Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Alas, Skeletor and Hordak were disqualified.

No link, because, REALLY now, but you can find it if you want by googling the phrase "conservative bloggers select the 25 worst figures in American history." Here are the choices made by these Very Serious People:

01. Jimmy Carter
02. Barack Obama
03. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
04. The Rosenbergs
05. Woodrow Wilson
06. Benedict Arnold
07. Lyndon Johnson
08. Ted Kennedy
09. Timothy McVeigh
10. Aldrich Ames
11. Margaret Sanger
12. John Wilkes Booth
13. Nancy Pelosi
14. Harry Reid
15. Jane Fonda
16. Richard Nixon
17. Noam Chomsky
18. Al Gore
19. Al Sharpton
20. Alger Hiss
21. George Soros
22. Michael Moore
23. Hillary Clinton
24. Bill Clinton
25. Saul Alinsky

Firstly: spend a moment musing over the right's truly bizarre hatred of Jimmy Carter. A mostly-ineffective President who went on to help poor people build houses? The WORST AMERICAN EVER? Really? I mean, I know part of their hatred comes from his insistence on treating Palestinians as though they were human beings, but the pathology clearly goes far, far deeper than that. Don't get me wrong; I'm well aware that Carter did some completely deplorable things while in office, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that it ain't his defense of William Calley that has wingnuts all het up.

Anyway, Carter has pretty clearly matured since he was President. I know it's sort of obnoxious to try to psychoanalyze total strangers, but since you will never, ever get an even slightly coherent reason from wingnuts for their Carter-hatred, indulge me: They could never even admit this to themselves, but I think they hate him because he embodies actual Christian values, and because he makes their sainted Ron Raygun look like the malignant clown he was. He's a living repudiation of their entire awful worldview. And if any actual wingnuts read this, you will get to enjoy an angry, probably-agrammatical refutation of this idea in comments. Look forward to it!

Secondly: The immaturity level here is positively comical. I guess that goes without saying, but think about it: what the hell is Harry Reid? A pH-neutral pile of organic goo, is what he is. But he also happens to be one of the leaders of the political party that they hate more than anything; therefore, he's the FOURTEENTH WORST AMERICAN EVAR!!!!11 This principle pretty much applies to the whole list. Are you a current right-wing bugbear? Congratulations; you're one of the Worst Americans Ever. Have a kewpie doll.

Thirdly, and relatedly: There is zero sense of history here. They could have done a much more effective list every bit as wingnutty as this if they recognized the existence of the past. I mean, there are ALL KINDS of people they would--or bloody well OUGHT to--hate WAY more than Jane Fonda (fercrissake) or Noam Chomsky, if only they were aware of them. I mean, just from my own particular area of interest: Eugene Debs? Emma Goldman? Ben Reitman? Bill Haywood? Mother Jones? Alexander Berkman? Upton Sinclair? Nope--just Saul Alinsky, a guy none of them had even heard of until a few years ago, when it transpired that he wrote a book with "Radicals" in the title that Obama apparently read, instantly catapulting him into the ranks of the WORST AMERICANS EVER. Kee-rikey.

(CORRECTION TO ABOVE: I just realized that unlike fellow Russian expatriate Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman was never actually a US citizen. But the point stands.)

These are the people we're going to be giving the nuclear launch codes to in November. Just sayin'.


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