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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Who's the moonbat?

One of the Right's new favorite epithets for their political opposites is moonbat. (Check out this item from the Herald's chief enterprising reporter as an example).

But for pure "moonbat" intensity is it hard to top this new installment to what the late historian Richard Hofstadter famously called the "paranoid style" of American politics.

And as Hofstadter himself noted, this "style is not limited to the right. But from Palmer to McCarthy to Nixon to Pat Buchanan -- and in such notorious organizations as the John Birch Society -- there is a distinct rightward drift.

The key is finding targets for intense discontent. Whether caused by economic insecurity (the Depression) or political or military ones (The Global War on Terror), difficult times require scapegoats.

The Right has been exceptionally good at finding them -- immigrants have frequently been the target. Long-haired hippie freaks, the somewhat outdated term for moonbat, were also popular.

But after you read this piece -- complete with obligatory references to the Council on Foreign Relations, black helicopters and sidelong references to George H.W. Bush's "New World Order" -- tell me who think the real moonbats are.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Aaron Weber said...

I thought our word for them was "wingnuts"

November 27, 2007 11:37 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Hey, can't we add a new one to the arsenal? :=)

November 28, 2007 4:02 AM  

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