Weekend Reading: Charlie Stross: 21st Century: A Complaint

Must-Read: Paul Krugman: Scam They Am: "Eric Lipton and Jennifer Steinhauer... find that the...

[Tea Party] PACs... [of] the Freedom Fraud caucus are basically in it for the money... consultants’ fees... paid to the... people organizing the drives.... As Rick Perlstein pointed out several years ago, the modern conservative movement is in large part a ‘strategic alliance of snake-oil vendors and conservative true believers’ with ‘a cast of mind that makes it hard for either them or us to discern where the ideological con ended and the money con began.’...

Goldbuggism, for example, is intimately tied to direct-marketing schemes for gold coins and gold certificates.... The American Seniors Association... bills itself as a conservative... AARP... [but] is a for-profit enterprise whose goal is to sell me insurance. And so on. This is surely a[n]... important part of our political story.... Obama- and Hillary-hatred... much of it is generated by scammers out to make a buck off the racism and misogyny of some--sad to say, fairly many--older white men.


The two classic readings on this are: Rick Perlstein: The Long Con; **David Frum: The Fox News Wink. It is an attempt to identify those Americans with the very-poorest reality testing and mobilize them politically--but only tertiarily to get them to vote. The primary objective is to scam them directly. The secondary objective is to terrify them, and so keep their eyeballs glued so that they can be sold to advertisers.