Ever since she helped break the Groundswell story, Robert Stacy McCain keeps writing about Karoli Kuns with special loathing and intense psychological projection. Why does he make such an effort to propagandize against her? Why does he want his readers to hate her so much that he tells ridiculous lies about her? Let us examine his latest vile and poisonous post for clues.
One might write an entire book about the perverse mind of Karoli Kuns, whose attitude toward Republicans can best be understood by studying Pol Pot’s attitude toward opponents of the Khmer Rouge. There is no standard of decency Karoli Kuns recognizes as limiting the falsehoods she writes about anyone who doesn’t vote Democrat. For her, the destruction of Republicans is an end that justifies any means.
Karoli Kuns wakes up every morning and eats a bowl of Evil Flakes for breakfast, with a hot cup of dishonesty. She then peddles vile lies all day and into the night, before going to sleep to dream of the despicably hateful falsehoods she’ll tell tomorrow. If we occasionally notice some heinous wrong she has done today, it doesn’t mean she didn’t do worse yesterday, and she’ll certainly try to do worse tomorrow.
Atrocity accusations, hyperbolic inflations, demonization and dehumanization… This is meta-propaganda. Where do these techniques come from? Oh, yes, they are all part of Alvin and Heidi Toffler’s six tools for managing perception. McCain is trying to prevent any fair reading of Karoli’s actual body of work, which is well-researched and hardly the eliminationist screed that McCain has tried to project on her. McCain links to her Twitter account throughout the post. Perhaps he wants his readers to go bother her, or better yet just block her, so they will not commit the dangerous thoughtcrime of reading what she has to say. Specifically, McCain is put-out by Karoli’s writing on the Groundswell story. We believe that McCain protests her Groundswell coverage far too much. Here, he attempts to dismiss the timeline she has put together showing how Groundswell created the IRS “scandal:”
ERMAGERD! Activity behind the scenes! Evil People Who Don’t Vote Democrat send emails and have weekly meetings!
These people have gone so far as to advocate free speech and the right to assemble and petition government for a redress of grievances — can’t Eric Holder do something to stop these extremists?
You see what I mean about Karoli Kuns? Her basic premise is the dishonest insinuation that there is something scandalous — something wrong, perhaps even criminal — about people opposing Obama’s policies.
You see what we mean about Robert Stacy McCain? His basic premise is that Groundswell has merely opposed President Obama’s policies when the truth is that Groundswell has manufactured controversies about policies that do not exist and positions that the president has never held. For instance, the president did not tell the IRS to give Tea Party groups special attention; instead, the IRS was simply enforcing the same laws and regulations that apply to liberal groups. Nevertheless, Groundswell held a late-night conference call with Republican members of Congress to demand they push this fake scandal as part of their “30-front war” against Obama and progressives. That’s their word for it: “war.” Perhaps McCain projects his own eliminationism on Karoli because he is actually the one who thinks liberals deserve extermination in a grand, final conflict of political ideologies? Given Groundswell’s rhetoric about destroying political enemies (PDF) and their actual efforts to destroy opposition through the courts (PDF), perhaps McCain is their perfect defender.
McCain is an absolutist. He polarizes readers by offering them a battleground of good and evil, with himself and his political friends as the former. Anyone who dares to assemble facts and timelines that debunk their paranoid claptrap is automatically assigned to the evil category and accused of trying to harm and exterminate conservatives. This is the sort of behavior we would expect from a prominent member of a religious cult, and in fact McCain is an avowed adherent of Ellen White, the “prophetess” of Seventh Day Adventism. One of the primary elements of cultist behavior is that acolytes spend a great deal of time and energy denying that their cult is a cult at all. When McCain denies that Groundswell is a conspiracy, he is again protesting too much.
We already know why McCain is defending Groundswell: the organization’s email list was maintained by Ali Akbar, his employer. Akbar also has a history of running fake Tea Party nonprofits that never even apply to the IRS for legal status, which makes McCain’s denialism perfectly understandable. His livelihood literally depends on this connection never gaining too much attention from a lazy mainstream press. It is much better for him that pundits wonder where the IRS story came from and shrug at the mystery, which is why he reacts so viscerally to Karoli answering Alex Seitz-Wald’s commentary on the IRS nothingburger. If mainstream media ever figured out that Groundswell is the scandal “Journolist” tried to be, then McCain’s boss might be subject to uncomfortable scrutiny and his blatant hypocrisy spotlighted.
But “why” is actually less important to understand here than “how.” McCain is trying to deflect attention to Groundswell by assassinating the character of people who write about it using the standard propaganda techniques of hate speech that we normally associate with fringe groups, cults, and tyrannical governments. He cannot provide any specific examples of Karoli’s alleged dishonesty, or her supposed hatred of Republicans, or her alleged desire to destroy and criminalize tea parties. Instead, he expects his audience to believe these assertions without evidence so they can hate her the way he pretends to be hated by her. That way, they will not have to confront the evidence she has presented.