Saturday, December 17, 2011


Zandar thinks this has to hurt Ron Paul:

Appearing on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" Friday, the presidential hopeful took a swipe at his GOP rivals telling the crowd that Michele Bachmann "hates Muslims."

When asked by host Jay Leno what he thought of his rivals, Paul shook his head, slowed his voice and said, "she doesn't like Muslims, she hates them, she wants to go get 'em" -- in reference to the comments Bachmann has made on the campaign trail over her willingness to attack Iran over its suspected nuclear program....

As Zandar says, " hating Muslims is a requirement for winning the GOP primaries. That revelation won't hurt Bachmann one iota.... I'm betting however that Paul pointing out this 'unfortunate' fact about Bachmann is going to hurt him."

Sounds right -- but I'd add two qualifications. First, what will probably hurt Paul the most is accusing Bachmann of hating -- it doesn't really matter the object of the alleged hate. I'm not saying right-wingers don't hate -- far from it. But right-wingers, especially of the conservative-Christian variety, will always tell you that they don't hate anybody -- they just hate certain deeds (wearing a headscarf, having gay sex), but they love, love, love the people whose behavior distresses them so. They're such loving Christian people -- unlike those atheistic hippie socialist haters! So this will be seen as simply rude and unfair.

However, there's the question of whether the right-wing noise machine will play this up or downplay it. Um, what do you think? The GOP establishment desperately needs Ron Paul to beat Newt Gingrich in Iowa, which will pop Newt's bubble, then set up Paul to fail after New Hampshire as the race heads to some Southern states. So I'm predicting this won't get wall-to-wall coverage on the right -- just the opposite. It would become Topic A, on the other hand, if it helped Mitt.

However, it will be deployed starting in South Carolina, if Paul lasts that long -- it will be deployed with a vengeance, as will the rest of Paul's less-than-jingoistic foreign policy pronouncements. So if you're one of those folks who still think he can win Iowa, finish strong in New Hampshire, and gain enough momentum to win the nomination, forget it -- his chances of doing that just went from infinitesimal to none. But the party bigs and Fox News will, I assume, hope no one pays too much attention to that until after Iowa, at least.


Ten Bears said...

These animals' religion is hate. Why do we keep pussy-footing around it - these animals' religion, is hate.

M. Bouffant said...

Hate is not yet fully approved for their fellow Americans, no matter how gay or un-white they may be, but it does seem OK for them to despise dehumanized mobs of swarthy people on the other side of the world who "want to kill us."

Swellsman said...

M. Bouffant, I respectfully disagree. Not with your characterization of how the right-wingers relate to swarthy foreigners -- that is spot on.

But I long ago realized that their primary enemy, their perpetual number one foe, is The Dastardly Liberal. And 'wingers don't engage in political disputes - they wage war against poltical demons.

It didn't get a lot of attention, but in Thursday's debate Romney said, "There are some Democrats who love America." He said it as if he were vouchsafing a secret. And, in a sense, I suppose he was. Except the secret was that the GOP base is surprised to here that even "some" Democrats might love their country. Because, for Republicans, anybody not already a member of their club doesn't just disagree with them but is actively working to destroy all they hold dear. It can't be any other way.

It's crazy, sure, but this extreme Manicheanism informs their view and stirs their hearts. It gives them someone to hate.

They'll only admit it in the title of their books - Guilty! Treason! -- but the people they hate most of all are the Liberals of this country.

c u n d gulag said...

Swellsman is right about the Liberals.

And all of modern Conservatism is based on one thing, and one thing ONLY:
"Whatever pisses-off the Liberals!
If they're for something, we're against it!
And if they're against it, we're for it!
And because those nasty Liberal Devils do some shape-shifting, our positions need to be monitored, and adjusted daily, hourly, or as needed."

And Steve, after Paul serves his usefulness, you're right - they will turn on him.
I mean, what is the ancient coot on some issues, but an old DFH?
He's pro-drug and anti-war!
And those are NOT Conservative principles!

Monty said...

I've always found the wingnut approach to politics extremely tribal. For all intents and purposes, they're xenophobes. If you're not a member of their group, you are other and suspect.

Further, it doesn't seem like their values mean much to them --unless those values can be framed as standing in opposition to something (war was, is and will always be their perfect metaphor - they thrive in conflict).

Shorter me: yeah, they're haters.

proverbialleadballoon said...

don't forget about fear, guys. fear, in order to gin up the rubes, goes hand in hand with hate.