Monday, March 28, 2011

Are conservatives really this stupid? (Bill Ayers sarcastically claims authorship of Obama book and the right goes nuts.)

A whole whack of 'em, yes.

Here's what happened:

Ex-radical Bill Ayers (of Weather Underground fame/infamy) spoke last week at Montclair State University and claimed -- gasp! -- that he wrote President Obama's bestseller, Dreams from My Father.

For conservative conspiracy-mongers... jackpot! (It might as well have been the State of Hawaii stating with all the documentation at its disposal that, no, Obama was not born there.)

The clip appeared at various right-wing websites, including today at American Thinker (apparently the most ironic name in the blogosphere). The blogger there, one Jack Cashill, took Ayers's claim at face value, saying that he was not just telling the truth but that he "retaliating" against Obama over Libya.

Don't believe me? Well, let me quote Cashill himself:

Barack Obama knows what I know and what the people who have read my book, "Deconstructing Obama," know: Bill Ayers is the principal craftsman behind Dreams. The evidence is overwhelming.

Ayers also established, as I have contended from the beginning, that he is not the author of Audacity of Hope. Although Obama claims unique authorship of this book too, it was, as Ayers suggests, a disingenuous feint to the center written by committee.

Worse for Obama still, Ayers knows that the story he and Obama contrived in Dreams is false in many key details. The fact that Donald Trump has proved willing to challenge that story has got to make the White House even more apprehensive.

As was obvious in his speech at Montclair, Ayers does not like the application of force in Libya, and this may have been his own way of retaliating. Consider it a shot across Obama's bow. The White House will.

Need I even mention that Ayers was being... sarcastic? That he was making fun of the conspiracy-mongers? Apparently that possibility escaped not just Cashill but many others on the right. The clip went viral, sparking mouth-frothing excitement across the conservative blogosphere.

I'm not even sure how to describe such abject stupidity. It's willful ignorance combined with wish fulfillment fantasies and ideological derangement. Or something like that.

It was so stupid, in fact, that conservative blogger Rick Moran, the blog editor at American Thinker, took to his blog Right Wing Nut House to explain the situation:

What is perhaps even more bothersome than the wholesale acceptance of this theme by so many on the right is the embrace of the video linked in the AT blog post above by many who appear to have suspended critical analysis in lieu of wishful thinking. Ayers does indeed admit to writing Dreams but in such an obviously sarcastic manner that the question isn't whether Ayers was serious but how in God's name so many conservative bloggers failed to see the taunting sarcasm used in his "confession."

But even that wasn't enough to quell the delusional enthusiasm (among bloggers and commenters alike). Nor was a similar dose of reality from another leading conservative blogger, John Hawkins:

Not only is Ayers making a joke, he's making a joke at the expense of the people who claim he wrote the book. Granted, interpretations may differ, especially since Ayers' delivery was very dry, but it's a mistake to take that as some sort of confession.

Oh, but this has nothing to do with interpretation. Yes, Ayers delivered the joke very well -- see the clip for yourselves, below -- but you have to be pretty far gone, way over on the insane fringe of right-wing politics, to think that he was actually being serious.

The problem, of course, is that the insane fringe appears to be very much the mainstream nowadays. Indeed, this whole ridiculous episode tells you a great deal about the state not just of the conservative blogosphere -- which is, to put it mildly, an embarrassment to humanity -- but of conservatism more generally, which has lost its bearings, whatever bearings it may once have had, in a sea of extremism, delusion, ignorance, and stupidity beyond even what one might usually expect from the right.

For more sensible reaction to this madness, see Balloon Juice, The Daily Dish, Lawyers, Guns & Money, and No More Mister Nice Blog -- the last noting that the story was picked up by Fox News, which only added a question mark (as if to suggest that it might be true), as well as NewsBusters, a major right-wing site, and Gateway Pundit, a popular right-wing blog, among many others, both of which accept without question that Ayers was being serious.

Yes, conservatives -- a lot of 'em -- really are that stupid.

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  • Blindness to irony and sarcasm are like hallmarks on these Stirling idiots and it doesn't help that their eagerness to ferret out token "evidence" that their paranoid fantasies are real is so overwhelming that any vestigial cognitive powers are -- well, overwhelmed.

    As I wrote not long ago, a rebuke from a judge over an attempt to use an archaic law became a Wingnut celebration that Michigan was going to make marital infidelity a felony. Total blindness.

    Ever wonder why comedians tend not to be Republicans?

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 9:57 AM  

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