A Note on Internet Decorum: “Fascism”

Consider this post an investment in the future, for the next time Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin say something particularly absurd.

There’s a special election today in New York’s 26th district, for the seat vacated by the “Craigslist Congressman” — and the Democrats look likely to win. Query whether this can be a referendum on the Republican Party’s increasingly unpopular plan to replace Medicare with bulk grants to the states. But more importantly, the entire ordeal spawned a pretty funny parody site, made to mirror Republican Jane Corwin’s campaign site, with the text changed… just a little bit (“Together we can make delicious soup from the bones of the poor.”)

Detracting from the site, though, is its selective indulgence in the “all Republicans are fascists” trope (“Heil Corwin!”). That part is neither funny, nor smart, and detracts from the rhetorical high ground the Republicans have largely ceded to us since January of 2008. We can be funny, incisive, and compelling without dredging up tired slurs. Most of the time, we do just that, but we should in all cases.

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