The mystery of the Yoosta Bees

Roy links to Roger-Simon-The-Man-Who-Created-Moses-Wine, who uses the occasion of the Alito hearings to make a snarky and completely irrelevant reference to Chappaquiddick. This is a completely standard tactic in the right wing playbook, of course. But if you follow these things — and lord knows, there’s no reason you should — you know that Roger-Simon-The-Man-Who-Created-Moses-Wine is rather famously, at least in his own mind, a Yoosta Bee. I’ve never been sure why anyone would feel their opinion has more weight after they’ve revealed the shallowness of their former convictions, but that’s a discussion for another day. The more directly related question is something Berube wrote about a little while back — why is it that everyone who had a political conversion on 9/11 immediately discarded everything they used to profess to believe, and offered themselves up wholeheartedly to the conservative borg collective?

I can understand, to some teeny tiny extent, the way many of these former liberals reacted to the far left’s knee-jerk response to 9/11.  I thought the far left’s knee-jerk response to 9/11 was a knee-jerk response myself, and though it was well informed about American imperialism, it didn’t do very much to explain (a) the rise of militant Islamism, the origins of which had very little to do with American anything, or (b) the fact that none of the more immediate victims of American imperialism (from, say, Vietnam, Chile, Nicaragua, Guatemala, East Timor, Palestine, or the Cherokee Nation) were involved in the attacks of that day.  But my differences with the far left on that score did not lead me to abandon the American left that fought for the minimum wage, the eight-hour day, the weekend, Social Security, the Civil Rights Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Clean Air and Water Acts, unemployment insurance, reproductive rights, gay rights, and universal, single-payer health care.  By contrast, when the Charles Johnsons, James Lilekses, Tammy Bruces, and Roger Simons of the blogosphere parted ways with liberalism, they not only pledged allegiance to Bush; they also adopted all manner of traditional wingnut obsessions that predate 9/11 by decades.

It’s really quite eerie when you think about it, and I don’t believe it can be explained simply by hatred of Muslims or fear of another attack.  Because these people don’t just go on about the War on Terror and the firmness of Dear Leader; they also go on about Jane Fonda (!) and Dan Rather (!!) and the New York Times and the whole MSM and the United Nations (!!!) and Jimmy Carter and the Clenis® (!!!!!) and Teddy Kennedy and the French.  It’s just bizarre.  (Roger on the subject of the U.N. is especially unhinged.) It’s like, “Everything changed for me on September 11.  I used to consider myself a Democrat, but thanks to 9/11, I’m outraged by Chappaquiddick.” Seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear any of them go off one day about our giveaway of the Panama Canal or the insidious plot to fluoridate our drinking water.  It’s as if the moment they threw in their lot with Bush, they were e-mailed a Wingnut Software Package that allowed them to download every major wingnut meme propagated over the past thirty years.