eleventy million angry white people

Nate Silver has a nice take down both of the ridiculous lies, including falsely labeled photos, about how many people attended the tea bag protest in Washington and also the tendency to dismiss the protest’s importance.

If you follow the second link above to redstate.com and are willing to sift through some pretty astounding comments on the thread, you’ll be treated to an illuminating exchange.

A commenter, who apparently has had an account there for a few years but is new to commenting, suggests that they should not leave themselves open being discredited by so blatantly and egregiously overstating the size of their protest. In response, he is jumped on in short and predictably Pavlovian order.

He is called a troll and a poseur. His motivations and mental acuity are questioned in very uncivil tones. Still, he persists and even makes a reply to another poster further down the stream.

But the important and instructive aspect of this exchange is that not a single poster backs him up, restates his point or even begrudgingly if only slightly agrees with his premise.

Other commenters continue to take shots at him and use him as an example to avoid in instructing another new poster on how to avoid the misdirected — in fact, inward turning — fire of another respected and long time member of the redstate echo chamber.

We do learn in the exchange that the author of the original post, the blog’s big cheese Erick Erickson, added the question mark and the footnote calling the bogus 2 million figure into question. And some commenters disingenuously use that fact to claim that they were not actually arguing for the grossly inflated number, when, incredibly, just a few comments they were doing just that.

It’s amazing to watch the duplicity and self delusion unfold on the record.

In microcosm, this is another example of what I frequently comment on: the seeming inability, or unwillingness, of so many on the right to understand and respect the power of the web as an archive in addition to a fleeting bullhorn.

Their words and action really are being recorded and are available for future easy and widespread access and retrieval. Going on four years after macaca, they can no longer credibly claim ignorance of this web facet.

They are stubbornly and childishly refusing to acknowledge this part of reality. This may sometimes be effective in arguing — or shouting at — people, who frequently don’t want to or don’t quite know how to respond to such a tactic.

However, it is not a useful strategy in dealing with an obvious and undeniable fact about the nature of the web and how it has affected our political discourse.

Just as an aside, I would also note that the behavior of the crowd behind the CNN reporter in this clip as well as pictures like these — including confederate flags — also unhelpful to their cause.

The effect this guy has is quite obvious (via ThinkProgress):

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “eleventy million angry white people

  1. This is all about the underlying, hideous factor of the racism that is so deeply ingrained in the American character. The attempt to portray this president (Of all people!) as a socialistic, left wing extremist doesn’t even pass the giggle test for people who have bothered to pay attention to their times and their history. Let’s face it – Franklin D. Roosevelt, he ain’t! They can’t obstruct his agenda with a manufactured scandal regarding his personal life, as they did with Bill Clinton. eleven years ago. Their only hope is for enough of the American people to become really frightened by the Big, Bad, Black Bolshevik. An ironic description when one takes into consideration how boringly moderate Obama really is.

    Think about this: In the last presidential campaign only one of the nominees of the two major political parties was born in the United States – Barack Obama – John McCain was born in Panama. Do you find it as revealing as I do that it was the black guy had his citizenship called into question? How much more proof do we need of the overt racism that is inherent in that party – or in our own country for that matter? Honestly, this isn’t rocket science, folks!

    Joe Wilson and the nincompoops on the far right have opened a Pandora’s Box that may very well prove difficult to close. What they are now doing – consciously or unconsciously – is prompting their brain-dead masses toward violence and intimidation. And let’s not forget the untidy little truism that a lot of these folks are armed and dangerous. Who can forget the fool who showed up outside one of the president’s Town Hall meetings in New Hampshire last month with a gun strapped to his leg? My biggest worry is that that little incident is merely a small illustration of worst things to come.

    Listen, I really hate to be the bearer of bad tidings here, I really do. But if you can’t foresee some kind of Timothy McVeigh-style domestic incident somewhere down the pike, you’re a hell of a lot more optimistic than I am. Also, if you are not seriously alarmed by what is now happening to our beloved country, you’re not paying attention.

    And now Glenn Beck is all set to become the Martin Loony King of the Far Right with his stupid March on Washington the other day.

    Isn’t life interesting?

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

  2. blahgblog

    ya, i agree with the bad black commie argument as well as the real threat of racist and ideologically inspired violence and terrorism directed at obama and all citizens, such as those killed in oklahoma city by right wing extremist mcveigh.

    that’s what we need to take seriously about the demagoguery. most of the 6-70k at the march would not engage in such violence and terrorism.

    but they were marching, symbolically and literally, with some who would.

    their numbers, such as they are, give the violence prone fringe of the fringe legitimacy.

    we won’t change their minds but maybe we can convince them to reject the looniest of the loony — or shame them into doing so.

    it begins with speaking out against it and calling it, as you do, what it is: terrorism inspired by deep seated racism fueled further by appeals to mishmash of self contradictory reactionary ideological appeals.

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