Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The assholosphere

-- by Dave

The right's eagerness to reshape itself as a torch-bearing mob now manifesting itself in the campaign to "expose" young Graeme Frost has forged a whole new level of wingnuttery. It's really something to behold.

Now aspiring wingnuts can ascend to a special level of nastiness by going after children, families, and in general private citizens who make the mistake of advocating progressive positions. They freely abuse the media power they've been handed in order to harm people in their private lives for the public positions they take.

It's uniquely unAmerican. Indeed, it has all the earmarks of fascism. But it also marks a special level of inhumanity and soullessness.

Michelle Malkin pioneered this new sphere of affairs last year by kicking off a campaign to attack a group of college antiwar protesters with their home addresses and phone numbers.

It was, of course, unusually reminiscent of what went down in Rwanda during ethnic strife there, where radio announcers would give out the home addresses of intended victims. But this hasn't just happened in Rwanda: we've seen similar tactics here in the Northwest used against environmentalists.

Malkin has continued to expand on the concept with her "John Doe" campaign, which urges paranoid Americans to take action against anyone they suspect might be a terrorist, no matter how fevered their imaginations.

What she and her torch-bearing cohorts are tapping into, of course, is the right's innate eagerness to form ugly eliminationist mobs bent on purging anyone who opposes their agenda. Indeed, the ease with which they form bands of flying monkeys -- even when the story isn't just false but an embarrassing mistake -- has also been duly noted.

Now the Graeme Frost mob is being led not just by Malkin but by Rush Limbaugh, with Mark Steyn taking up the rear and a whole host of other wingnuts in between.

This isn't simple wingnuttery, though, which while noxious enough in its own right is at least a little laughable. This goes beyond wingnuttia.

As Atrios says, these people are assholes. Flaming nuclear assholes.

So for those wingnuts who have ascended beyond mere kookery and have begun using their media powers to attack and harass private citizens in their private lives for the mere affrontery of taking a non-conservative political position, we should have a new designation.

Can we just call them the assholosphere and be done with them?

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