Friday, July 16, 2010

A Crappy Tea-Party Victim Narrative

[Note: This post contains 6 of the 7 George Carlin dirty words you can't say on television, which some, consequently, also find offensive. Just so that's out there.]

So, I've been following this NAACP/Tea Party hub-ub with mild interest. Only mild interest because while the Tea Partiers annoy me, that annoyance is not significantly greater than my annoyance with Democrats or Republicans.

What does perturb me significantly is sloppy thinking and straw arguments. Observe, in reaction to the NAACP denouncing racist elements within the Tea Party, Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler opine in Politico:

"A clear pattern of behavior has emerged over the last 16 months. According to liberals, if you disagree with their thinking, and if you disagree with the Obama administration, you are not only wrong, you are a 'racist.'”

Holy strawman, Dorothy. You will notice that, despite this oh-so-pervasive "pattern" of liberal argumentation, Martin and Meckler don't provide evidence of a single liberal making such an absurd claim. Besides, it's not so much that those who disgaree with Obama are racist because they disagree with him, but rather, that sometimes those who disagree with Obama also happen be racist.

It's a nuance thing. But, it plays well into the victim narrative. Observe Martin and Meckler, continuing to get it so very wrong:

"The latest strike by the left comes from the NAACP, which has resolved that the tea party movement is inherently 'racist.' At its most simple, this is a direct attack on the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans."

Oh buddha on a biscuit. The First Amendment, say it with me now, prohibits the government from abridging freedom of speech. Individuals calling other individuals names is not a violation of anybody's shit piss fuck c--- cocksucker motherfucker tits* free speech rights. At its most simple. Framing the label "racist" as a First Amendment violation, is an ironic silencing mechanism. Legitimate criticisms of racism are chalked up as either a pseudo-violation of somebody else's First Amendment rights or as unfairly playing the race card (tm).

Anyway, after those two beginning quotations, my respect for this article was so deep in the shitter that I stopped reading it. Proceed with caution.

*In real First Amendment news, the 2nd Circuit just issued an important free speech decision finding the FCC's rules regarding expletives unconstitutionally vague. That is a victory for free speech.

[Note: Yes, I self-censored that c-word that I, and many others, abhor. Just because you have free speech rights, doesn't mean you should always say everything you're free to say. Or, as some might say, the feminazis are censoring me!11!!1]

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