Megan McArdle was recently forced to revisit her violent imagery regarding liberals after complaining about violent imagery from liberals. Her hypocrisy didn't bother her, of course, since rules are for the Little People, which in McArdle's case means anyone who is not like her and her family and friends. Unfortunately for her (and the victim), in a strange and fortuitous bit of timing the Right once again strikes out against the left with violence, as Rand Paul followers attack a Move-On supporter.
McArdle is a fan of Paul's plan to end Social Security and Medicare, so in her careful way she does as much as she safely can to mitigate the severity of the attack. It is not her job to praise or encourage such actions--that's for your Michelle Malkins and Pam Gellars. But make no mistake, Megan McArdle is their sister under the skin and therefore must do what she can to support the attackers lest they harm Paul's reputation with their actions.
First mitigation: It's not that bad.
How Not to Stop a Protester
From the descriptions on the blogs I read, I was expecting something much worse.
But this is quite bad enough: [video of attack on protester]
Second mitigation: Lie about what actually happened to make it look less severe or to blame the victim.
There's no excuse for trying to attack someone for the hideous crime of attempting to embarass your candidate. If you want to get between her and him, fair enough. I might even countenance sign-stealing. But hurling someone to the ground and stepping on her head to keep her from moving is thuggery.
The protester wasn't moving on the ground. She was absolutely still. And the man who had his foot on her head shoved downwards before he was stopped by another person at the event. Notice that the minute he was told by someone else to stop, he did. That man probably would have not committed any violence if he didn't think that his actions would be permitted.
Third mitigation: Don't blame the authority for the actions of their followers.
I think it's ludicrous to hold Rand Paul responsible for this, but nonetheless, he needs to be outspoken in his denunciation of what happened. Political violence against people carrying signs is not okay.
Forth mitigation: The other side does it too.
Yes, conservatives, I understand that there is a lot of hypocrisy coming from folks who were making excuses for Martha Coakley when one of her employees attacked a journalist, but see this as the second coming of the Hitler Youth. Two wrongs, however, do not make a right, and in this case, by normalizing physical aggression when it comes from the "right side", they make an even greater wrong.
McArdle could easily point to this post and say, "See! I said violence was bad and the right was wrong to commit any!" Yet her readers will also see that hey, it wasn't as bad as people said and the left does it too and it's nobody's fault.
That's her job. She's the Good German and when the economy collapses further and violence increases, Megan McArdle will be the first to point fingers and tisk-tisk all the violence that she delights in and couldn't wait to see, whether it was in a New York anti-war protest or the bombing of little kids and their moms and dads in Iraq. Afterwards she's all "Oh my goodness! Violence is bad!" But when the banksters were gutting the economy and the Bush Administration was invading countries for fun and profit, she was first in line to tell everyone else to shut up and obey their masters.
What strikes me is that Megan seems to have a fund of stories she can link to, or refer to, about improper actions by democrats while ignoring much bigger incidents, that are more close in time, that involve Republicans and specifically tea baggers. The coakley incident appears to have happened, after a fashion, but it took place two years ago. Right now we have a more similar incident in the AK campaign in which paid staffers acted improperly as police and handcuffed and restrained a reporter at a public event. Why not refer to that incident? Because it doesn't perform the required "balancing" act of "both sides do it."
I'm not sure she could make that connection. She will instinctively shy away from anything negative about tea-baggers and she doesn't seem to notice or acknowledge patterns of behavior. To a nearly literal extent, she can't add two and two together and get four.
Actually, I think the Coakley thing happened this year...
But there's a difference between tempers getting out of hand and shit happening, and the paranoia and loathing of the Tea Party types towards the left. The Tea Party is shit, but it never happens, and there aren't real responses to actual events, there's only fantasy.
Read that 2x4 thread. It's like they're gleefully hunting for an infiltrator, for an infraction, for anything they can find so that they get to use force. Megan throws so many cliches out in her writing that all emotion can basically be crossed-out, but she's pretty clearly happy about the violence that was coming in her head.
McArdle said something recently while talking about liberal bloggers--- "The result is the rage of people who cannot bear to see their sacred ideals profaned--and worse, to see the profaners walking around apparently happy. Only a primal scream of outrage will do."
She expects everyone to feel what she feels so she expects liberals to want public acknowledgement that they are right and the other side is wrong, wrong, wrong. She's always said there's no way to know if you're right or wrong so they must have public acknowledgement at all times that they are right, which is why they can only be happy with complete unanimity and control. Any dissent is earth-shattering, in a weltanschauung sense.
That would be a pretty extreme version of authoritarianism, but McArdle is, as she would say, an outlier.
I once worked with a guy who interrupted people every time they tried to talk, 100% sure he knew what they were going to say. Nine times out of ten he was wrong. Man, was he an obnoxious person. Megan is the same way. She always assumes, in advance, they she knows exactly what her opponents are going to argue in rhetort. It's presumptuous, arrogant, and just plain stupid.
"I might even countenance sign-stealing."
As a person who has done a little more than my share of protesting, sign-stealing is not something Megan gets to "countenance." If I am expressing my Constitutionally guaranteed right to peacefully assemble in public, any civillian who so much as lays a pinkie on me or my property without my permission or approval has committed assault. It's not for Megan to decide if it's right or wrong. It is against the law.
Funny thing about those like McCardle is that if you ever gave her a list of negative things people have said about her, she would recognize and admit nothing.
"I am not what I am" = "That is not who I am" x infinity = an American subjective experience that is everything but what it is = Megan McCardle
I have a friend who works at a non-profit that provides counseling for women in abusive relationships. They don't, generally, get these women out of the relationships, unless the women want to leave. Instead, the non-profit provides help in trying to mitigate the worst of the relationship.
The way that the abuse is disguised into anything other than predation, bullying, and narcissism is an image of how people like Megan seem to think.
"I might even countenance sign-stealing."
That one will haunt her.
Am I the only one noticing this odd sort of tack to the Broderite middle from McMegan irt the 2x4/curbstomping narrative that's cropped up recently?
Not that she actually resides in the middle, but she seems awfully intent on promoting herself as "above" the nastiness of the extremes of both sides now that she's all growed up.
The timing of this couldn't be any worse for her. Just a day after she takes a liberal to task for a metaphorical curb-stomping, some fellow Rand acolytes are video-taped delivering a literal curb-stomping.
It couldn't have been scripted any better than that.
As Steve Benen observes:
Here's a hypothetical: if large, male union members had grabbed a young woman who worked with Tea Partiers, dragged her to the ground, and literally stepped on her head, would Rand Paul be on Fox News saying "it wasn't something that I liked," or might his response be a little stronger?
In this hypothetical situation, I am confident that McMegan would have first reminded everyone that right-wingers bomb abortion clinics and stuff before half-heartedly condemning the union thug.
Am I right?
No empathy at all. How would she describe being thrown to the ground and having her head stomped on? Could she even imagine it if she tried?
The curb stomping of Kinsley was not as bad as I was led to believe.
What bothers me is that 3 threads later, no one's bothered pointing out that it took Megan 5 years and a lot of teeth pulling to apologize for 2x4 and the Iraq War.
Presumably if she's wrong about Elizabeth Warren, we'll hear about an apology in...5-10 years.
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