Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Intellectual Scatology: Ann Coulter's New Book Calls Liberals "Demonic" and Possessed of a "Mob Mentality" That Will Destroy America

In "Demonic," Coulter traces the words and movements of groups from the Ku Klux Klan and the SDS to anti-war protesters and Democrats today to argue her point that liberals have "consistently used mob tactics to implement their idea of the 'general will.'"

"Just as fire seeks oxygen, Democrats seek power, which is why they will always be found championing the mob whether the mob consists of Democrats lynching blacks or Democrats slandering the critics of Obama Care as racists," Coulter writes.
Ann Coulter has penned a new missive in which she argues that "the liberals"--anyone not a Right-wing Republican--are part of a dangerous mob. In turn, this mob will destroy democracy. There are also biblical overtones because these mobs are also apparently possessed by demons--or perhaps even are demons themselves. Coulter's mob of evil liberals is exemplified by the KKK, environmentalists, unions, advocates of health care reform, the L.A. riots, the O.J. Simpson trial, and anti-war protesters. She also connects the dots to Hitler and Mussolini and floats the suggestion that the liberals may start killing conservatives...

Let me stop. I can't even write anymore of this stuff. Have you ever encountered a mentally unhinged person? One whose rambling thoughts are so utterly believable to themselves that through sheer persistence they wear you down and suck you into their reality?

After trying to make sense of a few of the excerpts taken from Ann Coulter's new book Demonic (which was featured on ABC), I am exhausted. Truly. Tired.

Demonic is hot garbage which does not even rise to the level of failed political satire--but those on the Right who consume such tripe will take Demonic as authoritative because it confirms their priors.

For the anti-intellectual Conservative book reading crowd, Coulter's Demonic has facts, dates, and the names of people who are experts is mass psychology; it is written by someone they agree with; Demonic calls anyone who is not a Conservatives harsh names; thus, her arguments must be true.

You can't polish a turd--which makes any serious engagement with her premise impossible. But, you can try to understand the fecal waste in much the same way that Hippocrates studied the humors of the body, or Chinese herbalists would exam the excretia of their patients for indicators of disease.

There are multiple levels of Freudian projection going on in Coulter's screed: at present, the mob and the mouth breathing horde are a fixture of the White Populist Right and the Tea Party GOP brigands; but of course that reality goes uncommented upon.

This is serious stuff. As we have repeatedly seen, the Right-wing is creating an alternative reality fully equipped with their own "experts," schools and universities, and rewriting history when the facts do not match up with their ideology.

As an example of Tea Party GOP newspeak in action, here are seven intellectually scatological excerpts from Demonic to pick through...I couldn't muster the strength or patience to do more. My comments are in brackets.

For safety sake, be sure to wear latex gloves to avoid any pathogens or diseases from Coulter's "treatise":
1. The demon is a mob, and the mob is demonic. It is the nihilistic mob of the French Revolution; it is the revolutionaries who seized control of Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century; it is the Maoist gangs looting villages and impaling babies in China; it is the Ku Klux Klan terrorizing Republicans and blacks in the South; it is the 1992 Los Angeles riot that left fifty dead and did $1 billion of damage after the first Rodney King verdict; it is the bloody riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention; it is the masked hoodlums smashing up Seattle when bankers came to town; it is the 500,000 illegal aliens marching under a foreign flag in Los Angeles; it is throngs of Islamic fanatics attending the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's funeral, tearing his body out of its coffin; it is left-wing protesters destroying property and attacking delegates at the 2004 and 2008 Republican National Conventions.
[Huh? What a piss poor example of reasoning from a set of disparate cases. How many of these things are not like the others?]
2. The Democratic Party is the party of the mob, irrespective of what the mob represents. Democrats activate mobs, depend on mobs, coddle mobs, publicize and celebrate mobs -- they are the mob. Indeed, the very idea of a "community organizer" is to stir up a mob for some political purpose. "As so frequently happens when a crowd goes wild," historian Eric Durschmied says, "there is always one who shouts louder and thereby appoints himself as their leader." Those are the people we call "elected Democrats."
[In political analysis one should strive for specific historicity, i.e. in less fancy talk making sure that you are grounding your cases in the correct temporal context. There are many examples of Conservatives killing, murdering, plundering, and engaging in "mob like" behavior. Moreover, the "Democrats" of today and not the same party as yesteryear. The same can be said of the Republicans. Note the "community organizer" dog whistle for trouble-making Negro agitators...you know, that guy Barack Obama, or Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement, or Suffragists, or anyone else who believed that you can use your Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms to organize and demand a redress of grievances from the State.]
3. The Democrats' playbook doesn't involve heads on pikes -- as yet -- but uses a more insidious means to incite the mob. The twisting of truth, stirring of passions, demonizing of opponents, and relying on propagandistic images in lieu of ideas -- these are the earmarks of a mob leader. Over and over again, one finds the Democrats manipulating the mob to gain power. It is official Democratic policy to appeal to the least informed, most weak-minded and perpetually alarmed members of the public.
[Classic projection. The Right-wing media echo chamber is rife with Eliminationist rhetoric that calls for the killing, murder, and destruction of liberals and progressives. It is par for the course that the Right refers to liberals as "libtards," or uses the slogan that "liberalism is a mental illness." Where facts are proof of intent, we have seen cases of actual murder and violence incited by the Right-wing media machine, where Glenn Beck's devotees for example have actually gone on shooting rampages at the behest of their Great Leader.

To Coulter's last point: The Southern Strategy, Palin's faux populism, and the post 9/11 playbook of the GOP have all leveraged fear and appeals to low information Conservative voters to mobilize their base.]
4. Although the left in America is widely recognized as hysterical, unreasonable, and clueless, the "root cause" of these traits has generally been neglected. More than a century ago, Gustave Le Bon perfectly captured the liberal psychological profile in his 1896 book, "The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind." Le Bon -- a French physician, scientist, and social psychologist -- was the first to identify the phenomenon of mass psychology. His groundbreaking book "The Crowd" paints a disturbing picture of the behavior of mobs. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini used his book to learn how to incite a mob. Our liberals could have been Le Bon's study subjects.
[This is another gem from Coulter. The structure of the argument and its conclusions are classic propaganda and New Right communication strategy. Begin the observation with an opinion, one that you in turn take to be common knowledge and fact (the Tea Party GOP could certainly be described as "hysterical, unreasonable, and clueless"). Then link the observation with a source you signal as authoritative, which you in turn proceed to rid of all complexity and nuance. Mention an onerous historical figure, i.e. Hitler, and then link it to the target of your assault--here "the liberals."]
5. All the characteristics of mob behavior set forth by Le Bon in 1895 are evident in modern liberalism -- simplistic, extreme black-and-white thinking, fear of novelty, inability to follow logical arguments, acceptance of contradictory ideas, being transfixed by images, a religious worship of their leaders, and a blind hatred of their opponents.
[This is the best example of intentional propaganda and misrepresentation so far from Coulter's Demonic. All of these traits are common to what the literature on social psychology calls the Conservative/Authoritarian political personality type.

As a result of upbringing, and perhaps even brain structure, Conservatives are more likely to be fearful of change and difference, exemplify binary thinking in regards to problem solving, and be compelled by moral appeals and scripts.

The Authoritarian personality type craves strong leaders and is particularly vulnerable to the allure of the charismatic figure. Coulter must have been privy to this widely available information and intentionally lied for the validation of her readers.]
6. Conservatives don't cotton to slogans...Conservatives write books and articles, make arguments, and seek debates, but are perplexed by slogans...An orator wishing to move a crowd must make an abusive use of violent affirmations.
To exaggerate, to affirm, to resort to repetitions, and never to attempt to prove anything by reasoning are methods of argument well known to speakers at public meetings." Liberals love slogans because the "laws of logic have no action on crowds." Mobs, Le Bon says, "are not to be influenced by reasoning, and can only comprehend rough-and-ready associations of ideas."
He could be describing the New York Times and other journals of elite opinion when he describes periodicals that "manufacture opinions for their readers and supply them with ready- made phrases which dispense them of the trouble of reasoning." You will see all the techniques for inspiring mobs in liberal behavior.
[People's exhibit number one: Fox News and their disingenuous slogan "Fair and Balanced." The Right-wing in America is expert at disseminating talking points, coordinating them across multiple outlets, and focusing on the theme of the day. Coulter's attack on the "liberal media" is a great example of how Conservatives are able to so effectively propagandize their audience.

The strategy is simple. First, you make an assertion for which there is little if any evidence (that the media is liberal), then proceed from the premise to argue the opposite (Fox News is "neutral"), which in turn insulates you from any rebuttal (so what if Fox News has admitted they are opinion based journalism, that they routinely distort facts, and are in the pocket of the GOP, they are a "fair" alternative to the "liberal" media!).]
7. The only traditions liberals are eager to smash are moral and sexual ones, such as marriage and protecting the unborn. Crowds are too impulsive to be moral, according to Le Bon, which explains why liberals are mad for innovation when it comes to thousands-year-old institutions like marriage. Only when it comes to scientific innovation, are they hidebound traditionalists. Indeed, the only way to get liberals interested in novel scientific research is to propose slaughtering human embryos.
When adult stem cell researchers had already produced treatments for eighty different diseases, while embryonic stem cell researchers were stuck in the dark ages, the failed researchers won liberal hearts by pointing out that their method destroyed human fetuses, while adult stem research did not.
As long as Democrats can win by demagoguing the mob, they are perfectly happy to turn America into a banana republic.
With the country drowning in debt and Medicare and Social Security putting us on a high-speed bullet train to bankruptcy, the entire Democratic Party refuses to deal with entitlements. Instead, they will gin up the mobs to throw out any politician who cuts these increasingly theoretical "benefits." The country will have the economy of Uganda, but Democrats will be in total control.
Rich liberals want chaos for everyone except themselves, confident that they can afford a "green" lifestyle and their children will still attend Sidwell Friends. The rest of us are forced to live in a lawless universe of no energy, gay marriage, girl soldiers, and marauding criminals because liberals can't enjoy their wealth unless other people are living in complete pandemonium. They promote anarchy, believing the middle class should live in squalor, while liberals will be protected by their wealth against the mob.
[Wow. This is a buffet of talking points that exemplify the Right-wing media shotgun approach. As exemplified by the above passage, Ann Coulter really is a poop flinging monkey. She hits on just about every part of the Right-wing's Culture War meme: liberals are immoral and want to destroy "traditional" American values; the liberals want to kill babies in the womb; after ruining the nuclear family with their godless Communism, the liberals then want to make everyone gay.

Coulter also gets a dig in for the white populists by suggesting that Obama and his imagined cadre of "elitists" think they are better than the silent majority, red state, steak and potatoes crowd. Like most Right-wing propaganda, Coulter's analysis is decontextualized and does not link any of the country's contemporary economic or political challenges to two Bush terms or decades of trickle down and failed supply side economic policies.

She reserved her best money shot for Barack Obama, America's first black President--under his tenure the United States will become a "banana republic" like Uganda. Coulter and the New Right's formula for Obama derangement syndrome? Add race, hyperbole, histrionics, some Culture War seasoning, rinse and repeat.]


Henri B. said...

Yes, I have spoken to mentally unhinged people. I've worked in a few mental hospitals and group homes with the developmentally disabled and psychotic. Many times they are so sincere in their delusion or psychotic word salad you pity them because you cannot relate to them and there's not much you can do to help them - other than ensure that they don't hurt themselves or other people.

The Klan? Liberal? Wow.

Oh Crap said...

These cons are so dishonest, they leave out the main method of left social change, which has been nonviolent protest.

They have been playing this old trick for the past 10 or so years, that "Democrats" were KKK. It came to a head with Glenn Beck, who has been kicked off of Fox, but it doesn't matter because the damage has been done.

Conservatives lie about everything. They have rendered themselves incapable of telling the truth on ANY topic.

ish said...

I am almost convinced that the entity known as Ann Coulter is an elaborate satirical performance piece.

jamdown said...

Poor you -- I could never wade through such rubbish. Couldn't even read your entire post. Too much brain weakening nonsense.

I avoid Coulterish folks like a plague.

Vesuvian Woman said...

Democrats demonic like...

The Salem Witch Trials OR, Psychology Today?

Democrats attempting to gain power from what OR whom?

She sounds shook. We must be doing something proper ; )