We Lose Because We Don't Just Lie Like the Right Does:
So the Rude Pundit was a-perusin' Ann Coulter's latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "the dissonant squawks of a twitchy, mite-ridden cockatiel quickly losing its plumage") in which she compares the media's reaction to Oslo terrorist Anders Bervik to its treatment of Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, and this line jumped out at him: "Despite reports that Hasan shouted 'Allahu Akbar!' as he gunned down his fellow soldiers at a military medical facility in 2009, only one of seven [New York] Times articles on Hasan so much as mentioned that he was a Muslim." And she claims, "Of course, that story ran one year after Hasan's arrest."
Huh. That doesn't seem right, the Rude Pundit thought, considering how often he had heard and seen Hasan's religion referenced since the November 5, 2009 attack. So, using the magic of the Nexis machine, which Coulter often cites for her "research," as well as the Googling thingamabob, the Rude Pundit quickly found the following:
There was the November 6, 2009 article that says, flat out, that Hasan was Muslim, as in he wondered "if he could get out of the Army before his contract was up, because of the harassment he had received as a Muslim." The article also mentions the mosque he attended. That'd be the day after the shooting, not a year. There was the November 9, 2009 article that ties Hasan to Islamic extremism. That'd be four days after the attack, not a year. There was a January 16, 2010 article by Elizabeth Bumiller which repeatedly references Hasan's religious views (by name) as the reason he went off the deep end. That'd be about three months after the attacks, not a year. You get the idea. The Rude Pundit worked hard and couldn't find an article that did not, in some way, refer to Hasan as Muslim.
In other words, Ann Coulter wrote a complete and utter lie, but it is the lie that is the foundation of her entire column. And you can bet, like many other lies she's spewed out like Sean Hannity's semen under the desk in his office, she will repeat it endlessly and it will probably show up in a book (if it hasn't already).
But the point here is not, as it often is, about Ann Coulter's finely-honed batshittery. No, it's about what we are actually up against in the rhetorical battle over the soul of the nation.
They lie, this awful, destructive right wing. Often. And repeatedly. And they lie with such brazenness and bravado that it's as if lies are steel-toed boots kicking in the teeth of truth. How do you fight that? Because, from experience, the Rude Pundit can tell you that you can say the truth is the greatest fuck you'll ever have and most conservatives would say they'd rather just masturbate.
Another example: the Rude Pundit was driving at night down here in Red State America, and he found Dennis Miller's radio show while scanning through the stations. Miller has never actually been funny, even when he was presumptively a less paranoid libertarian, but at least he sounded smart. Now he's just pompous and dull. A caller starts talking about raising taxes on the wealthy and the caller says something like, "Obama doesn't say that he's not raising taxes on himself, he doesn't say that he doesn't make enough money to pay higher taxes. It's everyone else that has to."
What Miller should have done was to say, "Whoa, whoa, there, Cletard, at every speech and press conference about the debt ceiling, Obama has said that 'people like me' have to pay their fair share. That motherfucker's rich, so he wants to raise taxes on himself." See? It's the truth and it's the exact opposite of what Cletard believed.
No, instead Miller agreed with Cletard and then blathered on about how any money Obama has ever made has been from the government, how we have supported him his whole life, how he always got breaks from people like Rezko, blah, blah, blah, never mentioning that he was a best-selling author, no, just making him seem like another black guy on welfare who wants to steal from rich whitie.
We good liberals look at this nonsense, recoil at the lies, and think, "Well, of course, it's just isolated. Most people don't actually believe that."
But the thing is that many people do. Many people will take Ann Coulter's word on the Times's alleged denial of Hasan's faith. Many people will merely dutifully parrot Miller on how Obama is taxing other wealthy Americans.
This land has abandoned the supremacy of facts, even at a time when almost all facts are quite literally at our fingertips. No, it's too, too difficult to care when you can merely become another paying audience member at the puppet show, not giving a damn if the wooden toys are real or not.