Monday, November 22, 2021

The Rittenhouse Review

Remember James Rittenhouse?  He was a liberal blogger in the early days, who sadly died in 2007.  And I wish to Christ he was still around and the one we're thinking more about these days was dead.  That would be so much better.

(RIGHT, I just realized that his name was in fact James Capozzola; it's just his blog that had the word "Rittenhouse" in it.  I apologize for any disrespect that may imply, but my general point stands.)

I'm not going to try to pretend there's some sort of silver lining to the acquittal.  We knew it was coming, but it still sucks down the line, not just for the injustice of this particular case but for the precedent it sets: shooting your political enemies is totes cool if it's "self-defense."  The jubilant celebrations of the acquittal on the right are because the idea of being able to murder leftists (or liberals--as if they understand or care about the difference) and get away with it.  That's incredibly disturbing.  Still, let's not understate the extent to which this is an absolute disaster for Rittenhouse himself on a personal level (well, as I say that, I realize that our "justice" system is such that he was probably fucked either way, but he definitely is this way).

Sure, on a superficial level, you might say, he's doing juuuust great!  He's a right-wing hero!  Multiple congressmen, eager to burnish their pro-murder credentials, have offered him internships (in theory, at least--I kind of doubt this goes past trolling).  But the thing is, while, sure, Rittenhouse perfectly hit that right-wing g-spot, what is he beyond that?  Sure he can spent a few months going on right-wing talk shows to talk about how murder is cool, but else does he have?  Barring some massive level of political savvy and charisma that has been heretofore unapparent, he's got nothing.  His one thing may be impressive, but there's just nothing to it, and with nothing else to sustain the fire, the media circus is going to get bored of him sooner rather than later.

And then what?  He's just a hapless, none-too-bright kid whose brain was scrambled by right-wing media and who went on to commit a horrible act that he will never, ever come to terms with because he's been so relentlessly lionized and because he lives in a world where seeking mental help is considered weak and unmanly.  It would be a goddamn miracle if he escaped un-fucked.

I don't think li'l Kyle is irredeemable, necessarily.  I'd call that highly unlikely, especially given how young he is.  People can and do redeem themselves, and it's inspiring when it happens.  I don't even think he should spend the rest of his life in jail, in an ideal world.  But--and this is an important point that I really don't think gets enough attention--it's not going to in this one, because his alleged allies are doing their goddamnedest to make sure it never does.  If it's in service to their evil agenda (somehow, the use of the word "evil" still sounds hyperbolic to my ears, but we might as well get used to it--nothing else fits as well), they will do absolutely anything and if it involves spiritually destroying people they supposedly like...that's nothing.  No doubt they would object to the framing, but they also object to being characterized as bloodthirsty fascists, even as they're in the middle of another of their bloodfeasts, so let's take their opinions for what they're worth.


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