggests, Obama and the politics he represents are “other,” but also because it’s coming up primarily in reaction to the stimulus bill—a bill that is not only not comparatively “big government” once you take out all the tax breaks, but has nothing at all to do with authoritarianism other than the mere word association of “government plan” vis-a-vis the economy.
***Aside:  Whether or not the stimulus bill is an authoritarian thing merely by virtue of overtly meddling in the free market is a bit more debatable.  But that’s not really why these militards have their camo panties in a twist.***

The Glenn Beck segment referred to in this piece surely crosses a line, and were it not so potentially dangerous given the current political and economic circumstances, it would merely underscore how pathetically misplaced their rage and priorities are.  So “my people” (of old, clearly, not now it would seem) have shown themselves to be not only ignorant, fearful, and aggressive (they have always been this), but also wholly unprincipled.  (I know, I know, like we’d want principled angry white guys with Napoleon complexes, but you seem my point.)  It’s also, I will say, a bit of insight into how clearly lacking in empathy such folks are.  I mean, we all knew that these people lacked empathy (you can’t be a warmongering gun nut Bush supporter and have much of it, obviously).  But the fact that they are freaking the fuck out even when Obama doesn’t put forth anything more radical than “change”, means they are incapable of sanely imagining what it is like not to be the folks in charge—on top of which their guilt is fully projected, whereby they expect a comeuppance:  the libs and minorities are sure to take their vengeance.  
***Aside:  one can only imagine the visions that dance in their nightmares, where hipster illegal immigrant black folks sporting Scissor Sisters cut-off tees descend upon the homestead like locusts, lead by Obama on his red-eyed stallion, waving a red banner emblazoned with a black power fist and sickle and hammer:  ” Get the M-60 out of the basement, Jed, and put on yer chastity belt, Betsy Sue, they’s a-comin’!”***

******Aside on the aside:  What Cletus doesn’t realize, but will before he awakes in a cold sweat, is that he is the one who’ll need the chastity belt.******

What’s particularly galling here is not merely that these people are at once being stupid, pathetic and dangerous.  It’s that any move to take reasonable steps to ensure that a host of paranoid good ol’ boys don’t get all Tim McVeigh on us will merely reinforce their kooky worldview.  It is a gamesmanship that has no downside for them, short of the ultimately sought-after martyrdom that they atavistically and romantically wish for themselves.  
Is there some kind of name we can come up with for these people that combines the traits of diarrhetic self-defecation, projected guilt via paranoia, myopia, and red-faced militance?  Oh, and probably other conditions sure to cause social maladjustment, too.  Let’s just cover all the bases, shall we?  
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Responses

  1. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

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  2. Thanks, Selina!


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