I realize there are nutjobs all up and down the political spectrum. But it really seems like the right side of that spectrum plays host to a disproportionate number of individuals who are truly, deeply psychologically disturbed.
We've already seen one example this week, whom I'll refrain from discussing just so as not to risk fanning the flames any more.
Another recent example of real unhingedness comes from an unsurprising source, Keith Burgess-Jackson. I'd actually stopped reading him quite some time ago, for whatever reason (i.e., nothing in particular). Even then he seemed to be losing hold of his sanity. But after taking a look at his Anal Philosopher site, clicking through from a post by Brian Leiter, I was taken aback by just how much Keith seems to have deteriorated.
To put it frankly, Keith seems to be obsessed with Prof. Leiter. On the front page at Anal Philosopher, Leiter's name shows up no fewer than forty-two times.
"Brian Leiter and other America-haters ought to read this speech..."
"Leiter is a punk"
"I'd like to express my gratitude to all those who fought—and are fighting—for this country, its people, its way of life, and its ideals. Wouldn't it be nice to hear Brian Leiter express a similar sentiment..."
"Wouldn't it be nice to see Brian Leiter engage Rove's arguments for a restrained judiciary?"
"Wouldn't it be nice to see Brian Leiter, Michael Sprague, or any of the other philosophers at the Philosophy of Biology blog engage this essay...?"
"I'm delighted to see a semi-literate and semi-civil discussion of the issues ... You'll never get anything like that on Brian Leiter's blog."
Etc. etc. etc. It's quite unseemly. I actually almost feel sorry for Keith, because I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that I think he is not well. It's kind of sad to watch someone having a public melt-down. But Keith is still enough of an asshole that he undercuts any sympathy one might have for him.
And finally, speaking of assholes, the sociopathic Bill O'Reilly has, as most of you have probably already heard, invited terrorists to have at San Francisco:
On Tuesday's version of O'Reilly's syndicated radio program, "The Radio Factor," the host vented his exasperation at two ballot measures that San Franciscans were in the process of approving on election day.I think Keith Burgess-Jackson, who entertained the possibility of annihilating an entire nation ("President Bush should make it clear to the North Koreans that if they attack the United States, their people, their culture, and their land will be incinerated. It will be as if they never existed.") has found a soulmate.
If city voters were intent on voting to oppose military recruitment in public schools and to ban handgun ownership, O'Reilly reasoned, then maybe it should be cut off from federal dollars. To illustrate his point, O'Reilly riffed on a vision of a San Francisco nation-state:
"Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead," O'Reilly went on. "And if al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead...
"Why should we protect you from al Qaeda and terrorists if you're going to disrespect the military...?"
UPDATE: O'Reilly, responding to the angry reaction to his comments on the part of San Franciscoans:
HOST: First question, do you stand by what you said?World War III?
O’REILLY: Of course I do. I mean, it’s ridiculous. We’re in World War III and San Francisco votes against military recruiting in schools. It’s insane. So, you know, people have to live with their actions ... There are dozens of people from my neighborhood on Long Island are now dead because of 9/11, and you people are telling me you’re not going to allow recruiting out there? Hey, it’s serious, and I think you guys need a wake-up call — not you guys, the people who voted against the military recruiting.
... I love the city, it’s a great city, but if you’re going to work against the United States of America in the war on terror — the city of San Francisco chooses to do that — then you have no right to federal funding. Believe me, if I were President Bush, I’d be standing in the middle of Union Square telling you that.
...What I said isn’t controversial. What I said needed to be said. I’m sitting here and I’m looking at a city that has absolutely no clue about what the world is. None. You know, if you had been hit on 9/11 instead of New York, believe me, you would not have voted against military recruting. Yet the left-wing, selfish, Land of Oz philosophy that the media and the city politicians have embraced out there is an absolute intellectual disgrace.