Since 2008 we've had the distinct pleasure of watching so many people on the right go absolutely insane. Aside from having let their deepest paranoid fantasies run amok, they've descended into using some sort of coded language that centers around repeating phrases like Solyndra, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, Pelosi, Obamacare, and Death Panels. And now someone has gone ahead and written it down to prove the point.

This is one of the most insane things I've ever seen in writing, and remember that I am a person who enjoys writing things that intentionally make the least possible sense. Somehow reality has one-upped me. A failed academic turned failed author named Sarah Hoyt has written a Teabagging screed called, I shit you not, "I Am Spartacus." Here's an excerpt, and you should treat yourself to the whole thing.

I am Spartacus because Fast and Furious.

I am Spartacus because Benghazi.

I am Spartacus because Fast and Furious.

I am Spartacus because Benghazi.

I am Spartacus because Fast and Furious.

I am Spartacus because Benghazi.

To stop the crazy train, to preserve as much as I can of the greatest nation the world has ever known, I Am Spartacus.

To this end I pledge my life, my fortune and my sacred honor.

And no, I don't think it's a joke. This has long since stopped being just a game.

The funny part is that this was widely circulated. People read this batshit nuttery and not only thought it was great but also forwarded it to others. Glenn Reynolds was moved beyond words.

Their echo chamber reminds me of grad school in a big college town, where everyone drank like a Scottish football hooligan. You go out on an average evening and have a dozen beers and you think absolutely nothing of it because everyone else around you – your entire social and professional circle – does exactly the same. It never occurs to you that, well, maybe that's too much to drink. It's not until you step out of that environment that you that it becomes apparent.

Well, the right wingers have created such an elaborate bubble that they never need to step out of it. It's a brand new reality wherein everyone is barking mad and no one gives it a second thought when you decide to smear yourself in flan and run around brandishing a mace and screaming something about IRS-gate.

60 thoughts on “THE NEW REAL”

  • Proof that Liberals are evil? Look no further than the vast conspiracy they have created, which they refer to as 'reality'.

  • Oh, Hell yes.
    That's been the most maddening thing about what's been happening for (at least) 12 years…that it's become so commonplace, that it's hard to explain why folks are nuts. "But I can't be barking delusional, and dependent on logical fallacy! Look at how many others believe the same as me."

  • The best part is when she writes that by taking this stand she's setting herself up for retribution just like the victims of the Stalin-era Holomodor.

    Read the wikipedia article on the Holomodor if you don't understand just how offensive that analogy is.

  • Ah, shit. I foolishly counted on Ms. Hoyt to spell the name of her favorite genocidal atrocity correctly. It's Holodomor.

    More generally, I think one of the causes of the current state of wingnuttia is that it's been about a generation since the FoxNews/Limbaugh/Drudge machine spun up in the early 1990s, and now a whole generation of people have come of age being completely immersed in the conservative message machine and unwilling to consider any contradictory outside information. The problem for the rightniks is that these people don't understand that Fox et al is just made-up propaganda to gull the rubes. They think it's the real deal, and they're starting to move into positions of influence in the conservative movement and the Republican party, which should lead to complete hilarity.

    There was a time when the GOP used to be really good at politics. But true believers are calling the shots, and they think a four-point Obama lead in the polls means that Romney has the election sewn up (because the polls are always way biased in favor of the Dems, duh) and that they can win national elections in the future by putting all their resources into mobilizing white voters and shunning minorities. As a liberal Democrat, I couldn't be more thrilled to see this happening.

  • "Read the wikipedia article on the Holomodor if you don't understand just how offensive that analogy is."

    The most offensive thing about it is that the "Holodomor" is a myth made up by anti-Semitic Ukrainian nationalists who wanted a genocide with which they could compete with the Holocaust. Anti-Semites actually believe that the Holocaust was something beneficial to Jews.

  • middle seaman says:

    Such behavior is quite common. Most Arabs believe that Israel and the US are behind the events in Egypt. In 2008, the pretend-liberals knew that Obama is liberal and Bill Clinton the worse thing that ever happened to the country. Russia and large parts of Africa believe that gay people are beyond the pale. The EU believes that bloodletting, austerity, is good for the economy. The list lasts forever.

  • "Because of that I am battling in the mind, to avoid the evil hour as long as I can yet."

    Sarah, stop listening to the "voices", and give in to pleas of your loved ones. Take your meds, you'll feel better.

    I couldn't read any more of her paranoid persecution drivel.

  • I just notice that the author felt the need to tell her audience who Spartacus was(odd since many Tea Partiers are elderly), and even there she fucks up by saying it was a "myth."

    I also noticed this bit:

    "I am Spartacus because wise Latina does not qualify you for the most powerful law body in the land – no race, not ethnicity, no characteristic of birth or position SHOULD. Only hard work and intelligence and devotion to the constitution."

    Translation: The job should have gone to a WHITE MAN, the only people who work hard. And lady…parallel structures…learn them.

    "I am Spartacus because of insanity over brown bagging it, and women in chain mail bikinis — and these are my middle fingers at all that."


    "I am Spartacus because they think a hellish mix of Brave New World and 1984 is a consummation devoutly to be hoped for."

    Umm….You know those books present basically contradictory dystopian worlds right?

  • How about these gems:

    "I am Spartacus because you can’t get blood from a stone or money from people who have been hanging on by their fingertips and because you can only run the printing presses so fast."

    "I am Spartacus because at some point you have made enough money – AND THAT’S FOR YOU TO DECIDE, not bureaucrats. And if you never think you’ve made enough money, that’s your decision."

    The disconnect between A and B is astounding. Obama is trying to relieve the pressure on ordinary people, but her "people" won't let taxes be raised on the insanely rich and corporations.

    Now this one:
    "I am Spartacus because our schools are horrendous, and now we don’t even have standards — or requirements — to learn American history or culture in the schools. It’s permitted not to teach them at all. Or to teach whatever crazy version you please."

    I… I… I don't even know where to start w/ this… uh how about the previous point. Education sucks in the States because we don't put money into it for one thing.
    Now do really want to talk about "… any crazy version you please."?? Let's start w/ the three (3) parallel names for the Civil War then shall we. The "War Between the States" and if you're from the Shenandoah "Th' Wa' o' Nath'un Agreshun!"

    Yeah, well F-you! the North won, so it's the Civil War, if you want another name for it then how about the "We Had Our Asses Handed to Us By the Righteous North Because The Lord God Almighty Himself Lost Patients with Us and Our Asshatery of Slavery so We Shall Now Lick the Boot of Our Betters" War.
    We'll stick to the Civil War then shall we.

    And on the topic of crazy shit, even Pat Roberts has denounced "Young Earth" theology.

  • @Xynzee: the bit about "any crazy version you choose" is pure projection. The wingnuts have projection down to an art, so just about any batshit thing you hear them accusing liberals of doing, you know they're either actively trying to enact, or wish they could enact.

  • c u n d gulag says:


    And the really frightening thing is, I don't think we've yet reached "Peak Wingnut."

    Every time you think they can't possibly go any higher, they keep ratcheting that "Clinically, Syphilitically Insane" control-knob from 10, to 11, to 12… on up.
    Ever upwards.

    Hey, (yet another feckin' eedjit named) Sarah,
    I hate to tell you this -you ain't Spartacus.
    But you are a slave to the voices in your own head.
    Just another insane voice in the Reich-Wing "Echo Chamber."
    Try some foil.
    It's cheaper, easier, and less painful, than having all of your teeth pulled.
    On second thought, maybe you should get them all pulled.
    Because what's next, Ms. Hoyt?
    Your molar telling you that you're one of the leaders of the rebellion in the Warsaw ghetto?
    A bicuspid that screams, "Joan of Arc" at you?
    An incisor that shrieks out, that you're George Washington?

    And that other Sarah, Palin, should be getting nervous.
    Now, she's not the only "Whore of Babblin'-on."
    Palin, meet Hoyt.

  • "Anonymous: *sigh, you're right.

    But is fun to give them the official kick in the goolies that can only come with the fact of, "Yeah, but you lost!" Then do the "Loooos-er" hand gesture. ;)

  • I'm Spartacus because the slack-jawed potato-stuffed inter-dimensional purple space caterpillar backflipped off the diving board of my cerebellum and into a vortex of 21 unicorns.

    I'm Spartacus because every day I need left-handed scissors yet all I ever get is this goddamned butterknife and a jar of non-toxic paste!

    I'm Spartacus because if that bird gives me the evil I one more time I shall become death, the destroyer of worlds, and rain down upon it with fire and vengeance.

    I'm Spartacus because I am the flail of God sent to purge the Earth of iniquity and vice!

    (Serious note: How many of you wanna bet that the author had just recently seen Spartacus for the first time shortly before writing that screed?)

  • I bet Sarah still falls for the 'Pull my Finger' gag.

    As a Midwesterner, who is exiled to the South, I am partial to the phrase, "War of Southern Treason".

  • Andrew Burton says:

    AFAICT, just about no-one, including Sarah Hoyt, has pointed out the reason that the line "I am Spartacus" has resonance.

    It isn't because it was uttered by the leader of a slave revolt. In the movie "Spartacus" the slave army has surrendered to the Roman army, who wish to identify the leader so they can execute him. One by one, each of the captured men says "I am Spartacus," so the Romans genuinely don't know who the leader of the revolt is. So the Romans crucify all of them, and the last shot of the film tracks across an army of crucified men.

    In other words, uttering "I am Spartacus" was a ticket to immediate painful death. Posting it on a personal blog in the early 21st century – less so. But the fantasies of many on the Right – see Orson Scott Card – have them as exposing themselves to the unremitting hostility of the Inner City Urban Brown Islamic Socialist thug police. Spot the difference.

  • Doomed, we are says:

    The hallmark of an evil regime is being able to post screeds like this without fear of reprisal. Yup.

    Also I don't love non catered meetings either, but what on earth does she have against Princess Leia?

  • Timothy Synder says:

    "The most offensive thing about it is that the "Holodomor" is a myth made up by anti-Semitic Ukrainian nationalists…."

    Arslan, not only is this politburo-level BS, it is incredibly offensive.

    It appears that Sarah Hoyt is not the only one living in an alternative reality unmoored from empirical reality.

  • Tim, I did the homework, you didn't. It's been more than 20 years since the opening of the Soviet archives and not a single scrap of paper has been found regarding a plot to "engineer" a famine(the Holodomor) claim.

    So you can shove your phony offended feelings directly into your ass.

  • Timothy Synder says:

    Arslan, show me your published results. I'd love to read them.

    Until then, I'll trust the "homework" conducted by my namesake.

  • Since I'm always happy to find evidence of an engineered famine, I suggest you post your published sources. There's a lot of people in Ukraine who'd love to get their hands on them. Burden of proof is on the claimant, remember?

  • @ c u n d gulag: You state (and I agree) that we haven't reached Peak Wing-Nut yet. And maybe it's just me channeling my inner Jeremiah, but I wonder if such a level exists short of violence.

    I look at the Middle East and am struck by the fact that 'tribal' self-identity, religion, and wide-spread poverty (with all the attendant denial of things like education and health care) have combined to create a perpetual mass of angry, angry people–people who can be swayed by manipulative villains into directing their anger onto a convenient target, regardless of whether that target is, in fact, responsible for their misfortune.

    Then I look here.

    And it's getting any better. It's not calming down. It's getting worse. We look at the Middle East–its state of perpetual, furious, violent self-mutilation, and we shrug and say "Eh, that's just how things are there–that's how they'll always be." Is that where we're headed? I used to think my perception of this decay was just the result of my encroaching middle-age. But I don't know…

    Also, the fact that Spartacus and his followers were slaves, and that they had the insane balls to undertake armed insurrection against truly impossible odds (seriously–read Plutarch–once Rome decided this wasn't funny anymore, the rebellion was crushed like a lazy housefly), kind of puts Ms. Hoyt in the position of having to answer the question: "OK, then, you've declared yourself in total opposition to the Powers That Be. So what absolute, irrevocable, risky opposition are you now going to undertake?" (Answer *should* be "I'm going to blow shit up, seize armed control of key states and declare them 'free', and target political opponents for assassination," because that's the only answer that justifies the 'Spartacus' self-comparison. Answer *is* "I'm gonna write more columns, appear as a talking head on Fox News, and write talking points at the Cato Institute." Not quite Kirk Douglas, are we, ma'am?)

  • Timothy Synder says:

    I am beginning to question how much effort you put into your "homework."

    So, why not start here:

    Note that while Snyder avoids the term "Holodomor" and maintains that "only" around 4 million people died through these policies, he does not shy away from describing it as a deliberate mass starvation campaign (and therefore not some regrettable or unfortunate unexpected side-effect of collectivization).

  • He most likely avoids the term Holodomor because it is associated with the myth that it was aimed at Ukrainians in particular. A study of the USSR's Ukrainianization policies in the 20's and 30's(see Terry Martin's Affirmative Action Empire) easily shoots down this claim.

  • "We may lose the Ukraine if we do not set about to improving the situation there…

    (what follows is a list of people to change in the AUCPb and local organs, including Kosior and Chubar)

    d)set the goal to make Ukraine a real fortress of the USSR, a truly exemplary republic as soon as possible. DO NOT spare money on this. Without these and similar activities (economic and political strengthening of Ukraine, first of all its border areas, etc.), I repeat- we may lose Ukraine…" -Stalin to Kaganovich, 11 August 1932

    "According to materials, a reduction of the grain procurements plan will be demanded not only by Ukrainians, but also by North-Caucasians, the Middle Volga, Western Siberia, Kazakhstan, and Bashkortostan regions. I advice to give approval only for Ukraine, reducing the plan there by 30, 35-40 million at worst. For the rest, all discussions with them should be postponed to the end of August." -Stalin to Kaganovich 19 August 1932

    "Approve comrade Stalin's proposal to reduce the grain procurement plan for Ukraine by 40 million poods as an exclusion for severely affected areas of Ukraine, so that collective farms of the severely affected areas would be required to meet only half, and individuals, two thirds of the plan." -Politburo resolution 13 August 1932

    "1. Approve the proposal of comrade Molotov and Central Committee of CP(b)U(Ukraine) on supporting plan to reduce grain procurement for Ukraine by 70 million poods, including:
    State farms – by 12,100 thousand poods
    Collective farms – by 39,000 thousand poods
    self-employed farmers – 18,900 thousand poods
    2. Comrade Molotov should be granted the right to somewhat reduce the October grain procurement plan in Ukraine due to the above-mentioned." -Politburo resolution of 29 October 1932

    SOURCE: Russian State Archive of Social and Political History

    Famine? Yes. No surprise in an area which has experienced over 400 recorded famines going back to Kievan Rus. Official incompetence and corruption on the local level? Definitely. Deliberate mass starvation? Hardly. If it is, then I'd like to see people bring up the West Bengal famine any time Churchill is mentioned.

  • "For that is what conservatism is: a meditation on, and theoretical rendition of, the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back." – Corey Robin

    Am thinking of printing that out on biz cards, to accompany the Mister Yuck stickers I keep handy to decorate appropriate bumper stickers.

    These Republican lunatics imagine that they – they, personally! – were in power from Reagan through Bush [with one stinging spank during Clinton].
    The daily round of humiliation from practically everything is bad enough, and now they can't even vicariously feel like they can throw their weight around. If the reality is actually that you're an ignorant, incurious, bigoted bully and fool, and a dishonest refusal to recognize that is your way to maintain your self esteem. then insanity is pretty much the only option.

  • I feel actual despair at the idea that Ms Hoyt's piece has been widely shared and acclaimed.

    I feel second-hand embarrassment at the fact that anyone with the benefit of literacy can produce a work so stultifyingly uncurious and ignorant, and demonstrating the critical thinking skills of a pot of cream cheese.

    How can Government be by the people and of the people when the people are stone stupid? I'm seriously asking.

  • @Elle:
    "How can Government be by the people and of the people when the people are stone stupid? I'm seriously asking."

    Effectively, that sums up exactly what is wrong with the States right now. People will send into government those who proudly stand upon a plank to intentionally dismantle government. Then cannot fathom why nothing works.

  • The slogan seems to be "Government cannot solve any problems! Put us in power and we'll PROVE it!"

    I did dip into the comments section. They're. . a vocal bunch. When a contrarian suggested Al-Jazeera English as a reliable news source, one of the echo chamber voices called him a 'chew toy'.

  • Reich-wingers are like egg-sucking dogs: the only solution is to take them out back of the barn and shoot them.

    [I've seen better essays in my Introduction to Word Processing (CS60) classes]

  • People will send into government those who proudly stand upon a plank to intentionally dismantle government. Then cannot fathom why nothing works.

    Yes, absolutely. I guess my point is also that a successful democratic polity depends on engagement from its citizens that goes further than just voting. Civil society, the academy, a free press, and social partners all have a place in holding elected members to account, and contributing to a vigorous political discourse. If that discourse becomes a mush of pandering to people who (ironically, given Ms Hoyt's 1984 reference) are essentially participating in Oceania's "two minute hate", then where does all that other stuff come from?

    Participatory democracy (or participatory anything) can't work if people don't have the basic thinking skills that would enable them to reason their way out of a paper bag.

  • Origami Isopod says:

    I shit you now

    That's an awesome typo.

    Glenn Reynolds was moved beyond words.

    BWAHAHAHA. You mean, he left off the "Heh" and "Indeed" after he reblogged it?

  • Mingent Whizmaster says:

    I think some people were using the term
    'epistemic closure' to refer to this kind of
    thinking, back at the time of the last
    presidential election. I guess that phrase
    is no longer in use.

  • I like to consider myself fairly well informed on current events.

    Would someone explain this brown-bagging it/chain mail bikini business?

    This sounds like need-to-know information.

  • @J. Dryden, cund – for a sneak peek at what a point *closer* to Peak Wingnut looks like, take a look at Hungary. Krugman has had a series of guest posts describing it, and it's basically the a right-winger's dream: "center"-right ("center" only because the far-right party is already goosestepping around and naming lists of "undesirable races") party wins a supermajority, and begins making sure that it will never have to face an election again – taking over every civil institution they can get their hands on, Calvinball-style amendments to the constitution, and long-term appointees that ensure that EVEN if the wingnuts are thrown out tomorrow they'll cast a LONG and reactionary shadow for decades to come.

  • I like to consider myself fairly well informed on current events.

    Would someone explain this brown-bagging it/chain mail bikini business?


  • @Linkman: oh goody just what we need. Another SF writer to be taken seriously L. Ron, I'm looking at you.

  • @ xynee
    yep lots of stars Amazon.

    But where was her story about Father Obama and the Death Beagles. Oh wait someone else wrote that one.

  • Not to argue with Ms. Spartacus or anything (because that would be pointless), but given conservatives' relentless and deliberate efforts to wreck the economy and the endless whining about the poors getting to live a bit longer than they should on free foodstamps and unearned health care, her reference to Holodomor is ironic indeed.

  • Can someone explain the Fast and Furious reference to me as well as the chain mail bikini one? American is not my first language and many things she says don't make sense to me.

  • Honestly, I think it would have been a net improvement if she just replaced that wall of text with "RAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR OBAMAMAAAAAAAAA".

  • I read it expecting "I am Spartacus, because of Obamacare death panels" and left disappointed when it wasn't in there.

    Hyper-partisan minds are usually insane and she's just another example of it.

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