On this St. Patrick's Day weekend, if you're in the mood for a lamentation of Irish-Americans' ongoing shift to the political right, you're in luck. Andrew O'Hehir provided that and much else in a Saturday piece for the liberal online magazine Salon.
While O'Hehir believes that the 1998 Northern Ireland peace deal was "unambiguously a good thing for the people of Ireland and their British next-door neighbors," it had a downside stateside: "[T]he last connection between Irish-American identity and genuine history was severed...On one hand, Irishness [now] is a nonspecific global brand of pseudo-old pubs, watered-down Guinness, 'Celtic' tattoos and vague New Age spirituality...On the other, it’s Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Pat Buchanan and Rep. Peter King...consistently representing the most stereotypical grade of racist, xenophobic, small-minded, right-wing Irish-American intolerance. When you think of the face of white rage in America, it belongs to a red-faced Irish dude on Fox News."
MRC’s Dan Gainor passed on a nominee for wacky-weed blog of the weekend. Salon.com posted an article Saturday titled “White America says ‘Let the Fire Burn’: What the Philadelphia firebombing of 1985 can tell us about the culture of white rage that led to the shutdown.”
For the young people, in 1985, a radical-left black group called MOVE had repeated bouts of violence with police. After refusing an order to vacate their property, the police fire-bombed the house, killing 11. Despite Philadelphia having a black mayor at the time, Andrew O’Hehir thinks this is a metaphor for Unhinged White Conservatism:
Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir has fingered the main culprits behind Detroit’s bankruptcy. According to him, it’s none other than Fox News host Sean Hannity and all his fellow racist conservatives who were threatened by Smokey Robinson.
In his July 27 screed for Salon headlined “Why the Right Hates Detroit” O’Hehir claimed the fall of big cities like Detroit and New Orleans had less to do with longtime Democratic rule and more to do with the right’s desire, as seen in the “coded racism of Sean Hannity” to punish the cities that spawned “the worldwide revolution symbolized by hot jazz, Smokey Robinson dancin’ to keep from cryin’ and Eminem trading verses with Rihanna.”