Matthew Yglesias makes an apt point on Tapped last week about the new right-wing comic book series about a dystopian future of "ultra-liberalism," which is part of a long series of persecution fantasies coming from the right:
It's rather odd to see persecution fantasies coming from the right at a moment when Republicans control the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Executive Branch, the judiciary, most statehouses, and most state legislatures. And yet a right-wing persecution complex is evident to even a casual consumer of right-wing media. To hear the conservative blogs, magazines, and radio shows tell it, despite total conservative domination of the political system a coalition of liberal reporters, academics, and Hollywood stars manage to be the real governing force in America.
We're asked by various individuals to believe that this conspiracy is so vast that it improbably includes the entirety of the American defense, intelligence, and foreign-policy apparatus as well as (needless to say) a judiciary whose membership was overwhelmingly appointed by Republicans.
And yet, given how crazy this notion is, it's not totally crazy. Biomedical research keeps moving forward, as do gay rights. The government is getting bigger, not smaller. Endless screaming has yet to lead to invasions of even half the countries conservatives want to see overthrown. The problem, however, isn't that a liberal conspiracy is keeping the right down. The problem is that the right's agenda is patently unrealistic. The United States lacks the capability to implement conservatives' favored national-security agenda. Nobody has any idea how to stem America's slow-but-steady evolution toward greater tolerance of gays and lesbians. And the government is big primarily because it provides services people value. Most of all, the elites who run institutional conservative politics couldn't care less about accomplishing anything on this agenda -- they're too busy staying in power and cashing in on K Street.
Ironically, the very people Liberality for All is looking to as America's saviors are the essence of the problem. The conservative rank-and-file is being exceedingly ill-served by FOX News and right-wing talk radio. These are the outlets that ought to be sounding the alarm about the Republican Party's abandonment of conservatism. Instead, they've decided to join in the party and become GOP propaganda outlets rather than bastions of ideological conservatism. Meanwhile, they seek constantly to entrench the persecution complex ever more deeply in the minds of their followers in order to allow their own betrayal to escape scrutiny.
Rush Limbaugh is a master at this game. He blames liberals for every constraint preventing the conservative wishlist from being implemented. It's a monocausal theory of history -- Karl Marx would be proud. And now liberals are starting to blame their defeats on conservative conspiracies. Everyone's a victim, apparently, in 21st century politics.