The Times Are A-Changin'

James Lileks notes that the times are a-changin’:

…Now that things have changed, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Discussing the threat posed by militant Islam and its innumerable anti-American manifestations, based on a long record of attacks [is] fear-mongering designed to make us accept a police state, and opportunism of the most despicable sort.

2. Discussing the threat posed by citizens who dispute budgetary and legislative initiatives: temperate analysis. Remember, Timothy McVeigh had an AM radio in the vehicle he drove to carry out his attack, and Rush Limbaugh was on AM radio. You have to deny science to say that’s not true.

3. All efforts to roll back any initiatives of the Obama administration are RACIST. Example: say they’re opposed to increasing the penalty on late-reporting of data relating to a Medicaid billing that may have been due to an interpretation on the wording about whether an in-patient procedure required an examination or a consultation. But it’s really about the melanin content of the guy who signed the bill, although he probably has no idea which provision you’re talking about.

4. Bringing up the way some investors in GM got the drive-shaft in the take-over is a subtle threat to violence, because history shows most cross-burners drove to the scene of the crime.

5. Saying you want to “defeat” President Obama is eliminationist rhetoric, a code word that recalls WW2, when everyone knew that “defeating” Germany meant putting Hitler on trial and hanging him.

6. Anyone who describes himself as a “Christian” and a “Patriot” is probably a “Christian Patriot,” which means they probably stay up nights discussing fertilizer bombs via ham radio with Aryan Nation cells in Idaho. Or, writing lesson plans for Sunday school about how marriage should really be about a man and a woman. Six of one, half dozen, etc.

In other words: Protest is fine, as long as the cast of characters and the content of their chants reminds people of the ’60s. This is why protests against Clinton’s Balkan war weren’t lovingly covered: that was a just war, fought for just reasons, by a serious man. Gulf War 1 was for oil, duh, and Gulf War 2 was for oil, daddy, and because Fox News told George Bush that Saddam ran the planes into the WTC via remote control. If President Obama ordered a strike on Iran tomorrow, the protesters would be marginalized, and CNN would find tea partiers who supported the move. Anderson Cooper would be amazed to find that the Teepers had overcome their hatred of the president to support him, but it would be up to Joe Klein to say they just wanted to see brown people dead.

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