One of the things the right wing likes to do is false equivalences. This ties into the so-called media’s propensity to report on “both sides” of a story even when there isn’t another side. If the Flat Earth Society held a press conference, our lame-stream media would dutifully report “the Flat Earth Society today presented scientific proof that the Earth was flat. Other opinions differ.” Err, except it’s not an opinion, the Earth is *round*. Or at least sorta ovaloid.
So anyhow, a lot of us have pointed out that the Teabaggers and their poster child, Michelle Bachmann, are, to put it bluntly, batshit crazy. I mean, what else can you say about people who go around ranting “keep your government hands off my Medicare”?! So the teabaggers fire back and say that calling them crazy is exactly the same as calling Barrack Obama a nigger.
Uh, excuse me? Err… yes, Barrack *is* black. And that matters… why? In the meantime, the fact that Michelle Bachmann is nuttier than a bag of peanutsdoes matter. Saying that President Obama has curly hair is focusing on something irrelevant to his ability to perform the duties of the Presidency. Saying that Michelle Bachmann has crazy ideas utterly divorced from reality is focusing on something very relevant indeed to her ability to perform the duties of the Presidency. To say that calling attention to the color of the President’s skin is exactly the same as calling attention to Michelle Bachmann’s tenuous connection with reality is like comparing the fact that Charles Manson is a murderous creep to the fact that President Obama has big ears. The former fact — that Charlie is a deranged lunatic who wants to kill people — is quite important in making a decision about what his proper fate should be. The size of the President’s ears… uhm, what does that got to do with anything?
Yet the Republican Party commissars keep spitting out these false equivalencies, and the lamestream media dutifully reports “Democrats claim that Michelle Bachmann is crazy, while Republicans point out that Obama has dark skin” as if those are equivalent statements. They’re not. One statement directly addresses Bachmann’s fitness for office. The other is irrelevant to anybody except racists and bigots. And you’d think that people would quit falling for these false equivalencies, but, alas, 50% of all people are below average, and average ain’t so smart nowadays…
This post originally appeared at Badtux the Snarky Penguin.