Charles Johnson at LGF:
1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, Pat Buchanan, etc.)
2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)
3. Support for throwing women back into the Dark Ages, and general religious fanaticism (see: Operation Rescue, anti-abortion groups, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, the entire religious right, etc.)
4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.)
5. Support for homophobic bigotry (see: Sarah Palin, Dobson, the entire religious right, etc.)
6. Support for anti-government lunacy (see: tea parties, militias, Fox News, Glenn Beck, etc.)
7. Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech (see: Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Birthers, creationists, climate deniers, etc.)
8. A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech (see: Hot Air, Free Republic, Ace of Spades, etc.)
9. Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond simply criticizing radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide (see: Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, etc.)
10. Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarre conspiracy theories (see: witch doctor pictures, tea parties, Birthers, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, World Net Daily, Newsmax, and every other right wing source)
And much, much more. The American right wing has gone off the rails, into the bushes, and off the cliff.
I won’t be going over the cliff with them.
Before there was a “netroots” or a “rightroots” there was a group of blog communities that moved the political commentary of the day: Slashdot, Metafilter, BoingBoing and Little Green Footballs. Not even DailyKos was relevant when I started reading (1999) and dwelling (2001) in the blogosphere.
Yet what’s more interesting to me is how Charles has kept LGF close to his heart and his identity and to me that’ what’s so invaluable about this blog post. His blog has been a very personal journey. It wasn’t meant to be a business plan. It wasn’t meant to be his product. Little Green Footballs is Charles Johnson.
The blog has changed because he has changed and that’s an amazing thing to own up to: That you weren’t the “complete” person people thought you’d be. That the space in which you post a bit of your soul is not just a product or a brand. It is you.
Yet the bottom line is simple: Owning up to growing up after a certain age or status is not what most people expect or even want you to do. The fact Charles has done so and rather publicly is truly remarkable and fascinating.
Good job Chuck and welcome back.
Sabater welcomes Johnson back to the left, which is where he naturally fit on the spectrum before 9/11. He was radicalized by those events, having his worldview shattered, and went to the other extreme on national security issues. Because American politics — and especially the American blogosphere — divided into Left and Right almost solely on the War on Terror and the Iraq War, Johnson embraced and was embraced by the Right. But he’s a social liberal at the end of the day and the American Right — and especially the Republican Party — is dominated by religious conservatives.
Like Johnson, I’m not religious and, like Johnson, I am not a fan of several swaths of the American Right or the general direction the Republican Party is headed. Unlike Johnson, there are enough other issues where I find common cause with the GOP and am irreconcilable with the platform of the Democratic Party.
It’s up to nearly 600 comments at the time of this post, and I hate to break it to Mr. Johnson, but the Goldwater conservatives and moderates have been put six feet under by the theocrats and know-nothings. I don’t know how you can wrest the GOP back from the crazies. I am under no illusion that Charles Johnson is now progressive or agrees with the Obama admin on policy (heaven knows we have enough beefs with the admin); I actually feel for him.
These low-brow conservatives that coo over Palin, Glenn Beck and Rush are sheep — no critical thinking whatsoever, in denial about how they are shilling for policies that hurt them, instead they focus on blaming on the “other” — that doesn’t look like them, worship like them, believe in reproductive freedom or isn’t heterosexual. With fumes that weak, how can that movement sustain itself? It’s an incredible feat.
Joe Gandelman at Moderate Voice:
This is a fascinating – and perhaps pivotal – time in American politics.
Both parties are now showing signs of impending splits, although time will tell how serious and politically consequential each of these splits are. Each party’s base (left in the Democrats; right in the Republicans) consider the word “moderate” a dirty word.
Some in the base of each party want to purge their party of some who they feel aren’t “real” Democrats/Republicans. Some Democrats want to push the party left…some Republicans want to push their party further right.
And it’s inevitable that some on the right and left may not agree with the push, tactics, or party line pressed by those who seek a more ideologically pure party. In the GOP, the split may come between those who do not buy into the party’s talk radio political culture and those who do. Right now, it’s clear the talk radio political culture wing is “winning” in terms of dominance.
Where will those who feel edged out (moderates, or those on the left or right who don’t go along with ideological purification) in each party go?
Speaking of me, friends are jealous of my conspicuous inclusion in Johnson’s demonology. It has been his evident intent to deprive me of my livelihood as a journalist: Why else did he bide his time before choosing to attack Pajamas Media for paying me to cover the 9/12 March on DC? (Roger Simon is a friend and I’d been contributing to PJM since May 2008, but after 9/12, PJM editor Rick Moran rejected all my offers for further contributions, which is why none of my coverage of the Bill Sparkman case or the NY23 campaign appeared at PJM.)
So I’ve enjoyed the laughter as Johnson (who pulled out of PJM in 2007, which some at the time suspected was due to Johnson’s resentment of Michelle Malkin) has destroyed his own once-successful site and resorted to the blogospheric equivalent of “busking.” Despite CJ’s transparent malice, I have kept in mind the advice Andrew Jackson got from his mother:
“Never tell a lie, nor take what is not your own, nor sue anybody for slander, assault and battery. Always settle them cases yourself.”Whatever harm CJ has inflicted on me or anyone else, his “success” in turning Little Green Footballs into an unprofitable imitation of Daily Kos is as much vindication as any of his victims can expect.
And if you agree with any element of half the American body politic, you agree with the whole thing, and you are a crazy hater. But the whole thing is crazy and hateful. That’s an inference, because he doesn’t really get into it. He really only offers the broadest outlines of his crazy hate problem, basically how some people drive him crazy, and he hates them. Which is too bad, because even if you buy the premise that broad swaths of America are crazy and hateful, it doesn’t get into what he finds so attractive about the presumeably sane, loving, rational part. I would have preferred a detailed description of the moment when all that inclusive thoughtful concern hit him like a silver bullet, when the switch flipped on the bright shining light on the road to Damascus, when … enveloped by its warm, mentally balanced, nurturing embrace … he started frothing about the hateful craziness. Also, how the crazy hating on his new side of the aisle fits into his new anti-hate/crazy world view. Not on offer in this brief crazy hate-a-thon. But it’s pretty obvious he bought this line that it is all about crazy hateful bigoted insurrection, which comes across ironically as crazy and hateful sounding. Unfortunately I never read his site enough — largely because its content was never much more sophisticated, informative or entertaining than this crazy hatefest — to offer any meaningful analysis of where, when and how the crazy hate obsession kicked in. Scroll down for calming beach views!
Personally, I don’t need to go through the exercise of figuring out what happened to Johnson. I’ve avoided him all these years because he seemed too extreme and hateful. Now, he’s fired up about other people being extreme and hateful? And he’s fired up in a way that seems extreme and hateful? I do not need to go there. That was never my scene.
UPDATE: David Frum at FrumForum
UPDATE #2: Helen Rittelmeyer
Conor Friedersdorf at The American Scene
UPDATE #3: Charles Johnson and Conn Carroll at Bloggingheads
UPDATE #4: Jonathan Dee in NYT Magazine
Barrett Brown at Vanity Fair
Charles Johnson at LGF
UPDATE #5: Dennis Prager