Wednesday, August 17

Well, That Didn't Take Long

But every mention of the word "retarded" is a personal insult to Sarah Palin. Unless you're a right-wing radio blowhard. Weigel:
Rest easy: Rick Perry probably isn't going to execute Ben Bernanke.

And David Weigel probably doesn't really mean "probably".
When he told a crowd of Iowa Republicans Monday that "we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas" if the chairman of the Federal Reserve "print[ed] more money between now and the election," it wasn't exactly a Kinsley gaffe, defined as when a politician tells the truth. Instead, call it a "Perry gaffe": when a politician doesn't mean what he says, but means to say it.

Otherwise known as "hyperbole", an invention of the Ancient Greeks, not some Jebus-mazed huckster from Texas who'd probably not be lynched for showin' off any fancy larnin' like that if anyone got wind of it. We do know that if it was an intentionally-employed figure of speech he didn't get it from his state's textbooks.

Sure, it's the United States of America. Then again, I don't think it woke up this AM wondering whether to read Slate's political columns or check out the morning line-up on E!. Perry was "using" hyperbole. His readers do not need David Weigel to explain this. (David Weigel knows this, else David Weigel would not have stated in as a leg-pull. But he still stated it.)

Furthermore, saying someone was using hyperbole isn't an excuse, except maybe in cases where the hyperbole was widely or strikingly missed. I dunno about you, but I saw headlines saying "Perry Bashes Fed" or "Perry Attacks Bernanke"; I didn't even see a blog post suggesting he'd actually threatened the man with bodily harm. But thanks for clearing it up anyway, Dave. (Especially in a way that suggests, again, that no Republican ever means what he says, unless he gets away with it. We know that, too.)

Now, were I an "objective" 'conservative'-"libertarian-" "leaning" "journalist", my reaction might have been, "Dear God, does every one of these bozos have to dive for the bottom of the Crazy Barrel right at the gun? And isn't there something seriously wrong with a party where that's true?" But that's because I don't have the instincts of the careerist, who knows enough to simply wait until everything's gone to shit again, and then point out all the instances where he was somewhat equivocal tried to warn us.

The other thing is this: Treason. Treason is not hyperbole; "Treason" is something the Right's been spitting out ever since Bob Welch heard about fluoridation. The Right's been accusing somebody of Treason at least forty times a day since, except when there's a Republican President in charge of however many military actions we have going at any particular time, in which case it's forty times a minute. That, of itself, takes it out of the realm of Hyperbole, and into the realm of Phrase Repeated Over and Over Until It Becomes Meaningless, Except It Was Misused From the Start.

We've noted this a few hundred times by now, but there were barely any treason convictions attached to WWII, and that was the last time anyone could commit treason, since it was the last time we had a declared enemy to aid and comfort. It would be nice if we could see a little simple recognition of that once in a while. Not to mention that it goes a long way towards improving the quality of your hyperbolic utterances when you know what you're talking about.

Instead, of course, it's a direct line from "Tailgunner" Joe McCarthy's list of 597 364 215 121 84 32 some "traitors" in the State Department, to Hanoi Jane Fonda, to the Chairman of the Fed being a traitor because he carries out his legal duties. Everything the Right doesn't like--even for the sake of temporal political gain--is fucking unAmerican. Is it too much to ask that some columnist playing objective observer from miles behind the lines notice this? Yeah, I'm glad Perry "probably" won't execute Bernanke. Har har har. The fact that everyone in his party talks like Yosemite Sam, though, is another matter.

So, it took Perry about twelve hours to say something so stupid it made headlines, and it took Weigel probably about twelve minutes to decide to apologize for it. How long did it take Kathleen Parker to get to the heart of the matter?

I smell another Pulitzer. One brief daydream?
There’s something slightly lazy in the mouth, half a smile, a knowing look. Both share a devil-may-care, towel-snapping streak — an attitude that either connects them to their quarry or sends their prey howling into the outer darkness. The same things that drove liberals mad about George W. will repeat themselves with Perry.

It’s that certitude mixed with bravado. It is also, dare I say, their certain brand of manliness. Weathered, creased and comfortable in jeans, they convey a regular guyness that everyday Americans relate to. Take it or leave it, it happens to be true.

Y'know, I'm a life-long admirer of Borges and Milton, and of The Real Helen Keller's courage and socialist humanitarianism; I love Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. Yet somehow it never occurred to me to string two paragraphs together in hopes that thousands of Americans would poke their own eyes out lest they ever encounter anything like it again.

Finally, we're getting the Republican presidential race back to where it belongs. 2009.
Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan is strongly considering a run for president. Ryan, who has been quietly meeting with political strategists to discuss a bid over the past three months, is on vacation in Colorado discussing a prospective run with his family. Ryan’s concerns about the effects of a presidential campaign – and perhaps a presidency – on his family have been his primary focus as he thinks through his political future.

Sure, sure: if you're a Hoosier, like I know I am, the first thing that strikes you is what sort of dedicated family men all these Establishment Republicans are, and how desperate. It's beginning to look like the last great hope for these guys was Bobby Jindal's State of the Union reply.

Could we just say it, please? This--and apologists like Weigel--are what's really wrong with the Republican party. They don't like Romney, who couldn't be more Pro-Bidness if he shit tax exemptions, because he gives off the odor of a man who might try to do something Big while in office to get himself a statue. And they don't like Palin and the Palinettes, because they know these people are fucking loons. That is, they know that a strict application of so-called Republican principles would sink everyone who couldn't move offshore. But, of course, in order to keep going since Reagan they've had to insist that every colossal failure has come about because their principles weren't applied strictly enough. They're stuck in mid-extreme, and nobody wants to yell "Fire!" Or "Shit!", which would be closer to the truth. They can't decide if it's better to lose now, or later.

Listen, it's not like I didn't tell ya that the whole Daniels for President thing was a desperate cry for help. Now they've decided they just need a slightly more magnetic Tim Pawlenty (who, it should be noted, was merely keeping his own bag o'guano insanity under control so he could run as a more competent Michele Bachmann). For the fucking life of me: the Plutocrat party cannot win on its own, and it cannot govern or remain popular when it manages to sneak in. Not to mention that reading Ayn Rand is now the mark of its intellectuals. Why are you not making common cause with the moderate 'conservative' in the White House? The goddam Democratic party is yours for the taking, and there's little risk Barack Obama is going to do anything in the next five years. The Other Party refused to stomp a mudhole in your snake handlers' cult. Suck it up and do it yourselves.


R. Porrofatto said...

Even if Perry's accusation came true, and Bernanke started to "print more money between now and the election" to deliberately enhance Obama's chances of winning by improving the economy, he would still be improving the fucking economy. Which is not only his job but something Perry, as a non-treasonous patriotic Texan-American, should theoretically apoprove of.

As to Perry himself, I'm waiting for Peggy Noonan to begin the virtual evisceration of his innards and the imaginary reading of his entrails. Kathleen Parker, for whom Obama was not a "full-blooded American" as we may recall, may want to begin the stroking of Perry's manliness but until Noonan steps in to venerate the perspicacity of his gut he's not a genuine candidate in my book.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

It’s that certitude mixed with Brawndo.

All fixed. Now Kathleen Parker's got electrolytes!

..the thunder will said...


dead head FAIL said...

the lightning, the lightning...


heydave said...

Parker sees all that in the little dipshit? I see a retarded circus clown with good hair.