Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A theory disproved

I don't know how many of you are familiar with Peak Wingnut Theory, but essentially, as the likelihood of an Obama victory became clear, John Cole proposed that:

Sure, there is still lots going on- the Obama smears have been fast and furious, and there are lots of current attempts to mainstream nonsense (a solid example would be Jonah’s market analysis), but it all seems so yesterday. These days, there seem to be more than enough outlets to rebut the bullshit, the media is tired of being treated like morons, and the Democrats seem for once ready and itching for a fight. But most of all, the attempts just seem so feeble. In the past few days we have seen Red State put a front page post up about Obama’s birth certificate and NRO’s Andy McCarthy tried to convince us that William Ayers ghost wrote Obama’s books, but for the most part, they gained no traction and were laughed off by everyone.

Even then, there were doubters: "It pains me to disagree so strongly with both John and Glenn, but the idea that a crushing defeat will shame the fringe right into silence or even quiet them down a bit is simply crazy."

Well, we know who got that one right. We have yet even to sniff Peak Wingnut on the breeze from afar. No-one can even conceive of the limits of wingnuttery. Indeed, it seems increasingly plausible that wingnuttery is unbounded even by the cosmos, that it knows no limitations of time, space, or physical laws. If this is so, wingnuttery can expand forever, its ultimate extent is undefinable and even transcends countable infinity. Josh Marshall is training his Hubble Wingnut Telescope on the phenomenon and it is more awesome than The Great Attractor. E.g.

During a protest Monday outside the Anchorage office of Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), demonstrators carried signs saying, "ObamaCare = Euthanasia" and "Kill the Bill or Kill the Seniors." "If we have ObamaCare, the older citizens will be euthanized," one protester said. When asked what part of the bill made her think that, she responded, "All of it."

"If they [senior citizens] need any health benefits, they will not be given the benefits because we're not productive anymore," another demonstrator said. The government will send a "representative," she said, "to let us know what we want to do in our last days, because we won't get any medicine, and medical help at all." She said she'd read the bill -- or at least "parts of it." "I read it online," she said.

Recall that John Cole thought that "the media is tired of being treated like morons." (Media is plural, BTW, but I'm just an insufferable pedant.) But we get this in the NYT -- today no less:

The White House on Monday started a new Web site to fight questionable but potentially damaging charges that President Obama’s proposed overhaul of the nation’s health care system would inevitably lead to “socialized medicine,” “rationed care” and even forced euthanasia for the elderly.

Uh, yeah, it's, err, questionable. You see, the problem is not that the media are treated like morons, the problem is that they are in fact morons. And as long as the loudest shouter, the most outrageous liar, and the most delusional psychotic get Fair and Balanced coverage, their screaming outrageous nightmare visions will sweep away the truth like a tidal wave.

And that's the way it is.

1 comment:

C. Corax said...

I wonder how much of this would be happening if the discourse weren't being bankrolled--directly or indirectly--by corporate interests. And screw the media, NPR included. I'm not sure they're all morons (some clearly are); I suspect they are merely slanting the news to accommodate their corporate masters.

Here's something for you to chew on. Lots of graphs and statistics.