…and I’m pretty sure he’s not Atrios.
Salon carries a column (get the day pass) by Sid Blumenthal on the rise of the Feral Republicansâ„¢.
The same year that Hofstadter published his piece on “the paranoid style,” an obscure conservative named John Stormer published the “carefully documented story of America’s retreat from victory” in the face of the liberal-internationalist-Communist conspiracy. It was titled “None Dare Call It Treason.” The book, timed to coincide with the 1964 presidential campaign, was turned into a bestseller by the John Birch Society, a far-right-wing group, which boasted that it had distributed 6 million copies within eight months of its publication. (To this day, the Birch Society sells Stormer’s book on its Web site.)
Nearly 40 years later, in the summer of 2003, the bestselling book on the right was entitled “Treason,” by Ann Coulter. “Liberals have a preternatural gift for striking a position on the side of treason,” she wrote. ” … Everyone says liberals love America, too. No they don’t. Whenever the nation is under attack, from within or without, liberals side with the enemy.” Positioned discreetly next to her book on the New York Times bestseller list was a tiny dagger signifying bulk sales from unknown sources. Coulter’s argument was a conservative perennial, down to the spirited defense of Joseph McCarthy. Both Stormer’s and Coulter’s works cited mounds of “evidence.” Both warned ominously against liberal betrayal. The principal difference between “None Dare Call It Treason” and “Treason” was not in sophistication, nuance, erudition, persuasiveness, or literary quality, but in the expanded capacity of conservatives to disseminate the word far and wide through their own alternative media and in the elevation by the mainstream media of the extremist as entertainer.