Slouching towards Idiocracy

After spending a few hours reading right wing blogs I start to feel like Luke Wilson.
The latest example of the anti-intellectual idiocy that crops up daily and then spreads virally across the wingnutosphere is from SayAnythingBog.com (I can only assume this is the short version of the author’s credo, “If you don’t have anything intelligent to say, say anything”).
The SayAnything blogger, Rob, just happened to be in Washington D.C. for ground zero of Idiocracy, but, because he got the dates wrong and arrived a day early, decided to go on a tour of the White House and while on the tour… Let’s let Rob finish the story,
Now, according out [sic] the person who guided our tour, the library is stock [sic] with books picked out by the First Lady, Michelle Obama.  Being a bit of a bibliophile, I started to peruse some of the books on the shelves…and lookie, lookie what I found
By itself, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But in the context of Anita Dunn saying Chairman Mao is her favorite political philosopher? In the context of the Mao ornament on the White House Christmas tree?
In the context of Obama’s economic policies?

Where to start?

1) First of all, peruse means to read with thoroughness and care, not to look at books on a bookshelf and take a photo with your cellphone camera.

2) Regardless of what the Gateway Pundit, It figures. Michelle Obama stocked the White House Library with books on socialism, and the other moronic bloggers who ran with this story seem to think, having a book on your bookshelf with the word “Socialist” in the title does not make one a Socialist. Following that logic, I assume that most of the participants at CPAC, or at least the ones who can read, has a copy of Liberal Fascism wedged in between Going Rogue and  Atlas Shrugged on their own bookshelves. Following Rob’s logic, they are likely Liberal Fascists.

3) The books with the scary titles (“The Socialist Party of America: A History,” “The American Socialist Movement 1897-1912” and “The Social Basis of American Communism.”) are histories and are part of the library dedicated to political movements in US history sorted chronologically. Rob seems to be unaware that there was a populist movement in the 1890s, a socialist movement in the 1900s and 1910s culminating with the socialist candidate (Eugene Debs) getting over 1,000,000 votes, and a communist movement in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Not all of these books are supportive of these movements, some of them are critical and some are just histories. In fact, as Matt Yglesias points out, “The Social Basis of American Communism” was written by Nathan Glazer, an rabid anti-communist and one of the founding fathers of the Neo-Conservative movement.

4) I happen to have the two books on American Populism, Goodwyn’s “The Populist Moment,” and John Hick’s “The Populist Revolt” on my bookshelf right now.  I suppose, given the content of those two books, it could be argued that the Obamas sympathize with the Tea Party movement.

5) Here is a photo of the White House Library when George W. was President.  Hmm… “The Autobiography of Malcom X” and “The Other America” by the Socialist Michael Harrington. Does that make Bush both a Socialist and a Negro?

6) O.K.,while I was writing this post, an update from Rob.

According to the Washington Post it was First Lady Jackie Kennedy who oversaw the placing of the books in the White House library, and they’ve been there since 1963.  Apparently no administration since has changed the contents of the library.

So the guide I was with didn’t give me the whole story.  Either that, or we misunderstood one another.

Funny, sad or just idiotic.  If this were some fringe blogger, it would be bad enough, but SayAnythingBlog is the 43rd most popular blog on the net.  At least that is what Rob claims. Here is the chart to prove it.

And the chart comes from Lucianne.com which is undoubtedly a reliable… wait a minute! Isn’t that Lucianne Goldberg’s website? Lucianne Goldberg, mother of the Doughy Pantload” and infamous for her role in the Monica Lewinsky scandal? I am starting to become suspicious of Rob’s sources. First the White House tour guide (who he might have misunderstood) and now Lucianne.

Well, even if SayAnything.com is a fringe blog, The Gateway Pundit, Neo-Neocon, The Lonely Conservative, Maggie’s Notebook have made sure the message is spread far and wide by regurgitating it to the loyal followers. Not an update or retraction from any of them so far.

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