Sunday, July 25, 2010

Going all in

We seem to be in a Texas Hold-Em culture these days, where everybody is going all in, all the time.
Chet discusses how the flying monkeys of the right wing have swung into knee-jerk formation behind dismantling the mandatory long-form census:
. . . in literally days, following Clement's out-of-the-blue announcement, a whole set of new convictions has been created about the perfidy of the census, and there are passionate tweeters and commenters pushing those convictions as if they'd had them for their whole lives.
This is one reason, really, why following politics is so surreal these days.
Of course our side has its own orthodoxies -- as I found out when I posted heretical opinions this winter about the gun registry and the Olympics. But the right wing construct is more elaborate, comprehensive and predictable
a loud unending chorus of census evil! socialism! social engineering! liberal statist fascism! . . . [as well as] the usual guff about government-worshipping Stalinist prairie-hating hippies
And this tide of hyperbole engulfs everything, whether it makes sense or not -- for instance, why did climate science ever become a left-right issue, to the point that the ruminations of a bunch of nerdy climatologists are so threatening to the right wing that the mere mention of Al Gore drives them absolutely nuts? It's WEATHER, for heavens sake, its where we all live. And then there is stem cell research, and abortion, and who people can marry, and what children should be taught in school, and who we should let into the country, and what paperwork people need to fill out when they buy a gun.
It all seems to get wrapped up in the same big tangled ball of string. Not only is there no nuance anymore, but anyone who thinks nuance should still be possible is actually being naive.
After I expressed my own doubts about the gun registry, I kept bumping into right wing opinions about how dismantling the registry would be just the first step in a long list of other culture war battles up to and including how people should be able to carry handguns into church, and I thought, whoa! all I wanted is that we should cut the paperwork for a few hunters so where did THAT come from?
If dismantling the gun registry is the first step down the road to dismantling the wheat board, outlawing gay marriage and teaching creationism, then count me all out.

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