Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pity Party

Eugene Robinson notes the false bravado of the right wing.

When did the loudmouths of the American right become such a bunch of fraidy-cats and professional victims? Or is it all just an act?

[…]

…the manufactured brouhaha over the Park51 project is part of a larger pattern in which the far right embraces victimhood and stokes fear. The faction that likes to portray itself as a bunch of John Waynes and “mama grizzlies,” it turns out, spends an awful lot of time cowering in the corner and complaining about how beastly everyone else is being.

There’s another part of this pattern. One of the oft-repeated memes from the right about the Park51 center was for the people building it to show some “sensitivity” to the feelings of the victims of September 11. Since when did the conservatives ever give a rat’s ass about other peoples’ feelings? Ann Coulter once labeled a group of 9/11 survivors as “professional widows,” exploiting their losses for gain, and if you need any further proof of both insensitivity and the Culture of Victimhood, go to a tea party rally; they’ve got both on display.

I will say, however, that this drama works; the Democrats fall for it every time. Michael Tomasky writes that they are fully incapable of countering the Republicans’ spin. Let Mitch McConnell get on Meet the Press and dog-whistle to the birthers and the ninnies who think President Obama is a Muslim, and … nothing. So while the GOP can score points with the double act of both bully and victim, the Democrats basically enable them. It’s not the way to deal with them, but it is the way to lose both your credibility and an election.