In recent weeks, R.S. McCain’s mask of elder-statesman sanity has slipped off to reveal the insecure failure underneath. Brett Kimberlin’s lawsuit has McCain desperately lashing out against random targets in his blog court, where he imagines he can cancel out his defamation of Kimberlin by defaming additional people. McCain spent the last week insisting that we are a Washington, DC-area woman named Melissa Brewer just because someone told him it was true. Yet Melissa is not Xenophon Gryllus, and has never been. This is not the first time that McCain believed something stupid, and kept repeating it as the truth, just because he read it on the internet.

On this flimsiest of pretexts, McCain spent the entire weekend demonizing Brewer and channeling an elaborate, ridiculous narrative about her supposed leadership of an imaginary liberal conspiracy. By combining it with various other ridiculous conspiracy theories into a single Gordian Knot of blogstupid, McCain hopes you will give up in despair of ever untangling his fabrication.

There is no “connection” between Melissa Brewer and “Team Kimberlin.” McCain and friends invented “Team Kimberlin” to explain their harassment of Bill Schmalfeldt for the crime of blogging about them, but revisionist historian McCain wants to believe in “Team Kimberlin” so badly that he will keep repeating the phrase until you believe in it, too.

See how easy this is? Not only is Brewer “involved” with Kimberlin, this involvement somehow runs through an activist movement that contacts Rush Limbaugh’s advertisers. McCain never actually explains this “linkage” from StopRush to Brett Kimberlin, and he cannot do so because there is no link. Kimberlin has never been involved in StopRush. All these people are simply on the wrong side of the political divide from McCain, so they are naturally all working together against him — and every other conservative on Twitter. It’s a conspiracy, see???

“Twitter Gulag” is an invention of right wing idiots trying to explain why their accounts get suspended. Supposedly, there exists a central database where liberals gather and scheme to have their enemies purged from the social network. For some reason, Melissa has been one of the primary scapegoats for this bizarre narrative. Nearly two years ago, she published a list of accounts she had blocked, incurring the wrath of an anti-abortion zealot named Jill Guidry who was on the list. Now tweeting as @Cajun_Fury, Guidry began calling Brewer “Twitler” and tried to inspire violence against her. Brewer found herself being stalked and photographed, with Guidry publishing a photo of Melissa and her old addresses. These activities got Guidry’s @moronicquotes account permanently suspended by Twitter for violating their terms of service, which of course PROVES!!! that Brewer is secretly conspiring with other liberals to shut down conservative voices. Or that Twitter has rules. Obviously, McCain prefers the first explanation.

An example of how stupid this is: our own @x3n0ph0n Twitter account has been temporarily suspended twice for “aggressive following.” That is a problem with Twitter, which encourages new users to follow other people, but whose automated algorithms will suspend your account if you follow too many people too fast. When this same Catch-22 resulted in a temporary suspension of @moronicquotes, Guidry screamed that Twitter was taking part in the liberal Gulag conspiracy to shut her up. Who knew that we liberals were so powerful? Who knew that we were responsible for writing Twitter’s algorithms? And yet we have fallen victim to this “liberal plot” ourselves.

The high point for “Twitter Gulag” conspiracy theories happened early in 2012, when Chris Loesch of was put in “Twitter jail” by the social network’s software after an extensive flurry of reply messages to some liberals who had stirred him up. Insisting that these same evil liberals had colluded to “mass spamblock” his account, Loesch briefly became the poster boy for this particular conspiracy theory. But it is not at all clear that Twitter’s “block and report as spam” option works in quite the way they imagine it does: we have seen conservatives in our reply stream telling people to use it on @x3n0ph0n, but their activities have never succeeded in suspending the account.

We should also note that Guidry appears to be the biggest single driver of the Xenophon-is-Melissa faildox. The arrival of this fiasco in McCain’s blogging is further evidence of just how much he relies on lunatics as primary sources. We also note that Mandy Nagy (@Liberty_Chick), who is probably the single most important source of the conspiracy theory where Neal Rauhauser works for Brett Kimberlin, appears in these tweets. Ironically, Nagy seems to understand how listing the accounts you have blocked on Twitter can result in those people inventing tinfoil hat conspiracy theories, though of course her conspiracy theories are all true because she is a conservative:

When McCain says that StopRush and Kimberlin have the same enemies, what he really means (but cannot admit) is that the enemies of Kimberlin have been trying to tie him to StopRush (and vice-versa) since at least May of 2012. With an assist from Nagy, McCain’s friend Lee Stranahan was the point man in this effort. A Florida man named Matt Edelstein (@Shoq) was the primary target. By playing a free association game, Stranahan tried to link Kimberlin to Van Jones, OFA, and President Obama. Ambitious? Yes, but also weak and silly. Apparently McCain thinks he can do better.

Titling a post “The #Shutuppery Files: ‘Twitter Gulag’ #StopRush Crew Joined Team Kimberlin,” on Sunday McCain laid out his reasoning:

  • Melissa Brewer tweeted with Bill Schmalfeldt, so she must be working with him as Kimberlin’s paid stooge
  • She encouraged anyone who felt threatened by the kind of behavior she had experienced to contact law enforcement, therefore she has tried to get conservatives arrested for their beliefs
  • She used the #occupy hashtag, which proves…well, something
  • She deleted her @subculturestuff account to escape stalkers and harassment, therefore she must be guilty of…um, McCain cannot actually name the crime, so he digs up ancient history and revises it instead

Melissa Brewer was arrested (though not convicted) on a Craigslist prostitution charge some years ago. Never mind that McCain’s friend Lee Stranahan actually pimped his own wife to strangers for years: Stranahan converted to conservatism in March of 2012, and of course this makes him a better person than Melissa, who is to be damned for being a dirty whore because she is liberal. And McCain, who lives at the Hagerstown, Maryland compound of the Seventh Day Adventist church, is the perfect Christian to segregate the good whores from the evil ones, is he not? It is as easy as figuring out what their politics are.

We note that StopRush was a spontaneous reaction to Limbaugh’s three-day tirade of abuse and slander against Sandra Fluke in which he called her a slut, prostitute, and worse. On one level, the advent of “Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin” in May of 2012 seems to us like an attempt to counter the success of StopRush. On another level, the obsessive yapping of Melissa Brewer’s haters, who all share a deep-seated dislike of birth control, explains how “Twitter Gulag” came to be confused with StopRush. But the only level you really need to stand on is the one where R.S. McCain is being sued for defamation, and desperately needs you to believe that he is the real victim in the situation, so he constructs bizarre castles in the air to prove it.

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