The Dingbat Right

ding·bat 
1. NORTH AMERICANAUSTRALIAN a stupid or eccentric person.
2. a typographical device other than a letter or numeral (such as an asterisk), used to signal divisions in text or to replace letters in a euphemistically presented vulgar word.

The Dingbat Right have always been with us but the sane among us rarely dealt with them. The internet gave them a platform and social media gave them a megaphone.  It’s done the same for me but on my good days I’m relatively sane. Hopefully, this is one of those days.

In my youth, the John Birch Society personified the Dingbat Right. They were against water fluoridation believing it to be an attempt by the Commies at mind control or some such shit. I’ve never been clear about that: coherence was not the Birchers strong suit. They were also convinced that General President Eisenhower was a dupe of the Communist conspiracy and that Chief Justice Warren was a card-carrying member of CPUSA instead of that currently extinct species: a liberal Republican.

The Birchers are still around but they don’t attract much notice: it’s crowded on the Dingbat Right. They had something of a renaissance during the Trump regime. Anyone surprised to hear that? I thought not.

There’s even a direct link between the John Birch Society and the proto-Trumper Tea Party movement. One of the JBS’s founding members was Fred Koch. You’ve probably heard of his sons, David and Charles. The Kochsuckers are everywhere.

Bob Dylan wrote a song about the Birchers:

There are too many members of the modern Dingbat Right to name them all. I wrote about Tucker the Fucker yesterday. His latest thing is whipping up the Dingbat rank and file to confront maskers:

In primetime on Monday night the Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed requiring children to wear masks outdoors was “child abuse”.

Carlson also said “the only people who wear masks outside are zealots and neurotics” and said seeing a vaccinated person wear a mask outdoors was like “watching a grown man expose himself in public”.

“Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart,” he said.

“Call the police immediately, contact child protective services. Keep calling until someone arrives. What you’re looking at is abuse, it’s child abuse and you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it.”

Tucker Carlson is the worst kind of Dingbat, a phony who whips the genuine Dingbats into a frenzy.  It’s in his job description: Fox News is the media HQ of Dingbat Right Nation.

Former Senator and current CNN talking head Rick Santorum is a lifelong member of the Dingbat Right:

And this guy won eleven primaries and caucuses in the 2012 GOP presidential race including, of all places, Oklahoma. Oy just oy.

The most sinister bits of dingbattery involve attempts to keep the election Big Lie alive. In Arizona, the lege authorized what amounts to a third or fourth audit of the 2020 presidential election. The company in charge has one of dingbattiest names I’ve ever heard: Cyber Ninjas. I am not making this up.

The Dingbat Right isn’t big on policy. They’re culture warriors at heart. They’ve somehow managed to top themselves with the Joe Biden Wants To Ban Beef mishigas. Regular Guy Joe is a burger grabber? Please. He’s warming up the grill for Independence Day as I write this.

TPM’s Kate Riga has a great piece about the origins of this nonsense. It all started in the British tabloid, The Daily Mail. The Dingbat Right is ascendant in the United Kingdom as well. They were behind Brexit and the big-haired buffoon who pushed it and later became Prime Minister. Come on down, Boris Johnson. Hmm, I wonder if Bozza has Mad Cow disease…

The only thing I like about the beef beef is that it makes me think of the moment in the 1984 Democratic campaign when Fritz Mondale asked Gary Hart, “Where’s the beef?”

That dig at Hart’s lack of policy specifics was based on a Wendy’s ad campaign that turned into a board game that nobody played:

I prefer this Simpsonian take on that fleeting campaign kerfuffle:

By 1987, that quip took on a whole new meaning but since this post is about the Dingbat Right, I’m not going there. Neither Mondale nor Hart were dingbats, after all.

That concludes this brief tour of Dingbat Right Nation. It made me think of All In The Family and Archie Bunker. Archie called his sweet but ditzy wife Edith a dingbat and his pompous pinko son-in-law Mike, a meathead. Archie defined meathead as “dead from the neck up.” That certainly describes the Dingbat Right. If only they’d stifle.

6 thoughts on “The Dingbat Right

  1. anynameleft says:

    I prefer the Chad Mitchell Trio’s song about the John Birch society.

  2. H-Bob says:

    “There’s even a direct link between the John Birch Society and the proto-Trumper Tea Party movement.” The Tea Party was the John Birchers’ pre-existing plan for takeover of the establishment Republicans or forming a new party. Although the Tea Party came to national prominence in 2008, around 1998 (about 10 years earlier), a “Tea Party” was formed in Glendale, Colorado (an enclave within Denver), which used the same name and slogans. I was acquainted with one of their grey eminences (who was right wing and had Bircher family members) and he even said his group followed those “old poorly mimeographed” documents.

  3. H-Bob says:

    BTW, since a strip club owner was one of the principal backers, they avoided the “Teabag” terminology that Jon Stewart skewered.

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