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:
In many parts of America, waving a Confederate flag outside the home of a black family would be considered a very hostile act.
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) October 13, 2013
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:
@JeffreyGoldberg Prob a plant. Usually is.
— Instapundit.com (@instapundit) October 13, 2013
Anyone identify the guy holding the Confederate flag outside WH? Possible liberal plant? Curious how HUGE his flag was, no?
— A. J. Delgado (@missADelgado) October 13, 2013
@TheRickWilson Probably a plant.
— Casey Kelley (@policygal) October 13, 2013
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:
Give liberals this: They figured out that the one clown with a Confederate flag on Pa. Ave. is the true leader of American conservatism.
— Timothy P Carney (@TPCarney) October 13, 2013
Good for the media. They've finally found the grand mastermind of all conservative politics: some random jackass with a Confederate flag.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) October 13, 2013
The media ignored the event until ONE person showed up with a confederate flag..gotcha! NOW their narrative is satisfied. #1MVetMarch
— republikaAD (@republikaAD) October 14, 2013
Hey mainstream media, it was one damn confederate flag out of thousands of good veterans. Nobody was pledging to it.
— Justen Charters (@JustenCharters) October 14, 2013
— Melissa McKee (@moomoo70) October 14, 2013
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!