17 April 2013

The Boston murders and the Nutty right

The wingnutosphere's reaction to the bombings in Boston has been most strikingly marked by the following three phenomena:

(1) Speculating that Muslims did it;

(2) Outrage at the non-wingnut media and internet for speculating that domestic right-wing extremists did it;

(3) Fuming at President Obama for not using the word "terrorism" in his first public statement on the subject (to their credit, PowerLine dissented).

I actually have no problem with (1) -- discussing such possibilities is perfectly legitimate as long as one makes it clear that it's just speculation -- but it makes (2) hypocritical.

Besides what I call the "Sane" and "Nutty" factions of right-wingers, there is also a smaller "Super-Nutty" faction, the Ron Paul cult.  Among these quintessential loons, the dominant meme seems to be that the Boston bombing was a "false flag" operation, something faked or staged by the government for some obscure but nefarious purpose (see for example here and here including comments, and also here and here).  Of course such insanities also erupted after Newtown and, notoriously, September 11.

Personally I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be Islamists or right-wing extremists, though I think the latter is a little more likely, given the April 15th date (taxes are a huge red flag with some of those people) and my sense that Islamists, unless locally-based, would be more likely to target New York or Washington.  But it's really impossible to say yet.  It could even be some isolated mentally-disturbed person with only a tenuous connection to any particular agenda.

I want to close with this already-widely-cited posting by Patton Oswalt.  Please do read it -- it's something we need to keep in mind at such times.

Update:  Snopes has a handy review page on the various myths and stories which have already begun circulating about the bombing.


Blogger LadyAtheist said...

Some similar links from my upcoming link round-up:

I'm not sure I understand the metaphor exactly, but this People Who Can Eat a Bag of Dicks about the Boston bombing post saved the rest of us the trouble of monitoring the moronic segment of the population's twittering on twitter.  Media Matters also followed the lunatic fringe but they aren't as fun.

Alex Jones and his enablers.  What a bunch of nuts.

17 April, 2013 08:56  
Anonymous Marc McKenzie said...

@LadyAtheist: Calling Alex Jones and his enablers "a bunch of nuts" is an insult to real nuts. ;)

In the aftermath of the Boston bombings, I can only go back to my memories of the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing. For days all we heard was massive speculation, topped off with the need to go and turn the Middle East to radioactive glass because according to some, "Saddam did it! WE KNOW!!" Those that were calm and said, "Wait for the facts to emerge" were basically ignored.

When the suspect turned out to be a White American male, things ground to a halt--but the conspiracy theories began, with the emphasis on a shadowy government action with McVeigh as an innocent patsy.

It's going to take time to find out who carried out these events in Boston. Whether it turns out to be extremists (of any stripe) or a domestic madman, all we can do now is wait.

That's just my 2-cents, anyway.

17 April, 2013 10:13  
Blogger Kay Dennison said...

Thank you!!! There's so much idiocy out there. it's good to see a few shreds of sanity.

17 April, 2013 10:38  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Lady A: Thanks for the links. Snort -- "auspicious suitcases" -- where would we be in these situations without the semi-literates of the world to provide a cathartic laugh.

And why do people still insist on treating Rand Paul as a normal person? Given his record I'm not at all surprised he's an enabler of Alex Jones.

Marc: Exactly. The eagerness to jump to conclusions is stunning. Even if this does turn out to be the work of a Muslim, I suspect it will be an isolated crank, not a member of a group. If it turns out to be a non-Muslim American, the nutters will re-define him as a leftist somehow, as they did with McVeigh.

Kay: Thanks -- I try.

17 April, 2013 12:50  
Blogger okjimm said...

hmmmmmm how many right-wing extremists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

a)none.... they prefer to live in darkness

b) two but only if Pat Roberston says it's ok

c) three... but one has to be a former Carolina Governor

17 April, 2013 17:06  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Okjimm: Good one! But the former South Carolina Governor wouldn't help with a light bulb -- he prefers to use his cell-phone screen to light the way (at least in his ex-wife's house).

17 April, 2013 18:09  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Or, he wouldn't screw in a light bulb because he prefers to screw in Argentina.

17 April, 2013 18:10  
Blogger okjimm said...

good retorts! if this political shit wasn't so pathetic it would be funny. ohohoh... it is pathetically funny! Sanford is toast...even the RNCC has cut him loose.

18 April, 2013 08:53  

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