By God, there’s something strange going on over at Little Green Footballs. Charles Johnson, after a long period involving huge amounts of turmoil and combat among his Lizard followers, has turned away from his far-right Islamophobic rantings and penned an amazing post, Why I Parted Ways With The Right. If I didn’t know better, it might be likened to political teshuva. Here are his reasons:
1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, Pat Buchanan, etc.)
2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)
3. Support for throwing women back into the Dark Ages, and general religious fanaticism (see: Operation Rescue, anti-abortion groups, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, the entire religious right, etc.)
4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.)
5. Support for homophobic bigotry (see: Sarah Palin, Dobson, the entire religious right, etc.)
6. Support for anti-government lunacy (see: tea parties, militias, Fox News, Glenn Beck, etc.)
7. Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech (see: Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Birthers, creationists, climate deniers, etc.)
8. A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech (see: Hot Air, Free Republic, Ace of Spades, etc.)
9. Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond simply criticizing radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide (see: Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, etc.)
10. Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarre conspiracy theories (see: witch doctor pictures, tea parties, Birthers, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, World Net Daily, Newsmax, and every other right wing source)
And much, much more. The American right wing has gone off the rails, into the bushes, and off the cliff.
I won’t be going over the cliff with them.
Frankly, I’m so astonished I don’t know what to say. But one thing Jewish tradition tells us is that if someone’s repentance is sincere you have no right to question it or doubt the penitent’s sincerity. And I don’t. I don’t want to make too much out of this but to me this is something akin to Saul’s conversion at Tarshish. Charles Johnson was the epitome of the pro-Israel neocon. He could always be counted on to bash Islam and Arabs. He’s even smeared me one or two times. I saw him not as the intellectual leader of the movement, but more as the tough drill sergeant fighting the good neocon fight in the trenches.
Now Johnson calls himself an “independent.” That’s all right by me. I’d rather have him as an independent than a neocon. But what does it all mean? Of course, you can see in Johnson’s turning (the original meaning of the word teshuva) a statement about the meltdown occurring within the Republican Party amidst internecine warfare between the right and the farther right. Those like Johnson who’ve retained a certain amount of reason and common sense have come to a parting of the ways with the incipient insanity. That’s the way the [little green foot]ball bounces.
I think it also signifies the end of the War on Terror and the Bush national security agenda. People like Johnson are beginning to understand that the 9/11 era is over and our country is returning to a more normal set of political priorities. While this by no means that Obama’s political agenda will succeed (though it can’t hurt that neocons are deserting the sinking ship), it does mean that the ranks of the far right are thinning.
“So may it be His will.”
For an even more powerful indictment of the Republican right from a former fellow traveler, read this by Andrew Sullivan. For a more cynical and funny critique of Johnson’s conversion by someone who detests him read Dennis the Peasant.
Hey, is it too much to ask that a few Zionist liberals like the Goldberg boys, Jeffrey and J.J., and Tom Friedman will have a reverse-Benny Morris-like change of heart, abandon their own political and moral infirmities, and come on over to our side?