Why My Blogging Will Slow Down Until Next Year

I have made a verbal agreement with Nation Books to author a book for them that will (hopefully) appear next summer, during the height of election season. Our contract has not yet been finalized, but it should be completed shortly.

My book will encapsulate much of the work I have done about the right during the past four or five years. I plan to focus my narrative on the political psychology and underlying culture of the right by revealing how a cult of personal crisis animates the movement’s politics of resentment. Over the years I have encountered countless high-profile right-wing activists whose extreme political behavior was galvanized by the existential crises they suffered. In their attempts to purify the land of sin, they hope to purify their souls as well. For them, conservatism is more than ideology — it is a unique form of self-medication. It is no wonder that the most influential figure in the Christian right, James Dobson, is not a preacher or theologian, but a child psychologist. Dobson understands the cult of personal crisis and has exploited it to his advantage.

I have a short period of time to write this book. This will make it hard for me to keep blogging on a regular basis. It has already been difficult for me to maintain a regular blogging schedule given all the other projects I have taken on. So until next year, this blog will mainly serve as a bulletin board for updates about my work. I won’t be blogging on the news or taking on other projects, so don’t look for any new videos or lengthy articles, though I do plan to continue researching for Media Matters. For those of you who have trafficked my blog since the beginning, back in 2004, or kept up on my reporting and videos, I hope we’ll meet next year at a book event in your town. Until then, check in here for updates.

9 thoughts on “

  1. Regis L. Roberts

    At first I had no idea what the “cult of personal crisis animat[ing] the movement’s politics of resentment” meant, but them read the wonderful breakdown at this Huffington Post entry http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/cpacs-gay-porn-star-hono_b_42842.html. I was almost automatically reminded of Jack Hitt’s article in Mother Jones about “Hillarating” (Hillary-hating). His conclusion is that America has basically abandoned the woman’s liberation movement while claiming success, and thus creating an environment that is hard for women to create a balance between family and work (especially a successful working life). Hillary evokes hatred from woman who — in this climate where woman are said to have as much opportunities as men but still suffer from the glass ceiling — find it frustrating to see a woman who is both extremely successful and stayed with “that son of a bitch” and maintains a family life.

    Max describes Ann Coulter as a woman who has gained so much from the feminist movement yet bashes feminists and surrounds herself with people like James Dobson. Coulter may be expressing the “politics of resentment” through her hatred of Hillary Clinton and her accomplishments.

    I also see David Horowitz acting out this same mental defect (if you will) Max talks about. You often see this pattern with people who go from the left to the right (or vise versa for that matter) who feel the need to perhaps make up for past “despicable” behavior. Do people like Horowitz and Christopher Hitchens fell as if they need to lash out at there former selves in order to feel truly a part of there new communities.

  2. Preston Powell

    Thanks for the update, Max. I figured you were busy cracking at that book. I knew it would be difficult for you to juggle both blogging and writing a book, and the latter is definitely more important, so by all means, dedicate all your time and energy into that.

    I actually can’t wait to read it, because you being the son of Sidney Blumenthal (i.e., blessed with good genes as a born investigative journalist) your critique of the Christian Right and its strategy in creating a theocracy is a message that should be spread and exposed more often. So far I’m noticing that more journalists are starting to investigate about the role of religion and how it shapes many institutions and policies here in America. CNN had a special called “God’s Warriors” by journalist Christiane Amanpour this week, and it was by far one of the most objectively astute specials I’ve seen dealing with Zionism, Islam and Christianity in quite some time. Unfortunately, she didn’t scrutinize James Dobson and his involvement with the Christian Right; she tackled the familiar faces of the movement (e.g., John Hagee, Jerry Falwell, Chip Reed, Pat Robertson, etc.), but as you mentioned before, Dobson always remains the inconspicuous member of the pack. I think you’re on to something, Max, when you say that Dobson is operating and pulling a lot of strings in this movement, particularly in consoling many conflicted politicians that wallowing in their self-hate is perfectly natural. And it’s funny how so many conservatives in crisis repent and confess their sins to HIM before anyone else (e.g., Newt Gingrich coming clean to Dobson about his past adultery, while ironically, being part of the witch hunt to impeach Clinton for sexual misconduct and “lying” under oath in the late 90s). I think this movement and culture needs to be thoroughly psychoanalyzed for us to REALLY understand what such powerful members embrace masochism, and you’re exactly the person with the balls to enlighten others that are unaware of how complex, and—excuse my language—fucked-up this movement is. It’s the mix of supercapitalism, End Times theology, military totalitarianism, and Puritanism of sex/sexuality, that I find to be very interesting of the Christian Right. (If you haven’t yet you should check out the essays Gore Vidal wrote about the Christian Right in “United States: Essays 1952 – 1992.” Two essays entitled “Armageddon” and “Monotheism And Its Discontents” quickly pops out in my mind, and I’m sure you would enjoy the two.)

    Anyway, good luck on your book, Max. I know you’re going to make many of your family, friends and fans proud of you. And please do keep us updated when you go on your book tour so many of us here can meet you and get our books signed.

  3. Raoul

    Funny thing is that I’m planning on a similar project. I’ve compiled
    hundreds of right wing notes of the rabid nature. I am
    going to put them together with my and others of our
    political stripe together in a book.

    r.

  4. Dale

    Congrats on the book deal! Hope everything works out well for you. We’ll miss your blogging but this is something good for the cause as well. You’d better come to Berkeley on your book tour!!

    –Dale

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