Monday, September 28, 2009

The Sparkman Murder: Riehl World Smearing

With the rise of DailyKos and contemporary progressivism, being tough-minded has become just as big among the left as the rest of American society. We might prefer Clint Eastwood or The Wire, but we like violent authority just as much as our friends on the right.

Of course, if anybody still had inclinations toward soft utopianism, they would be disabused by familiarity with the right-wing smear machine. Much as the left unselfconsciously embraces authoritarian violence, the right has shown itself to be fundamentally Godless. Nothing is sacred for the right-wing smear machine. Kids, war heroes, troops in Iraq, marriage, religious figures, mom--it's all been subject to vicious smears. If Michelle Malkin thought smearing apple pie would advance the conservative cause, she'd do it in a heartbeat. Rosy red carcinogens anyone? The "Obama Joker" poster was a big moment of conservative triumph because the right had finally broken the "racism taboo" and brought a racist image of Obama before the public. One of the right-wing commenters on this blog was so happy about this that he or she wanted "Obama/Joker" made into a postage stamp.

And now it's starting with Bill Sparkman, the part-time census worker who was murdered in Clay County, KY this week. Dan Riehl of the Riehl World View blog is floating the idea that Sparkman was a child sex predator and that he was somehow murdered in revenge for something linked to pedophilia. Riehl's evidence for that nasty little affront to the dead man's memory--exactly none. But who on the right really cares? Given that Sparkman's murder might become a cause celebre on the left, the right had to take him down one way or another. So Riehl puts out the idea that Sparkman could have been a "child sex predator" as a way to suggest that the lynching of Sparkman might somehow have been a "justified homicide."

I have to admit to being initially shocked by the nasty of Riehl's little smear campaign. Maybe I'm not as tough-minded as I think I am. In the final analysis, Riehl's trying to finish off the murder of Bill Sparkman by lynching his public reputation just as much as Sparkman's murderers lynched his living body.

Shouldn't be any surprise there. Lynching is as a conservative tradition as mom, apple pie, and church on Sunday.

Update: I see that responses to the Dan Riehl smear have appeared on Daily Kos. Good for them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You do know that the "racist" Obama-Joker poster was the creation of a college student Kucinich supporter, right?