The bell has tolled: The American Prospect has a hard-edged piece today on Larry Johnson’s rise and fall as a liberal hero. Alas, Johnson.
There’s a bit more to say, though. The problem wasn’t just that Larry went so hard for Hillary Clinton that he began crediting nasty right-wing smears against other candidates: A lot of other liberal bloggers fell into the same trap, to some extent or another, and indeed some of them did us the courtesy of swinging by and going apeshit in comments, where it at least jazzed up our otherwise creaky and threadbare act. The problem seems more in the fact that Johnson is the sort of guy who experiences argument as affront — one of those forceful but brittle people we’ve all encountered who, if you tell them they’re doing something that drives you crazy, will feel compelled to double down and do it even harder, just to prove (perhaps to themselves) that you can’t tell them what to say or do.
The Prospect piece covers Larry’s mongering of the Michelle Obama ‘whitey’ rumor, but even that isn’t such a big deal in itself. A lot of wack narratives and mudclot rumors were slung around during the Democratic primary this season, and as we’ve seen with Corrente, Talk Left, and most of the other heavy-hitting Clinton sites, folks have tended to forget their differences pretty quickly since June 3rd, when no doubt remained as to who would be the Democratic nominee. What’s become a bigger deal is that as the complaints and protests mounted against the bogus ‘whitey’ thing and other such anti-Obama rumoroids and memelets, Johnson upped the rancor. He kept it up even after Clinton suspended her campaign, and even now shows no sign of stopping. His advocacy is, in short, an activity no longer coupled to cause-and-effect, to a rational sense of outcome. It has become the obsessive work of a Clinton cargo cultist, a bitter-ender, a retailer of spite.
Johnson’s latest idée fixe has been an as-yet-unspecified scandal believed to be encoded in a JPEG scan of a copy of Obama’s birth certificate — a field of inquiry in which his efforts have exactly paralleled those of the far-right Freeper crazies. In fact you can read the former piece, a stupendously ding-whoop, yar-yar investigative cowflop emitted by Johnson’s co-blogger TexasDarlin, either at Johnson’s No Quarter site, or at Free Republic. A comparison of the comments at the two sites is guaranteed to make you wonder who’s on which side, and why. Try it and see if you don’t come away lightheaded yet crushingly sober. Who are these people?
An irony that often attends upon characters like Larry Johnson (i.e. spooks and related personality types) is that they can be genuinely stunned and hurt when opinion turns against them. The irony dwells in the fact that their professional-issue, otherwise adaptive touch of narcissism can lead them to engage in provocative, chaos-seeking behavior, firstly without realizing that they’re doing it, and secondly without realizing that they’re doing it specifically to make people react. Sometimes this leads to gems and riches, as when Johnson hilariously left cranky notes in David Brooks’s mailbox. Sometimes, though, it just makes you want to crawl under the bed until the yeek goes away. Note to Johnson: It’s dusty under here; please just stop.
Candy asked if we could fix Johnson’s Agent Flowbee hairdo, and Rightwingsnarkle and Paul G provided the following solutions (hair at right courtesy Donnie Osmond):
Also, if anyone’s in the mood to stare into the heart of the sun, there’s a movement building in the Clinton-or-else cargo cult that leaves behind even Lambert of Corrente, one of the most grudging of hatchet-buryers:
The prog-bloggers kept shouting: Go! Go! Leave us, Clintonistas! This is OUR party now. Get out out OUT!
So out we went.
And we ain’t coming back soon.
[...] We will not forgive those who bigot-baited us simply because we refuse to doublethink our way around the Lightbringer’s nonstop lies.
We have only one way to cleanse the party of Moulitsas, Stassinopoulos, Aravosis, Marshall, Obama, Axelrod, Plouffe, Dean, Brazile and all those other pieces of subhuman sewage. We must make sure that Obama fails — either in August (very unlikely) or in November (more likely) or, if need be, in his presidency.
After that, and only after that, comes unity. On our terms.