This explains dumbo17 and a few others.
January 18, 2013
A lot of folks -- Raw Story, Libby Spencer, Anne Laurie, Mediaite -- are linking to a segment from last night's Rachel Maddow Show in which Maddow dismisses a lot of provocative right-wing rhetoric as trolling.
From Raw Story: "Trolling is a key part of the conservative-entertainment/media business model," [Maddow] said. "These guys say stuff all the time that they do not intend to be persuasive. They're not trying to explain something, or bring people along to their way of thinking, they're just doing something to attract attention, and hopefully condemnation and outrage from the mainstream, and particularly from liberals. They want to offend you. They seek to offend you. That is the point.
I agree that that's one point of making provocative statements -- to induce liberal outrage, and thus attain hero status among right-wingers by boasting of liberal attacks on yourself.
But it's not the whole point. Provocative statements are also meant to rally mobs. The implicit message of these provocations is: if what I just said offended you, chew on the fact that, outside your comfy little elitist enclave, there are millions of people who agree with what I just said 100% -- now what are you going to do about that?"