TPM Cafe: Of Conservative Traitors

Hell hath no fury like a tribe betrayed
Opinion • Views: 27,951

After I posted an essay in Talking Points Memo’s TPM Cafe about Michael Wolraith’s book Blowing Smoke, imagine my surprise to find the same old stalkers and dimwitted creeps who follow me everywhere on the Internet posting the same old ugly, moronic comments at TPM. It’s as predictable as the sunrise; whenever I post something at another site, or when I’m the subject of an article, these people will invariably show up and start spewing hatred within minutes after I link to the site. They obsessively read everything I write, and they’ve been at this harassment game for years.

The appearance of these losers at TPM prompted Michael Wolraith to write another essay about this very phenomenon: Of Conservative Traitors and a Cure for Madness.

I’d like to thank Charles Johnson for his excellent essay, The New Tribalism. In my book, Blowing Smoke, I found myself searching for a word to describe the vague web of race, religion, culture, and politics that the right wing has used to construct and exploit a new collective identity. I called it a new class-consciousness, but I think that Johnson’s term tribalism more aptly captures the jumble of racial and social bonds that the right has used to mobilize white, Christian conservatives as a political bloc.

If you read below the fold of Johnson’s article, you’ll notice a number of vitriolic comments from readers. These commenters are not TPM regulars. They have been stalking Johnson around the Internet for years, literally. The one called diaryofdaedalus has tried to register at Johnson’s blog under at least a dozen different aliases. He has his own blog that alternates between bashing Johnson and exposing the “myth of Serbian genocide.” Apparently, he even chose the name Daedalus because Johnson used Icarus as a stage name in his former musical career.

Why such obsession? It’s a bitter example of what happens when conservatives like Johnson challenge the bigoted rhetoric of the right wing. The explanation requires some back story.

Read the whole thing. (And many thanks to Michael for his support.)

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