There’s so much craziness in the right-wing blogosphere, it’s hard to know where to begin. But just for fun, here’s an assortment of the craziest Virginia blog posts of 2018. Believe it or not, there also was some really good stuff too – see the end of this post for that material. With that…we are entering the Twilight Zone!
**One of the most insane posts of 2018 came at the end of the year, with “Russians, Natural Gas and the Green Agenda” at Bacon’s Rebellion (formerly sponsored by…yep, Dominion Energy, of course!). This monstrosity basically has it all, but let me just quote the beginning to give you a flavor of the conspiracy theory lunacy contained therein:
In a detailed post in The Republican Standard, Shaun Kenney explores the connections between Russians, the anti-natural gas movement nationally and in Virginia, groups he refers to colorfully as the “Red Orchestra” and “Green Antifa,” the anti-Dominion Clean Virginia organization, the Virginia Public Access Project, and The Virginia Mercury. I’m not willing to connect all the dots that he connects. Indeed, there are some dots that I would not connect. But he digs into subjects that need digging — and that Virginia’s mainstream media have studiously ignored.
Gee, I can’t even imagine why Virginia’s “mainstream media” has “studiously ignored” this crap. Maybe because it’s completely baseless? And crap? As some of the comments note: 1) “The conspiratorial catnip is just too powerful for Conservatives these days. There are dozens, hundreds of such ‘conspiracies’ in the right-leaning blogosphere and this is another.”; 2) “enviros are opposed to natural gas because it is a potent greenhouse gas – as bad as coal and that’s the basis of their opposition to pipelines.” Bingo. (Note: Back in May, Bacon also published “Russian Trolls, Gas Pipelines, and Double Standards”, which among other things claimed that there’s a “flow of money from Russian energy interests through the Bermuda-based Klein Fund to the California-based the Sea Change Foundation, which in turn funnels millions of dollars into environmental causes — one of which has been the left-wing, Charlottesville-based group Virginia Organizing, which opposes the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline.”)
**On that same theme, from The Republican Standard, we got Russian Money Funding Pipeline Protests In Southwest Virginia, which of course it isn’t, and Did Green Antifa Just Hack Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality? I can’t even…
**Also at Bacon’s Rebellion, there’s this piece, which argues that UVA “Doubles Down on Its Obsession with Race.” Why does Bacon claim that? Because – horror of horrors! – “The University of Virginia will create 20 new research professorships in ‘Democracy and Equity’ to examine ‘underlying causes’ of the white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville last year.” And what’s wrong with that exactly? According to Bacon, it amounts to “wallow[ing] excessively in the travails of race,” and it’s all supposedly “a nice way to distract from far bigger issues affecting African-Americans today — the breakdown of the black family, the failure of the 50-year Great Society experiment to lift blacks from poverty, the dismal education that public schools provide poor blacks…” A litany, in other words, of nonsensical right-wing tropes about race in America.
**Then there’s this screed, “Dissent Must Be Crushed,” which leaps to the defense of Peter Vlaming, “a high school teacher in West Point [who] was fired…by the West Point School Board for resisting administrative orders to use male pronouns to refer to a ninth-grade student who had undergone a gender transition.” The conclusion? ” incidents like Vlaming’s firing are a demonstration of power. Politically correct vocabulary and thought will be enforced. Dissenters, including those who dissent out of religious convictions, will be crushed. Some peoples’ rights matter more than others.” Uhhhhhhhhh….
**Another Bacon’s Rebellion classic is “Crazy Time in Virginia,” which argues that the fact Del. David Toscano is being primaried from his “left” (by UVA Assistant Professor Sally Hudson) means that: a) “the Tom Periello [sic – it’s actually spelled Perriello] wing of Virginia’s Democratic Party doesn’t have much more patience with old-school liberals like Toscano (or Ralph Northam) than it does with Republicans”; and b) “If there’s anything that can reinvigorate Virginia’s GOP, it’s a Leftist purge of old-school Democratic Party politicians such as Toscano, and the elevation of candidates who make Republicans look tame and moderate by comparison.” First off, as someone who strongly support Tom Perriello for governor, let me just state for the record that I have *infinitely* more patience for “old-school liberals” that I do for Republicans. Second, if you look at any polling, progressive ideas are mainstream, majority ideas, while Republicans are in the minority on just about everything. So, victories by progressives will NOT, EVER, in any way/shape/form, make today’s far-right, Trumpian Republicans “look tame and moderate by comparison.”
**You’ve also gotta love “Encroaching Mob Rule,” which cites ONE protest against Corey Stewart in which the counterprotestors “banged pots and pans while playing Latin American music over a loudspeaker” (the horror!!!) to laughably argue that the “Left” (whoever that is exactly) is in some sort of “flirtation with mob rule” (seriously? is a single Democrat advocating for or condoning “mob rule?” of course not), that “the Left is the side trying to chase the Right from the public sphere, not the other way around” (again, what???), and that “some of the people opposing [Corey Stewart] aren’t any better” than he is. I really can’t even imagine how people come up with this crap, but I guess it’s the same crowd that has claimed for years that there’s a “war on Christmas,” “widespread voter fraud,” that climate science is all some big conspiracy to destroy their preccciousss fossssssil fuelsssss, that Dominion Energy can do no wrong, etc.
**Finally for Bacon’s Rebellion, there’s “Pipelines, Fake Racism and the Environmental Justice Hustle,” which is included just for the title alone. I wouldn’t particularly recommend reading it if you don’t want to lose a bunch of brain cells, but your call, “social justice warriors” (as Bacon likes to call people who advocate for…horrors…social justice). LOL
**Over at The Bull Elephant (Virginia’s leading Tea Party blog), the craaazy “fun” is basically never ending. For that reason, I’m only going to include a few of their most bats***-crazy posts on this list, starting with “Global Cooling and the Coming Ice Age,” which argues that 99% of climate scientists – not to mention science going back over a century – are wrong, that we should all “get a grip here,” that “[t]he whole hokey climate-scare thing should not have worked once, let alone twice,” etc, etc. It would be funny if global climate disruption weren’t so serious and dangerous.
**Then there’s “Return of the Brownshirts,” which rants as follows:
“A small cadre of people dedicated to the advancement – indeed, the ascendancy – of deviant sexuality across all of American society has been on a long, rampant march that is laying waste to America’s religious traditions, its time-honored customs, and its societal norms. Anyone who interferes with complete acceptance of homosexual practice – and lately of the absurd new construct of ‘same-sex marriage’ – must be shouted down, stomped, and utterly destroyed. Nothing can be allowed to stand in the way of the Gay Brownshirts, as they sweep from victory to victory over what used to be called the Normal Culture. Those who oppose them are branded ‘haters’ (as this writer undoubtedly will be again).”
Yep, that one’s definitely in competition for craziest post in the Virginia right-wing-o-sphere in 2018.
**There’s also this post on how “Gun ‘control’ is immoral, irresponsible and unloving,” because…Chicago! Venezuela! North Korea! “the altar of government!” Don’t ask.
**The Bull Elephant also regaled us with this hilarity, which amazingly is not satire, about “Why We Should Be Thankful for President Trump’s America.”
**Then there’s “Comparing 1938 to 2018,” which claims that the “Red Hen” restaurant incident, in which Sarah Sanders was asked to leave, is the equivalent of “1938 Germany, updated for 2018.” In fact, the article writes, “The only things missing from 2018 Democrats as they stalk their next victims are the brown shirts and swastikas.” And, it concludes:
“It’s reached the point that people like me feel we need to protect ourselves by every legal means available to us, especially, but not limited to the Second Amendment, at least until law enforcement can arrive and take control of the situation. Unlike the Jews of 1938 Germany, who were not permitted to defend themselves, those of us who are not Democrats and refuse to adhere to the Democrats’ single allowable point of view CAN defend ourselves against their brand of violence.”
Because someone was politely asked to leave a restaurant. That’s just like the Nazis planning to take over the world and kill every single Jewish person (along with many others – gays, the disabled, Slavs, Gypsies, etc.). Gotcha.
**The Bull Elephant article “Hijrah“ is included because it covers – and conflates – several unhealthy right-wing obsessions: a) the “caravan”/”invasion by migration”; b) hatred, fear and demonization of Islam (“Hijrah is a migration intended to gradually overwhelm the existing population”); c) Republicans being verbally confronted at restaurants and/or being asked to leave; d) “ANTIFA” (“In Portland, Oregon, a woman who had lost her husband on 9/11 was confronted by a foul mouthed ANTIFA thug.”); e) somehow tying all this to Democrats (“The vehement behavior of the Democrat pro-Hijrah protestors demonstrates the fundamental importance of what has become a national survival issue…If the Democrats can take either the House or the Senate, or both, Hijrah will continue and accelerate. There will be no wall and no effective border enforcement. Constitutional America, under attack by Democrats for decades, will suffer further decline.”); etc.
**There’s also Fascism, Academic Indoctrination into Communism, and Pinkoism, which sounds like something out of the McCarthy era, John Birch Society, etc. Sample phrases include: “mainstream media apoplectic vilification of our President,” “the left’s deranged rhetoric against our President caused irreparable damage to our country,” “The growth of domestic communism thanks to decades of academic indoctrination, the emergence of the racist BLM, and of the black-clad Antifa, disguised and violent snowflakes, emboldened by the manufactured crisis of invented fascism on the right are at the top of the list,” “Hollywood commies come out in droves to give their ‘expert’ political opinions,” “Militant pinko feminists turn their backs on educated legal immigrants who love America and want to make it greater instead of sucking it dry of resources” and “Spurred on by fake feminism and membership in the socialist Democrat Party, many academics have become defenders of the ‘downtrodden’ from third world nations whose cultural ‘superiority’ they admire from afar.” No, you really can’t make this stuff up.
**“Journey to the Center of the Liberal Mind“ claims – among other things – that “liberalism is a lifelong mental disease, and there are plenty of middle-aged professional people mired in the mindless muck of cultural Marxism, that has infected their brains and rendered them incapable of civil and rational debate.”
**“The Democrat Party: a hate group” is just…sadly, typical of the rhetoric you can find so easily on the (far) right these days. And why? Because of “their full on, deranged, lunatic-level hatred is the kicking out of Sarah Sanders from the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia simply because she is the President’s press secretary.” Note, by the way, how the right conflates the actions of a few individuals – with or without any connections to the Democratic Party – to the entire Democratic Party. Note also how expressing disagreement with the Trump administration equates to being “deranged,” lunatic-level hatred,” etc. And in the end, the author of this screed concludes, “There is no compromising with hate; therefore, there is no compromising with Democrats.” Lovely.
**Democrats choose noxious anti-semite in the the 5th district was, pathetically, a constant drumbeat from Virginia Republicans in 2018, despite absolutely no evidence to support the claim. See here for David Jonas’ and my debunking of this absurdity.
**Gun control, Planned Parenthood Control? conflates gun violence and Planned Parenthood, claiming that over the past 20 years “there have been approximately 275 children murdered in school shootings – an incalculable evil,” while in comparison “somewhere north of 4 million children have been destroyed – killed – in the same twenty years by Planned Parenthood alone. Using billions of our tax dollars to boot. That too is an inexpressible evil.”
OK, that’s 18 of the craziest posts from the Virginia right-wing blogosphere in 2018, although there are many, many more. And now for a few good posts, just to prove that it’s not all lunacy over there.
I enjoyed the two-part series at The Bull Elephant: Corey Stewart: Political Coward and Chameleon (Pt. 1 – Immigration) and Corey Stewart: Political Coward and Chameleon Pt. 2 – Electability. Also, excellent piece by Jim Bacon, VPAP Baffled by Media’s Blurry Lines. Bearing Drift had a few excellent pieces this year, including Trump Leaves Syria With Fight Against Daesh Unfinished and With Putin Ascendant, As a Shutdown Looms, a Reminder that Trump Already Turned Down a Border Wall Deal. Twice., Immigration Is What Makes America Exceptional,The Virginia GOP Should Lead on Marijuana Reform, Fiddling While the Virginia GOP Burns, The Virginia GOP’s Death March, Why Birthright Citizenship is So Important and of course KENNEY: There Is No ‘Conservative Case’ For the Gauleiter of Prince William County. So yeah, it wasn’t all just bad stuff in the Virginia right-wing blogosphere this year, with Bearing Drift in particular really showing some thought leadership on the right – if Virginia Republicans would only listen! – in 2018.