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Ironic Reading

I’m feeling overwhelmed with irony the last few days, and not just because of all the teabagging going on. There are a bunch of really good articles that I haven’t had time to report on, so I thought I would just list them here.  All of them are worth a read.

Over at Salon, Glenn Greenwald has an excellent article talking about the new report from the Department of Homeland Security that warns of growing “right-wing extremist activity”. The ironic thing here is that the same right-wing pundits who who cheered on every domestic surveillance and police state program are now completely freaking out that these programs might get used against the right-wing lunatic fringe. This is doubly ironic because there are plenty of examples of right-wing terrorism in this country.

For that added touch of irony, Jonah Goldberg in the National Review claims that Obama’s Department of Homeland Security is now specifically targeting right-wing groups, and that the DHS has never and would never target “left-wing” groups in the same way. But as Greenwald points out, Goldberg’s article actually links to an article in the Washington Times that says:

In January, the same DHS office released a report titled “Leftwing extremists likely to increase use of cyber attacks over the coming decade.

Plus these pundits don’t bother to mention that preparation of the new report began more than a year ago, when Bush was still in office.

Our ironic radar also got a kick from an article in the Washington Monthly, which discusses the recent poll results that socialism is gaining in popularity in the US. The article points out that by accusing Obama — who continues to be hugely popular — of being a socialist, right-wing pundits like Rush Limbaugh are actually helping to increase the popularity of socialism. As they say “the irony is rich”.

Finally, the Huffington Post has an interesting article “The Five Strands of Conservatism: Why the GOP is Unraveling“. The point of this article is that it is amazing is that the Republican Party managed to hold together all the different conservative groups for as long as they did, when many of these groups hold wholly incompatible beliefs.

For example, Libertarians believe that things like drugs and abortion are none of the government’s business, while social conservatives want more government control of these areas. How did the Republicans ever convince these two groups to vote for the same candidates?