Heller High Water: Rightbloggers on Gays, Guns, and Goofy Cartoon Robots


[Editor’s note: After penning the popular “The Official Village Voice Election-Season Guide to the Right-Wing Blogosphere,” Roy Edroso has made dissecting those blogs into a weekly feature that appears here every Monday.]

Gay Pride didn’t get much of a rise out of rightbloggers this year. To be sure, a few small-timers managed Pride-themed rants and outraged photo spreads (“Lesbian parenting on display. This child will grow up thinking all this is normal”). But even Christian rightblogging on the subject had more a wistful than a militant air: for example, Active Christian Media, upon learning that a Havana Pride march was planned, simply said, “Well, here’s one more reason why the gospel needs to go into that land.” (ACM may be pleased to learn that the march was cancelled and some of its organizers arrested. If only Christians had that sort of power!)

But the big dogs mostly gave Pride a miss — maybe because they had their own civil rights victory to celebrate.

The Supreme Court’s Heller decision, overturning a D.C. handgun ban and affirming Second Amendment rights, had them dreaming of weaponry, whether they lived in the jurisdiction or not. Canada’s Kathy Shaidle solicited reader suggestions for an appropriate piece (“I’m looking at this Bul M5 [in the smaller “Commander” model] because, well, it’s Israeli made”). She also ran photos of her preferred armament, a gambit popular elsewhere. “I want something with accuracy and stopping power,” said the Atlantic‘s (and D.C.’s) Megan McArdle, “but also, an attractive exterior casing that easily integrates with my other accessories.” “In celebration of the Heller decision, I will be going to my second shooting lesson tomorrow,” said Richmond, Virginia’s Meryl Yourish. “Or, as my friend Sarah puts it, I’m going to go shooty-bang-bang.”

But rightbloggers are addicted to complaining, and no sooner was the champagne opened that they began attacking their defeated opponents. SayUncle was outraged by the ACLU’s insufficient enthusiasm for the decision, and suggested that commenters “play spot the hysteria,” though a few apparently thought “spot” meant “create” (“The American Communist Litigation Unit,” “Is this any different than the rest of the Marxists,” etc). Stop the ACLU noticed “an op-ed wagging a finger at the Supremes” and, under the headline “Chicago Sun-Times Takes Stand Against the Constitution,” challenged the paper: “Instead of whining about guns, why not launch a program to encourage young black men to stay home with their children and to marry the mothers of those children so that those same kids won’t end up in gangs?” “Jewish groups slam handgun decision,” announced the Council of Conservative Citizens, and showed the Anti-Defamation League logo with “666” attached.

Rightbloggers found one especially troubling drawback to Heller: the possible loss of an issue with which to hammer Barack Obama. The candidate praised the decision, despite having spoken favorably of the D.C. ban. From the wounded tone of rightblogger responses, it seems they think he will get away with it. “Now it’s general election time, so the most liberal Senator is trying to disguise his Far Left radical belief system from the American public,” wrote Gateway Pundit. Patterico denounced the Los Angeles Times‘ “claim that Obama has given ‘mixed signals’ on the issue. How about saying that his campaign flatly declared the ban constitutional? There’s nothing ‘mixed’ about that signal.”

WisdomIsVindicated, under the forlorn headline “Keeping the gun issue alive?” tried to persuade gun fans to stay on a war footing: “A 5-4 vote on a Supreme Court ruling as controversial as this sustains — if not increases, the importance of elections involving a supreme-court-justice-appointing president and a supreme-court-justice-consenting senate.” Flopping Aces was more dramatic: “Had the liberals had one more vote, the sleeping masses would have risen up and demanded judicial scalps. Had they allowed guns to be banned in the home, there would have been mass lawbreaking with citizens hiding their weapons and stockpiling ammunition.”

Some were reduced to fantasizing about the other side. “Anti-gunners will either agree and approve of [Obama’s] lie (hoping it fools the mouth-breathing red-state clodhoppers just long enough to allow him to slide into the White House),” wrote Armed and Dangerous, “or believe he’s telling the truth and be furious with him for changing sides.” Keep in mind: this is what they’re like when they win.

But guns are only part of our summer entertainment: big-budget cartoons also demand our attention. So we are grateful to Dirty Harry’s Place for its continuing coverage of the treasonous spectacle that is Pixar-Disney’s Wall-E. “Have we lost Pixar?” Harry wondered earlier, when he learned that the film had a buffoonish President say “Stay the course.” “Have we lost the wonderful studio who brought us The Incredibles and Ratatouille to Bush Derangement Syndrome?” The cartoon’s incorrectness outraged him sufficiently that he revisited the topic last week (“All of us had felt the eco message. All of us had heard, ‘Stay the course'”). He attacked James Wolcott for reminding readers that “stay the course” had been a TV laugh-line during the first Bush Administration. Harry found this “Orwellian… half-truthing history to try and make critics like myself look reactionary.”

Other rightbloggers stepped forward to denounce the double-plus-ungood cartoon. “The plot was something only Al Gore could love,” wrote Say Anything. “And your average soy latte-sipping, Obama-voting, Che-flat-waving liberal.” “The main robot characters are good… and there are great comic moments,” said Strata-Sphere. “But in the end the story is just too much a liberal elitist fantasy to enjoy.” “It was like a 90-minute lecture on the dangers of over consumption, big corporations, and the destruction of the environment” said National Review‘s Greg Pollowitz. “Much to Disney’s chagrin, I will do my part to avoid future environmental armageddon by boycotting any and all WALL-E merchandise and I hope others join my crusade.” (Alas, their message discipline was imperfect: elsewhere at National Review Frederica Mathewes-Green gushed over the cartoon: “surprisingly, delicately, effectively, poignant… succeeds in making an ecological statement without being annoying.” Maybe she filed before the memo could reach her desk.)

Despite these grim warnings, Wall-E topped the weekend box-office with a $62.5 million take. Clearly rightbloggers have their work cut out for them. I advise that they go looking for Wall-E’s birth certificate, or whatever cartoon robots from the future have instead of birth certificates, and tell people who like the movie that they’re members of a cult. Alternatively, they could offer an entertainment that people would prefer. But that doesn’t seem to be their strong suit.