(Dear Reader) including those of you who don’t know how parentheses work,
Behold the Fog of Idiocy
The AP published a dismaying story this morning:
WASHINGTON — While there has been ample and justifiable coverage of the Orlando massacre at a gay nightclub this week, the most remarkably un-reported news is that the shooter also used a dirty bomb. The device carried an odorless, colorless, cloud of stupidity that has since drifted up the East Coast and parked itself over Washington and New York.
The “Fog of Idiocy” as some experts call it, is already being blamed for what some political scientists and national-security experts are calling the most daft “national conversation” in response to a terror attack in modern memory.
No one knows how much worse things will get. Concerns heightened this week when Vice President Joe Biden was reportedly found using his car keys to get a piece of toast out of the toaster. The incident turned out to be a false alarm, when his chief of staff told the New York Times, “Oh, he’s been doing that for years. That’s why we gave him those Fisher-Price plastic car keys. I mean it’s not like we’d let that guy behind the wheel.”
The chief of staff then drifted off for a moment, as if staring at some horrible alternative universe. “Oh, God, we’d never do that.”
A follow-up report from the Associated Press revealed that the toast in question was actually the vice president’s wallet.
Let’s Get Stoopid
No, that’s not real. I know you know that, but I think I have to say so for the lawyers.
But in writing today’s column on the stupid reaction(s) to the Orlando shooting, I found that — like a review of Lena Dunham’s collected speeches — there was too much idiocy to be adequately captured in a single column. Where to begin?
Well, how about the idea that if you oppose gay marriage or transgender bathrooms, you cannot be outraged by a terror attack on American citizens. This is apparently the position of the New York Times, Anderson Cooper, and countless others.
I have walked around and around this idea like a Hertz sales associate trying to find all the dents in a car returned by a University of Texas fraternity brother. I’ve studied it the way my dog tries to figure out what a turtle is all about. I’ve scrutinized it like Bill Clinton when the new Victoria’s Secret catalogue hits his doorstep.
And as a matter of reason and logic I just cannot get my head around it. Let’s flip it around. Imagine if an Islamist nutter went to the convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor and murdered a bunch of nuns (alas, hardly an unimaginable hypothetical).
Would I be right to say that the New York Times and its allied Brain Trusts have no right to be outraged? After all, liberals have heaped scorn and contempt on those nuns for their effrontery in not wanting to be forced to pay for birth control.
Or what if an Islamist shot up a Baptist Church or Koch headquarters or the Washington office of AIPAC? To borrow a phrase from the New York Times, hatred for Christians, libertarians, Zionists, and other political minorities doesn’t “occur in a vacuum.”
The Times has been fanning the flames of such demonization for decades; surely they would share some of the blame when an emotionally unstable Muslim, inspired by ISIS, took it upon himself to slaughter innocent people.
No, the analogy isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t need to be because there’s a lot of margin for error when comparing competing idiocies. It’s incredibly stupid to use a hair dryer in a bathtub. It’s also incredibly stupid to try to take a selfie with a grizzly bear nursing its cubs.
The two things are hard to compare on the basic fact patterns, but what they share equally is a fatal idiocy. I’m against polygamy. But I’m also against people in polygamous marriages being slaughtered by terrorists.
And I will not budge one fraction of a fraction of a millimeter off of that position if a terrorist slaughters a whole bunch of people in polygamous marriages, even if some of the victims — or all of them — thought the laws against polygamy should change.
Clash of Phobias
What’s even dumber is the notion that conservatives are trying to scapegoat Islam to avoid blame for perpetuating anti-LGBT violence.
Lest you think I’m creating a strawman, see this piece by Zack Ford at Think Progress titled
“Conservatives Try To Scapegoat Islam To Avoid Responsibility For Perpetuating Anti-LGBT Violence.”
The Orlando shooting is not an opportunity to absolve conservatives who have railed against LGBT equality for years. If they truly care about the fate of LGBT people, they have a responsibility to account for their own contributions to discrimination and stigma. Scapegoating Islam is nothing more than a distraction from having a real conversation about the actual experience of LGBT peoplewhen they aren’t being massacred in the sanctuary of a nightclub.
Look, I have no problem with advocates for LGBT equality arguing for LGBT equality. But this is the mother of all strawmen. I don’t know any conservatives — for or against LGBT equality — who are seizing the Orlando shooting as an opportunity for “absolution.”
I honestly don’t even know how that argument would work. Conservatives are no more looking for absolution amidst the bloodshed than they are looking for Game of Thrones spoilers.
(I do have a problem with the widespread article of faith that gays and transgender people have been losing the culture war at the hands of barbaric “Christianists.” Sexual minorities have been on a winning streak that any serious-minded person must concede is remarkable. But denying this is the central tactic and mindset of the Left. They are the aggressors in the culture war and have been for 40 years. Yet whenever they encounter the slightest resistance they don the mantle of victimhood.)
Christianity Is Always to Blame I’ll give you a small example from the intellectual latrine that we call Twitter. This guy didn’t like my column today. What is truly baffling, however, is the way the secular Left talks about the evil and pernicious role of organized religion when it comes to Christianity but suddenly abandons that cudgel-like standard when it comes to Islam.
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