Wednesday, June 22, 2011

THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLES OF RIGHTWING REPUBLICANS. One of my staples here at alicublog has been stories about conservatives playing the victim. It is strange to me that people who constantly assert that America is as right-wing as they are, and whose ideas of government have ruled Washington for most of the past three decades, are unembarrassed to declare themselves oppressed and disenfranchised by liberals. Even when a Democrat is shot, they portray themselves as the injured parties.

A fine example is provided today by Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator. A bunch of liberals who have been mean to conservative Republican Sarah Palin have also been mean to conservative Republican Michele Bachmann. Said liberals have also been mean to Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and others whose viewpoints they disdain, but Palin and Bachmann, Lord suggests, are of a special, vulnerable class, and Palin's noble campaign of self-aggrandizement has blazed a trail for Bachmann's current success. Lord finds the objective correlatives:
Al Smith and John F. Kennedy: The group trying to rise? Catholics, Irish-Catholics specifically...

The group trying to rise? The new American conservative movement. Goldwater, the Senator from Arizona, was the champion -- the Al Smith of conservatives...

Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama: The group in question? African-Americans...
One of these things is not like the other -- and not just because there's no boldface header for Goldwater and Reagan, which may have been an editor's attempt to soft-pedal Lord's bizarre comparison of struggles against anti-Catholic and anti-black prejudice with the way "the liberal media of the day treated Goldwater scandalously." Nonetheless the comparison is later made more forthrightly:
And so -- like clockwork -- just as their predecessors tried to re-make JFK into Al Smith, Reagan into Goldwater, Obama into Jackson, the usual suspects, doubtless startled as the political ground shifts, are suddenly trying to make Michele Bachmann into the caricature they created of, yes, Sarah Palin.
Along the way Lord tries to bolster his argument by accusing Palin's and Bachmann's detractors of an actual longstanding prejudice, sexism -- but in this case it is a special sort of sexism, only roused by a certain class of female: "The idea of a conservative woman in the White House," says Lord, "was a danger to liberals on multiples of levels." And suddenly all those libs who supported, say, Hillary Clinton (whose status apparently protected her from unkind remarks from conservatives, in some alternative universe) have shown their true colors.

Lord must have heard somewhere that sisterhood is powerful, and decided to get in on the action.

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