Is it just me, or did the past week in politics go at hyperspeed, with common sense just shearing off and burning away in its wake? Just last Tuesday, a terrorist attack in Brussels wrenched discussion back to national security — which for rightbloggers meant debating whether we were at war with every last Muslim on earth, or just too many to take any chances. Yet by the time the weekend came, the big story was whether it was plausible that anyone would want to have sex with Ted Cruz.
The explosions at Brussels Airport didn’t have the same impact among rightbloggers as had the Paris attacks last November, possibly because many of them don’t know where or what Brussels is, except maybe where the sprouts come from, nor what kind of avatar to riff on when they talked about it, the Manneken Pis lacking sufficient gravitas.
Embarrassingly, some people settled on Tintin, spurring Ben Domenech of the Federalist to explain “What Tintin Teaches Us About the Brussels Attacks.” Short answer: In their comic books, Tintin, Snowy, and Captain Haddock find themselves “in the midst of crises which often have world-changing consequences.” Maybe the terrorists were sent by Mohammed Ben Kalish Ezab! Also, Tintin and his pals have “a very Belgian spirit: they are Gallic, intrepid, and mean.” Knowing Domenech’s work, he probably meant “mean” as a compliment.
Domenech also praised Tintin’s “childlike but accurate perception of the world,” which, come to think of it, is a pretty good example of how conservatives think about foreign policy. This was also demonstrated by National Review’s David French, who went full Crusader over Brussels, declaring that “while not all Muslims are jihadists, jihad is so deeply imprinted in the DNA of Islam that the world will confront it as long as Islam lives.” Only one Solution to that, fellow Christians, and that’s Final!
French’s colleague Jay Nordlinger was also hot for holy war: While only “a tiny portion — a teeny-tiny portion — of Muslims carry out atrocities,”he said, “…a huge portion of Muslims either cheer on, defend, excuse, or don’t mind the tiny portion.… [T]hey would probably never murder anyone, with their own hands. But when others do — they ululate their brains out.” So if you see someone ululating — if it’s not Xena the Warrior Princess — call the cops.
David Harsanyi at the Federalist told readers that bigotry of all sorts was “rampant throughout the Islamic world. Pointing this out is not racism. Theology is not a skin color.” So no fair calling us racist this time, libtards. Harsanyi also said, “though we live in a nation with a well-assimilated, diverse, and patriotic Muslim population, the situation could always change.” You’ll know when it happens; just listen for the ululations.
In the sober world of Republican national politics, GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz revived that other popular conservative solution to terror attacks: employment of the magic incantation “radical Islamic terrorism.” Donald Trump, of course, stood tall for torturing prisoners and sealing the borders, which stirred the admiration of British journalist/buffoon Piers Morgan (“When it comes to terror, isn’t it time we started listening seriously to Trump?”), which in turn excited rightbloggers who normally despise Morgan for his gun control opinions.
“Piers Morgan, welcome to Team Trump,” cheered Wayne Allyn Root, former Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate, at Fox News. “…No, not all Muslims are bad people. Some are good people. But how can we tell the difference?” Let God sort ‘em out!
“WOW: Piers Morgan Finally WAKES UP,” screamed Conservative Tribune. “As uncomfortable and unnatural as it may feel, it’s hard to disagree with Morgan on this.” “Pigs are flying,” cried Right Wing News. “…even liberal media personality Piers Morgan has joined The Donald with his support.… Now, if only Piers could apply his ability for reason to gun laws, he might actually gain some traction here in the states as a voice worth listening to…” Well, as long as there’s money in it.
But reclaiming prodigal sons was not as pleasing to rightbloggers as shaking fists at Barack HUSSEIN Obama, who — while the world weeps for Tintin — “wants you to keep cool about jihadist mass murder,” per the Wall Street Journal. Even worse, Obama was in Cuba when Brussels went down — which they were already mad about.
In fact, while in Cuba, Obama had a photo op with Che Guevara, or at least with a sculpture of him in the background, which really pissed the brethren off. When it was pointed out that other U.S. Presidents had also gone to foreign countries and stood in front of artistic renderings of commies — including Ronald Reagan — they got pissy.
“I’m reasonably sure Reagan wasn’t interested in legitimizing any Marxist regimes when he toured abroad,” huffed Allahpundit at Hot Air. “[Reagan] was one of the most famous and important anti-Communists in history,” sputtered Jay Nordlinger. “…Reagan was speaking underneath a bust of Lenin. But his speech was pure anti-Leninism,” whereas Obama was all like, “Yeah, communism is awesome, I wish I lived in Cuba instead of the stupid United States, we suck.”
And oh yeah, the brethren also flipped because Obama’s next diplomatic stop was Argentina, where he and the missus danced a tango, which at breitbart.com was reported as “OBAMA DANCES THE TANGO WHILE THE WORLD BURNS.” The always classy Legal Insurrection ran a cartoon of Obama tangoing over a bloody corpse (which you could tell was Belgian because it was inexplicably hoisting a flag).
We got a break from this, if you want to call it that, when the National Enquirer claimed that Ted Cruz was having sex with a bunch of ladies who were not his wife. Cruz, expectedly, denied it; Donald Trump, expectedly and (given his ties to the Enquirer) disingenuously, stirred the shit.
Some rightbloggers who’d previously enjoyed the Enquirer’s busts on John Edwards and other Democrats now found the paper less than reliable because something-something. “I am cynical enough to expect that a story about a Democratic scandal will be better-sourced than one about a GOP scandal,” bullshat Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit. “Although the National Enquirer has ‘blind squirreled’ its way to breaking sex scandals involving Gary Hart, John Edwards, and Jesse Jackson,” said the Independent Journal Review, “its story thus far looks extremely dubious.” IJR’s argument for dubiosity: The Enquirer also ran an “equally flimsy, incredibly sleazy allegation” about Blake Shelton. (Wow, they write about musicians, too?) Also, “not only did Senator Cruz vehemently deny the report, but so did two women believed by some to be involved in the shady story.” IJR helpfully linked to stories about the two women so you could look them up.
But while there were some obvious pro-Trump angles (“Ted Cruz Obfuscates Extramarital Affairs Blames Trump for National Enquirer Story”) and some obvious anti-Trump angles (“Donald Trump Is a Garbage Human Being Who Is Leading a Movement of Other Garbage Human Beings”) among rightbloggers, many of them just rolled out both-sides coverage in apparent hopes that, if the distasteful subject matter didn’t advance their particular political cause, at least it might draw some clicks and extend their average session duration.
At Hot Air, for example, we got 1,000 words on the two possibilities Allahpundit saw in the allegations: “1. It’s all true,” and “2. It’s a smear.” Tyler O’Neil of PJ Media also weighed the pros and cons at length: On the one hand, “From a Christian standpoint, men and women are fallen creatures, and Ted and Heidi Cruz were often separated in their young marriage.” On the other, “the story may be true, but the timing and the outlet are conspicuous.”
Well, why not? The campaign’s been a total garbage fire for so long, why not just soak up some sex-scandal-story traffic until it’s time to launch the next pro-my-candidate polemic? And if the fire rages still further out of control, they can make something of that, too: The Federalist earnestly covered a Ben Domenech chat with Megyn Kelly at Fox News under the headline “A Contested GOP Convention Is a Healthy Thing.” “If Trump supporters want to come to Cleveland and they want to riot,” said Domenech, “I say let them and then they will find out what the party of law and order is really all about.” Eventually it’ll be like the end of the whale hunt in Moby-Dick, only instead of Tashtego hammering a flag to the mast as the ship goes down, it’ll be someone at National Review tossing a laptop full of rightblogger filings from the roaring flames of the Quicken Loans Arena.