Imagined Conspiracies, Part 2

Do yourself a favor and surf over to the web site that reveals the evil matrix of leftists that is threatening our freedom. (They’ve actually updated it since I began composing this post last week). Begining on the far left and moving rightward (or is it toward the “center”?) we have Totalitarian Radicals (e.g. 9-11 terrorist Mohammed Atta), Anti-American Radicals (Noam Chomsky, Amiri Baraka, and Jane Fonda), Leftists (Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Howard Dean, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg), Moderate Leftists (Tom Brokaw, Bill Clinton), and Affective Leftists (George Clooney, Springsteen, Donahue, and Katie Couric).

The wonderful thing about this web page is that it allows the authors to produce the effect of guilt by proximity, if not actual guilt-by-association. Venerable leftists like Bernardine Dohrn, Angela Davis, and Alexander Cochburn (and Louis Farrakhan) are all in the same category with several of the 9-11 terrorists and Iraq terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. That’s right they’re all “Totalitarian Radicals.” Sure, Dohrn did declare war on the US government back in 1970, but it’s kind of a stretch.

But this kind of nit-picking is beside the point. As you take in the entire matrix, you see the real point. Voila! Harmless cultural liberals like Katie Couric (debatable that she’s liberal), Garrison Keillor, and Barbara Streisand are all part of this same twisted plot as the 9-11 perps.

It doesn’t really matter that these relationships are built on no evidence, or that the categories are incoherent. It’s the overall image: rows of mug shots. African American poet Amiri Baraka separated from Mohammed Atta only by Mumia Abu Jamal. How about Katrina vanden Huevel, editor of The Nation–she’s practically right next to al-Zarqawi. Granted, this is the result of the alphabetical ordering of mug shots within each category. But the impact is the same, and I’m sure the authors are perfectly happy to let the inference stand.

Read some of the nutty indiviual profiles for yourself. Here are some highlights:

  • Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney “voted to legalize the killing of babies after they are born.” Hmm, I’m thinking that might be an exaggeration.
  • Congressmen Jim McDermott: “The only certified psychiatrist in Congress, and representative from a cloudy city with America’s highest incidence of winter depression, McDermott advocates Canadian-style socialized medicine.” How are these things related?
  • Film critic Roger Ebert makes the list for the following statement: “I think a lot of working-class people don’t understand,” said Ebert, “their money is being stolen. . . . [W]e’ve had a concerted policy of taking money away from the poor and giving it to the rich wholesale, and at the same time, we have the runaway corporations and the greed. I feel ordinary people really should be angry.” I think I’ve heard Pat Buchanan say something like this, too.

One of the recurrent themes is a bitterness toward alleged leftists who make too much money, or, coming from wealthy families have sided with working people. More on that later.

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