Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pat blogging! less-special-than-you'd-hope American news edition!

[Ugh---updates from Deutschland are forthcoming but taking longer... I know, regular readers have been on this train before and know it takes a while, but I'm trying, really. In the meantime, here's more stuff from my latest foray into the Internets.]

Rush Limbaugh a victim of a left-wing smear campaign, you say? I had no idea thirty-two fat white billionaires now constituted the Left. A good rule of thumb is that when your political argument entails this guy or this one wearing a Che t-shirt and putting up ANSWER posters, you probably need to rethink that explanation. Liberals are making a mistake when they rush to defend one side of what is not their fight. Limbaugh versus the NFL owners is new money versus old; it's a story older than the sport, but that's what you get when half of the electorate proudly advertises they don't read books---you can't analogize to Tom and Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker. Limbaugh wasn't kept out of the league because of some fabricated quote attributed to him praising Martin Luther King's assassin; he was kept out because he's not their kind of people. And that's disgusting snobbery, and he's a horrible person, and I feel no need to take any side in it.

Mike Huckabee... what to say. I actually like Huckabee (the Colbert bump, what can I say), or at least find him personable enough. And it's worth noting that he's straight-up a die-hard on two of the three legs of the GOP platform: a former Baptist minister, he's got the evangelicals and the cultural conservatives down with Huck-a-bee[fn1], and while he's not particularly noted by the foreign policy establishment as a particularly comprehensive conservative, his views are no less confused on that score than anyone else the party's thrown up. But there it is, that third leg, the part of the party that demands its nominees recite the Club for Growth Pledge of Allegiance, and Huckabee's said things in the past that terrify those people. Like, you know, working people need a fairer shake from Big Business. (Yeah, they get terrified by some downright decent shit, these guys.) He's from Arkansas, represents people who shop and work at WalMart, and unlike a lot of supposed Christian conservatives seems to have taken some of that shit about the meek to heart. That, as you know, makes someone a crazy populist in today's Republican party, where straight-up anti-populism is officially a Traditional American ValueTM. (Don't sneer, Democrats. You remember the only one of your candidates who did so much as talk a good game about poverty? Right, John Edwards. How'd that work out for him?)
fn1: Yea you know me!
In unrelated news, a Times reporter who authored an unbearably entitled pity-fest for the now-merely-super-rich and their struggles in the present economic climate (example: it's harder to give $100 million to the Met when your trust fund dwindles from $500 million to $350 million. No, really.) predictably got a lot of resentful letters from the unwashed not-rich-at-all set. What strikes me as most interesting is that nearly all of the letters were about the reporter falling down on the job---yet he was incapable of viewing them other than as a psychologically unhealthy bit of jealousy at the rich people portrayed in his article. I've been thinking about this for a while---I think a lot of what you see in the Washington Post online chats, for example, makes more sense when you realize that establishment reporters are incapable of conceiving that their judgment has ever been in error. It just does not compute. So they ascribe criticism to foulmouthed lefty bloggers who just have a political ax to grind, or else poor hicks in flyover states obviously in need of a good 5th Avenue psychotherapist (that they can't afford).

Okay, hopefully in the next few days a real update. Sorry folks.

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