The fog of war still obscures many of the events surrounding MH17 and it's still too early to draw any hard conclusions about what occurred, but in the age of instant information, everyone is dissecting the smallest bit of information, however well or poorly verified it might be. Today the lazy and not-very-bright Josh Marshall waded into these waters, with predictable results:
The reference is to the puffed up separatist 'warlord' who appears to lead the group that shot down the Malaysian jet and apparently first took responsibility publicly at first, thinking it was a Ukrainian military cargo jet.
“Strelkov is well known for leading historical reënactments of Russian military battles, like you have in the States with the Civil War reënactors,” Pavlovsky said. “It used to be a fantasy world for people like him, but now they have a realm for their imaginations.”
Alright, well, I'm not sure the parallel is a completely perfect one, and I'm not sure Remnick is actually saying that Civil War reenactors are inherently unstable or delusional people; he seems to simply be offering an analogy to a similar phenomenon in the United States so people will have a frame of reference for what he is talking about.
This, however, is where the wheels really come off for Marshall, who reads the words "Civil War reenactor" and then has the lazy and not particularly bright synapses in his brain make automatic connections to "neoconfederates" and then to "racists" and then naturally, to "Tea Partiers," and suddenly Marshall is saying, right out loud where everyone can see, that the guy shot down a plane because he's basically a TEA Partier.
So that's who you're dealing with: some mix of civil war reenactor or Tea Partier decked out in revolutionary garb, with a mix of reckless aggression and comical incompetence. Here we have them break into nursing homes to photographs senator's comatose wives; there Putin gives them heavy armaments designed for full scale land war in Europe.
Yes, well, Marshall is clearly on to something here - clearly, the TEA Partiers would be engaging in mass rampages across the country if only we had weapons. Good God, if any of us got our hands on some guns it would only be a matter of time before we commandeered state capitals by force, mowing down cops right and left along the way. Since no TEA Partier owns any weapon more serious than a camera, however, it looks like we'll have to make do with what little mayhem we can achieve.