Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Conspiracies

If you are wedded to the theory that Benghazi was some kind of State Department conspiracy and cover-up, then it seems you are not going to be capable of processing any new information about Benghazi without somehow fitting it into that pre-conceived narrative. So when the Obama administration captures one of the terrorists who led the Benghazi attack, this news cannot be taken at face value. It just can't be that the Obama administration has been diligently hunting down the attackers to bring them to justice. No, it must be that they are doing it to distract attention from the real Benghazi scandal, whatever it is, that the president's opponents are still hoping to prove. Or maybe they're doing it to give a boost to Hillary Clinton's book tour, allowing her to bask in the glory of finally capturing one of the terrorists, rather than face the tough questions about the real scandal, whatever it is.

It has gotten to the point where the president's critics, who have been trying so hard for years to push the narrative that the Obama administration has not been doing enough to hunt down terrorists, are now criticizing the administration for guess what? Yes, it has come to this: they are criticizing the president for hunting down and capturing terrorists.

Here's another corner the conspiracy theorists have painted themselves into. If you have bought the theory that the Obama administration has been engaged in a massive effort to subvert the Constitution, take power from the states, destroy our freedoms, and dictate every aspect of our personal lives, then it seems you can't help reacting to the patent office's decision to revoke the trademark rights of the Washington Redskins football team, except by decrying this action as yet another example of the overreaching federal government taking away personal freedoms. (But I thought the patent and trademark office has the authority to decide what "writings and discoveries" are entitled to federal protection. It's actually written in the Constitution that the president's critics supposedly revere so much.)

Anyway, some of the conservatives who are now screaming about how invalidating the Redskins' trademark represents some kind of end to the American way of life might want to consider just what way of life is threatened by this action. Isn't it that way of life where we once casually threw around all kinds of derogatory terms for various ethnic groups? Isn't it the way of life of segregation and discrimination that these critics are showing nostagia for? Isn't it the whole structure of white supremacy that the Obama administration is threatening? If it's not that, somebody tell me just what American values are being threatened by a rule against trademarking ethnic slurs, because I have trouble understanding what else these critics could possibly be talking about.

In the meantime, I'm just going to celebrate the PTO's ruling by plastering the Redskins logo to this post, which I have cut and pasted from the team's website without authorization or compensation. May this shameful emblem of our racist history soon disappear. Good riddance.


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