Thursday, June 05, 2014

Conservatives plumb new low in disgraceful attacks on Bergdahl, family

This is as miserable and sorry as they have ever been.  I'm sure they can find a way to dig deeper at some point, but for now... congratulations, assholes.  You've hit the depths of the Mariana Trench.

When an emotional Jani and Robert Bergdahl strode into the White House Rose Garden on Saturday to the share the emotional announcement by President Obama that their son, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl would be returning home after being held captive for five years by the Taliban, it's unlikely they could have foreseen that their family would soon be under  attack by the right-wing media, or that Robert Bergdahl would be depicted on Fox News as a possible terrorist sympathizer; mocked on national television as he awaited a reunion with his ailing son.

They couldn't have foreseen it because I don't think it's ever happened before. I don't think we've ever seen a dedicated media campaign to not only undermine a returning prisoner of war, but to also cast doubt onto the soldier's family; to portray them as un-American even as they prepare for their reunion.

Instead, Fox News has helped transform the prisoner swap involving Taliban detainees into "an increasingly vicious partisan issue," as Buzzfeed described the Republican decision to go into  relentless attack mode, complete with enlisted publicists and strategists, to subvert the return of an American POW.

It's symptomatic of a conservative media mini-mob that now obsessively politicizing everything, and does it all with the knob turned up to 11. 

There was no epithet left wanting, no smear unused.

(T)his was a typical headline from one right-wing site this week: "Bergdahl: From POW to POS?", while The Drudge Report condemned the soldier as a "rat." As blogger Charles Johnson noted, by Tuesday, conservatives at Hot Air and Breitbart had posted no less than 42 Bergdahl items/rants between them. 

On Fox, the debate over whether Bergdahl deserted his post had long ago been settled, so they quickly moved onto the next phase of the campaign, which was suggesting, without any proof, that the U.S. soldier was actually a Taliban sympathizer who might have fought against American forces. "Can you imagine if it turns out that he was actually collaborating," Brian Kilmeade wondered out loud on Fox.

They went after his father's beard, for fuck's sake.

That mindset begins to explain why Kilmeade talked about Bowe Bergdahl's father this way:
I mean, he says he was growing his beard because his son was -- because his son was in captivity. Your son's out now. If you really don't, no longer want to look like a member of the Taliban, you don't have to look like a member of the Taliban. Are you out of razors?
The phrase 'dripping with contempt' barely covers the tasteless attack Kilmeade launched against a father who'd just spent every day of the previous five years trying to secure his son's release. For Fox talkers, that human element is irrelevant.

Meanwhile, Fox contributor Laura Ingraham stressed "More revelations coming out about the left-wing father of Sergeant Bergdahl I mean, left wing doesn't even begin to describe him." So being 'left wing' means you should be mocked while you await your son's return from a Taliban prison?

Taking the cue from the douchebags in conservative media, the Republick politicians sprayed Axe all over themselves to try to mask the foul odor of their reeking hypocrisy.

Recall that Republican Senators John McCain and Kelly Ayotte were in favor of bringing Bergdahl home -- until President Obama achieved it. In December, Allen West sneered that the Obama wasn't working hard enough to recover Bergdahl because there were "no camera highlights in it for him"; now that Obama has done so, West says he should be impeached.

So for the ODS sufferers, it's a win-win.  They get to attack Obama for securing a POW's release when they would have been able to attack Obama for leaving a POW behind, or die in custody, if he had not acted.

There may never be a more disgraceful moment for Republicans and conservatives than how they have treated Bowe Bergdahl and his family.  Unfortunately for all of us, however, the worst conservatives in the nation are holding their state convention in Dallas this weekend, and we should expect a rousing game of "Hey, watch this!" from them.  A showdown between the Open Carry Texas goons and the RPT security team assigned to keep them out?  More Abortion Barbie posters?

Use you imagination.  How much lower can Texas Republicans go, with the bar now set in the gutter?  Wading into the sewer isn't beneath them, as they have shown us before.  Septic tank dive, anyone?

Update: Said with a bit more incredulousness than me.


Unknown said...

My favorite article on this was one on, which compares and contrasts Bergdahl's dad and Phil Robertson ("two bearded guys with strong religious affiliations").

Gadfly said...

I'd actually pay a few bucks to watch the Open Carry folks try to bring their guns into the state GOP convention.

PDiddie said...

The piece Katy references, for those with strong constitutions (of the gastrointestinal variety and not the parchment one).

Steve: Even if they all killed each other, it would still be a shocking, disgraceful display of the worst right-wing extremism in the country.

Everybody in Texas loses if these morons keep spinning out of control.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Ha, the right-wing ghouls can always sink lower. Conservatism is a pit of unending horror. There is no floor to their sickness.

As to Bergdahl, not only will he have horrible time readjusting to life he's going to be hounded by right-wingers assuming he doesn't end up in prison before that.

War destroys So Much, but conservatives do love it so...

Gadfly said...

I refused to resist the urge to comment on that Clash piece, noting:

The terms of use here say: "We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism ... " Really? There's comments here calling for all Muslims to be killed. Both the piece itself and some of the comments skirt the edges of racism. Puhleeze.