Monday, June 8, 2009

Keeping Up with the Wingnuts

Salon updates the crazy right-wing rumors about President Obama and his nefarious plans to institute socialism, fascism, Satanism, and Black Power across the nation.

After winning the election, President Obama, who was born in Hawaii (see his birth certificate here) was sworn in on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible. He went to church on Easter Sunday. The supposed Manchurian candidate can’t even get Gitmo closed properly, much less lead the Senate in a chorus of “The Internationale.”

But the mythmaking has not stopped. The wheels of rumor grind fast, but they grind exceedingly dumb. Marooned on a grassy knoll of the mind, the right has spun new and scarier fantasies about the president, tales that would send any patriotic, gun-toting Christian fleeing across the border to Canada, if only the Canadians weren’t so damn socialist. We present for your inspection, and then debunk, or paw at in desultory fashion, a dozen of the choicest conspiracy theories to gain traction since Jan. 20. We could print more, but we grow weary. (And by the way, Obama is still a Muslim foreigner.)

But I thought that he was actually Jimmy Carter 2.0, a weak-willed apologist who bowed to the Saudis and caved in to the slightest whims of dictators. So which is it: he’s Huey Newton/Huey Long at home and Stepin Fetchit overseas? He’s a socialist today and a fascist tomorrow? He’s running General Motors and the economy with an iron fist and giving out government jobs by the truckload, but not doing anything about the worsening unemployment?

My favorite one is that he’s the Antichrist, proven by the fact that the winning lottery numbers in Illinois on the day after the election last November was 6-6-6. How cool is that? To quote Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, “this would be one of those circumstances that people unfamiliar with the law of large numbers would call a coincidence.” And this kind of chatter is what those familiar with reality would call crazy.

I suppose you could run these reactions from the right wing through the Kübler-Ross grief cycle and that they are at the active stage of the anger stage, but I think it ultimately comes down to denial and the inability to come to terms with the fact that they lost and that the majority of the voters in the country rejected them and their ideas. You could wrap a lot of psychological theories around it, but what it basically comes down to is that they’re having temper tantrums, and the best way to deal with them is to either ignore them or mock them until they grow up and accept responsibility for their actions. Until they do, then they can stay in their room until they’ve decided to act like grown-ups.