Thursday, August 22, 2013

IS BRADLEY MANNING'S GENDER DYSPHORIA THE LAST NAIL IN THE COFFIN FOR RIGHT-WING NOUVEAU ISOLATIONISM?

It was reported back in 2011 that Bradley Manning was unhappy living as a man, but now we know that for sure:
Bradley Manning, the Army private sentenced to military prison for leaking classified documents, revealed he intends to live out the remainder of his life as a woman.

"I am Chelsea Manning. I am female," the Army private wrote in a statement read on TODAY Thursday. "Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition." ...

"I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility)," he continued in the statement....
Remember how we were entering into a new phase of Republican skepticism about war and the national security state? Remember how all those GOP senators helped Rand Paul on that drone filibuster?

Well, that moment is over. Republican support for neo-isolationism was always greatly exaggerated by the media, but Republicans are really going to rally 'round the flag and muscular jingoism if the best-known convicted national security leaker has now made himself an ideal target of ignorant right-wing mockery in this way.

Headline from one winger blog: "PERFECT SYMBOL FOR THE POSTMODERN LEFT: BRADLEY MANNING WANTS TO TRANSFORM HIMSELF INTO A GIRL." From that post (all caps in original):
HE STOLE NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETS AND EXPOSED THEM TO HURT THE USA AND THE WEST.

NOW - TO BE HAPPY AND FULFILLED - HE WANTS HE PENIS CUT OFF.

AND THE LEFT SEES NOTHING WRONG HERE.
I'm sure this blogger won't be the last right-wing opinion-slinger to go this route -- I'm sure others will cite Manning's gender issues, the rape charges against Julian Assange, the pole dancing of Edward Snowden's girlfriend, and Glenn Greenwald's homosexuality in order to conclude that, somehow, "sexual decadence" and leaking are linked aspects of depraved leftism.

And even if that doesn't happen, I'd say GOP neo-isolationalism effectively died before it could even start to develop. The Benghazi attack and the Obama administration's inability to magically calm the turmoil in Syria and Egypt inevitably make the right-wing base more responsive to Republicans who offer the traditional "peace through strength" message. War skepticism of the Ron Paul variety can't compete with that.

Of course, Rand Paul hasn't really been trying very hard. I'm still convinced that dog whistle to the right in the Rand Paul filibuster was "Stop Obama and Holder from using drones against law-abiding gun owners" -- that it had nothing to do with foreign policy. He's not backing Manning, as I told you yesterday. Oh, and he's now backing sanctions on Iran.

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

9 comments:

stefanbc said...

Do you think that this could just be a phenomenon within the famously homophobic Paul family? As much as I despise libertarians they've been pretty consistent in support of sexual liberty (especially the Reason/Roger Stone wing of that movement)

Victor said...

They'd find a way to blame the left if Manning said he wanted to really "man-up," by following in the footsteps of Charles Atlas, and do workouts using P90X.

Philo Vaihinger said...

You have to wonder what the federal prison policy, is on that.

Or the military prison policy.

duffandnonsense said...

I think Bradley (Chelsea) Manning has a great sense of humour. Quite whether the military prison inmates and/or warders see the joke, I wouldn't care to say!

Steve M. said...

Do you think that this could just be a phenomenon within the famously homophobic Paul family? As much as I despise libertarians they've been pretty consistent in support of sexual liberty (especially the Reason/Roger Stone wing of that movement)

But there aren't any high-profile leaders of a libertarian movement on the horizon who aren't named Paul. You say you want a libertarian revolution, you're stuck with the anti-gay, anti-abortion, cozy-with-neo-Confederates Paul clan.

Rick Massimo said...

Sure, I mean there was the vaunted highly principled conservative respect for privacy and demand for limited government, but if it means agreeing with a F@%%OT, forget it.

So they've gone from yelling about the Weak-Kneed Pacifist Kenyan Usurper to yelling about the Fascist Dictator Kenyan Usurper to yelling the usual "Libruls Are Pussies," each time without missing a beat. Because the most important thing - the only important thing, really - is to always, always, always be yelling at someone.

Jenny said...

Greenwald and Assange aren't on the left as they are supporters of Ron/Rand Paul.

Libertarianism does not equal progressivism.

duffandnonsense said...

"Libertarianism does not equal progressivism."

Spot on, Jenny!

Tommy said...

The fact that so many "libertarians" line up with the Pauls, rather than vocally advocate for somebody like Gary Johnson, reveals that:

* Most "libertarians" aren't, y'know, libertarians, and..

* "libertarians" are just as susceptible to the adolescent, rock star-type infatuation with a political figure that they love to accuse liberals of having for Obama, and...

*A healthy portion of their movement is made up of people who thought GWB was doing a fine job right up until the WMDs failed to appear but don't like church.