Monday, June 16, 2008

Two items

Dave Neiwert at Orcinus, "The crazies and Obama":

read some of the details emerging from that militia bust in Pennsylvania that the media have been studiously ignoring. To wit:

Bradley T. Kahle, 60, of Troutville, was one of five people arrested in last weekend's sweep. He told undercover agents he hoped Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama would be killed if they were elected president, and that he would shoot judicial and law enforcement officials if he became terminally ill, according to an affidavit of probable cause made public Tuesday.

"Kahle said words to the effect of, that 'if Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama, get elected, hopefully they will get assassinated, if not they will disarm the country and we will have a civil war,'" the affidavit stated.

The same man also told authorities he planned to visit Pittsburgh so he could get on top of a high rise and start shooting black people. And of course, the judge let him go on bail. Would I be crazy to suspect that if he were a Muslim talking about shooting white people from a high rise and hoping John McCain would get killed, no judge on earth would let him go?

Jay Taber writes, on the "Culture of imbeciles":

"This Guy apparently thinks most Americans are incapable of even comprehending a concept like centrist."

I've been trying, as is so often the case in fits and starts, to wrestle with a longer piece about how Right and Left/Conservative and Liberal have stopped meaning what they used to mean in practical terms, even if many people continue to apply the old assumptions. Of course many of the assumptions aren't really that old, but stereotypes developed by the Reaganites in the 1970s and 1980s. But they still have a lot of currency, in terms of how people think about the political spectrum here in the U.S.

At one point I wanted to call it "Liberalism and its Discontents", but that seemed insufferably gaseous. Later I wanted to call it "Liberalism in the Pelagic Zone", using the metaphor of being at sea far from recognizable landmarks, and discussing the ways we seek out things by which to establish reference points, and the unseen creatures towards the bottom, beyond where sunlight penetrates, like the mysterious Kissinger Fish or the Carlyle Group Lamprey.

Part of my meaning, which I'm having some difficulty fleshing out, can be limned by asking yourself why in the world anybody would consider either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to be liberals, when at the very best they're centrists. (And by no means our best centrists.) It's NOT simply a question of being "more liberal" than the centrist democrats-- I think Ron Paul's candidacy and the nerve he touched helped demonstrate this.

(The usually perceptive David Neiwert, whom I quote above, insisted on doing everything he could to tear Paul down earlier this year. He did this , I think, in part I think because he could only see the forest for the trees, while nevertheless grasping that Paul represented a mirror that showed the cracks in modern liberalism's facade, and had to be put down at any cost...)

Jeremiah Wright and Samantha Power and their relationships with Obama also demonstrate this, in two more ways.

I'll get back to this soon.

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