Love the Plant, Hate the Planter

Lawyers, Guns, and Money (LGM) picked up on the recent Crazy Conservative reaction to a report commissioned by the Swiss government to help Switzerland evaluate whether their plant life should be protected by Swiss law. LGM has it right in implying that the Crazy Cons use little stories like these to whip up fictional outrages against liberal, Jesus-hating Econazis and the like. This latest faux tragedy is a perfect example of how neocons generally build their world view. They twist these inconsequential examples of extremely benign situations to create their own bizarro world in which the liberals (in this case, Swiss liberals) are out to force them to live off of tree leaves and unfiltered water, and then they rant about how all these rapture-worthy conspiracies are just being glossed over by a pot-smokin', Caligula-loving, "liberal" media.

The irony is that, if there were more conspiracy-driven liberals in the mainstream, we could use many of the exact same examples to demonstrate how it is really the scary amorphous Neocon Agenda that is out to destroy America. For example, I could spend paragraphs and paragraphs pontificating about how the neocons' brave-new-world approach to abortion is brilliantly exemplified in this particular Swiss report and how conferring rights onto Fetus-Americans is a slippery slope that ends in all of us being forced to live off tree leaves and unfiltered water by broadening the categories of lifeforms protected by law. And the glossing over by the materialistic, GE-loving, neocon media just goes with the territory.

However, the important distinction here is that most liberals generally have real issues to be concerned with. Plus, many of us would have a harder time trying to make these arguments with straight faces. With enough outrage in the world for us to focus on--extremities in income disparity, pointless wars in progress and in planning, and real-life oppression of real-life people whose only Agenda is to achieve some measure of equality, to name a few--we have no need to spend our time building convoluted narratives around the "symbolic issues" that twist the undies of neocons across the blogosphere and CNN and Faux News.

I guess this is just a long way of saying that I don't care if the Swiss love the plant. But I do care that the neocons are trying to take away my right to choose. This is the difference between a "symbolic" issue and a real issue. And this is the difference between an average liberal and an average neocon.

My rebuttal to the recent anti-Swiss neocon outrage would be similar to what John Cole (rehabilitated conservative) said about the Reverend Wright "symbolic issue":

All the talking heads assured me he [Obama] had to do this [denounce Wright], and now he has. I am not sure why it was necessary, as it was pretty clear to me when listening to Wright the past few days that he was not speaking for Obama, but such is the guilt-by-association bullshit of the media.

As to Wright himself, well, I have my own thoughts. First and foremost, I guess I am no longer the delicate fainting flower that most other bloggers and media commenters are these days. I spent several years in the early days of this blog being all sorts of outraged about petty bullshit. I spent days calling Ted Rall an asshole (he still is, I think), days opining about what an asshole Michael Moore is, and so on. I got my panties all in a bunch about Ward Churchhill (also a dick), and stupid things Bill Maher may or may not have said, and so on.

And you know what? They may be assholes, or jerks, or whatever term you want to use, but they sure as hell didn’t run this economy into the ground. They aren’t responsible for turning a huge surplus into a several hundred billion dollar deficit. I have yet to read any memos from Barbra Streisand detailing how we should spy on American citizens.
When Swiss plant-lovers start attempting to pass anti-abortion laws in the US, then they'll feel my wrath. In the meantime, love on, you crazy Swiss!

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Nothing New byslag at 8:52 AM

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