Wingnuttia Looks the Other Way

It's the water.

When we heard that Chicago right-wing shock jock Erich “Mancow” Muller had himself waterboarded Friday morning — and immediately declared it “torture” — we thought it was significant. Not that we need Mancow to instruct us on the Geneva Conventions, American law, or centuries of jurisprudence, but we figured that a former frequent flyer on Fox & Friends might reach corners of the electorate that even Shep Smith can’t rouse.

We were wrong.

We looked — hard — for examples of wingnut reaction to post here, but of the pages and pages of Google links, everyone excited about yesterday’s video seems to have “blue” somewhere in the title.

Surely NRO’s Corner would make a passing reference just to dismiss it. Or Townhall or RedState would have some choice snide remarks. Glenn Reynolds, perhaps? Or how about Michelle Malkin, between attempts to pass off clumsy stoners as dangerous jihadists?

Nope. Nada. All we could find was Allahpundit taking a whiff and walking away:

“I’m too lazy on an afternoon before a holiday weekend to check our archives for how many clips I’ve posted of private citizens voluntarily waterboarding themselves to prove how awful it is. Suffice it to say the number’s greater than three, which of course is the total number of terrorists waterboarded by the CIA. Like Hitchens, Mancow readily calls it torture, which must make this the first torture technique in history that can double as a shock-jock radio bit.”

That, plus a lesser mortal at Hot Air, and somebody at some blog called Right Pundits.

To find any wingnut reaction, you’d have to cruise comments attached to news stories, and most of those amounted to comparisons of waterboarding and beheading. But those folks probably think John McCain is a wimp.

So, despite Keith Olbermann crowning Mancow champ and kicking in that promised ten grand to military families, we’d still like to see Hannity put up or shut up. Not that it would make a difference — we know better now — but we’re not above enjoying the spectacle for the sake of it.


Via memeorandum, found a comment by mac ranger, one of the dumber wingnuts on the planet, who says Mancow is a wimp.


I’m not surprised. They think it’s a fucking swirly and/or they can’t swim.

Ex Lifeguard here…
Why waterboarding works: Humans aren’t supposed to swim inverted.

When the head is pushed forward, you can constrict your throat and block the passage of water. When your head is pulled back, you can’t which is why in CPR they tell you to tilt the head back as it opens up the airways.

@nojo: but we’re not above enjoying the spectacle for the sake of it.

I think we share this feeling, which also confirms that torture is more than anything else an act of sadism, not a “technique” for uncovering “intelligence”.

it’s not wingnuttia that has me concerned, this is becoming a fad with every sort of semi sociopathic nitwit. they should go back to frying ants under a magnifying glass and remember THIS IS A FEDERALLY SANCTIONED WAR CRIME. i want heads on pikes! fucking barry, there i said it, bushco should be prosecuted goddammit!!!!

Could you imagine if waterboarding conservatives were such a life-changing event that it turned them into liberals?

Talk about difficult dilemmas!

@Serolf Divad: I fear I would succumb to the temptation to let many of them actually drown.

@Serolf Divad: Bite your tongue. Like CP and Wonkette before that, this blog was founded on GOP assfucking, Bachmann mockery, and dissecting right wing insanity. We need conservatives. We might have to do actual work without conservatives. As long as they’re in the minority, let’s leave them alone.

@Nabisco: The Rick Sanchez taser video never grows old.

@blogenfreude: I dunno, the Democrats seem to be eminently mock-worthy even when they’re in power. Except their crusaders don’t seem to get caught doing the assfucking thing quite as much.

The rules by which Democrats and Republicans play the Great Game are really very simple:

The oligarchy rules by imposing fear on the masses. The media, owned by the oligarchy, cheer-leads the fear-mongering. The masses eat it up as entertainment. It’s just like a great horror-show.

The very concept of private property in an effectively closed ecological system, i.e., our planet, is never up for question.

The carrot dangled before the unwashed masses is the American Dream, that somehow, someway, untold riches may befall you if you just work hard and play the lottery often enough.

The stick is ever-present; we need only be reminded that in the land of the free and the home of the brave, more people are incarcerated than in China.

It is a beautiful positive feedback loop for those in power, accelerating its spin, nothing to stop it except perhaps an implosion into…cannibal anarchy?

(And yes, I do play the lotto every once in a while. After all, you can’t win if you don’t play!)

Re: private property. I’m not at all saying that communism is better than capitalism. But how many of us grew up with schoolyard Thanksgiving celebrations featuring the iconic cornucopia display, spilling ripe fruit for all to share? The message I received was, Earth will provide, abundantly and incessantly.

Problem is, we don’t actually live in a cornucopian world. There are limits to resources, and yet we keep breeding as if the Horn of Plenty will magically see us through. I just don’t believe in magic tricks.

@Pedonator: No doubt the Demrats are mockworthy — as would be anybody in power — but so far they’re a more difficult target, especially compared to the low-hanging fruit offered by the Repugs.

But hey, Harry’s keeping up the proud tradition of craven spinelessness, Nancy’s pulling something of a disappearing act (really: what is she doing?), and Barry’s perfecting the trick of appealing to soaring principle while sweeping dirt under the rug.

Only they’re not as manifestly silly as most Repugs getting attention, and we’ve been spoiled by easy pickins.

And since LBJ’s Daisy ad has just been revived by the Repugs, I’ll use that as an excuse to drop a Jules Feiffer anecdote. Believe it or not, satirists faced the same problem early in the Johnson presidency — he was too good to mock, what with all that historic Great Society legislation moving through Congress. Feiffer talks about the challenge of drawing cartoons early on, only to have his professional life soon made easier in the worst way possible.

I hope Afghanistan doesn’t lead to that, and I hope it remains challenging to call out Barry on his slick moves. But for sheer day-to-day entertainment, the wingnuts are mopping up the court.

@nojo: Your analysis is pretty much unassailable. Except, I don’t think it’s that challenging to call out Barry on his slick moves. Yes he makes a pretty speech, but it’s not hard to read between the lines.

That said, the wingnuts do provide endless, just-about-untoppable entertainment.

@Pedonator: Well, it’s getting easier to call out Barry. I was on the verge of screaming fifteen minutes into his speech Thursday.

Plus, I was cutting him a great deal of slack during the transition, preferring to wait until the new crooks actually did something instead of fretting about the boatloads of Clintonites coming to shore. Rick Warren was the notable exception — and in retrospect, perhaps the telling one.


Must have been in college that I learned Locke’s original phrase was “life, liberty and property”, making Jefferson the first American exponent of Original Spin. (Surely I can’t be the first on that, but if so, consider the trademark filed.) And I must admit that when it comes to late-night dorm bullshit, I find pertinent the question of who milks the cows.

But if we must have private property (or joint-stock companies), let’s at least recognize it as a contingent organizing principle of society, and not some sacred right. It’s highly useful, but that deed is still on file at the county courthouse, not the local church.

And from there (well, skipping a few steps), we can usefully discuss the means by which the oligarchy gathers and maintains its power, without requiring intermittent chants of Smash the State! That’s where, if waterboarded, I’ll confess to being a pragmatic anarchist: the state, and capitalism, may not be fundamental requirements of civilization, but like democracy, they seem better than the alternatives.

That said, nothing requires those abstract principles to take their current form. The Constitution does a good job of recognizing the frailties of human nature as applied to state power, but there’s no equivalent guidance for the markets, other than “greed is good.”

And since Dodger may eventually stumble across all this, one of my favorite examples of a more rational capitalism: Requiring environmental costs to be incorporated into the expense of manufacturing.

Long before the meltdown, it was my standard example of socializing losses: you spew shit in the air or dump it in the river, and the cost of that waste is borne elsewhere — or ignored at our peril. There’s nothing integral to capitalism that requires pollution to be a social cost — we’ve just been too chickenshit to account for it properly.

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