The Times liberal "visual op-ed" columnist, Charles Blow, tried to strike a blow against anti-Obama right-wing extremism in his Saturday entry, "Pitchforks and Pistols." The text box: "Talking up an armed revolt," was paired with a chart (the "visual" part of the column) showing a modest surge in background checks for firearm purchases.
Blow has apparently been deaf for the last eight years, unable to hear the deranged howls from the moonbat left spreading Bush-as-Hitler memes and arguing 9-11 was a neo-con plot. Yet a surge in gun purchases from law-abiding citizens fearing stricter anti-gun laws under an Obama administration (not as distant a possibility as the major media would have you believe) absolutely terrifies him.
Lately I've been consuming as much conservative media as possible (interspersed with shots of Pepto-Bismol) to get a better sense of the mind and mood of the right. My read: They're apocalyptic. They feel isolated, angry, betrayed and besieged. And some of their "leaders" seem to be trying to mold them into militias.
At first, it was entertaining - just harmless, hotheaded expostulation. Of course, there were the garbled facts, twisted logic and veiled hate speech. But what did I expect, fair and balanced? It was like walking through an ideological house of mirrors. The distortions can be mildly amusing at first, but if I stay too long it makes me sick.
But, it's not all just harmless talk. For some, their disaffection has hardened into something more dark and dangerous. They're talking about a revolution.
He names action movie star Chuck Norris, Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, and Fox News host Glenn Beck as possibly dangerous influences.
The most ridiculous part is when Blow cited inflammatory talk-show host Bill Maher as part of the cool-headed opposition to extremism. Maher, of course, gave the 9-11 killers points for bravery in a notorious comment on his ABC political talk show "Politically Incorrect" on September 17, 2001. Here's Blow pushing forward comments from Maher as support:
All this talk of revolution is revolting, and it hasn't gone unnoticed.
As the comedian Bill Maherpointed out, strong language can poison weak minds, as it did in the case of Timothy McVeigh. (We sometimes forget that not all dangerous men are trained by Al Qaeda.)
At the same time,the unrelenting memebeing pushed by the right that Obama will mount an assault on the Second Amendment has helped fuel the panic buying of firearms. According to the F.B.I., there have been 1.2 million morerequests for background checks of potential gun buyers from November to February than there were in the same four months last year. That's 5.5 million requests altogether over that period; more than the number of people living in Bachmann's Minnesota.
UPDATE (Hat tip K. Daniel Glover at AIM): Blow isn't just vicious, he's hypocritical as well. While feigning terror at Glenn Beck, Blow isn't above using violent metaphors against GM head Rick Wagoner in a March 31 blog entry:
Yesterday President Obama threw General Motors Chairman Rick Wagoner under the Buick, and forced Chrysler into a shotgun marriage with (F)ix (I)t (A)gain (T)ony. Apparently, GM and Chrysler didn't do a good enough job on their homework assignments.
Something doesn't feel right.
I'm not saying that the Despots of Detroit deserve a break (Wagoner should be flogged in the streets for the Hummer alone), but the use of the guillotine could be a tad more egalitarian.