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Tilting at Windmills

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April 27, 2009

ANOTHER STEP BACKWARDS FOR THE 'RIGHTROOTS'.... It's always been impossible to take Erick Erickson, RedState's editor, seriously. When we last heard from the fairly prominent conservative blogger, he was writing about violence against elected public officials who were regulating chemicals in dishwasher detergent.

It gives one a sense of the guy's credibility and level of seriousness.

Today, Erickson was in rare form, accusing President Obama of taking active, deliberate steps to encourage a deadly terrorist attack against the United States. He wasn't kidding -- Erickson seriously seems to believe the president wants terrorists to kill Americans.

The best strategy would look something like taking a band-aid off quickly. Get the pain over fast. And if an attack happens quickly enough into the new administration, they can blame Bush.

So the Obama administration is working hard to release all the memos on interrogations, change all the policies Bush implemented, and clear out the old as fast as possible. Never mind that if it were done slowly over time, our terrorist enemies might not be so incited to attack.

If your working premise is that they are going to attack anyway, get them incited quickly, get it over with, and blame Bush. There is no other justification for so quickly making us less safe.

When this truly insane idea sparked some criticism, Erickson, apparently playing by junior-high-school rules, "Truth hurts I guess."

Let's also not forget that Erickson is not a fringe, obscure right-wing blogger, but a prominent conservative voice and a writer popular in the Bush White House.

Last year, in an interview, Erickson acknowledged that the "netroots" have an advantage over the "rightroots," but attributed it to an asymmetry in free time, since conservatives "have families because we don't abort our kids, and we have jobs because we believe in capitalism."

Here's a rival idea: prominent liberal bloggers aren't inclined to drift into lunacy, writing posts based on deranged conspiracy theories.

Steve Benen 4:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (32)

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Comments

If the Right insists on marginalizing themselves into obscurity, who are we to stop them?

Posted by: Bob Loblaw on April 27, 2009 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Erick Erickson...
...
...

I'm sorry, who?

Posted by: glutz78 on April 27, 2009 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

"And if an attack happens quickly enough into the new administration, they can blame Bush."

I think anything prior to mid-September can fairly be blamed on Bush, right? After all, we didn't make up the rules -- Erickson and his pals did. Can't change the rules once the game has already started, Erick.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on April 27, 2009 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Follow the logic: Obama, who, along with his beloved wife and daughters, lives in Washington, DC, wants a terrorist attack to occur. The most likely target for such an attack would of course be Washington, DC.

Makes perfect sense. I guess Bush's "you've covered your ass now" dismissal of the August PDB was his effort to hasten an attack so he could blame Clinton.

I never once thought Bush wanted 9/11 or any other attack to occur. I did, however, believe that his administration and its policies made the possibility of additional attacks more likely. There's a huge difference.

Posted by: BH on April 27, 2009 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

"Let's also not forget that Erickson is not a fringe, obscure right-wing blogger, but a prominent conservative voice and a writer popular in the Bush White House." - Uh, problem with the "but" there - he's not obscure but Erickson is indeed "fringe" when properly defined in terms of perspective rather than degree of popularity. It's pathetic how much wanks complain so bitterly about the "right-wing extremism" report, and then try so hard to live up to it. But at least Charles Johnson of LGF is shaking off some of the koolaid.

Posted by: N e i l B on April 27, 2009 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Follow the logic: Obama, who, along with his beloved wife and daughters, lives in Washington, DC, wants a terrorist attack to occur. The most likely target for such an attack would of course be Washington, DC."

But Obama can't have a family, because he's a liberal and that means he should have aborted all his kids. Or maybe he's actually a conservative.

Posted by: will on April 27, 2009 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Never mind that if it were done slowly over time, our terrorist enemies might not be so incited to attack.

So even a hack like Erickson can't avoid admitting that Bush's torture policies incite terrorists to attack us.

Posted by: Gregory on April 27, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a rival idea: prominent liberal bloggers aren't inclined to drift into lunacy, writing posts based on deranged conspiracy theories.

On top of having families and working for a living.

Posted by: DonkeyKong on April 27, 2009 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Erickson: conservatives "have families because we don't abort our kids, and we have jobs because we believe in capitalism."

Makes you wonder who's been listening to Rush Limbaugh for three hours a day, in the middle of the day, for all these years.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on April 27, 2009 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

This is all the GOP has left. A bunch of absolute lunatics and their blind, cult-like following.

They aren't fringe anymore, they are mainstream Republicans. The rational ones have left the party.

From Cilza's the fix:

The Republican Shrinkage Problem The new Washington Post/ABC news poll has all sorts of intriguing numbers in it but when you are looking for clues as to where the two parties stand politically there is only one number to remember: 21.

That's the percent of people in the Post/ABC survey who identified themselves as Republicans, down from 25 percent in a late March poll and at the lowest ebb in this poll since the fall of 1983(!).

In that same poll, 35 percent self-identified as Democrats and 38 percent called them Independents.

snip

And they show a somewhat significant decline from even last November's election when exit polls showed 32 percent of voters identifying as Republican as compared to 39 percent for Democrats and 29 percent for independents and others. (A caveat: voters tend to see things through a more partisan lens after having just voted in a presidential election than they do in an April poll.)

The Post poll numbers show the challenge for Republicans in stark terms.

snip

That means that the loyal base of the party has an even larger voice in terms of the direction it heads even as more and more empirical evidence piles up that the elevation of voices like former vice president Dick Cheney does little to win over wavering Republicans or recruit Independents back to the GOP cause.

Put simply: Republicans find themselves stuck between a political Scylla and Charybdis -- with apologies to the Police.


Posted by: Mike S on April 27, 2009 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Neil B,@16:21

Erickson is not a fringe; he's a ruffle.

And Mnemosyne (@16:17) is spot on; the righties blamed 9/11 on Clinton (never mind that it was Bush's own sluttish approach to security, which stopped him from preventing it). In Erickson's tiny mind it follows, therefore, that we'd do the same and blame Bush.

Posted by: exlibra on April 27, 2009 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Remind again, what "capitalism" does Erickson do for a living that is different that what Steve does?

Posted by: Impeach Jay Bybee on April 27, 2009 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Why is it that the right-wing nutjobs go all conspiracy-theory over EVERY GODDAMN THING Obama does, without every mentioning how goddamn smart Obama must be to be able to juggle all those conspiracies without anyone ever finding out? C'mon, Erick, at least give credit where credit is due. :)

Posted by: BeingThere on April 27, 2009 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Gaah! The stupid! It burns!

Posted by: DH Walker on April 27, 2009 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

We're deep into vicious circle territory here-- the more Erickson drives away moderates, the smaller the Republican party becomes, the more the Republican party needs to pay attention to Erickson and his followers... etc. Erickson's extremism and paranoia increases his influence on the right. So, why should he moderate his views?

Posted by: MattF on April 27, 2009 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

BH:

Exactly. What this sort of thing demonstrates, more than anything else, is that wingers absolutely cannot conceive that not everyone is as deranged and depraved as they are.

I mean, why wouldn't Obama do something like this? Who wouldn't, in his position? Besides everyone who isn't a total psychopath, I mean.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 27, 2009 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

More rightwing projection. They've done nothing for two months but incite violence, and I'm sure many of them would feel vindicated and justified if there was terrorist attack.

The most egregious lie Erikson spews is that Bush would be blamed for a terrorist attack in the near future. Obama has taken the blame from Erikson and his ilk for everything since mid last year. I'm sure Erikson calls it the 'Obama Recession.'

Really, Erikson is the one hoping for a terrorist attack so he can use it as ammunition against a political enemy. Sick.

Posted by: doubtful on April 27, 2009 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

I think anything prior to mid-September can fairly be blamed on Bush, right? After all, we didn't make up the rules -- Erickson and his pals did. Can't change the rules once the game has already started, Erick.

Can't change the rules? What are you talking about Mnemo? These guys lead the league in Calvinball.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on April 27, 2009 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Erick Erickson would do well to listen to Forrest Gump's mother with a twist: Stupid is what stupid writes! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 27, 2009 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

So when can we start 'ignoring' these guys and just 'monitor' them for the wingnut extremists that they are?

Posted by: Lance on April 27, 2009 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

The RightWingers have worked themselves up into a frenzy. I wouldn't be surprised if next they started spontaneously combusting.

Posted by: Joe Friday on April 27, 2009 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

And no one is worried about one of the most underplayed stories of the last six months? The umbelieveable amount of guns and ammunication sold in the last six months mostly going to the wingnuts who think Obama will take their guns.

Posted by: Scott F. on April 27, 2009 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Before you get too smug, remember: there were lots of folks pushing the theses that 9-11 was an inside job and that Bush & Co were fully knowledgeable if not directly complicit

Posted by: bilben on April 27, 2009 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

And if an attack happens quickly enough into the new administration, they can blame Bush.

Under well-established standards, anything that happens up to and including September 11th of the first president's term is, indeed, the fault of his predecessor. Obama will only assume effective responsibility for our national security on September 12, 2009.

Posted by: Stefan on April 27, 2009 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Erickson is just a mainstream Republican.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on April 27, 2009 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Can't change the rules? What are you talking about, Mnemo? These guys lead the league in Calvinball.

True, but at least me allow me the fun of taunting them about it. :)

Posted by: Mnemosyne on April 27, 2009 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Before you get too smug, remember: there were lots of folks pushing the theses that 9-11 was an inside job and that Bush & Co were fully knowledgeable if not directly complicit.

I do have a theory about 9/11, and it goes like this:

W gets into office and he starts hearing all of these scary things from Richard Clarke and others about Osama bin Laden. They're saying some pretty serious stuff, so he goes to his friend Prince Bandar and says, "What's up with this guy?"

Bandar says, "Oh, don't worry about him. He's a total fuckup. There's no way he'd be able to pull off a major attack."

So W ignores bin Laden on the assumption that Bandar is more familiar with what's going on with bin Laden than the CIA. Whoops!

In my theory, what W is thinking during his "My Pet Goat" moment is, "Bandar, you son of a bitch, you screwed me!"

Posted by: Mnemosyne on April 27, 2009 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

After a careful reading of this post and all comments, I think Mnemosyne is quite insightful. Damn that Bandar!

Posted by: Capt Kirk on April 27, 2009 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

It never occurred to Bush to ask Bandar about OBL. Right up until the attack they were all obsessed with Star Wars, comical as that may seem.

Posted by: clio on April 27, 2009 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK
Before you get too smug, remember: there were lots of folks pushing the theses that 9-11 was an inside job and that Bush & Co were fully knowledgeable if not directly complicit

The difference is who was pushing those rumors. It certainly was not the major liberal bloggers, pundits, or politicians of that time.

Posted by: PaulB on April 27, 2009 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB:
"The difference is who was pushing those rumors. It certainly was not the major liberal bloggers, pundits, or politicians of that time."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Howard Dean, 12.09.03, "interesting theory" remark. Put it out there, then lied in the Durham debate about why and when.
http://www.slate.com/id/2092515/

Posted by: tao9 on April 27, 2009 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

I think we're seeing some projection here. In his tiny little heart of hearts, it's Erickson who wants a terrorist attack, since it was a terrorist attack that the Bushies so successfully demagoged into several years of rendering their political opposition largely impotent. Ah, the good old days. Despite what he's saying here, I'm sure he believes that an attack now would eventually redound to the GOP's credit.

Republicans are praying for disaster on any and all fronts. It's their only hope, since they are fresh out of anything that could be construed as a constructive idea.

Posted by: mikeypal on April 28, 2009 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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