So this may not be news to you if you follow Pharyngula, but its a delicious feast of irony with a side of, yep, more irony. Its a blog that follows the development of Mr. Cronon, a professor who apparently had the gall to mention how the Republican party in Wisconsin is working against its history [combating the progressive laws their party helped pass] and, in the ultimate irony, following the lead of a Governor whose leadership style closely resembles another famed Wisconsinite, Joe Mcarthy. If you have the time, read it all and follow the links. If you don't, well who the fuck do you think you are? This is HISTORY here! After the publication of Cronon's OpEd article in the NYTIMES, now the Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature are using laws they apparently disagree with on principle [using request of information legislation to grab Cronon's emails from his university account, while passing a bill in conflict to the Open-Meeting laws in Wisconsin] to dig for dirt on him.
Another interesting revelation of Cronon's research is that he reveals a major interest in this legislation, a group called ALEC, who has been drafting "hypothetical" legislation for conservatives. This bill is apparently part of this groups activities, as was the controversial "anti-immigration" legislation in Arizona. The best part is, the groups website is now down! Now we really can't see what these people are up to; not that we could before, you either have to be a Republican Legislator [and get vetted before being allowed into the cool kids club] or be a wealthy private contributer, which one would assume also comes with a vetting.
All in all, non of this surprises me. The "radicalism" [and I hate to use that word that has gotten around more than Sarah Palin gaff videos on YouTube] that has been growing since the early nineties is to be expected. It's a logical, animalistic response to a group or idea (somewhat like a church) that has been in power realizing they are on the way out. Either give up and die (which is never an option), comprimise your "ideals" (a less likely option) or solidify your ingroup by creating an extreme atmosphere that will expell those who do not tout your ideas specifically. Get rid of those who water down the "purity" of your message, then invigorate your remaining base, get militant, and keep control by force.
Its weird, I feel like I've seen this somewhere in the recent past... Oh, wait, it was in Egypt and now in Libya. Weird how that stuff can be found even in the "most free" of countries.
Oh yeah, that was sarcasm.