Saturday, June 05, 2004


I have to assume this Village Voice extract arises from glibness rather than sincerity.

Human beings, who have imaginations, can see a recipe for disaster in the making; Republicans, whose goal in life is to profit from disaster and who don't give a hoot about human beings, either can't or won't. Which is why I personally think they should be exterminated before they cause any more harm.

Glenn seems to fall on the side of sincerity, but I'm more inclined to take it as a very callous joke. Den Beste himself once made an aside that he wouldn't mind Berkeley being nuked (see the bottom of the post). Brad De Long threw a bitchy little fit over it and generally made himself look like an ass.

That said, I have to admit I lack the context to be sure, since current ISP problems don't allow me to access the Voice's webpage, and I have to go just on the snippet provided by Glenn.

That doesn't that this isn't nevertheless somewhat enlightening. At the very least, it once again shows our good buddy, the media double standard.

It nearly goes without saying that no conservative columnist could hope outloud for Democratic genocide without a fair amount of teeth gnashing and beating of breasts from some usual suspects. Tom Daschle would be on the senate floor decrying how this irresponsible person had put Democrats' lives in danger. Hell, if Rush Limbaugh can be responsible for the same thing just because he calls Daschle a dumbass, I suppose someone who actually suggests, seriously or not, that Democrats are a plague needing a cure could be legally convicted of crimes against humanity in the Hague.

Also notice that the Village Voice snippet is much less discernible as nonserious than, say, Den Beste's aside or something like this. But it will be interpreted as generously as possible, whereas a similar diatribe from the other side of the spectrum would be more readily taken as literal, or perhaps as an opportunity for some pundit to engage in amateurish pseudopsychologizing about how this ostensibly humorous comment actually reveals the deeply disturbing and dehumanizing nature of the conservative viewpoint.... blah blah blah.

So is it irritating that this VV jackass gets to write something like this with impunity? Yeah, but then, name one thing about the VV or similar media sources that isn't irritating. But let's not get too excited about this revealing some honest wish to cleanse the Earth of Republicans by the flaming sword.

Reading the Instapundit post as generously as possible, I suppose Glenn may simply have been referring to the double standard mentioned above, but in that case, I don't think there's anything new or startling about this. It may represent rhetoric cranked up to 11 where others have only dared go to 10, but not remarkably different than what we've seen before.

But here's the caveat: It's not outside the realm of possibility that the VV author was being sincere.

Michelle recently related to me hearing someone else in our house say, with all apparent honesty and quite a bit of fervence, that if she had the chance to do so and not get caught, she would kill Bush. She's also suggested in the past that the solution to all the world's problems was exterminating Republicans. Again, the tone of her voice and her manner didn't suggest any possibility of her kidding.

Now one might, after hearing a forthright exhortation for one's own death, be a little offended. My feelings tended more towards pity. As I saw it, this girl had probably failed to actually think about what she was saying, as in, "Do I really want to kill half the population of America?" She had become so isolated in the Berkeley womb that she lost all need or ability to actually think realistically. I doubt her ideas get challenged often. She's walled up in a fantasy world, irrelevant to and removed from reality. And in the end, she's excused herself from actually having any impact on the world about which she apparently feels so strongly.

If the VV author was in the least bit serious, he or she has done the same thing. I say good riddance to them.