There's a new meme running loose in the right-wing blogosphere, that being that, given that some of Cindy Sheehan's family members have allegedly criticized her public anti-war stance, she clearly has no credibility and can safely be ignored as a complete crackpot.
Yes, the new meme takes the position that, if those close to you suddenly start edging away, well, that can only mean that you are a raving lunatic for whom scorn and derision are the only appropriate responses.
How soon the right wing forgets.
It seems like only yesterday that previously-loyal Bush foot-soldiers were fleeing the camp, painting a less-than-flattering picture of his Holy Chimpiness. There was John DiIulio, whose career was encapsulated delightfully here:
Boy is Jesus freak and loves governor. Boy helps governor get elected president. Boy works for the president. Boy quits in disgust. Boy vents to a reporter, calling his former employers "Mayberry Machiavellis". White House snaps its fingers. Kneecaps are broken. Boy recants and issues bizarre apology.
Apparently, though, having a loved one turn on you was in no way interpreted as a denunciation of your policies, at least if you're George Bush. No, the proper response was to circle the wagons and attack DiIulio as a traitorous, disloyal scoundrel out for political gain. How convenient.
Then there was Richard A. Clarke who, according to his Wikipedia entry, "provided national security advice to four U.S. presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, consulting on issues of intelligence and terrorism, from 1973 to 2003." Yow ... those are some pretty serious street creds, aren't they? So when Clarke took the Bush administration to task for their incompetence related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the denizens of right-wing Wankerville stood behind Clarke, accepting that this selfless act of principle could only mean that the Bush administration really screwed the pooch on that one.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA! Just kidding, of course.
Seriously, again from Wikipedia:
After Clarke appeared before the 911 Commission, his detractors attacked his credibility, suggesting that he was too partisan a figure, and charging that he exaggerated perceived failures in the Bush Administration' counter terrorism policies while exculpating the former Clinton administration from its perceived shortcomings. According to Knight-Ridder, the White House tried to discredit Clarke in a move described as "shooting the messenger." New York Times reporter Paul Krugman was more blunt, calling the attacks on Clarke "a campaign of character assassination."
And who can forget Republican Ohio senator George Voinovich, who apparently found some principle that no one in the Bush administration was using to criticize the selection of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the U.N.:
Voinovich was outspoken Thursday in his opposition to Bolton's nomination, suggesting it might not pass the full Senate, where it needs a simple majority of 51 for approval.
He said he plans to vote against the undersecretary of state for arms control and would encourage other senators to do likewise.
"I have every faith in my colleagues," Voinovich said. "No one's really excited about him going to the United Nations."
"It is my opinion that John Bolton is the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be," said Voinovich, a former Ohio governor.
Not surprisingly, Voinovich's criticism of Bolton was used only as evidence that some Republicans should keep their freakin' mouths shut.
So there you have the new rules for discourse in the right-wing blogosphere. If those close to liberals turn their backs on them, it clearly means that those liberals are loony wingnuts. If the same happens for conservatives, well, Jesus, it just proves what sort of disloyal sleazebags some people can be. I mean, really.
The right-wing blogosphere. Their motto: "We have rhetorical principles. And if you don't like them, well, we have others."