Sunday, June 26, 2005

Keep Those Cards and Letters

Got an email from one of my right-wing friends (why do I enjoy tweaking these people so?) who thanked me for the postcard I sent him (from Paris, written in bad French), said he hoped I was having a good time, and added "...fuck the french!!!"

Well, sure, I sent him the card in the first place because I thought it might get a rise out of him, but really, what's the deal with the Freeper crowd still hating the French? They were right about not wanting to go to war with Iraq, and even the Republican Congressman who instituted the Capitol menu change from "French fries" to "freedom fries" now says the war was a mistake and regrets the French-bashing. The Limbaugh and Savage and Coulter crowd, however, have no such compunctions. It's this hypocrisy, this lack of examination or retraction or introspection (or even thinking through an issue in the first place) that I find so very frustrating. The wingers will seize on a quote or an incident -- such as Ward Churchill's bizarre pronouncements about 9/11 -- simplify it, take it out of context, and then hold it up as an example of why all of us on the left are traitors and/or dupes. Even when facts directly refuting these positions come to light, the memes, once established, live on. Either that or they are simply ignored as if they never happened (see the reaction to the Downing Street memo and a thousand other examples), while the dittoheads glom on to another dumbed-down strawman ("Kofi Annan is a scumbag!") that they can worry and thrash like a small terrier shaking a rag doll. It's just ridiculous, stupid and disingenuous, and shows a slavish propensity to be led by the nose by anyone with a pulpit and a misinformed opinion (hello, Bill O'Reilly).

My friend, in response to my inquiry about his comment, inexplicably said that he doesn't believe "the French have ever forgiven us for liberating them in WWII," and then goes on to say that we on the left "just don't get it."

How in the world do you ever deal with idiocy and irrationality like that and remain sane? It boggles the mind.
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