Wednesday, October 10, 2018


This is the most concentrated pellet of IOKIYR in recorded history.

What does Lewis mean by radicalization? He might be talking about policy -- for example, the growing impatience on the part of liberals with half-measures like the ACA and their shift to Medicare for All. But while the ACA turned out to be easy for Republicans to demonize, Medicare for All is very popular. And a lot of  Republican policies, like immigrant baby cages, are very unpopular. The midterm polls suggest not too many people are scared of what the Democrats are promising them.

So Lewis, like other conservatives these days, shifts emphasis from radical policies to radical behavior, calling the Democrats a "mob" that assaults Republican politicians by telling them they don't like them, which is what Hitler did.

In the linked article Lewis' evidence of "mob" activity is protesters at the Supreme Court "banging on the walls" and "Ted Cruz getting chased out of restaurants." They sure don't make mobs like they used to.

The Maximum Leader has been pushing this line ("You don't hand matches to an arsonist and you don't give power to an angry left-wing mob, and that's what the Democrats are"), and all the little Trumpkins -- which is basically every conservative, bound in blood to him since he muscled Rapey McRoeRepeal onto the Supreme Court -- have followed suit, from the blog bottom-feeders ("Democratic Party = Mob," "Democrat mob shows true colors," etc.) to bigger fish like Fox News' Stuart Varney ("Could it be that the treatment of Kavanaugh by the Democrat mob is swinging votes to the GOP?"), North Carolina GOP vice chairwoman Michele Nix ("modern Democrats prefer mob rule over the rule of law"), and Senator Tom Cotton ("the Democrats’ crazed, hysterical attempt at left-wing mob rule has failed, and rightfully so").

Rod Dreher, of course, is very anti-Democrat-mob and claims America joins him in condemning them, presenting in evidence his usual rock-solid testimony from unnamed persons whose existence we must take on faith:
I’ve heard from three friends — two Democrats, and one anti-Republican independent — who have written to express profound concern about this political moment, and the behavior of the liberal mob. One of the Democrats — no fan of Trump or Kavanaugh — told me that her party has lost her over all this. The independent told me he hasn’t voted GOP in 30 years, but that may change this November, because of the “malice” (his word) on the left. And the third remains a devoted Democrat, but he is agonizing over the demons now taking over his political side, and worries if they can ever be reined in.
Also Dreher knows a couple of ex-Soviet citizens who swear the Democrats are just like their captors back in the gulag  -- "these aging former dissidents, who don’t know each other, see the same thing happening in the liberal West." Like the biggest question I'd have about these possibly imaginary people is whether they colluded on their story.

The presumably real people who say the Kavanaugh hearings convinced them to vote for Trump are even better. "I Was A Never Trumper Until Democrats Went Gonzo On Kavanaugh. Now, Hand Me That Red Hat," declares... Nathanael Blake, longtime writer for The Federalist and author of columns like "How To Respond With Reason And Compassion To Transgender Bullies." Yeah, we were really hoping to turn that guy.

It should be obvious that, as Eric Levitz points out in New York magazine, when Republicans protest, the threat of actual violence -- not banging on walls, not discomfiting diners -- is much, much closer to the surface. Me, I can remember back to 2014 and the Bundy Insurrection, when armed crackers drew beads on federal agents and conservatives went squee. Here's John Hinderaker of Power Line at the time:
As time went by, more and more allies showed up at the Bundy Ranch, pretty much all of them armed. The arrivals included some who described themselves as militias. Today there was an extraordinary scene that gave rise to this photograph. Hundreds of Bundy supporters, on horseback and, I assume, armed, told the federal agents that they were surrounded and had better give back the cattle they had confiscated...
There was no cry against the mob in that post -- just Hinderaker spreading stories about Harry Reid ("Rumor has it that Reid wants the land for a giant solar farm that would be supplied by a Chinese company") and defending the Bundy position ("I don’t understand why there isn’t a stronger movement to turn most of that land over to local management"). Tree of liberty and all that.

Today, as it happens, Hinderaker talks about "the Democrats’ repellent mob actions as part of the 'Kavanaugh confirmation process.'" This level of shitfulness is par for Hinderaker's course, but what makes it even better is that his post argues his "mob" talking point is moving the polls in the Republicans' direction -- something he perhaps hopes will convince Sheldon Adelson to give him a bonus after the GOP only loses 34 seats. No doubt the rageaholic base does find this energizing, if by energizing we mean "now Grandpa, you know you're supposed to take your medicine every day," but how many of them make it to the polls -- and how many of us they'll be able to keep from the polls -- will have more to do with the result. That's the kind of mob tactic I worry about.

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