July 28, 2009

Michelle Malkin has a new book out. If it's as well researched as her two most recent outings -- which featured the classic right-wing technique of gathering any smidgen of evidence one can find to support a thesis (no matter how dubious or downright false) while carefully excising any smidgen of contradictory evidence (no matter how mountainous) -- it promises to be a real mess.

Malkin was on Sean Hannity's program last night touting it. I was particularly interested in how she described it -- heavy on innuendo, intimations of shady dealings, and a major emphasis on First Lady Michelle Obama as a kind of Machiavellian manipulator running the show from behind the scenes. She labels her "the First Crony."

This has a familiar ring, doesn't it? The wingnut right attacked Bill Clinton relentlessly as a corrupt Southerner involved in shady dealings (think Whitewater or Mena), while the Evil Hillary ran the show behind the scenes. And the mainstream right made heavy use of these attacks.

It's just deja vu all over again.

Especially the complete and utter loss of perspective:

Hannity: Now that you've done all this research -- and I'll let the audience, because you really, with great specificity and detail, go into the corruption -- how corrupt is this administration compared to others?

Malkin: Well, I think you have to judge them by their rhetoric. And if you look at the gap between the rhetoric and the reality, this has to be one of the corrupt, most corrupt administrations in recent memory.

Hmmm. I dunno about you, but when I look at the levels of corruption within an administration, I look for actual things like, you know, corruption. Things like Halliburton and Enron.

As for the gap between rhetoric and reality, I usually think of it as matter of disappointment and disenchantment, not of corruption per se (though it can indicate a kind of ethical corruption, depending on the facts). And I think most other people do too.

Malkin and Hannity sure have a strange standard for what constitutes "corruption." Especially considering they not only stood idly by and cheered while corruption ran rampant in Bush's little war zone but aggressively attacked anyone who brought it up as insufficiently patriotic.

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