Friday, February 3

Peggy, You Need To Inform Your Doctor About the Drowsiness

Sure, I said a couple of weeks ago I'd decided to make Nooners part of my regular Thursday program, along with the added fiber, and sure, I already regret it. Jesus, lady (or Jesus Lady), you write one column a week. Is it so difficult to come up with a single good idea?

After a couple paragraphs about how flak' sid the SOTU was, lines which were remarkably evocative of the thing they referenced, she takes on--oh, wait for it--Hilary Clinton!
There was only one unforgettable moment, and that was in a cutaway shot, of Hillary Clinton, who simply must do something about her face. When the president joked that two people his father loves are turning 60 this year, himself and Bill Clinton--why does he think constant references to that relationship work for him?--it was Mrs. Clinton's job to look mildly amused, or pleasant, or relatively friendly, or nonhostile. Mrs. Clinton has two natural looks, the first being a dull and sated cynicism, the second the bright-eyed throaty chuckler who greets visiting rubes from Utica. The camera caught the first; by the time she realized she was the shot, she apparently didn't feel she could morph into the second. This canniest of politicians still cannot fake benignity.

Now, honestly, if I could do that post category thing here, "Good Things About Hillary" would most likely be empty. But I saw the clip on The Daily Show, and if I may, Bush does his semi-literate reading of a semi-joke (Bill Clinton is one of my dad's favorite people! Har har har, that's a good one, ain't it?) and right side of the aisle erupts into hysterics. It was a moment of High Baloney, and Hillary's expression conveyed that perfectly. But to Peggers it was an obvious moment where she was supposed to pretend to be amused! C'mon, you're supposed to play along! You're a Democrat, and it's a Republican speaking. It's not like it's your husband up there, and all rules of decorum have been suspended by Natural Law.

Of course, had Hillary yukked it up like a cast member of Hee-Haw, Noonan would have written about how phony it was. She's got six column inches to fill every week, after all.

[Which reminds me. I love Peter Daou anyway, and I love his recent bits going after this sort of thing in the guise of a different Pro-Bush/Anti-Dem narrative every day.]

After a perfunctory swipe at the Democratic party as revealed by Kos' commenters (does this sort of thing not yet rate as criminal mischief? Jesus, lady, why don't you get a blog, open it to comments, and let's see what crawls out of the ooze, shall we?) Pegs takes out after Tom Shales, whose review of Flight 93 failed to include any flag waving. That it included praise for earlier CBS and HBO documentaries on the subject was of no importance. If it's about 9/11 it must be praised. That's one of the reasons we went through it in the first place. And it ends, just as I'm about to get up for some Advil, with this:
You wonder at the intemperance of angry young lefties and then think of the example set for them by exhausted old lefties.

Which, assuming I've racked up any good karma lately, was apparently the reason I read her, so I'd have a segué into this. It's a comment from the great Meteor Blades, part of a long comments thread at Hullabaloo in response to this post by tristero.
When I started out in politics, blacks couldn't vote, 18-year-olds couldn't vote, abortion was illegal, feminism was something that had happened in the '20s and professors at Harvard Law School and elsewhere regularly told women they had no right to be there. "Gay" meant happy, environmental advocacy was a dream, kids were openly punished for speaking Spanish or Lakota on the playground, college students were ruled by in loco parentis and only 200 soldiers had died in Vietnam.

We had a lot of struggles on our hands and no wwwLand to fight it with. We didn't just protest and scream chants. We organized against the draft, we fought for the 18-year-old vote, we walked the precincts for candidates, we founded alternative newspapers - today's version, I suppose, of blogs - we stood arm-in-arm against racism and misogyny and militarism in a society not eager to uproot them.

We made mistakes. Some of us succumbed to pernicious ideologies. And a tiny fraction, like the Weather Underground, did worse than make mistakes.

But we also had an impact. To give one example: the fact that there was opposition from the get-go to the Iraq War in Congress can, I believe, be traced to our opposition. Remember only two Senators opposed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

I'm all for turning things over to a new generation. (As if I had a choice.) And I hope that generation will learn from our errors. But, first, it needs to have a good sense of our achievements, and not buy the distorted version of what we did and how we did it or make assumptions that we're all like Ward Churchill in word or deed.

To which, may I add that all of you pups who want to lecture us about what it takes to win elections might try winning one first, just for practice.

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