The Fall of the Fuddites
November 12, 2008
One of the more interesting revelations in this New Republic piece about the waning days of the Elmer Fudd Brigade, aka the Minutemen, is that First Fudd Jim Gilchrist, who originally had the brilliant idea of calling in a mob of flakes and vigilantes to guard the border with Mexico, is now afraid of meeting members of his own movement.
“I get more hate mail from members of my own movement, from so-called Minutemen, than from the open-border people,” he confesses. The only border that he regularly visits is the one between his own yard and his neighbors’. “I’d be wary of going down to the border myself these days,” he says. “I’m worried about what [the Minutemen] would do with a sidearm.”
It seems like only yesterday that Lou Dobbs was warning about a plague of immigrant-borne leprosy sweeping the nation, Michelle Malkin could be found slithering around any crime scene where the suspect was an illegal alien, and NewsMax was hustling Minutemen caps along with the usual investment scams, Dick Morris freebie books and hand-cranked emergency radios. (“Terror chatter is high — protect your family!”) But it turns out that the immigration issue is a big deal mainly with the people, mostly media whores, who were already making a big deal of it. The rest of the country has better things to worry about right now, thanks just the same.
The ranks of the Elmer Fidd Brigade have thinned considerably, and what’s left isn’t very inspiring to anyone — especially Gilchrist:
But even Gilchrist, sitting at his kitchen breakfast nook with pie-wielding Mammy salt-and-pepper shakers and a tablecloth decorated with Sambo-style figures eating watermelon, has concluded that most of the people left in the anti-immigration movement are “xenophobic, racist, schizophrenic, wackjob ne’er- do-wells.” He’s having a difficult time raising even half the money he raised in 2006. And his legal budget, which he was saving to fight “organizations that were violating [immigration] law,” has been tied up with cases against members of his own movement, amounting to over $200,000 in legal fees. His most recent suit was against someone using the Minuteman name to release a video “encouraging people to shoot illegal aliens to death with a rifle and bury their bodies in the desert.” He wears a bulletproof vest at public events to protect himself from his own onetime supporters.
From FauxNoise hero to American zero. From Fudd to dud. With such steadily shrinking ranks, the conservatives are going to have a hard time finding enough crazies for all their pet causes.