Today's right wing circus acts

Today's right wing circus acts

by digby
I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it.
The man who said that actually had the gall to call someone else an insufferable man-child. He was referring to yesterday's wingnut hissy fit over what they are calling "pajama-boy."  You can read about the whole stupid brouhaha here. (Making fun of Rich Lowry going all Heston is like shooting fish in a barrel, so I'll let that go.)

Meanwhile, the entire right wing is having a full blown meltdown over the Duck Dynasty guy being suspended for being a homophobic jerk:

I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment.
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) December 19, 2013

Conservatives normally insist that the private sector can do anything it chooses, even hiring and firing on the basis of an owner's throwback religious or racist beliefs. But that's only as long as it doesn't "infringe" on the right of conservatives to be assholes. That's a sacred liberty which is derived directly from the Bible, Atlas Shrugged and the Declaration of Independence. (You can look it up!)

This is actually an example of a certain variation of the patented right wing hissy fit. This one is based on the "I know you are but what am I" tactic, which takes themes beloved by liberals and turns it back on them in a thoroughly confusing manner. And all too often liberals get tangled up in their own rhetoric while the right wing smugly eggs them on.

Let's take a little trip back in time, shall we? You all remember the Dixie Chicks' little faux pas, right? And you remember what happened?
[A]ll hell broke loose after Maines’ on-stage comment made the media rounds. The Chicks lost most of their airtime on right-leaning country-western radio; CD and concert ticket sales plummeted. Encouraged by reactionary bloggers and DJs, ex-fans destroyed Chicks CDs en masse during the ensuing “Dixie Chicks Destruction” campaign. Concerts were picketed by Red-baiters who called the Chicks “traitors” and “communists,” although the group’s fans were divided, with many remaining loyal. Worst of all, bomb-sniffing dogs and metal detectors were deployed at Dixie Chicks concerts. Under heavy security, the Texas trio confronted a 2003 death threat at a Dallas performance, after a letter threatened to shoot Maines in the same city where John F. Kennedy had been gunned down 40 years earlier. For his part, President Bush appeared to egg on the Chicks’ persecutors, saying: “They shouldn’t have their feelings hurt just because some people don’t want to buy their records.”
You all remember Clear Channel's reaction to the Dixie Chicks controversy, don't you?
Country music's No. 1 act, The Dixie Chicks, have been pulled from radio playlists thanks to a remark singer Natalie Maines made in London last week.

"Just so you know," Texas native Maines said on stage, "we're ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas." Maines added she felt George W. Bush's foreign policy is alienating the rest of the world. 
Her remark unleashed a nationwide backlash. The group's records have been pulled by dozens of country-music stations across the country, including two Clear Channel-owned stations in Jacksonville, WQIK 99.1-FM and WROO 107.3-FM.

"Out of respect for our troops, our city and our listeners, [we] have taken the Dixie Chicks off our playlists," said Gail Austin, Clear Channel's director of programming for the two Jacksonville stations.
I'm quite sure we'll hear tales of angry gay mobs from San Francisco threatening to take out the Duck Dynasty guys any minute now. Whenever one of the "I know you are but what am I" flaps comes up, the right wingers turn into damsels in distress and whimper loudly about how they are being threatened with violence. (They apparently see nothing weird about the fact that they are simultaneously supposed to be ones who will protect us from "bad guys" and the government alike with their vast caches of NRA sanctioned weaponry.)

The First Amendment protects both the Dixie Chicks and the Duck Dynasty guys from government censorship. Corporations and other employers can fire you for looking at them sideways much less expressing views they think will offend their customers. I happen to think they have too much freedom to fire at will and frankly, most of the time, it accrues to the right wing's benefit, what with so many rich owners being liberal-hating Republicans and all.

But every once in a while it goes the other way. That Duck Dynasty guy said something obnoxiously repellent about gays and the owners of the network thought it called for sanction. If the right wing would like to work with liberals to make it harder for employers to fire employees for merely expressing their political ideas I think we might be able to form a nice bipartisan coalition. But as I said, they think the constitution only protects conservatives from liberals, so we're probably not going to come to any agreement on this.

Update: I forgot that we are also not allowed to accuse Republicans of "drinking the kool-aid" because it hurts their feelings.  They are such delicate flowers.

Update II: John Amato makes an excellent point about Palin:
[W]hy didn't she defend Martin Bashir over his callous words about her --which caused a conservative outrage and then led him to resign his job at MSNBC? She wallowed in his ridiculous words to her and bathed in the conservative backlash politics that ensued.

Did she say that Bashir was entitled to say anything he wants on MSNBC's airwaves, even attacking her? After all, it was his personal opinion that he voiced. Nope. Did she then go on and debate Bashir over what prompted him to say those things about her? Nope. So it's OK for anti-gay and and pro-Jim Crow words to be uttered by Robertson, but not anti-Palin words.
Uh, yeah. Basically.

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