Rightbloggers Find the Lesson of the Japanese Disaster: We Need More Nuclear Power Plants! (Plus Obama Sux!)
Rightbloggers are doing their part, too. They're using the catastrophe as a teachable moment to explain that Obama sucks, global warming doesn't exist, and what America needs now is more nuclear power plants.
We wish to state up front that we didn't find rightbloggers doing the kind of karmic-payback-for-Pearl-Harbor nonsense reported here. That's not counting Republican Faith Chat ("IT'S NOT AS THOUGH GOD HASN'T WARNED THE JAPS!"), The Good Kentuckian ("Well, maybe THAT is the real reason Jesus punished Japan: Jesus hates socialism and big government!"), and other sites that we're telling ourselves must be parodies.
At the hour of Japan's need, the more devout among the brethren turned to the comfort of religion. "Christians - Believers - BE WARNED," advised Pastor Lee at Conservative Patriot. "The earth has shifted on its axis; time is affected; Japan has moved 8 feet and experienced a drastic change in its coastline..."
Plus Egypt, Libya, etc. "I do not wish to be seen as a scare manger," said the pastor, "but I am firmly convinced that the dangers of destruction are at hand. Factually MEGA earthquakes are predicted in the U.S. within the month of March...this very year! Read my posting and see what experts say!" (We think he means this, inspired by a story in the European Union Times, which isn't the most reliable source in the world.)
"I am one of God's Watchmen," the pastor then informed us. "I know of many of His Watchmen and we are of one accord. You, yes YOU must be prepared for at any moment you may be called upon by others for their very earthly existence." God, it's worse than anyone thought! We -- Oh, wait, someone tells us we can relax, the pastor is just talking about Jesus.
No rightblogger political discussion is complete without explanations as to how Obama is to blame and/or inept. At Andrew Breitbart's Big Peace, Charles C. Johnson proposed some "Lessons for Obama," hearkening back to a previous Japanese earthquake and President Calvin Coolidge, a conservative hero frequently lauded by the brethren for his ultra-small-government Administration.
"The left often dismisses Calvin Coolidge for not being activist enough in forcing Americans to submit to their favorite charity -- government," said Johnson. "But when it came to real charity... Coolidge acted decisively."
Coolidge asked Americans to donate money to relieve the earthquake-stricken Japanese in 1923, rather than using ill-gotten tax receipts as Obama has done. But it wasn't a totally small-government outreach: Instead of just mailing the money to Japan and then taking a nap, Coolidge sent the U.S. Navy, which was funded by the U.S. Treasury rather than by citizen donations. Also, the Navy and the U.S. Army contributed supplies of their own.
What lessons then should Obama take from Coolidge? "...in scuttling the Navy in recent years," said Johnson, "Obama does the world a great disservice." Johnson then praised Coolidge's decision to pour more of the people's money into cruisers and aircraft carriers. "We rightly gripe about how our allies are offloading the cost of the world's security onto our backs," Johnson closes, "but if it were not for us, who would answer the call?"
So, Obama errs in not practicing the muscular Big Government activism of Calvin Coolidge. The poor guy can't win.
Some rightbloggers were inspired by the carnage and destruction to flights of poesy. For example, Pajamas Media's Richard Fernandez composed an Ode to Godzilla: "If America was Godzilla, has the scaly beast fallen on hard times?" he wrote. "Or has it simply been eaten or replaced by an even greater monster: Tyrannosaurus Debt?" He also quoted Yeats, which offered momentary relief.
We're also not sure what to make of the intramural squabble between the Libertarian Patriot and the Wall Street Journal, which paper Libertarian Patriot said "seems to suggest that Japan's floundering economy could see benefit in the destruction... Certainly it is in poor taste to even broach this subject but this is how Keynesians think; steal from the masses and use the proceeds to fund government projects... progressives always look for some silver lining in a tragedy as a way to expand their big government, socialistic beliefs." Wait -- Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal is Keynesian and progressive? When did this happen? Readers, please advise.
Some certified rightbloggers were also accused of wrongspeak. "Stacy McCain and Matt Drudge decided to found their new grassroots organization, 'Citizens for Nuclear Hysteria and Higher-Priced Electricity,' lamented Little Miss Attila. "Because who cares about the future, when you can get internet traffic now?"
As you may have guessed, Little Miss Attila was referring to the nuclear reactor issues that emerged as Japan's plants reeled from the quake. (We guess she thinks the future would be better off if we kept our mouths shut about these things.)
In any case, the constant repetition of words like "meltdown" and "radioactive steam" probably alarmed people, and rightbloggers wanted to make it clear that even if a Japanese reactor melted down to the center of the earth, that would be no reason to abandon the conservative dream of more nuclear plants in the United States.
"As Japan continues to deal with an unimaginably strong earthquake and then a devastating tsunami caused by that quake," said Neil Stevens of RedState, "I hope nobody takes those special circumstances and tries to argue against clean, effective power generation technology in the general case."
My Pet Jawa looked on the bright side: "..even in a plausible worst case scenario a meltdown here probably wouldn't be nearly as bad as Chernobyl." Well, that's a relief.
The Fukushima No. 1 reactor was only in "subcritical" mode, reported Flopping Aces, though "some media have been reporting the same news, but with a more hysterical tabloid headline, '3000 flee Japan's nuclear RED ALERT.' (That headline was from Rupert Murdoch's The Sun in London. Jeez, maybe Murdoch has gone lefty on us!)
Anyway, Flopping Aces was concerned that "politics and energy agenda has begun to enter the picture," and wanted their readers to know that "nuclear power is clean, also affordable, and if Japan can demonstrate containment and success - even in such an earthquake volatile region of the world - then abandoning this type of energy using fear tactics is simply despicable," which we're sure they meant in a totally non-political way.
"Obviously, as one cruises around the Liberal-o-sphere, this means that all nuclear power is bad and that it should all be stopped, and, instead, we can go with wind and solar for all our power," speculated Stop The ACLU. "...of course, I wonder how those methods would have stood up with an earthquake and tsunami knocking them down, breaking the wind turbines and solar panels, covering them with water, and flooding the storage batteries." Then there'd be a solar meltdown, and it would be the fault of you liberals!
"I still say nuclear energy needs to be strongly promoted here in the states," said Jeff Godlstein of Protein Wisdom. "And I suspect we can use what we learn from Japan to better the containment and cooling technology." And if we open more nuclear plants here, we can have many more such learning experiences, and at first hand.
"Might as well say goodbye to any new nuke plants in the US in the immediate future," sighed Baron Von Ottomatic of Wizbang. But he found a silver lining: "Of course, even the greenies aren't too fond of the alternatives," referring to some people's discomfort with wind turbines. Then he joked about "Lady Obama's Your Kid's Too Fat thing," and ethanol.
Another thing rightbloggers want you to understand is that so-called climate change had nothing to do with these disasters, nor with any others.
Christopher Mims had quoted Bill McGuire of University College London and David Pyle of Oxford on the possible connection between climate change and tsunamis. He wound up amending and explaining his text ("The intent of this piece isn't to attribute today's tragedy to climate change") after the angry denunciations started rolling in.
The Lonely Conservative explained what was wrong with Mims' article: "The writer failed to mention that climate alarmism is big business," he wrote. "Of course they aren't going to let a disaster go to waste, there's money to be made." (Also: "Let's not forget George Soros." And finally, "How shameful to try to profit off a disaster that's brought about so much pain and suffering.")
Don Surber took a scientific approach, saying people who connected global catastrophes with climate change were "mentally ill." Among his other data: "This is nutty. These frauds have no idea of what they are talking about. The Earth isn't held together by layers of ice that work like duct tape. Goodness are they dumb." QED!
"In fact, this is not the first time earthquakes have been blamed by the Shamanistic, Magical-Thinking Left on the all-purpose Zeus-substitute of global warming," said Ace of Spades, taking his customary theological perspective.
And so as Japan battled the elements, rightbloggers stood firewatch over whatever of their cherished beliefs might be challenged by events. Their responses were rapid and revealing. When Brad Friedman, for example, noticed that modern Republicans are against the kind of government regulations that made sure Japanese skyscrapers were built to stand up to disasters like this, Jammie Wearing Fool sprang into action. "Idiot Lefty Blogger: Republicans Don't Want Quake-Proof Buildings or Something," he roared, and reminded readers that Ronald Reagan had established a Governor's Earthquake Council for California in 1972 -- proof, if further were needed, that Big-Gummint Reagan could never get the Republican Presidential nomination today, thanks to people like this.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.