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In regard to the Oslo massacre and the psychopath who committed it, a friend wrote the following on Facebook this morning
This description of the worldview of the Norwegian terrorist aligns perfectly with the worldview of the tea party and other extremist militant Republicans: “The police identified him as a right-wing fundamentalist Christian, while acquaintances described him as a gun-loving Norwegian obsessed with what he saw as the threats of multiculturalism and Muslim immigration.”
A quick, though hardly exhaustive, search of the web sites of major US hard rightwing blowhards (Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter) shows nothing so far on the massacre. Radio silence. But what happened in Oslo will in no way undermine the Tea Party world-view. Au contraire, it will no doubt reinforce it. This is likely to be their response: (1) Norway has strict gun control laws but Anders Behring Breivik still obtained his guns. Ergo, liberty-killing gun control laws do not work. When guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns. (2) Following from this, if those summer campers had all been armed, then the massacre would have never happened. Ergo, laws should be enacted obliging citizens not only to own a firearm but to carry it on them at all times. As for teenagers, if they can obtain drivers licenses and legally have sex at 16, why shouldn’t they be allowed to carry guns too? (3) Mr. Breivik was exasperated by Muslim immigration in Europe. The poor man was pushed over the edge by all those Muzlims and mosques in his midst. Ergo, if Muslim immigration had been stopped before it started and mosque construction banned—and why not Islam too while we’re at it?—, then the massacre would have never happened. Logical, no? (4) Following in this vein, Norway is a socialist country and with an elaborate liberty-killing welfare state. This also quite certainly caused Mr. Breivik to snap. Okay, we don’t approve of what he did but still. Ram socialism down people’s throats and bad stuff can happen. Socialism can cause massacres. Obviously. And you remember how Sweden has the highest suicide rate in the world? You see, socialism not only causes people to kill others but to kill themselves as well! Ergo, keep socialists out of power, get rid of welfare states, and normally upstanding, right-thinking conservatives like Mr. Breivik will not go crazy. And we will have fewer suicides to boot. (5) We note that Mr. Breivik, in massacring those young socialist campers, decapitated Norway’s future socialist elite. His act was of course regrettable. We do not condone it. Then again, what an interesting idea! Hmmm…
This will be the Tea Party GOP narrative, I guarantee it. As Tea Partiers live in an alternate reality, nothing, absolutely nothing, will shake their world-view one iota. While I’m thinking of it, one Tea Partier I know has reminded me (via email), when railing on against Obama and the Democrats, that “we are armed” (the “we” being Americans of his persuasion, who are the majority so he is convinced). He delights in recounting stories of his Glock pistol, no doubt thinking that I’ll be shocked, horrified, and indignant. Nah, it just confirms to me that he’s a nut. Now I think he may be dangerous too. Well, maybe not him personally—he is a good family man and has his law practice to think about—but his political-ideological milieu. It just takes one, après tout.
UPDATE: Roger Cohen, whom I’ve skewered on more than one occasion, has a good commentary on Anders Breivik and “his enablers,” on how his world-view overrlaps with the European-North American populist hard right. Maybe Cohen was inspired by my post :-)
2nd UPDATE: And then there’s this by Patrick Buchanan, who says that Anders Breivik may be evil but “may be right,” in his world-view if not in his acts.
3rd UPDATE: Glenn Beck, for his part, compares the massacred Labor Party campers to Hitler Youth.
4th UPDATE: Anne Applebaum, who is hardly a leftist, links the world-view of Anders Breivik with that of rightwing “illegitimists.”
5th UPDATE: From Al Jazeera English: Islamophobes distance themselves from Breivik.
6th UPDATE: NYT reporter/blogger Timothy Egan has a post on “A Madman and His Manifesto,” where he mentions, among other things, Glenn Beck’s web site The Blaze. As it happens, this post was linked to on The Blaze—which I hadn’t heard of and didn’t know was linked to Beck—on Tuesday. So that explains the exceptionally high number of hits on this post, not to mention some of the crazy Tea Partyish comments I got (a few of which were so crazy I had to trash them).
7th UPDATE: And there’s this op-ed by two Norwegian contributors on “A Blogosphere of Bigots.”
8th UPDATE: Now we learn that Anders Breivik purchased high-capacity gun clips from the US. But as the NRA will no doubt remind us, guns don’t kill people, people kill people…