Monday, June 18, 2012

The mainstreaming of crazy on the right.

Stephen Bainbridge is a law professor at UCLA and a conservative blogger. I've had some run-ins with him in the past, but he never struck me as an Erick Erickson/Jim Hoft-type wingnut.

Then I read this.
Long before liberals like Drum decided to make climate change their latest way of turning the economy over to the government, we conservatives knew all about the "Greenhouse effect."
My go-to wingnut parody on climate change is calling it a "librul conspiracy," and there you have Bainbridge parroting that, practically verbatim.

Just think about that phrase, "turning the economy over to the government" for a minute. What does that even mean? I assume Bainbridge is talking about cap and trade, which was cooked up by 
George Soros and Al Gore the George H.W. Bush administration.

But conspiracies aside, this kind of thinking is still deeply warped. Governments set environmental policies. Climate change is an environmental matter. So the idea that governments shouldn't have anything to do with climate change strikes me as more than a little nutty. Unless, of course, you think climate change is a librul conspiracy.

I can't really explain how this happened, but at some point, Republicans like Bainbridge must've decided somewhere along the way (perhaps when Obama won the presidency with a greater percentage of the popular vote than Reagan tallied in 1980), "Ah screw it. Even if it's not true, it's for a good cause," and just went the Full Limbaugh. Either that, or they were always nuts and decided it was okay to let their freak flag fly in the Teabagger era.

Bainbridge says he was kidding. The problem with this kind of snark, coming from someone on the right, is it's simply impossible to distinguish it from actual conservative commentary. So they should probably avoid snark.

On Twitter, he said it was snark. But on his blog, he writes,
Of course, while I was mostly just being sarcastic, it is also the case that one could plausibly believe that climate change is real, anthromporphic, and being used by liberals to expand government control over markets.
"Mostly." Yikes.

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