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Finger Quotes And Conservatism

A couple years ago, I wrote a column about the Wall Street Journal editorial page's wildly promiscuous use of scare quotes. Amanda Marcotte today suggests the oral version of scare quotes, finger quotes, is a natural way to express the conservative worldview:

You can see why using your fingers to make air quotes is such an attractive gesture for conservatives, because it's a way to hat tip the roiling paranoid theories that motivate the right-wing base, and the base needs lots and lots of hat tips to keep them energized. John McCain used finger quotes around the phrase "health of the mother" during the 2008 debates to hat tip the anti-choice claims that women who get therapeutic abortions are just lying about their health problems to get their hands on the unparalleled pleasures of outpatient surgery. Now we have Sharron Angle using the finger quotes in a way that, in the typical fashion of the 1990s, when air quotes were popular, would indicate she thinks "autism" is a fake disease made up by a bunch of lying liberals so they can squeeze insurance companies of money to pay for the no-doubt blissful joys of having to put your child through a bunch of testing, medical care, and remedial education that children with autism get.