Monday, March 26, 2018


...about the March For Our Lives and rightwing reaction thereunto. I wrote it last night and there's been a lot of froth since; Rod Dreher's post, mentioned briefly in the column, has metastasized with many updates since I first saw it into a full-body freakout, including supporting quotations from Jonah Goldberg (!), a reference to "Piss Christ," and more of that patented Dreher "I Don't Endorse Trump But Because of X I Endorse Trump" routine. But the real howler is this bit:
One more thing about all this. As longtime readers know, I lived in New York on 9/11. Stood on the Brooklyn Bridge and watched the first tower fall. Smelled the sweetness in the smoke for days, and learned from a friend who had lived through the war in Beirut that it was burning human flesh....

I cringe to think about some of the things that surely must have come out of my mouth in the year that followed. David Hogg-like stuff, no doubt. The hate felt good. It really did. It also felt good to hate those who cautioned me and others about our rhetoric. Fools and cowards, they were, as far as I was concerned.

I allowed that righteous anger to justify my cheerleading for the catastrophic Iraq War. I was the fool, and I was the coward, because I was afraid to interrogate my own rage. I regret bitterly being so eager to hate, and thinking of myself as someone who got a free pass on that, because hey, I lived a mile or two from Ground Zero, so who are you to tell me that my feelings are wrong, huh?!

That’s what’s happening here too.
So, to recap: in 2001 Dreher favored blowing up Ay-rabs because the 9/11 bombers were Ay-rab, and because he was in Brooklyn and smelled the WTC. (I myself lived in Brooklyn then and also smelled the WTC, yet never called to blow up Ay-rabs. My immunity is called "common sense.") Now Dreher repents, and compares his intemperate, racist foamings to David Hogg's rather tame and definitely not racist calls for gun control. This is, in form anyway, the sort of stop-and-think by means of which Christians are traditionally encouraged to "judge not, lest ye be judged" -- but even Jesus can't stop Dreher from judging, so he doesn't withdraw his judgment that Hogg is a "disgusting little creep," or anything else: Instead he just calls his younger self names, too, and bids his readers attend his current wisdom, which is sure to be infallible.

The punch line is that Dreher spends a lot of his time ragging on other religious conservatives for endorsing Trump. Those guys are certainly hypocrites, but at least they're not nuts.

UPDATE. Dreher just can't let go -- from a new damn-kids post:
Second, this movement is not going to stay focused on gun control. The passions of the left, and the media, won’t allow it. Emma Gonzalez gave a memorable speech at the rally. But the media can’t let the speech stand for itself. They’re already celebrating the intersectionality of Gonzalez, a self-defined bisexual who has shaved her head...
Dreher was, too, going to come out for gun control, really he was, but then the liberals had to turn him off with a bald lesbo.

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