I haven't been posting much lately because I had a flare-up of my nerve damage, so I was ordered to rest. (Yeah, right.) Anyway, I've missed some of the action lately and I wanted to say something about the lefties who are criticizing the new book by Markos Moulitsas, American Taliban. I have a copy and while I haven't finished it, I have cracked it open. I wonder if some writers are just a little bit jealous that Markos' blog, Daily Kos, is so successful.
Suddenly left-wing authors are not allowed to use words to express ideas in the way they see fit? Have left-wing elitists been looking around the country and the world that encompasses the politics of it all and can honestly tell me that the right wing has not acted downright scary? How many people have to be murdered like Doctor Tiller was for it to actually resonate with the MSM and the American Prospect? President Obama was in office less than six months before Tiller was executed by a right-wing fanatic, but I guess that doesn't count. So I ask again, how many people must die before they see a very dangerous pattern?
David and I have been documenting right wing extremism under Obama's presidency on C&L and in our book, Over The Cliff, and you would have to be a fool not to notice.
Jamelle Bouie wrote the most ridiculous attacks on the new book that I've read. I don't have the time to do a full analysis of the article, but Jamelle proves to be a useful idiot for the Ann Coulters out there when he writes this:
It doesn't help that Moulitsas elides glaring contradictions in his argument and routinely misrepresents his evidence; in one instance, Moulitsas brandishes Ann Coulter's infamous quotation from 2001, where she declared that "we should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity," as evidence of the right's bloodthirsty ways, while ignoring the fact that she was fired from National Review (an organ of the American Taliban) for that exact quotation.
From that passage you would think that Ann Coulter was kicked out of the Republican party for good and all conservatives and FOX News like entities would be done with her. All hail the NRO!
Of course, that's not the case at all. Ann Coulter has only risen in stature since she wrote those disgusting views, so much so that Time put her on its cover, and Matt Lauer had her on the Today Show to give their audience a year in review of George Bush's 2005 performance. (She thought he had a slow start but a wonderful ending after he fixed his crazy Harriet Miers pick for the Supreme Court.)
Lauer: Can president Bush get his groove back in 2006? Ann Coulter is a columnist, a conservative commentator and author of the book How To Talk to a Liberal (If You Must). Ann, good morning, nice to see you.
Coulter: Nice to see you too.
Lauer: Scale 1-10 -- how bad was 2005 for the president?
Coulter: It ended on a high note..
Notice how serious Matt Lauer and NBC take Ann Coulter. Yes, she must have learned her lesson from being fired by the NRO.
And here she is again attacking the 9/11 widows on The TODAY Show, one of the biggest mainstream TV morning shows.
"These self-obsessed women seem genuinely unaware that 9-11 was an attack on our nation and acted like as if the terrorist attack only happened to them. They believe the entire country was required to marinate in their exquisite personal agony. Apparently, denouncing bush was part of the closure process." And this part is the part I really need to talk to you about: "These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies. I have never seen people enjoying their husband’s death so much." Because they dare to speak out?
And here's a video of her giving Matt her predictions on Rudy Giuliani's chances to receive support from the Birchers, errrr... I mean, the extreme Christian Conservatives for the 2008 presidential run. And she was happy because she thought that Giuliania was "crazy enough to nuke Iran":
Coulter: ....and also he seems sort of crazy enough that he'd nuke Iran and that warms our hearts and at this point its been years since an ex-wife has appeared on Vagina Monologues.
Yes, the right-wingers certainly have addressed her vitriol in a proper fashion for her. They exalted her. As a person who helped write a book, I can understand if some people don't agree with certain points in our book, but we can have a great debate about it. So could Markos. As movement-building goes, the elitist left sometimes seems to have no concept about it. Why throw Markos under the bus? Why not let the MSM and conservative groups like the NRO read and react to the ideas put forth? Why not help that dialogue? How many right-wing books do we see hit the bestseller market from Coulter, Savage, Hannity, O'Reilly and conventional right wing pundits and politicians? They have an entire infrastructure in place to make sure their pundits get on those lists that then lead to more media exposure for their ideas. It's one of the reasons that right-wing extremism is being transmitted so frequently throughout the country.
Do you want more violent behavior? I have some for you.
We can look to the Central Valley to see two recent and frightening examples of the American Taliban in action, both from the city of Madera.
As reported by KFSN TV in Fresno, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Madera was firebombed on Thursday - just days after a similar attack was made on a local mosque:
Madera's Planned Parenthood clinic is closed Thursday after someone firebombed it with a Molotov cocktail. The FBI is investigating this case as it continues to search for clues in an attack on a mosque last week on the other side of town....
Madera Police do not have anyone in custody but a spokesperson with Planned Parenthood says she has a good idea of who it might be.
"I believe it's extremists who are, want to make a statement." said public affairs director Pasty Montgomery.
This attack comes just one week after someone targeted a local Muslim mosque across town. Investigators found a brick thrown through the window and anti-Muslim signs posted on the walls.
Across California, various acts of hate, whether a firebombing of a Planned Parenthood clinic or a protest against a proposed mosque in Temecula, are on the increase. Even in a state where abortion rights are enshrined in our Constitution, those who provide abortion services and the women who seek to use them have to go through a lot of security procedures to protect against what should rightly be called terrorism.
When a fellow Californian such as Markos goes to the trouble of describing not only these violent acts, but also the troubling worldview behind them that is fundamentally like the worldview shared by the Taliban, their work ought to be embraced and spread as a valuable rallying point against these extremists. Otherwise what happened in Madera last week will become more common, and more violent.
But then again, it's just abortion clinics, right? They don't count.