Auction of extremism

Once again, Big Steve outdoes me on my own post.  In comments he points to his own post on this mosque silliness, but actually ties into a cool theory, the “auction of extremism.”  His post would’ve been even better were he using Chrome instead of Firefox (Chrome virtually never crashes):

Of course, this is mostly about position-taking, and it is easier for Bloomberg to take this position in multi-cultural/liberal New York, and it is easy for the Gingriches of the world to take the opposing position since they can write off NY as well as voters who think in terms of religious freedom in general.  Instead, they can pander as they wish since they seek the white evangelical votes that are so important in Republican primaries.  Indeed, as I have written before, there is a logic of outbidding here, where each Republican must participate in this auction of extremism, becoming ever more enthusiastic a defender of the Christian faith.  This should not be surprising to scholars of ethnic politics, but then again, wishful thinking tends to push us into believing that it would not happen here.  Well, it does…

And realize that the folks who are grandstanding against this are either insincere or delusional.  And they are certainly anti-American, just as un-American as book-burning.

News Gingrich– insincere.  Sarah Palin– definitely delusional.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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