Bill Kristol, "Here the People Rule". October 20
After an exhaustive Google search (well, I'm an impatient man), I have yet to determine the drunk who called Jimmy Stewart a drunk. Any hints?
map106, in comments
OKAY, here's where I think I slipped the rails: this Goldberg floater from last Wednesday, which began with the contention--is there any need to mention, with Goldberg, that the utterly indefensible was stated as if it were a commonplace observation about today's barometric reading?--that in 1964 Barry Goldwater was demonized, and unfairly, to boot, as a sower of bigotry and hatred, and which somehow managed, in the following paragraphs, to make that look like one of Jonah's sounder and more sober historical judgments. I went that very evening across and down the dark and dangerous avenues of enforced American diversity--it's her drivers I'm afraid of--looking for William Manchester's Truman-damning The Glory and the Dream. Four bookstore's worth, and, Readers, the Moon was at full! Then I hit two more and the local library branch in the light of the following day, still with no success, before the requirement of driving downtown to the main branch slapped me back into sensibility. I was doing this to try to prove--just to myself, in all likelihood--that Goldberg was embellishing some wingnut half-truth he'd learned at his mother's knee, something which would, reportedly, have required him to be supine at the time, and required her to talk with her mouth full. Like I imagined this was the long-sought final nail in his coffin or something.
And, y'know, I don't give a shit about whether Truman called Dewey a Nazi, or what Goldberg might imagine that has to do with today's Democrats, especially considering that the GOP has been trying to appropriate The Man From Missouri for years, based, as far as I can tell, on the fact that his popular biography is now sufficiently divorced from Reality that he's an honorary Republican. I just flew off the tracks. I thought it was remarkable that Goldberg had the inside poop on the 1948 election when he knew nothing about '64. Dewey/Truman was before my day, but I began my formal schooling just twelve years later, in the heat of the Nixon/Kennedy race, and I grew up in a reliably Republican state (as you may have heard lately). And yet all anybody ever told me about Truman's last campaign, besides the Trib photo, was how Ol' Give 'Em Hell whistlestopped his way across the country blaming Congress. If he'd'a been goose-stepping and Nazi-saluting across the Plains, holding his index finger under his nose while doing his Chaplin impression, I suspect somebody would have mentioned it to me a little sooner.
Anyway, despite what you might have heard from that Eliot character, it's Autumn which is the toughest season, at least on the cranky geezer who used to get by on looks alone. Tempus fucking fugit, pal, and ask Bill Kristol to translate for you next time you're knockin' back some brews. There's something about the short'ning of the days, the unexpected slant of the early morning light, the clouds of one's own breath, which remind the aging warrior he'd better get rid of his porn stash before that upcoming series of strokes.
So, map, I wasn't laboring to be obscure; this time, anyway, I'd had obscurity thrust upon me, albeit with my cooperation, and what I said, or think I said, or tried to say, is that were Colin Powell famous for miming gunplay on the Silver Screen his reputation would now rest on his having called Jimmy Stewart an ugly expletive in front of a nation of Oscar-viewers, just as the real-life Powell, whose fame once rested on a combination of fictional accomplishments and the expert camouflaging of his real ones, cannot but be known today as the guy who publicly soiled himself, his career, and his country in furtherance of a foolish and wasteful mission directed by a pack of demented weasels. And then, in the grand tradition of sell-outs, fuck-ups, and captured high-level Luftwafe staff everywhere, he insisted the whole thing was someone else's fault. For which he was celebrated, as he continues to be, by the Liberals and Progressives at The Huffington Post.
We're old, and resigned; all we meant was, mutatis mutandis, you don't see Gary Busey or Jan-Michael Vincent discussing this year's Best Foreign Film nominations with Charlie Rose. To my knowledge, which is anecdotal at best--I gave up on the Oscars when Oliver! won Best Picture--no one ever called Jimmy Stewart a c*nt from the stage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. It was a fictional extrapolation for the purposes of making a point while being offensive. Just like Powell's UN speech.
While we're at it, someone ask 'em at HuffPo how Colin Powell is anything but Sarah Palin with a better speaking voice and 1/3 less bloodlust? Powell's attractiveness to the Right has always been as a sharpened stick to apply to the Librul Eye: the My Lai whitewasher and one-half of the diversity behind the Most Diverse Cabinet in History. Before the hullabaloo over Powell's endorsement--and Obama's deep appreciation for the "honor"--I had frankly been living with a hard bolus in the vicinity of my vitals, throbbing at me periodically that Disastrous Reality was leading Truth to make a comeback. This was not the sour digestion of the bitter old blogger who'd find himself without material in that event, but the street smarts of the experienced junky who knows America could never handle going Cold Turkey like that.
Perhaps you see my Problem; more likely you're living it, too, if without the violent mood swings. A massive Obama victory will prevent a McCain administration and send Palin back to America's Siberia, and it will, certainly not silence the Cornerites and the Red Staters, but perhaps induce some secret but undeniable prodigy of cancer in their collective bowel; and this is all to the good. But a narrow Obama victory would do the same thing, as well as tempering the glee of that species of HuffPundit who imagines the collapse of Movement "Conservatism" as the inevitable result of its collision with his own superior intellect, and whose dedication to the principles of Liberal Modernism incline him to prefer his pockets be picked and dentures swiped by Democratic politicians. Then, as if this weren't vertiginous enough for one electoral cycle, one comes upon the following sentences:
Peggy--and I trust she'll permit me to address her in this way, as I've known her for many years--is writing the prose of her life. She will be the first to admit that she erred occasionally in judgment in the early years of the Bush administration--but so did too many of us, as we gave an undeserving president (and administration) too many benefits of too many doubts. Now, however, she is writing with such transparent conscience that I believe that she captures, in her column, the American condition and the American voice.
This, by the way, is in praise of Friday's demi-denunciation of Sarah Palin, the same Sarah Palin she accidentally poor-mouthed over an open mike and then ran to
Now, the Pew poll I cited earlier also showed Barack Obama holding a 50 percent to 40 percent lead over John McCain in the race for the White House. You might think this data point poses a challenge to my encomium to the good sense of the American people.
It does. But it’s hard to blame the public for preferring Obama at this stage — given the understandable desire to kick the Republicans out of the White House, and given the failure of the McCain campaign to make its case effectively. And some number of the public may change their minds in the final two weeks of the campaign, and may decide McCain-Palin offers a better kind of change — perhaps enough to give McCain-Palin a victory.
William Kristol, born with a complete silver service for sixteen in his mouth--which evidence suggests resulted in hypoxia at that critical time--bravely stands shoulder to shoulder with The Little Guy, now that it seems clear that "Main Street" isn't rushing the gates and demanding atonement in blood, and specifically his, although he's keeping his Horace handy for when the whole thing blows over. As I said, America's in no condition to run into the Light, or even walk there without assistance. But there's no sense delaying having these ugly tumors excised and analyzed.