For the longest time I was aware of John Cole (site owner of Balloon Juice) having decided he could no longer stomach the Republican party, as I was a frequent commentor there after his epiphany was announced. I met my guy on that site and I admired John's honesty in assessing the lockstep backwardness that was occurring inside his political world.
But, it had been years since I had heard of anything going on at Little Green Footballs, a site I vehemently loathed because of the mudpit atmosphere the normal commentariat partook in. I let it roll off my list of things to acknowledge and for years it stayed away, far away, in the deep recesses of my mind, complete with a signpost that said "Dead End". I thought nothing of Little Green Footballs until this morning when a Facebook friend of mine posted a link to a very sensible post and I thought: "What's going on here? This is not the Little Green Footballs I remember!"
Well, suffice it to say, LGF has gone through a vast transformation from the bullfighting arena I remember. I did some research and as it turns out, I was completely unaware that site owner Charles Johnson had gone through his own John Cole-type Epiphany listing the numerous greivances he had with the Republican Party in 2009:
I am very glad to see this. I am going to keep this list and make it useful. There are far too many people who seem to want to give the "conservative party" a pass when the party isn't conservative at all. These folks spout "less government" and then set out on a witch hunt to force women to give up control of their reproductive health. That's not smaller government. Charles Johnson (and John Cole, whom we'll get to in a moment) are right. This crap needs to end.1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, Pat Buchanan, etc.)2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)3. Support for throwing women back into the Dark Ages, and general religious fanaticism (see: Operation Rescue, anti-abortion groups, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, the entire religious right, etc.)4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.)5. Support for homophobic bigotry (see: Sarah Palin, Dobson, the entire religious right, etc.)6. Support for anti-government lunacy (see: tea parties, militias, Fox News, Glenn Beck, etc.)7. Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech (see: Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Birthers, creationists, climate deniers, etc.)8. A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech (see: Hot Air, Free Republic, Ace of Spades, etc.)9. Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond simply criticizing radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide (see: Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, etc.)10. Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarre conspiracy theories (see: witch doctor pictures, tea parties, Birthers, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, World Net Daily, Newsmax, and every other right wing source)
After posting the list above, I decided that I wanted to pair it with John Cole's conversion and went looking for it online. I not only found one of his original posts from 2005 where he stated he was leaving the Republican party, but I also found some wonderful comments he made on Crooked Timber. as well:
No sooner did I post these bits on my Facebook this morning than a friend of a friend made a statement about how Republicans are no more egregious than Democrats (the Both Sides Do It argument) and I had these quotes at the ready. Furthermore, this wasn't words from a Democrat observing Republicans' bad behavior, these were quotes from those who once were THEM! I think the posts are very effective and I plan to keep them close at hand and use them again, and again, and again... until, perhaps we can open their eyes, one person at a time. I'm not going to count on this happening, but, it's worth a try at least, isn't it?