Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Tossing Around a Football

There is an interesting article by Jonathan Dee in the New York Times Magazine, entitled "Right-Wing Flame War!," about Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs. Johnson, former darling of the far right, who has now denounced erstwhile allies as "fascists," expressed support for abortion rights, showed contempt for creationism and denounced the religious right, claims that:

... all these beliefs ... are elements of the "classical liberalism" he has always believed in but previously opted not to write about. Why now? The answer is so heretical it seems destined to raise the tizzy-level among his former followers to new heights: "It's not that the war on terror has finished," he said. "It's never going to be finished, but I think things have reached the point now where it's not as pressing as it was. Some of the measures we took to protect ourselves against extremists have been pretty effective. And so I realized, you know, that maybe it's time to tell people that I'm not onboard with a lot of this social-conservative agenda.

What's interesting to me is this by Dee:

[P]erhaps I am, as many suggested to me, just another liberal dupe. Perhaps I even fell for the pretense that Johnson lives in the modest home where I visited him, which bore none of the trappings his supposed sellout would suggest. The U.P.S. man who delivered packages to his door while I was there, and his truck, may have been hired for the day just to snow me; the decidedly un-Mata-Hari-like woman he introduced to me as his fiancée, who brought us water and fruit as we talked in his small home office, may have been a member of the Trilateral Commission. It would be just like a representative of the Mainstream Media to get caught believing his eyes like that.

A more accurate description of the loony right could hardly be penned. If Johnson is a "classical liberal" who only became a favorite of such people because of his desire to respond strongly against terrorists, it just goes to show the wisdom of the old saying: "lay down with dogs, get up with fleas."

Still, I'm not sure liberals should welcome Johnson with open arms. If the article is right, Johnson disappears comments on his blog he doesn't like, bans people for merely disagreeing with him, allows favorite commenters to police his site and may give them the power to ban others.

That sounds a lot like another blog I know ... if I could only remember the name.

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