November 4, 2014

I was surprised to see that this headline was for an article written by Thomas Frank.

"Righteous rage, impotent fury: Thomas Frank returns to Kansas to hunt the last days of Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts."

That makes Thomas Frank sound insane and menacing, like he's the one with righteous rage and impotent fury. How else can you read that? And then "hunt the last days"? That sounds like the kind of language that people were resolving to avoid after the Tucson massacre. 

18 comments:

tim maguire said...

Since "What's the Matter with Kansas" was really a book about what's the matter with liberalism, the title is remarkably fair and insightful.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Biggest problem with the headline, is the inappropriate use of the word/concept 'rage'.

There are many fine English words covering the whole continuum of degrees of emotional annoyance. 'Rage' should be reserved only for the very highest parts of that range. One would perhaps use the word rage for reactions to, say, the Holocaust, atrocities of an ISIS, the Hitlers, Stalins and Mao's of the world.

Totally inappropriate here, like the NPR reporter who called Abu Ghraib 'horrific'. Please.

This author was probably stretching for an alliteration, but still . . .

Words matter.

Brando said...

In the mind of the leftist, it is only right wingers who have and use guns--that's why the earliest reports of the Tucson and Sandy Hook shooters all speculated that some deranged right winger was behind it, when both killings were apolitical. That's also why to this day many on the Left cannot accept that JFK was murdered by a communist, and instead dwell on how right wing Dallas was and suggest Oswald was used by right wing groups. The idea of violent leftist fellow travelers simply doesn't register.

So of course they can use violent metaphors--obviously they're just metaphors when peaceful leftists use them!--but when the right wing--what with their guns and NRA support--uses the same metaphors, there's real menace afoot.

Hagar said...

Haunt.

Robert Cook said...

"That's also why to this day many on the Left cannot accept that JFK was murdered by a communist, and instead dwell on how right wing Dallas was and suggest Oswald was used by right wing groups. The idea of violent leftist fellow travelers simply doesn't register."

I don't think the predominant conspiracy theories of JFK's assassination have to do with right wing Texans; I think the two favored theories are that it was the Mafia--pissed off that they had helped JFK win in Illinois, which helped him win the presidency, but then were avidly pursued by brother Bobby's justice department--or by the CIA, because...CIA. (That really is reason enough to suspect the CIA of murder, mayhem and malfeasance: that's what they do.)

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

I don't think the predominant conspiracy theories of JFK's assassination have to do with right wing Texans;

A big complication is the daunting list of legitimate "who would have motive?"

One could start with hundreds of cuckolded boyfriends and husbands.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

More run of the mill democrat party hypocrisy from the same progressive bigots who brag about wishing death on Rush Limbaugh, and fantasize about urinating on him while he suffers a heart attack, because his speech is so "hateful".

kcom said...

"More run of the mill democrat party hypocrisy..."

It's in Salon, isn't it?

Sabinal said...

More run of the mill democrat party hypocrisy from the same progressive bigots who brag about wishing death on Rush Limbaugh, and fantasize about urinating on him while he suffers a heart attack, because his speech is so "hateful".

so true...I listen to Rush often. You can tell his detractors do not. If anything he can be as conspiracy heavy as the left

RecChief said...

That sounds like the kind of language that people were resolving to avoid after the Tucson massacre.

For all their talk, the left never dropped the eliminationist language when it comes to their political opponents. I was reminded the other day of this aphorism: "Conservatives think liberals are wrong, liberals think conservatives are evil."

Brando said...

"I don't think the predominant conspiracy theories of JFK's assassination have to do with right wing Texans."

The Mafia and CIA theories were (are) popular but an equally strong theory (the one pushed by Mark Lane in "Rush to Judgment") was that a right wing cabal orchestrated the whole thing because JFK was too much of a peacenik and supportive of civil rights.

Which is of course absurd when you consider that JFK ran as (and governed as) a hawk, got us into Vietnam, ok'd the assassination of Diem, tried invading Cuba, and beefed up the military budget way beyond anything Ike did. Plus, beyond lip service he did nothing for civil rights. It would have made more sense for the Right to go after Ike.

To date the most likely scenario is Oswald acting alone--it's hard for some to grasp because it requires accepting that Oswald would do this with little motive and display excellent marksmanship with an old rifle that he wasn't trained on. Plus, the Jack Ruby killing seemed so odd it made more sense as an attempt to shut Oswald up, rather than revenge (when Oswald absolutely would have been executed at least for the killing of the cop that day). But it's not clear where any other shooter could have been, and no other evidence emerged tying anyone else to the assassination.

Anonymous said...

"Brownback delivered his lines with energy, but listening to them I was struck by the extreme staleness—the utter obsolescence—of this kind of thinking. It hasn’t changed since the 1970s," says the guy whose kind of thinking hasn't changed since the 1840s.

Scott said...

Let them have their fun, the Left isn't going to have much to enjoy today

richard mcenroe said...

No, Republicans were expected to avoid that sort of language. Democrats and progressives can vent their bloodlust all they want.

YoungHegelian said...

I enjoy reading Frank. It's rare today that an American writer on the Left is such an open & above board Marxist of the old school ("She was certainly the Alexandra Kollentai of the movement"). He's wrong about most things, but at least one understands where he gets his "wrongidness" from.

The post-Marxists like to throw around shreds of Marxist doctrine like it really has something to do with the concerns of their particular brand of identity politics (does capitalism really have anything to do with patriarchy & racism?), and one is often left with the thought that one isn't working through an ideology as much as witnessing a mash-up.

Sam L. said...

Forget it, Jake, it's SALON and Tommy Frank. (See: Chinatown.)

Michael Fitzgerald said...

As for the Kennedy assassination, pretty obvious that it was the work of LBJ. Hasn't anyone read MacBird?

John Lynch said...

Yeah, um...

How'd that turn out?