Friday, July 01, 2011

STORY TIME. You see the title "Wisconsin Firefighters’ Union Tries to Block Parade Float Honoring 9/11 Victims" and you think, well, guess the firefighters tried to block a float about 9/11. But the headline's at National Review, so you suspect bullshit and read the source article, and find out that the firefighters in Racine just declined to march with or support the float, which is still in the parade and run by a fireman who bailed on the union, and who insists throughout the article (in which he amplifies his complaints about his ex-union-brothers' lack of cooperation) that he doesn't mean to make it about politics, but about 9/11 our heroes etc

The lying we should all be used to by now, though I am surprised NR factotum Christian Scneider didn't find another misleading article to link to instead of linking directly to the source that refutes his spin. What's noteworthy about this stinkbomb is what a perfect piece of culture war ordnance it is. For years conservatives slobbered over firefighters because they were living symbols of 9/11, their war cry and ass-saving campaign theme. Times have changed; rightwingers who once cheered whatever wars Bush demanded in the Middle East have turned peacenik on Obama's Libya adventure. And in Wisconsin, where firefighters have been largely united in their opposition to the Scott Walker neo-feudalist program, conservatives are suddenly realizing that firefighters aren't so hot after all -- they're really all looters and parasites like the rest of those Americans who insist on their New Deal advantages! All, that is, except those few firemen who eschew the union, who become the only smoke-eaters fit to be associated with nineeleven neverforget.

Remember, their lying and spin may seem to be merely habitual, but it's actually also strategic.

UPDATE. In comments Susan of Texas points out an article in the rightwing City Journal by Tom Gray, containing this remarkable line: "Police and fire unions may resent the public’s sudden turn against them, but they have only themselves to blame." Gray's evidence that the public has turned against cops and firemen is flimsy, but rest assured he and his buddies will keep working on making it so.

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