REALLY, there's nothing for it but to quote the first four paragraphs:
Huge numbers of Americans don’t know jack about their government or politics. According to a Pew Research Center survey released last week, 31 percent of Americans don’t know who the vice president is, fewer than half are aware that Nancy Pelosi is the speaker of the House, a mere 29 percent can identify “Scooter” Libby as the convicted former chief of staff of the vice president, and only 15 percent can name Harry Reid when asked who is the Senate majority leader.
And yet, last week, a Washington Post -ABC News poll found that two-thirds of Americans believe that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’s firing of eight U.S. attorneys was “politically motivated.”
So, we are supposed to believe that two-thirds of Americans have studied the details of the U.S. attorney firings and come to an informed conclusion that they were politically motivated — even when Senate Democrats agree that there is no actual evidence that Gonzales did anything improper. Are these the same people who couldn’t pick Pelosi out of a lineup? Or the 85 percent who couldn’t name the Senate majority leader? Are we to imagine that the 31 percent of the electorate who still — after seven years of headlines and demonization — can’t identify the vice president of the United States nonetheless have a studied opinion on the firing of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias?
Oh, before we proceed, let me make clear: This isn’t a column defending Gonzales.
Of course it isn't, Jonah. Gosh, none of us expects the half-understood, tenth-generation Xerox mindless partisan drivel you spout to actually mean anything. Since we know by now you've pretty much figured out that anytime you do mean something you'll be retracting it within fifteen minutes.
Oh, and before we proceed, let's make it clear that this isn't a column shooting fish in a barrel. We're not gonna bother making Jonah eat his own words on this one, because, first, they're Jonah Goldberg's words and it's doubtful even he could survive their ingestion, and second, everybody's a hypocrite about polls. Not everybody is a stupid hypocrite about polls, mind you, but we all bask in their warm glow when they're wise enough to agree with us, and talk about how stupid the public is when they don't. It's likely Jonah Goldberg thinks 91% of Americans believe in God, and it's likely he imagines this is something significant. (And Lord, if you think Americans are ignorant about politics...) It's certain he believes Reagan's popularity was genuine and Clinton's debatable. It's Jonah. Who cares?
And this is a country where Paris Hilton is a celebrity, and people who cover Paris Hilton are celebrities, and Bode Miller is a bum for admitting he had a couple of drinks once.
(I just watched Miller winning the Super G title last month. I don't know anything about skiing, except that I've been watching it for forty-five years, but the man, when he's on, is genius.)
It's just that I'd been busy this week. I missed a couple of warnings and casually tuned in to the old Imus slot Wednesday morning to find that Smerconish guy, reportedly on a one-week tryout. The leaky apologies from Steve Capus two weeks earlier become What Has To Pass As a Major Imus Apologist Getting the Slot. Of course, a Big Go Fuck Yourself to common decency and normal brain functioning from NBC News is like a kiss from a beautiful woman. But still, who watches this guy? The target audience is the 75 of 82 people who watched Imus and now feel more put upon than ever?
I caught about five minutes, then checked back in for a couple minutes more, mostly in hope the studio had somehow caught fire. No such luck, but I did manage to miss Camille F. Paglia saying that that maniac shot up Virginia Tech because the hotties didn't come across with some mercy fucks, (and thanks again, Salon for giving our national discourse that soupçon of intellectualisme). And then later that afternoon the Indianapolis Star (motto: "We Were Gun-Totin', Anti-Fluoridation, Commie-Under-Every-Bed Home-Grown Fascist Microencephalics When That Was Considered A Bad Thing") brings me Jonah's latest ruminations.
And my one thought was, "Isn't this over yet?"
Because something is out of whack, and it may be time to take a closer look at those contrails. The natural order of things is this: Teenaged Fantasizes become Craze; Craze dies; Craze revived as slightly comic and generally misunderstood Nostalgia; Nostalgia rapidly leaves same godawful artificial taste in mouth that eating a packet of raspberry Jell-O™ would; Nostalgia is quickly backed away from in hopes that no one was watching. Thus, if you dressed like Fonzie in 1962 you were the Laughingstock of the Pack. Folkies, Hippies, Discomaniacs, Don Cornelius, you name it. If you kept your kit around long enough you'd have the chance to make a fool of yourself when a later generation picked it up as a laugh. Yet this crap--retread 80s Republicanism, something which was a trend only insofar as it could be artificially induced from native racial suspicions and the shame of Tiny Atropied Penis Syndrome--continues unabated. Grown men are paid to mime themselves as chuckled-headed teens. And with the same depth of ideas.