Wednesday, February 27
A Note On Fourteen Hundred Words Explaining The Unintelligible
David Weigel, "The Passion of Rand Paul: Why the senator was against Chuck Hagel before he was for him". February 26
FIRST, someone more With It than I needs to tell me if the kids went and changed the definition of Why on the Twitter, and I haven't found out about it yet. For the past several thousand years Why, in its various Indo-European guises, has sought to explain, or elicit an explanation of, reason, cause, or motive. Does it still? Likewise, over the centuries, specialized fields of study, like "Science", or "Rhetoric", or "Advertising" have developed sets of guidelines as to what constitutes an acceptable answer, or at least a response. So that, for example, "Because he won an election that way" is not an answer to "Why is Ted Cruz an Anti-Fluoridationist Bugwit?" if Senator Cruz was that sort of bugwit before he ever ran for anything.
Or if, for example, there's a big intellectual tsimmes in the lofty groves of college sophomore Paultard libertarianism (but I repeat myself!) over Rand Paul's, uh, facile votes over the Hagel nomination (in case you weren't able to stay awake, for some reason: against cloture of the debate, but for Hegel's confirmation), then repeating Paul the Younger's second response, the one which tried to change the subject after his first response was rendered pre-inoperative, does not explain Why? Possibly What? as in "What kind of bullshit was that?
(For the record, it was Paul's vote which prevented cloture, which he explained by referencing the "unanswered questions" echoing through the canyons of Ted Cruz's mind, and following that up by agreeing with Hugh Hewett that Hagel's theoretical connection to non-existent terrorist organizations was potentially troubling. When this raised the ire of Some Guy Who Imagines Republico-Libertarianism Has Principles, or that the Senate's most principled opponent of foreign aid should, at the very least, not carry water for Bill Kristol's Israel First group, Paul explained that what he really meant was that Hagel was theoretically for a theoretical draft.)
Okay, look: you don't care. I don't care. No ant-farm of explication changes what happened. Rand Paul saw an opportunity to join other Republicans in pointless dickery, because that's their most important product these days. The masses did not rise up as a result and, as usual, the Dickfest quickly became a Step-on-your-Dickfest. Upon which Paul, with a weekend's worth of wisdom now under his belt, changed his vote when it no longer mattered, and declared himself the real defender of Liberty, because it's a secret. That's why.
Labels: English. It Makes A Poor Cudgel.