Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hateful Idiots Lacking Self Awareness: The Minutemen

Greg points out the stupidity:

The infamous Minuteman group has dissolved itself. Why? Because it sent out a call for wackos with big guns, and then was alarmed at all the wackos with big guns who responded.
On March 16, Mercer sent out an e-mail urging members to come to the border “locked, loaded and ready” and urged people to bring “long arms.” She proposed changing the group’s rules to allow members to track illegal immigrants and drug smugglers instead of just reporting the activity to the Border Patrol.

“We will forcefully engage, detain, and defend our lives and country from the criminals who trample over our culture and laws,” she wrote in the March 16 e-mail.

Mercer said she received a more feverish response than she expected — 350 personal e-mails she said — and decided the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps couldn’t shoulder the responsibility and liability of what could occur, she said.

People are ready to come lock and loaded and that’s not what we are all about,” Mercer said. “It only takes one bad apple to destroy everything we’ve done for the last eight years.”
With luck, this is a sign of some semblance of change since 2005, when the group formed amidst a frenzy of xenophobia. Even an extremist group begins to realize how extremist it is, albeit in a bizarrely contradictory fashion.
The only thing I'd add here is that this is just another example of what can only be either A) the right-wing's hypocrisy, or B) complete lack of self-awareness. The fact that they're calling people out "locked and loaded" and then shocked when people show up "locked and loaded" is about as sensible as a man getting $1300 from the government in disability checks railing against health-care as a "government handout." I used to be absolutely confident it was item "A," and I think with politicians it still may be, but item "B" seems increasingly possible when dealing with "real 'Mericans." The fact that the conservative movement has not been invested in deep thinking or philosophical approaches to conservatism in the way that somebody like a William Buckley or an Irving kristol seems to increasingly leading to the base being the party of un-think (and to be clear, I think both men's philosophies were pretty terrible from an ideological standpoint, but nonetheless, they thought through those positions and seemed a bit more consistent compared to your performance-art dimbulbs like Bill Kristol). Certainly, that lack of self-awareness doesn't strip many of these people of their sheer hypocrisy, but it's telling of a movement that for years has been waging war against education by vilifying universities as hotbeds of "liberal" thinking and dumbing down textbooks for political reasons also seems unable to realize just how stupid they sound when they express amazement at the outcome of their violent rhetoric or the total disconnect between what they expect for themselves and what they think others should have. The minutemen, like Vanderboegh, are symptoms of what the conservative base is becoming, and the saddest part is, they will probably continue to encourage violence and hatred through their language and then remain mystified when somebody actually acts on their words.