30 October 2007

Again, is anyone really surprised?

Now here's a big surprise for everyone, I'm sure. Dick Cheney goes hunting at private hunting clubs, where he can enjoy the thrill of hunting down fierce creatures like quail and dove and maybe pheasant. It's really dangerous stuff (if you're in Cheney's line of fire, that is). But apparently this particulare hunting club in upstate New York is causing a stir because in a garage on the club's grounds there hung a Confederate flag. Al Sharpton is all over this detail, which is good timing for him, especially after Ta-Nehisi Coates laid the beatdown on him over the weekend, labelling him "irrelevant."

But it's stupid, and it misses the point. Cheney has so much plausible deniability in this particular incident, that it makes Sharpton look even more like the fool. It's possible Cheney wasn't within eyesight of the garage, or that the garage doors were closed at the time. Who really cares? The larger point is that these private enclaves are nothing but hotbeds of regressive behavior, whether it's in hidebound racist and sexist behavior or simple elitism. And they're the places Cheney feels at home. Cheney doesn't need to know that his hosts that particular day were true throwback yee-haw Confederate flag waving white supremacists. He just knows that they're his kind of people. You know, the kind who applaud his principled stand against establishing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and against a resolution to free political prisoner Nelson Mandela. They understand each other...

So the point isn't whether this little rod and gun club proudly displays the Confederate flag (and in this case it seems they keep it hidden in the garage) in the proud remembrance of all the noble New York regiments who fought to keep slavery legal, but rather to note that you would probably be hard pressed to find a single "private hunting club" that didn't include at least one less-than-covert member of the KKK or CCC or subscriber to the American Renaissance. These places are breeding grounds for the most socially backward members of American society, a place where wealth, power, and right-wing quasi-fascist viewpoints can congregate freely and shoot at things.