Right Thinking From The Left Coast
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it - Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The American Taliban

That’s the title of Markos Moulitsas’ new book that basically compares the Right Wing in this country to the Taliban.  I’m certainly no friend of the religious right, but this is absurd.  Whatever their beliefs, the Right Wing—even the Religious Right—is not comparable to an organization that believes in the violent oppression of women, tyranny in place of democracy and the absolute subversion of the individual to the Islamic state.  The Talabin wouldn’t have Sarah Palin as their spokeswoman; they’d have her stoned in the public square.

Now I haven’t read the book.  Maybe that’s just a catchy title.  But people who have read the book are claiming the title is fairly reflective of the contents.  And those contents are so ridiculous that even liberals are having problems with it.  Here’s my favorite liberal blogger, Ta-Nehisi:

Digby argues that Moulitsas should have some kind of poetic license,and shouldn’t be taken literally. That strikes me as squishy. This statement--"in their tactics and on the issues, our homegrown American Taliban are almost indistinguishable from the Afghan Taliban"--is quite literal, and one is obliged to ask if it’s true or not.

The notion that “slut-shaming” and “nose-cutting” have the same deeper meaning--presumably a fear of women’s sexuality, though Digby doesn’t say this--is true as far as it takes you. Likewise the notion that black people should be slaves, the notion that they should be shipped back to Africa, that they should be segregated in communities, that they should not be allowed to intermarry, also have the same root cause--that blacks are unequal to whites. At varying points, Abraham Lincoln, John C. Calhoun, William T. Sherman, and Ulysses Grant held one or all of these views, and all probably died thinking blacks were unequal to whites. But that doesn’t make them interchangeable. Lincoln and Grant aren’t “less evil” versions of Calhoun.

Jamelle Bouie:

Now, it’s true that certain tendencies on the American right have analogues in fundamentalist Islam; for example, and as Moulitsas points out in his chapter on sex, right-wing conservatives share a hatred of pornography with fundamentalist Iranian authorities. Of course the similarities end there; conservatives boycott pornography, Iran punishes it with death.

But, this gets to the huge, glaring problem with American Taliban; ultimately, any similarities are vastly outweighed by incredibly important distinctions and vast differences of degree. I’m no fan of the right wing, but the only possible way it can be “indistinguishable” from the Taliban is if conservatives are stoning women for adultery, stalking elementary schools to throw acid in girls’ faces, and generally enforcing fundamentalist religious law with torture and wanton violence. The chapter on women becomes a joke when you realize that Moulitsas can’t distinguish between the odiousness of right-wing sexism and the vicious amorality of permanently disfiguring “immodest” women. Likewise, there are magnitudes of difference between executing gays (the Taliban) and opposing a hate-crimes bill (Republicans).

Bouie goes on to point out that the Republicans Kos demonizes with damning quotes were frequently criticized by the Right Wing and fired by their employers.  Moreover, there is a tendency—which I have noticed becoming more and more common on the Left—to take the emanations of the most extreme members of the Right to represent the entirety of the conservative movement.  Thus Dale Robertson’s stupid sign represents racism of all Tea Partiers, Anne Coulter’s post-9/11 tirade represents secret crusader tendencies and Pat Robertson’s words on just about anything indict all Christians.

I wouldn’t go on about this—who gives a fuck what Kos thinks, anyway?—but this is coming from the founder of the “progressive” blog. A blog that is unapologetically partisan, that frequently deals in crackpot conspiracy theories (they were the origin of the Trig Palin conspiracy theory) and whose signature book is an exercise in Godwin’s Law.  And I’m sure they think of themselves as much more enlightened than those crazy Beckistas who were on the mall this week and think Obama is Hitler or that there is a natural affinity between the Left and the Taliban (hint: most of them don’t believe this).

Morons come in all political stripes.  I just wish the Left would quite pretending that their particular camp is moron free.  As their shining blog star has just shown, it isn’t.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 09/02/10 at 08:57 PM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
Page 1 of 1 pages