The right’s Confederate flag conspiracy theories

When an Obama protestor unveiled a Confederate flag, right-wing tweeters knew who was to blame: liberals

Topics: confederate flag, Obama, Tea Party, Million Veterans' march, GOP, Twitter, Timothy Carney, Rick Wilson, Ben Shapiro,

The right's Confederate flag conspiracy theories (Credit: bloomua via Shutterstock/Salon)

While Sunday’s protest rally against the closure of Washington, D.C.’s WWII memorial was seen as a stirring victory to those on the right, most other observers were instead struck by the unhinged vitriol directed at President Obama and, most of all, the unfurling by one protestor of a Confederate flag. In reference to the flag, Jeffrey Goldberg might have put it best, tweeting:

But while Goldberg’s response is hopefully the norm, the response among right-wing tweeters was outrage, too — but not at the flag or the man who brought it with him. Rather, right-wing animus settled on the supposedly liberal media, conspiring to make the protestors look bad. Indeed, in the right’s telling, the conspiracy went deeper than just media bias: the flag-bearer, who has now been identified as Michael Ashmore of Texas, was likely a secret liberal, trying to make conservatives look bad.

The response from popular right-wing blogger Glenn Reynolds (aka Instapundit) was hardly unique:




Of course, most right-wing tweeters weren’t quite so delusional. But even the saner ones were more upset by the media’s noticing the flag than the flag’s actual presence:


So there you have it: the presence of the Confederate flag at a right-wing rally is the devious handiwork of nefarious liberals — and not that big a deal, anyway!

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith, and email him at eisquith@salon.com.

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