Friday, January 27, 2023


The Dean put these Ukrainian guys at #1 on his 2022 List --
Not sure about that, but this one's a kick.

•  Today’s Roy Edroso Breaks It Down – available free now, as a gift to the nation! – is the inaugural column of Hiram P. Galligash at the Washington Post. Hiram is just the latest manifestation of the new direction in the Post’s opinion journalism represented by its recent hire of two National Review alumni, Jim Geraghty and Ramesh Ponnuru.

Both of them suck, but unlike previous, spectacularly absurd prestige media hires like Megan McArdle at the Post, Jonah Goldberg at CNN, David French at the Times, Kevin D. Williamson (briefly!) at the Atlantic, etc., neither is especially noteworthy except as a milestone in the decline of expensive opinion journalism. Geraghty is a hack whose prose is as impoverished as the ideas it promotes, as in this one about how would-be refugees from countries we blew to smithereens should take it somewhere else:

Geraghty was a Just-the-Tip Trumper pioneer -- “Yes, Donald Trump is a flawed messenger for the case against Hillary Clinton,” he wrote when Trump got the 2016 nomination, “but that doesn’t make the message any less true or compelling.” And like many deskbound rightwingers, he likes to cry about the Crisis of Masculinity -- though to his credit, rather than pretend to be a stevedore he pleads for butchness in the sedentary arts:

Even when guys do something that seems sedentary — video games, chess, board games — they’re often bringing a competitive spirit to it, an eagerness to demonstrate that they stand out at a particular activity. You could even argue that arguing on the Internet is a form of competition.

Tiddly-winks is, too, a sport! And there’s the one from 2021 in which Geraghty tries to get you to sympathize with billionaires because, like you, they could be audited: “This morning it’s pretty clear that your tax return is confidential, as long as no one at the IRS thinks it is newsworthy. But if they do, you’re screwed.” (Kind of like the current “87,000 IRS agents” bullshit – Gergahty’s a prophet of hackdom!)

Dems are the Real Racist beat? Check: “Senate Democrats’ Short-Lived Opposition to All White Biden Nominees.” (And yeah, Geraghty was also one of the conservatives who claimed George Floyd protesters were spreading COVID: “New York City has nearly 379,000 cases. Do you think none of those people attended any of the protests across the city in the past week?”) Speaking of wingnut hack protocols, here’s his October 11, 2022 column, “The Red Wave Gathers.”

Ponnuru is a less clumsy writer than Geraghty, though he is capable of great absurdities when animated by his bugbears – like abortion, the subject of his book The Party of Death (guess who!); when Kansas smacked down an anti-abortion referendum last year, for example, Ponnuru consoled his readers by claiming the land of Sam Brownback and Operation Rescue was “by no means a pro-life state” (similarly, Boston is not a big college town).  

But while Ponnuru has many other terrible opinions, his specialty is wonkish “reformcon” conservatism, of the sort evinced in his inaugural Post column about the debt ceiling that Galligash mentions, and which, as I have told you good people time and time and again, is in the post-coherence Trumpian GOP increasingly irrelevant -- except as cover for editors who wish to portray conservatism as an important intellectual movement rather than an elephant-shaped tarp thrown over American fascism.  

Hiram, in my view, represents a new frontier in conservative opinion – though, come to think of it, is he really any worse than Erick Erickson? Opinions vary! 

•  Also free for y’all (all this can be yours five days a week, the Tempter says, if you will only subscribe!): Scenes from the recent investigation of the Supreme Court Dobbs draft decision leak. Well, I laughed. 

•  Just gonna add a little something here: You remember the news earlier this month about the revision in the Missouri legislature dress code requiring women to cover their shoulders? (This is a state, btw, with some of the strictest anti-abortion legislation in the country.)

When I mentioned it to people back then and some of them said, oh don’t be silly, it’s just a little thing and a woman proposed it so don’t make a big deal of it.

Well, this is new from Florida:

Republican leadership of the Florida House has posted flyers throughout the Capitol showing what to wear — and perhaps more strikingly, what not to wear.

The flyer breaks down a dress code for three different scenarios — when in the chamber, when Members are in the building, and when Members are not in the building. The required attire is, not surprisingly, most formal when in the House chamber.

What sticks out though, is the requirement that women never show their shoulders when House Members are present in the building, whether in the chamber or not. 

I’m sure some people will say this is nothing, really, too. But it’s interesting that, in what under the thuggish wingnut/censor DeSantis has become the most fascism-forward Southern state (and that’s saying something), the Republican legislative leadership is “posting flyers” telling the ladies in the workplace to cover up. 

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