Eugene Volokh has inspired a useful and uplifting blogosphere meme: condemnation of groups of people whom, although nobody is claiming that they are numerous or influential, we can nevertheless agree are worthy of our scorn. (Indeed, the search for actual examples hasn’t been very fruitful.) His own entry in this game was “Westerners who side with the Iraqi resistance.” As he explains (after some prodding),
Fortunately, the group being criticized is not a vast group. So? They’re still worth condemning.
Capital idea. Next to join in was Belle Waring:
I points the fingerbone of scorn at those inhumanly cruel Republicans who drink puppy blood for breakfast. When I consider the sharp, tiny milk-teeth of those puppies, protruding from gums now white with blood loss, I am filled with a righteous and long-abiding anger.
Again, she is quick to note that there are very few Republicans who fit such a description, but they should surely be denounced. (Lindsay Beyerstein, playing the contrarian, denounces Belle’s denunciation, but is clearly just trying to score some intellectual-virtue points.)
Since one can never denounce such heinous activities too fervently, Brad DeLong chimes in:
I for one, would like to also denounce adherents of the Republican Party who pretend to “adopt” kittens from animal shelters, and then kill them and dissect their little kittenish bodies with knives. I acknowledge that rather few Republicans are in this category, but I insist that these people are very bad.
How true that is.
Not to pile on, but I can’t help but offer my own humble contribution to the rare-but-worthy-of-scorn category. To wit, we should condemn Republicans who attempt to justify the capture and long-term detention of prisoners who are denied counsel and not charged with any crime, and then tortured, sometimes to death, in a misguided attempt to extract useful intelligence from them, even though they may be perfectly innocent. Likewise, Republicans who make fun of such practices by selling witty T-shirts. Oh, and those who advocate public torture of criminals in order to satsify the public’s bloodlust — wouldn’t want to forget them.
Of course, nobody would suggest that such people comprise a vast group. So? They are still worth condemning.