Kevin Drum’s confused by this bizarre Nancy Pelosi sign at the Tea Party:
I’m more interested in the Benjamin Franklin quote. Probably the weirdest thing about the Glenn Beck / Tea Party nexus to me is that it tends to rely so heavily on libertarian rhetoric and fear of incipient authoritarianism. These kind of sentiments would be a lot easier to take seriously if not for the fact that we didn’t see these people marching out in the streets when George W. Bush used the threat of terrorism to justify secret, illegal warrantless surveillance, detention without trial, torture, etc. Indeed, the very same people who spend Monday, Wednesday, and Friday complaining that Barack Obama’s “czars” are a threat to liberty not only weren’t worried about czars in the Bush years, they spend Tuesday and Thursday worrying that Obama’s not doing enough to ensure that intelligence operatives can break the law with impunity.
Jonah Goldberg, it seems to me, was the real pioneer in this brand of hypocrisy-driven hysteria—holding captives in secret where they’re hung by shackles from the ceiling and occasionally beaten to death is fine by him, but efforts to curb smoking are “liberal fascism.” And now this line of thinking seems to have completely taken over the right.