In earlier Obama days, when the market was tanking, rightbloggers talked about the “Obama Dow Jones Death Watch,” “Change we cannot afford,” “DOW Collapse Signaling Fear of Socialist as President?” etc. Politics West huffed that Obama, “has essentially never been an investor,” and that he and his Treasury Secretary had some nerve to engage in their “frontal assaults on already weak markets.”
This week the Dow reacted mostly favorably to Tim Geithner’s new economic plan. Most rightbloggers fell silent on the topic. But Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey found the dark lining in the silver cloud: the U.S. Dollar had lost value. “Geithner speaks, dollar dives,” he wrote. “Haven’t we lived with this embarrassment long enough?”
We mention this not to recommend the Obama/Geithner plan, but to point out something we’ve noticed about our rightblogger brethren: that whatever the Administration does, they will find the least charitable interpretation of it, even if it means changing the subject, or inflating it grotesquely. And they apply this method to topics of whatever size and significance.
The White House, for example, moved ticketing for its annual Easter Egg Hunt online — for obvious reasons an uncontroversial move, even among rightbloggers, until some of the tickets wound up with scalpers on eBay. Then it became the latest Obama “gaffe,” a problem that rightbloggers declared obvious and foreseeable in hindsight.
“It is yet another indication of how far removed this administration is from concepts of Free Markets,” said an Instapundit correspondent. “The White House Lays An Easter Egg,” said RedState. “And now there are a bunch of little kids who are going to be sad because their parents didn’t have the money to make sure that they got to go to the White House Easter Egg roll… And this is why we do not meddle with processes that we do not understand. Because it makes children cry when things go wrong.” (Won’t somebody please think of the children?) “How Obama Ruined The Easter Egg Roll,” said Enlightened Redneck, who went on to talk about how wonderful it had been in earlier years to wait on line for Easter Egg Hunt tickets.
“Naturally, with anything the Obama folks try, they’re going to make a mess,” said The Pink Flamingo. “There is a poetic justice here. When you act like an arrogent jerk and try to ‘CHANGE’ everything, you blow it.” Of course, other people had similar problems with Miley Cyrus tickets, yet Ticketmaster has never, so far as we can tell, incurred this level of rightblogger wrath.
They were much more enthusiastic about these eggs than they were about Republican alternative budget plan, which was presented without specific spending proposals and without any means to solve current problems except tax and program cuts — all unaccompanied by any dollar amounts. To end the financial crisis, Republicans counseled “certainty and economic growth” and fewer loans to poor people.
Many rightbloggers ignored the plan, minimized it (even National Review true-believer David Freddoso found it “a bit disappointing”), or complained that “trolls” were not showing the proper deference. But some bravely took one for the team. “Oh, the republicans have no details,” scoffed a Lucianne.com analyst, “as opposed to the dem plan of tossing bushel baskets of million dollar bills out the windows of the Treasury.” At American Spectator a clearly flustered Philip Klein allowed as how it didn’t go far enough: “What’s alarming is that Republicans are surrendering too much ground to liberals.”
Bravest of all was Commentary‘s Jennifer Rubin, who said the alterna-budget was “the first step on the Republicans’ political road to recovery” and “goes some distance toward shooting down the Democrats’ spin that Republicans have ‘no ideas.'” How the plan might actually work she dismissed as an irrelevant question: “In a sense the Republican budget plan ‘works’ by existing, by reminding voters that massive taxing and spending is not the only alternative.”
No matter; there were bigger fish to fry. Like Obama’s upcoming commencement address at Notre Dame. Well, by “upcoming” we mean May 17, but for rightbloggers it’s never too early to milk a good “scandal” — in this case, that Notre Dame is a Catholic university and Obama is pro-choice. Such politicians have spoken at Catholic schools before — Mario Cuomo spoke at Notre Dame in 1984. But that was before rightbloggers were around to make hay of it.
Some of them turned their rage on Notre Dame — indeed, even on the American Catholic Church for not somehow smiting down the heathen (“The Catholic Church in America has bred her own destroyers, graduating from doctrinally corrupt catechetical programs, schools and colleges two generations of pro-abortion politicians,” said George Neumayr at the American Spectator. “Were Saul Alinsky alive today, he would have to smile at the ease of it all”). But others placed the fault with Obama for accepting Notre Dame’s invitation for his own, nefarious purposes.
“Obama is the last person who is ever going to allow a little public outcry from those knuckle-dragging Catholics [those who didn’t vote for him; as opposed to the useful idiots, who did] to dissuade him,” cried Catholic mystic The Anchoress. “My advice: look for something unexpected to come of it down the road. The Holy Spirit has a habit of confounding us with by means and methods most curious.” There her crystal ball grew cloudy, but she added that Obama’s acceptance was “a ballsy and knowing affront to the Mother of the King. The King will not like that! I’ve often and often warned folks about messing with the Mother of the King. They never listen.” In the background, one may discern the theme from Deliverance performed on a church organ.
Others also saw signed and portents. “Is this a coincidence or what?” asked National Review‘s Mike Potemra. “Flipping channels, I see AMC is airing the 1993 movie Rudy, about the small kid who beats the odds to fulfill his dream of playing football at Notre Dame.” Eventually Potemra explained the significance: “Who are the weakest among us, those who could really use our courage and our witness? This is a challenge to Notre Dame…” The solution is obvious: disinvite Obama and bring in Sean Astin.
“If Comrade Obama had any class, he would politely back out of this invitation,” said Giovanni’s World. “I have very low expectations of our president so I don’t expect him to man-up.” “I don’t want this evil beast Obama to speak at this Spring’s commencement ceremony at Notre Dame,” said The Hull Truth. “As a practicing Catholic, I only see evil when I look at this great Satan, and Satan does not belong on hallowed grounds that is my Notre Dame.”
Others just rocked their usual hobbyhorses a little faster. “Media mum on Obama, Notre Dame,” proclaimed
The Endlessness Justifies the Meaninglessness Colleen Raezler*, though a quick look at Google News contradicts that. “Notre Dame Rejects Pro Death Ghoul Obama,” declared Knockout Politics — though at this writing the invitation still stands and, though an open petition assails the decision, the students don’t seem to have a problem with having a sitting President speak at their graduation. But who cares what they think?
Another event of great interest to rightbloggers has, thankfully, come and gone: Earth Hour, a climate-change feel-good event in which big buildings dimmed their lights in 100 cities, and its rightwing twin “Human Achievement Hour,” a counter-celebration pimped by Michelle Malkin for which rightbloggers pledged to blaze their lights in protest. As is customary with these things, it also involved protests against Big Media for trying to keep rightbloggers down, including Wikipedia, which deleted the parody observance’s entry.
But that didn’t kill their buzz. “What could be more ‘Anti-Al Gore’ than a protest against Earth Hour?” said The News Factor. “I’ll Be Nuking A Pizza,” said Scarecrow for President. “I had two tv’s running, some lamps and my computer,” said Right-Wing and Right Minded. “We turned on every single light in the house, plus the numerous outdoor lights as well,” bragged An Ol’ Broad’s Rambling. “Al Gore Celebrated ‘Human Achievement Hour’ With Me!” said theblogprof. (Gore had his lights on, see? Ha ha!) “I’ll actually make sure to run every piece of electrical equipment i can during this time peroid,” said Fire Andrea Mitchell. “I’m putting the halogen shop lights in the front windows for the world to see,” said Ethereal Madness. “I got out some Christmas lights too.”
The spectacle of rightbloggers dragging out their Christmas lights in March to protest a publicity stunt may seem a little silly to you, dear reader. But put yourself in their place. They haven’t much political power, and the world seems to go on heedlessly without them. Why wouldn’t they burn every light in the house? Someone will take notice, at least in this grand Second Life we call the internet. And as their beliefs and behaviors showed in the days when they did have some connection to power, they don’t seem to care that their effulgences will result in a larger bill.
*Update: The quote from Colleen Raezler was originally attributed to The Endlessness Justifies the Meaninglessness, which was quoting Colleen Raezler. We regret the error.