Archive for June, 2009

June 30, 2009

VF on Sarah Palin, Part I

As mentioned, I previously took time only to glance at Todd Purdum’s Vanity Fair article on Gov. Sarah Palin (h/t Memeorandum). Now I have printed it and begun reading. On Page 4 there is this:

The consensus [among McCa8in campaign personnel] is that Palin’s rollout . . . went more or less fine . . .

Wrong. The botched rollout set the stage for every subsequent error by the campaign staff. As I said within days of her announcement, they should have called an impromptu press conference immediately after her first Ohio rally.

The reporters would have had no chance to research their “gotcha” questions. The traveling media would have been pleased merely to be present at such a historic press conference, and would have hesitated to attack. The reporters from whom Palin took questions would have been grateful. And she would have bought herself at least a week before she could have been accused of “dodging” the press.

Republican “media strategists” don’t understand the press, and for a simple reason: You could throw a hand grenade into a meeting of GOP “media strategists” with the calm assurance that among the dead and wounded, there would only be perhaps one or two who’d ever worked a day as a reporter.

If Gov. Palin wanted to hire a press secretary who really knows how a reporter thinks, she would get in touch with Audrey Hudson of The Washington Times, who once did a stint as a press secretary on Capitol Hill.

(BTW, that “hand grenade” stuff was just a figure of speech, not a serious suggestion. I disavow responsibility for any extremist who misunderstands the intent of such rhetoric. The legal department forced me to add this disclaimer. Damned lawyers.)

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June 30, 2009

If Andrew Sullivan is not stupid . . .

. . . he must be trying to deceive people. No alternative explanation works, when he describes me thus:

Robert Stacy McCain, a supporter of the genocide of Palestinians in Israel, in a blog-post that has to be one of the most single-mindedly bigoted diatribes I have read. And I’ve read a few.

So says the Trig-Truther impressario of The Atlantic Monthly, in honoring me with yet another “Malkin Award” nomination, my fourth since February. Earlier today, I paused for a moment to pray and Andrew may therefore be an angel unaware. God bless you, sir, for providing me this opportunity to elaborate on important principles of rhetoric.

Right-click that “genocide” hotlink up there, and choose “open in new window” from the pulldown menu so that you may read Andrew’s Feb. 20 post in a new browser window. (Alt+Tab to toggle between the two.) Andrew quoted this:

Swear to God, if [the Israelis] ever want a Gentile prime minister, my first order would be to deploy the IDF in a north-south line, facing east. My second order would be “forward march” and the order to halt would not be given until it was time for the troops to rinse their bayonets in the Jordan. After a brief rest halt, the order “about face” would be given, and the next halt would be at the Mediterranean coast.

To which Andrew replied, “Words fail.” No, sir. Perhaps your understanding fails, but words do not.

“If” is the largest two-letter word in the English language, proposing a contingency or hypothetical. If Andrew Sullivan were hung like porn star . . .

The more farfetched the hypothetical, the more we should consider what follows “if” to be hyperbole, that is to say, an expression carried to an extreme. Argument by hypothesis always involve the risk that some dullard will fail to grasp the point being expressed and incorrectly suppose that one actually desires the scenario described.

Therefore, it becomes unfortunately necessary to reveal that my campaign to become the first Gentile prime minister of Israel was intended as a jest. Furthermore, my tactical plan for Palestinian “genocide” (actually, Andrew, it would be mere ethnic cleansing, since they’d have the opportunity to flee the advancing IDF bayonets) was a hyperbole, a sort of verbal clue that the reader had reached the punchline.

There is truth in humor, of course, and anyone who wishes to read the entirety of my Feb. 20 post may attempt to discern what truth I meant to express. The title and first paragraph:

Glenn Greenwald: ‘No anti-Semite could
possibly hate me worse than I hate myself’

Well, that’s the subconscious meaning of his latest column in his ongoing effort to win the Nobel Prize in literature with his wicked satire of a stereotypical self-hating Jew. . . .

Greenwald is one of these people who has never seen a fight between a Jew and an Arab for which he did not blame the Jew. My Feb. 20 post begins by discussing a category of critics of the U.S.-Israel alliance that includes some of my paleocon/libertarian friends, remarking that one cannot dismiss all such critics as anti-Semites: “The world is more complex than that.”

Being notorious myself, I hesitate to attach the evil stigma of anti-Semitism, an implicit accusation of mala fides, on those who are attempting to offer serious comment on serious matters of policy. Whether it’s James Pinkerton, Pat Buchanan or Taki Theodoracopulos, only conclusive evidence of irrational and irredeemable Jew-hatred will suffice.

Perhaps I am too tolerant in this regard, just as I am too patient in hoping that David Frum will reconsider his “Unpatriotic Americans” anathema against Robert Novak, et al. Similarly, I may perhaps be too hopeful that there is still within Andrew Sullivan’s soul some shred of conscience that would cause him to retract the accusation that I am an advocate of “genocide.”

This essay will be extended over the next several hours. I had other things I meant to do today, but it seems the angels meant otherwise. So if you’ll do me a favor, refresh this post in a couple hours. Meanwhile, the waitress has arrived with your check. (Click the link, buddy. She’s a hot redhead.)

UPDATE: My buddy tipped the waitress in a respectable manner, but a certain resident of Connecticut — maybe Ed’s got a thing for redheads — doubled that tip. My gratitude to both these gentlemen, and to the several others who know how To Insure Prompt Service. Hope you’re all enjoying this latest spectacle, which now continues . . .

Kathy Shaidle is the Only Canadian Who Matters, a woman of such excellent character that I am tempted to forgive the Northern Menace for foisting Neil Young upon us. Lead me not into temptation.

It was she, the diminuitive Canadian, who seized upon the “Ransom Note Method” as the key to understanding a certain species of ad hominem by which the Left cuts-and-pastes various remarks and assembles them into a dossier of distortion, like a kidnapper gluing together a ransom note.

The primary purpose of such an attack is to depict the target — among others, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin have both received this treatment — as a person of such despicable sentiments, guilty of such vile hatreds, that no respectable person can view them as anything but a bogeyman, a demon, an agent of evil.

For decades, the “Ransom Note Method” has been employed against the Left’s enemies, living and dead, and has repeatedly achieved not only its primary purpose, but also its secondary purpose: To intimidate and confuse the Right, to cause them to ostracize those conservatives who are most dangerous to the Left, and to discourage other conservatives from engaging in direct confrontation with the ideological foe.

Kathy don’t scare easy. To quote our hero J. Coddington Van Voorhees VII (“Coddy,” to his friends), I like the cut of her jib. And now that a few people have begun to discern the methods and objectives of the Ransom Not Method, the method’s effectiveness has been permanently impaired. It will soon be destroyed entirely and the Left will be deprived of one of its most reliable weapons.

You assholes picked a fight with the wrong Canadian. Kathy was called a “racist” for her full-throated criticism of Canada’s Orwellian political correctness, so that the book she co-authored cannot even be purchased via Amazon. But she has friends, among them Mark Steyn, and with friends like that, she can handle as many enemies as may come against her.

Welcome to the Camp of the Saints. Hit the tip jar, and come back in an hour or two, because I aim to make sure you get your money’s worth, folks:

“My God, Scarlett O’Hara!” said Tony peevishly. “When I start out to cut somebody up, you don’t think I’ll be satisfied with scratching him with the blunt side of my knife, do you? No, by God, I cut him to ribbons.”
Gone With The Wind

UPDATE 4:05 p.m.: James Joyner is an extraordinarily insightful writer, and when he calls me “perhaps the most skilled attention whore in all the blogosphere,” my instinctive reaction is, “Perhaps?”

Dr. Joyner began blogging in January 2003, when the ‘sphere was as tiny and helpless as little Trig Palin, and his excellent Outside the Beltway blog has grown along with it. The Good Doctor therefore may not appreciate the difficulties confronting a writer who got 6,000 visitors in March 2008 — his first month of full-time blogging — and who did not aim to fail at this new endeavor.

“Attention whore”? Heh. This implies that I would compose a quite risky 1,500-word analysis of anti-Palinism merely to gain attention. (Check the gazongas on that redhead!) Yet it is a fact, one which too many journalists fail to appreciate, that there is no point writing something if no one is reading it.

Dr. Joyner comes from an academic background where entire careers are devoted to that sort of writing. If my prose style is . . . engaging, this is surely no sin in the realm of commercial writing. But I did not come here to argue with my dear friend James, rather to eviscerate Andrew Sullivan. (Just a figure of speech, a metaphor, a bit of engaging imagery to whet the appetite of the reader who is encouraged to suspect that Sully’s intestines will be displayed in the next update, in about an hour.)

UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: Before that interruption, I was discussing principles of rhetoric, namely, if you’re going to attack a man, destroy him.

Don’t shilly-shally around. Don’t snipe or gossip or kibbitz or damn him with faint praise. Be a man about it, and take him head-on, determined that when you finish, there shall be nothing left of his reputation except a smoldering crater and the hushed awe of the spectators.

To do otherwise is to advertise yourself as a soft target. That this principle could be applied to Israeli’s response to rocket attacks from Gaza might make Andrew Sullivan pause, if he were a thoughtful man. Or hung like a porn star.

Ken Layne’s attack on Sarah Palin, involving her son Trig, was astonishingly sadistic. I saw it at Professor William Jacobson’s blog — the Professor quotes it in full, so that you don’t have to click over to Wonkette to see it — and immediately forgot whatever it was I had planned to do before I saw it.

What could motivate Layne’s wanton viciousness? What did Sarah Palin ever do to him to deserve that? Rather, what could anyone ever do to provoke such cruelty? Nothing. Layne’s attack was a raw specimen of undiluted evil.

It reminded me of similar specimens of evil, also involving the governor and her infant son. Motherhood is among the many institution our society once revered, but which are now widely mocked and derided. As I pondered what sort of response Layne might deserve, I thought about that: Why is it Sarah Palin’s maternal qualities that Layne and others like him choose to attack?

A horror and hatred of . . . the “birth canal”?

UPDATE 5:44 p.m.: Hate to repeat myself, but . . . Heh. No point knocking yourself out, eliciting accusations of being a “single-minded bigot,” if nobody’s going to read it.

“Attention whore” or not, as I contemplated Layne’s attack on Palin, the exposed flank was clear. Like others, he seemed offended by motherhood.

Q. What manner of person would do this?
A. A vicious cocksucker.

Now, I have occasionally remarked on the forms of misogyny characteristic of gay-male culture. Others have made similar observations. There is a type of woman that gay men typically venerate — The Diva, e.g., Cher, Bette Midler, Liza, Madonna — and there are types of women that gay men typically despise, perhaps none more than that unglamorous stereotype, the frumpy housewife. If you add the descriptor “Christian” to “housewife,” it’s like chumming the waters near the Great Barrier Reef.

Why is this so? In Principles of Logic thirty years ago, our professor warned against any statement containing “all” or “always,” “none” or “never” (a danger that is best illustrated by Venn diagram). Nevertheless, one might describe the general attitude toward women in gay-male culture, without fear that this description could be fairly characterized as applicable to every gay man. Therefore . . .

Gay men have mother issues — and all that proceeded from there. And having written that and put it on the Internet, now I see that Andrew Sullivan finds fit to accuse me of advocating Palestinian “genoicide.” As Dana Carvey’s Church Lady might say, “How convenient.”

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful . . .

This essay can be extended and, if you refresh this page in about an hour, I think it will be. Do you really think I’m merely an “attention whore”? Or do you suppose that there is some reason I wanted your attention? Let the wise consider, and please hit the tip jar.

UPDATE 6:42: Referencing my discussion of gay culture’s influence in the fashion industry, a conservative blogger left a link to this:

Ladies, a question. Why did you allow gay men to become the arbiters of feminine beauty? Seriously, I want to know. Letting Penis Hilton judge a beauty pageant is like me asking Rosie O’Doughnuts for advice on how to be a real hunk . . .
Ladies, before I hear any more whining about society’s horrendous standards of beauty, consider who sets them, and consider who lets the deciders decide. . . .

Indeed, the artificial standards of the fashion industry are . . . unmerciful, you might say. Look at the ads in Cosmo. How many hetero guys consider anorexic 6-foot-tall heroin addicts to be ideal? Show of hands. Anyone?

Perhaps no skill is more important to survival than the ability to distinguish between a friend and an enemy. An honest enemy is less to be feared than a false friend. Military aircraft carry a signal device known as IFF (“Identify Friend or Foe”) the purpose of which is to prevent friendly-fire incidents, and to enable pilots to know that the enemy in their sights is indeed an enemy.

Women who turn to Cosmo seeking friendly advice are fools, as I explained years ago. And one of the basic problems in politics is quite similar. Republicans are forever listening to “friendly” advice from people who aren’t really their friends.

Ask Sarah Palin about that. She joined Crazy Cousin John’s campaign last year and found herself surrounded by arrogant know-it-all “advisers” whose advice struck her as wrongheaded, and now those same advisers appear as anonymous “campaign insiders” in vicious hit-pieces aimed at destroying her future viability as a candidate.

If Andrew Sullivan wants to be my enemy, this is his choice. I pity him too much to hate him, and his animosity harms me not at all. I wish he wouldn’t accuse me of genocide, but this ludicrous accusation hurts his credibility, not mine.

There were other things I might have added here, and perhaps I’ll add more later. But I’ve got to read this Vanity Fair article and see if I can deduce the identity of the sources. Then a nap, maybe, before preparing for my trip to Alabama.

Please tip your waitress. (Look at those gazongas!)

UPDATE 7:05 p.m.: If you criticize Somali immigrants for harassing a gay man, is your hatred of homophobia perhaps a form of xenophobia? Or is it just regular racism?

Whatever happened to multiculturalism, for crying out loud?

How dare you try to impose your values on those Somalis?! This is eliminationist rhetoric!

June 30, 2009

‘I Owe You Six Beers’

So said a rather important conservative communications operative, in the subject line of an e-mail praising my response to Ken “Wonkette” Lane. The operative called it a “smackdown,” while I prefer to think of it as a sociological treatise, but . . . well, that’s just semantics, right?

Entrepeneurship is about opportunity. This unsolicited praise presented an opportunity which I was keen to exploit in my e-mail reply:

Your praise is most welcome. It was a pleasure and duty to call him what he is.
Please examine the sidebar of the blog until you find a link to that which we bloggers call a “tip jar.” Pretend that you and I are in a bar — a swanky sort of place, with linen tablecloths, silverware, fine stemware, etc. — and that you are buying me those six beers. The waitress is a smokin’ hot 21-year-old Georgetown coed who, as it turns out, is an aspiring journalist who raves that she has been reading your blog for years and is, in fact, your No. 1 fan. It happens that she is actually a friend of several of your friends, business associates and clients.
Think about this, and the impression you wish to leave, as this waitress — did I mention that she’s one of those Irish-Catholic redheads with the big gazongas? — presents the check for those six beers you bought me. Also, I had the $12 quesadilla appetizer. So when you click that link to the tip jar, just think about what that redhead might say to your friends if you tip like a cheapskate bastard.
And incidentally, isn’t it amazing that nobody’s ever tried to hire me as a humor columnist?
— RSM

Just got off the phone with the guy who’s hosting the Third Annual Camp FUBAR Fourth of July Fireworks & BBQ Blowout on the shores of Alabama’s beautiful Lake Weiss. (Google map showing approximate location of Camp FUBAR.)

Given the economic realities, scraping up contributions to fund this exercise in pyrotechnical mayhem has been extraordinarily difficult this year. Because fireworks can be purchased in advance at a discount that’s not available in the weeks immediately before the Fourth of July — when amateur chumps pay full retail, as chumps always do — I was required to spend money I didn’t have in order to acquire the basic supplies.

The anticipation of (partial) remuneration in the future was an element of this fiscal calculation, but the inescapable logic was: You can’t shoot a fireworks show without fireworks, and you can get a lot more bang for your bucks if you buy early. To a fireworks man, a dollar in May is worth $5 on the Fourth of July.

Much of this was explained to my friend, who’s hosting the Third Annual Camp FUBAR Fourth of July Fireworks & BBQ Blowout on the shores of Alabama’s beautiful Lake Weiss. (Free camping space is available, and good hotel accommodations are a short drive away.) My friend was explaining that some guy gave him $20 and another guy has promised . . .

“Darryl, you’re Guido from the Mob. Shake ’em down. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Every day closer we get to the Fourth of July, the more those worthless sons of bitches are spending that money on beer or sunblock or whatever else they spend their money on besides paying for the show they can watch for free. Tell ’em anything you have to tell ’em. Put the squeeze on those bastards. Just get the money now . . .”

Well, much further discussion followed. People have no idea how shameful it is for me to have to shake the tip jar like this, knowing full well that there are “media strategists” — who don’t know as much or work as hard — getting paid incredible salaries to do badly jobs that I could do better for less. Trust me, my average daily earnings as a freelance journalist/blogger don’t equal what the communications director of the Republican National Committee spends to get her nails done.

I resent the hell out of this reality, but all I know to do is to work even harder today than I worked yesterday, while trying figure out how I can work even harder tomorrow. The Fourth of July, however, involves the kind of work that I love to do most — to fill the sky with pyrotechnical beauty — and so I’m shaking the tip jar today like Guido from the Mob.

Yesterday, God sent a blessed lady to hit my tip jar, but the realities of PayPal are such that it takes two or three days to process a transaction. The money you put in the tip jar today (Tuesday) won’t reach my bank account until Friday, and showtime is sundown Saturday.

Hundreds of cheapskate bastards will get a free show, simply because they happen to be at the lake Saturday, just like hundreds of cheapskate bastards are reading the work of An Acknowledged Master of English Prose Composition, merely because they happened to click a link off some other blog where they don’t hit the tip jar.

Maybe you’re a conservative, wondering why the Left is kicking our ass online. Look in the mirror. What the hell have you done? But don’t blame yourself. Blame me.

It is my all fault. Who knows why or how, but by some act of commission or omission, I have either done the wrong thing or failed to do everything I possibly could. I’m 49 years old, and Billy Mays died the other day at 50, so I may not live to light that first fuse Saturday night. However, if I do, then I may live to return to Washington next week and hassle some more IG-Gate news out of my sources on Capitol Hill.

In the meantime, Sporto, you’re sitting there with money in your account, and that redheaded waitress with the big gazongas just put the check on the table.

Hit the freaking tip jar now, and hit it like you mean it. Don’t make me send Guido after you.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, we are pleased to present . . . THE TEMPTATIONS!

(Among other mysteries of the universe: Why hasn’t anyone offered me a contract to write How To Blog Like a Mofo — And Bleg Like a Pro? Also: How come you, my blogger paisano, can appreciate the value of this genius demonstration and yet have not hit the tip jar? Guido knows where you live. Also, Guido’s in a bad mood because his adorable 9-year-old daughter is dying from a dreadful disease, or at least that’s what it says on the contribution jars he’s leaving in convenience stores throughout Paulding County, Georgia. Where he got the picture of that cute little moppet in pigtails, I don’t know. His actual daughter is 20 and perfectly healthy.)

UPDATE 3:15 p.m.: You wanted a show? You paid for a show? Buddy, you just hired the Hardest Working Man in Blog Business:

“If Andrew Sullivan is not stupid . . .”

(It’s a hypothetical.)

June 30, 2009

Best ‘Birth Canal’ Quote of the Year

“‘Gender is just a social construct.’ A woman would have to be the queen of denial to cling to that notion after pushing a baby out of her birth canal.”
Pundette (mother of seven children)

June 30, 2009

Thank you, ma’am!

Fourth of July is going to be a little bit sweeter, thanks to a wonderful lady in Albuquerque, N.M., who hit the tip jar today. She included with her contribution a note:

We need reminders about calling the 8 traitors and the RNC. . . .

This was obviously a response to the Not One Red Cent answer to the Waxman-Markey Eight. Now, it happens that she hit the tip jar just before I posted my solicitation of $20 contributions, and when I saw the amount of her donation, I felt compelled to send her an e-mail:

Ma’am: The contribution said $200 — that’s not an accidental extra zero, is it? Either way, I’m grateful for your generosity, but wanted to make sure I wasn’t taking advantage of an error.

To which she quickly replied:

Not an error. I am divying up the money I would usually give the national Republicans. They are getting no more from me. Keep the fight going!

Well . . . Heh. I wrote back to tell the generous lady that the fight would most certainly continue, and added that she was an answer to prayer. Before I could even ask, God answered tenfold.

I’m still a few Jacksons shy of my goal, so don’t any of you other would-be tipjar-hitters think you’re off the hook. Hit me, baby.

Which brings me to my good friend Dan Riehl’s criticism that withholding money from the national committees will “only make the problem worse.”

That depends, I suppose, on what you consider “the problem” to be. I’m having a very difficult time conceiving how the problem I’m talking about could get “worse.”

The Not One Red Cent rebellion is not a tantrum, nor an atavistic gesture, but the only means remaining by which the conservative grassroots can attempt to communicate to the clueless tone-deaf assclowns at GOP-HQ — did you hear us yet, John Cornyn? — that their reign of idiocy is at an end.

To quote a country song, the whiskey ain’t workin’ anymore. And really, it never worked in the first place.

So long as the Democrats were listening to their own clueless tone-deaf assclowns (by which I mean Bob Shrum) and the conservative grassroots were fired up, GOP-HQ could get away with a fair amount of recto-cranial inversion. It is impossible to name a Republican who wouldn’t have gotten at least 51% in a national election against John Freaking Kerry, especially with notorious assclown Bob Shrum running the Kerry campaign.

Yet the idiots at GOP-HQ apparently decided that the successful results of the 2004 election qualified them as omniscient political geniuses who could do no wrong. The back-to-back disasters of 2006 and ’08 exposed the fallacy of that theory.

Having won elections on the backs of the grassroots — who manned the phone lines and canvassed the precincts — the GOP leadership believed itself so superior that they didn’t need the grassroots anymore. Ah, but the grassroots are not nearly so stupid as the soi-dissant “leadership” imagines.

Whose name was listed as sponsor of S. 2611? You didn’t think we’d forget something like that, did you? Words can scarcely describe the joy of knowing that, whoever wins next year’s Pennsylvania Senate election, it won’t be Arlen Specter.

The grassroots can always find new leaders. If the leaders think they can repeatedly betray the grassroots without consequence, they’d better think again.

What’s wrong at GOP-HQ? Basically, they’ve forgotten whose party it is. A political party is not the property of elected officials, but of the people who elected them. How else to explain Cornyn’s decision that he — and not Republican primary voters — should choose the party’s Senate candidate in Florida?

At least Cornyn is an elected official. Not so the strategists and consultants and other hired hands whose wrongheaded advice leads to such disastrous moves as the national committee trying to handpick a senator in a key state 15 months before the primary.

Those consultants are getting paid good money to tell Republican leaders how to destroy their party. That lady in New Mexico says, Not One Red Cent. If John Cornyn isn’t listening to that lady now, I guarantee that on the morning of Nov. 3, 2010, he’ll wish he had. Because there are many, many thousands of grassroots conservatives who feel the same way. (And they should hit the tip jar, too.)

In the words of a famous Cuban-American, Mr. Cornyn, Say hello to my leetle friend:

Good luck beating that with Charlie Crist. Having demonstrated that Cornyn has backed the losing horse in Florida, let’s reiterate what I said in my letter to the NRCC’s Pete Sessions:

On a close vote of such tremendous importance, one of the last-resort means of enforcing party discipline is for leaders to inform wavering caucus members that those who defy the leadership by voting with the other party will thereby forfeit financial support for their future re-election campaigns. If the NRCC failed to deliver such a message to the eight Republicans who voted for Waxman-Markey, then this is a failure for which the NRCC must be held accountable.

This was a bad bill for which no one could vote with a clean conscience, and no Republican should have voted for it. Guarantee you if Tom DeLay were still in Congress, there would have been eight dead Republicans in the cloakroom before there would have been eight Republican votes for the Monstrosity From Hell That Will Destroy the American Economy.

The NRCC must publicly repudiate the Waxman-Markey Eight, and I’m not seeing any press releases yet, so therefore . .

NOT ONE RED CENT!

And HIT THE TIP JAR!

UPDATE: I’d already linked Donald Douglas twice on this, but Cornyn’s pet Charlie Crist is in a dead heat with Marco Rubio among voters who know both. The awesome power of NRCC’s endorsement is not exactly impressive, is it?

June 30, 2009

WTF the Madoff cash?

by Smitty

Insty links the Corner mentioning what a curiously difficult time the prosecutors are having coming up with the loot.
This blog will be the first to go on record, betting a cup of coffee (assuming I can still trade my car by then to buy one if I lose the bet) that in, say, 42 months, there is a little bit of Article 2, Section 2 action coming from a certain Constitutional Law Professor:

and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Connecting the dots is left as an exercise for the reader, as this blog would not be caught dead in a tinfoil hat, don’t you know.

June 30, 2009

Fred Thompson Clips

by Smitty

Roundup of clips from his show today. Voting for him in the Republican Primary was a real treat last year. Granted, he was out of the race, but what a refreshing thing, to vote one’s conscience! So, if this draws comments, I’ll see about rounding him up more often. Nothing earth-shaking here, but so well delivered. If you’ve only time for one, recommend the first.

  • Lightning Round. This edition of the lightning Fred and Jeri talk about; Iran, Cap-and-Trade, David Letterman, North Korean inspections, democrats claim that cap-and-trade will generate jobs.
  • Family Values Rant. Fred Thompson discusses how the liberal press is obsessed with the idea that the Republican Party can’t claim to be the party of family values anymore and that “preachy republicans” can’t be critical over the left’s stance on family values. Fred asks the questions: Who are these “preachy republicans,” and why is there this concept that democrats should get a free pass just because they aren’t known for their family values.
  • Scandals are a bipartisan issue. Fred Thompson talks about how the corruption and scandal issues in the political world are bipartisan and how he resents how the media latches on to the scandal when it is a republican but not so much when it is a democrat.
  • Winners and Losers. The Winners for this segment are; is the U.S chamber of commerce for requesting an additional review of the EPA’s finding that would regulate green house emissions, calling the data “cherry picked.” The other Winner for today is Tom Menino, the mayor of Boston, for changing his opposition to charter schools.
    The Losers for this segment are; Illinois Representative Mark Kirk, for voting with 7 other republicans for the cap-and-trade legislation. The other loser is the Argentina power couple President Christina Fernandez and her husband former president Nestor Kirchner for losing control over the congress. Looks like even Chavez couldn’t help them out
June 29, 2009

How to celebrate the Ricci ruling?

A rare legal victory for heterosexual white guys. Every blogger on the planet has already weighed in, and a notoriously homophobic honky blogger wonders what’s left to say.

Hit the tip jar. You heard me right, cracker. Andrew Jackson is a hero to oppressive white guys everywhere, so hit me with $20.

Tell you what: Let’s have a big party Saturday night to celebrate this in grand style — and you’re invited!

Everyone is invited to the Third Annual Camp FUBAR Fourth of July Fireworks & BBQ Blowout on the shores of Alabama’s beautiful Lake Weiss. (Google map showing approximate location of Camp FUBAR.)

What better way to celebrate this historic Caucasian occasion than to hang out with a bunch of Alabama rednecks and then, just after sundown, watch a genuine white guy shoot off about $800 worth of fireworks?

But you’ve got to hit the tip jar, because I’ve got to pay for my gas to drive down there and also pick up 300 feet of extra fuse. (Advanced redneck fireworks technique.)

What are you? A damned racist like Sonia Sotomayor?

Update: by Smitty
You write a post like this and don’t even throw a bone to your Porch Manqué? I feel thoroghly discriminated against, and will now formally play the race card.

June 29, 2009

Watch your back, Douthat

Ross Douthat today engages in sociological observation of the meritocratic elite in such a way as to infringe on turf claimed by David Brooks. (Via Memeorandum.)

There’s nothing really wrong with this particular Douthat column, if op-ed social criticism is what you’re looking for. But that’s some mighty pricey editorial real estate to be occupied by a latter-day Veblen cleverly commenting on what he sees on TV and reads in magazines when there’s so much important news to be reported.

A simple request, Ross: Call up Joe Lieberman’s press secretary Erica Masonhall and ask her when Lieberman plans to start holding hearings about Obama’s war on inspectors general. Maybe she’ll return a call from a Harvard-educated New York Times columnist. She sure as hell didn’t return mine.

Leave the Veblen trip to Brooks. Even the New York Times can’t afford to support every pompous op-ed windbag in Washington. You start crowding Brooks, and I’m betting he wins that competition. If he outlasted Kristol, he’ll outlast you.

Now, somebody needs to hit my tip jar.

June 29, 2009

‘It takes small people to stoop this low’

UPDATE 6/30: REPLY TO SULLIVAN

PREVIOUSLY: Says Professor William Jacobson regarding Wonkette’s despicable treatment of Sarah Palin’s year-old son, Trig. And I would amend the professor’s sentiments only to improve them by saying, “It takes gay men to stoop this low.”

Yeah, I just wrote that. And put it on the Internet.

We could reference Susan Sontag’s Notes On Camp here, or we could invite comment from various rogue lesbians — Tammy Bruce, Camille Paglia, Cynthia Yockey — who from time to time have criticized gay culture in a way that certainly cannot be denounced as “homophobic.” But rather than make an argumentum ad vericundiam, let me defend my own argument on the basis of personal observation:

  • Gay men have mother issues. This has been a subject of much controversy. Freud’s view of homosexuality as a species of mental illness, and the resulting conception of homosexuality as a psychopathology requiring therapeutic intervention, has wrought much mischief over the years. Yet Freud was certainly correct to think of homosexuality as an matter of development with roots in early childhood, particularly in the parent-child relationship. No need to indulge in elaborate symbolism or references to Greek mythology (Freud was full of crap about that) to say this: It is obvious that most gay men can’t get past the “female = Mom” hurdle in their minds. We could discuss that at length, but this is a blog, not an advanced psychology text, so let’s move on.
  • Gay men are gynophobic. Which is to say, they are repulsed by the basic physical equipment of female sexuality. They’ve got no admiration for your vajayjay, ladies. Sometimes when I’ve shared this observation with gay guys, they deny disdaining distaff genitalia. It isn’t their hatred of nookie that makes them gay, they protest, but rather their phallophilia. Methinks they protest too much, considering how scornfully gay men speak about “fish” and “fag hags” when none of the hags are around to overhear. But again this is a blog post not a psych text, so we’ll move on.
  • Gay male culture is profoundly misogynistic. One of the most absurd claims of feminism is that the fashion industry’s mistreatment of women — its depiction of them as “sex objects” who are only attractive when young, thin, beautiful, glammed-up and dressed like streetwalkers — is a manifestation of oppressive patriarchal sexism. This is a lie that could only deceive anyone so stupid they don’t notice that all men in the fashion industry are gay. To the extent that the Vogue and Cosmo are misognystic hate literature (as all Women’s Studies majors are taught), it is because they represent the typical gay man’s view of women. A blog post, not a textbook, and we move on.
  • The normalization of gay culture requires the derogation of traditional female roles. Let the student of coalition politics cease to wonder about the basis of the tactical alliance between feminists and the notoriously male-dominated gay-rights movement. One reason lesbians like Cynthia Yockey become disenchanted with the Official Gay Movement is the recognition that they’re riding in the back of the Equality Bus, and that the feminist “sisterhood” has made a cynical deal with the misogynistic gay-male Devil.

We’ll extend the rest of the argument from that last point. If they’re wrong about nearly everything else, feminists are essentially correct in saying that in traditional societies women’s status is dependent upon their success in the wife-mother role. Let a woman gain fame and fortune, let her amass wealth and power and, in a traditional society, these achievements will not win her widespread admiration unless she is also a devoted wife and mother.

That there are in contemporary America successful female “role models” who are single and childless (e.g., Oprah) is testimony to how far we are from being a traditional society. Yet it is still the fact that the overwhelming majority of young women, imagining their futures, do not dream of reaching midlife as barren spinsters. (Yeah, I just wrote that. And put it on the Internet.)

Given the choice between being Oprah and Sarah Palin, then, most young women would rather be like Sarah — and not merely because Todd is such a tasty hunk of prime beef.

The best examination of the feminist movement’s implacable hostility toward traditional women who prefer the wife-and-mother role is Carolyn Graglia’s Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism. Graglia argues quite persuasively that contemporary feminism’s organizational objective is to make the traditional family — Dad as workplace breadwinner, Mom as domestic goddess — an impossibility.

Many gay men are eager to assist that project, because just as the traditional family model celebrates a certain kind of woman, it also celebrates a certain kind of man — the kind of man the gay man is emphatically not. Furthermore, the domestic wife-mother type of woman is a universal object of horror and ridicule in gay culture.

So we return to Ken Layne and Wonkette’s vicious hostility toward Sarah Palin, a hostility quite sufficient to encompass even one-year-old Trig. Is Ken Layne actively and exclusively homosexual? I don’t know, and it’s irrelevant to the point that this type of hostility toward Palin — a hostility focused laser-like on her maternal qualities — is a classic expression of gay-male “camp” culture.

A hetero swine like Letterman makes “slutty flight attendant” jokes about Palin’s looks. Gay men make tasteless jokes about Palin as a mother. This is a blog, not a textbook, but if you’ve read this far, you can generalize from that observation to consider why Andrew Sullivan has spend months mucking around the fever swamps of Trig-trutherism.

Now, let’s talk “homophobia.” When discussing trends — in politics, economics, art, whatever — it becomes necessary to generalize, to speak broadly about categories of phenomena. The social critic is required to treat human beings in this general and categorical manner and, in so doing, risks offending the subjects of discussion.

If we are discussing gangsta rap, for example, we might generalize by saying that gangsta rappers celebrate criminality, brutality toward women, and to make much of the classic material symbols of pimp life — Benzes, Perignon, da Benjamins, bling, et cetera. This invites the hiphop fan to cite some outlier example, e.g., MC Geek, the gangsta coder whose raps are about HTML, Java and Linxux platforms.

This argument-by-exception technique — where all generalizations are impermissible because in any categories there will be outliers and exceptions who do not exemplify the categorical norm — is the enemy of sound reasoning. I am certain that there must be hillbillies with good teeth who’ve never played a banjo or touched a drop of moonshine; it is nevertheless the case that if you’re looking for moonshine-swilling banjo-pickers with bad teeth, your search will be more productive in West Virginia than in Rhode Island. (Don Surber hasn’t linked me in a while.)

So it is with my gay friends. Just last week, I was hanging out at a Reason magazine event with the proudly gay Bruce Majors and the proudly lesbian Cynthia Yockey. They were the epitome of courtesy and hospitality not only toward me, but also toward my 20-year daughter. whom I’d picked up at Reagan Airport that afternoon and dragged along for the event.

Does Bruce fit the description of the Oedipal-conflicted misogynistic gynophobe hostile to the traditional family? Well, we could argue about gynophobia and Bruce would say no, he’s simply a phallophile, but Bruce is a capital-L Libertarian, which means, hey, whatever floats your boat.

Libertarianism means, or at least ought to mean, that your preferences and prejudices are of no political consequence. If Bruce is prejudiced against the vajayjay, that’s his own business. And if my own preference for the vajayjay borders on the monomanical — I’m a father of six, after all — that’s between me and Mrs. Other McCain.

The anti-Palin agenda of Wonkette therefore expresses the attitude of an extremely un-libertarian type of gay man, a man who is not at all like my friend, Bruce Majors.

So whether or not Ken Layne is actually gay, there can be no doubt that Ken Layne is a vicious cocksucker.

Yeah, I just wrote that. And put it on the Internet.