Clueless AND Shameless Is A Bad Combo

***UPDATED*** (see end of post)

Good GRIEF. First Cheney, then Ginni Thomas, and now, Jim Tim Proffitt.

Jim Tim Proffitt? Who the heck is Jim Tim Proffitt? He’s the Rand Paul supporter who stomped on the neck of a woman protesting Paul.

And now, in the great tradition of prior prominent wingnut examples, Mr. Proffitt would like his victim to apologize to him.

Oy. In their story, TPMDC notes that the very sensitive Mr. Proffitt is not merely a Rand Paul supporter who just couldn’t take any more from those awful people who don’t agree with him, he’s actually the Bourbon County coordinator for the Rand Paul Campaign. Or at least he was, until that news got out, at which point, the Paul campaign promptly canned his jackbooted ass. Because, ya know, Paul wouldn’t want too come off too Joe Miller-y. Heaven forbid, etc.

Although it quite obviously takes both balls of steel and a head of stone to be able to demand (or even expect) an apology from someone you shot/stomped/married the sexual harrasser of, there’s no denying such demands are becoming a trend among GOTeaParty types. That type of obliviousness-cum-chutzpah is a recipe for disaster. And it would be more than a little scary in any group.

But when you find it in the angriest, loudest, most energized segment of the electorate right before an election, at a critical juncture in our country’s history, it’s not far from outright terrifying. How far, after all, is this:

From this?

Sara Robinson says: not far. In a follow up to her year-old, pause-giving piece on fascist movements (and how to recognize them), she digs up a quote from a member of academé in Germany during the 1940s:

In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’

And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.

…And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves;

…Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing). You remember those early meetings of your department in the university when, if one had stood, others would have stood, perhaps, but no one stood. A small matter, a matter of hiring this man or that, and you hired this one rather than that. You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.

Compromised. I hope we are not yet. But stories like this one don’t give me a ton of hope.

3 thoughts on “Clueless AND Shameless Is A Bad Combo

  1. Lars,

    Well written and needing to be put out there by “someone”. It certainly gives me pause for thought as a former, active member of move-On. Read Martin Rees’s book “Our Final Hour”. It takes no leap of imagination to go from “outside” terrorism to American terrorism.

    Rees: In Our Final Hour, Rees predicts that one of the two following outcomes is inevitable for humanity:
    Human extinction, as a result of the runaway effects of new technology (e.g. nanotechnology) or uncontrolled scientific research; terrorist or fundamentalist violence;

    I had to stop reading the book.
    Mom

  2. Again…you’ve done a great job of putting those pieces together. I want you to know, that while I don’t often comment on your blog, I do visit and read and appreciate your thoughtful work. Keep it up!

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