Friday, November 03, 2006

SHORTER CRAZY JESUS LADY: To lift America above the rancorous partisanism of our time, we need more true progressives like Rick Santorum.
A NEW LOW. The New York Times reports on the Government's attempts to leverage Iraqi documents on the internet to its own advantage. The report mentions some old documents about Saddam Hussein's pre-1991 attempts to gain nuclear power.

The immediate response from the right is that the Times report proves, in some way not discernible by ordinary logic, that Saddam was on the verge of wiping us out in 2003, and that the Times only printed this information (which, if it actually existed, would be injurious to their beloved Democratic Party) because they are crazy and/or stupid.

They don't know which dark desire they want to indulge more -- their hatred of the Times or their wish to be vindicated on Iraq -- so they try both at once, which works as well as would an attempt to sing opera while eating a pie. Actually, I guess it does work, in the sense that this sloppy performance will yet stir traditional enmities and ardours in the people such guff usually works on, though it leaves the rest of us wondering why we ever bothered learning to read.

UPDATE. More detailed analysis than I have time or talent to make by David Weigel.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

FIGHTING THE LAST CAMPAIGN. I'm actually disappointed that The Big Stiff apologized. I took him at his word as to the meaning of his jest, but even if he had a different one in mind, he had a right as a veteran to make it -- God knows we've heard more pointed cracks from men who served. For a while I thought he'd tough it out, but once a soldier always a soldier, and he did his bit for the higher echelon. In 2004 he expected as much from others, as I noted at the time:
In a day of tactical evasions, John Kerry talked down a anti-Bush ad, apparently in solidarity with John McCain, who had talked down the Other Swift Boat Guys' anti-Kerry ad. I see the political usefulness of this for the Big Stiff, and invite him to denounce my own ravings as well if it will help him defeat the fascist scumbag space-alien freak Illuminatus Bush.
Now Kerry himself takes one for the team. Were I of a cynical turn of mind, I might suspect that this was the idea all along. Now Kerry, who is not running for office, has become the heat sink that draws all the savage denunciations ("a man who remembers everything and learns nothing," "Mister Nuance," "forlorn loser," etc) that might otherwise be expended upon those who are.

In fact, I don't know why I bother to provide post-specific links, as the folks at The Corner and other such blather outlets will be hammering this into the next decade. Remember, the blogosphere thing is just a bubble, and its skin, like that of the paramecium, is only semi-permeable: news may enter, but outrage mostly stays inside, which is of course the secret of both the blogosphere's growth and its ineffectuality: it swells without discharging.

"Folks," roars The Corner's current rookie dead-ender, "I do NOT agree with letting Senator Aristo-Slacker off the hook for his plainly delivered insult to the troops." That's fine, Mario: keep the old standard aloft, while the busy world bustles without.

I still think this will all end badly, as the Republicans have rigged the voting machines, but as far as the old-fashioned politics go, this is only today's news, and tomorrow is upon us. Let us keep our keep our eyes and ears open for the latest meaningless outrage.

UPDATE. In the discussion, some commenters object to the allegations of a fix, and Steve notes that "the utopian fantasy where every vote gets counted once and only once has never existed." Quite so. I have been rereading with pleasure Luc Sante's Low Life, and have just come to the Tammany boss' directions for getting four votes out of a single vagrant by shaving bits of his facial hair between trips to the polling station.

While Republican fixers currently enjoy the advantages of electronic voting machines, it may be that, by the time the wheel of fortune turns the Democrats' way, they will have the benefit of wi-fi-assisted cerebral cortex jamming devices.

Hopefully I won't be so depraved by then as to defend them. The whole time I've been operating alicublog, the Democrats have been a disorganized rump; should they obtain something more than the power to harass, I may have to start paying more attention to them. That may cure me of politics for good, which is as fine a reason as any to root for them.
NEXT: HOW HERBERT HOOVER WAS ACTUALLY AN ANARCHO-SYNDICALIST. If Kerry really did say, "I hate idiots like me who served in the military," then I suppose Rick Santorum can be a libertarian, right?

Fresh from explaining how her sex-loathing somehow made her unpopular with her "fellow" libertarians, Jennifer Roback Morse explains at National Review why Senator Man-on-Dog -- a guy who actually said out loud that Democrats are "anti-responsibility" because "their entire agenda is, 'I should be able to do whatever I want to do as long as no one gets hurt'" -- is the logical choice for Pennsylvanian libertarians.

After all, she tells us, Santorum likes tax cuts -- you guys love tax cuts, right? -- and he is beloved of the Family Research Council, who loves a lot of the same things libertarians love, including parental notification for abor-- um, tax cuts!

Morse acknowledges some libertarians may reject Santorum because of the whole make-sodomy-illegal thing -- but:
If you’d vote for Bob Casey Jr. over Rick Santorum because of their respective positions on gay rights, you’re not a libertarian. You are a single-issue gay-rights voter.
Or, to use the colloquial: you're not a libertarian, you're a fag! And here endeth the lesson.

I have speculated more than once that many National Review articles are written on a bet -- you know: Hey, Lowry, two large says you can't write a thousand words on how a billion-and-a-half dollars for marriage lessons is "conservative"! But even in these bagatelles, there is normally at least a collateral benefit to the conservative movement. Morse's piece, outside of its bookmaking potential, is perfect in its uselessness. Who at the Review gives a damn about pleasing libertarians anymore? Haven't they all caught on by now?

Things must be going worse for them than I thought. (Still holding onto my bet, though! Diebold, people!)
THE GOP'S HAIL KERRY PASS, AND MY COMING ANOINTMENT AS A POLITICAL GENIUS. They must think Kerry's remarks will help them in the election, to judge by the way their most reliable web propagandist is beating it to death.

And also by how they beat their own when they don't get on board. At The Corner, John Derbyshire takes the perfectly reasonable view that Kerry was, as he claims, insulting Bush, not Our Fightin' Men, and his mates turn ugly. "You're just wrong, wrong, wrong," says John Podhoretz. "Guess when Senator Kerry was talking about dimwittery he should have been talking about me too then," says K. J. Lopez. (Yeah, guys, I know, but I'm in a hurry.)

But such blog-froth is, after all, good only for a few days, and affects only the hotheads and shut-ins who regularly avail this medium. That Bush himself has gone front and center to attack the Kerry remarks indicates that the national Party has been prepared for a last-minute offensive on similar themes, but has accelerated its schedule, and shifted its specific target, to suit events.

This and the President's recent references to gay marriage support my prediction that, in the last ditch, the Republicans would paint the opposition as gay traitors to win the election.

My casual slur having been proved prophetic, I will go further and predict that in this final week of campaigning, you will see many otherwise incomprehensible attempts by Republicans to -- well, not even associate; to juxtapose Democrats with notorious sodomites and turncoats. "Harold Ford wears a shirt and slacks -- just like the men who raped and murdered Jesse Dirkhising!" "Hillary Clinton gives a regular radio address -- just like Tokyo Rose!" You can take that to the bank.

As for the election results, I see no reason to prognosticate, because everyone knows it's fixed.

UPDATE. Lileks, of all people, takes Derbyshire's view, though by the time he gets to it he has exhausted himself in rage against that damned snot-nosed punk Mort Sahl.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

THE SIMPLE TEST, DEFEATED. I recently ran one of my Ole Grey Perfesser Tests -- that is, I took a page of Instapundit at random and analyzed each post on it for evidence of centrism, libertarianism, and other alleged nutrients. The results vary but little from reading to reading, and show the Perfesser to be a reliable Republican shill with statistically insignificant trace elements of contrarianism added to appeal to young and/or unsophisticated consumers.

Since Ann Althouse has been talking up her credentials as a centrist Democrat, I figure she's about due for a test, too:

Oct. 25, 9:10 am: Lawsuit over penis! Gross!

9:27 am: That Corker ad with the white girl is shameful and perhaps plays to racist feelings.

9:44 am: I like Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

9:50 am: Don't you think we should have sexually segregated schools?

10:19: James Cavaziel, Michael J. Fox -- a plague on both your houses!

3:10 am: I think this court decision in favor of the gay-marriage side is a big mistake. I always say that, of course, which is why I always have to remind you that I'm pro-gay-marriage, too.

Oct. 26, 5:11 am: Bob Dylan Broadway show. Hmm.

5:55 am: Ugh! What a bad poster! Why isn't the hand wearing pants?

6:32 am: Ha ha, Ted Nugent is funny. Why doesn't anyone else write about it? Oh, someone else wrote about it.

6:50 am: Why did I do this on a school night! Now the sun's coming up and I still can't get to sleep.

7:03 am: Mickey Kaus said the gay Jersey court was playing politics. Hmmm.

8:10 am: Those people who say Corker's ads use racism against Ford are being dishonest. I think Ford's people are just as bad!

8:41 am: Now Simon Cowell has me thinking about marriage. I wish I could sleep, or feel my tongue, or stop thinking about not feeling my tongue.

9:13 am: David Brooks says the midwest is the future. That would be awesome.

11:24 am: What's your favorite Supreme Court Justice! SCALIA! He's so fine, he's so fine he blows my mind Scalia! Why don't you like Thomas? It is because he's black? Can I serve you and Barbie some more tea?

8:30 pm: O God it was good to sleep... still tired though... uh, I guess there's something to those dirty stories Webb wrote... politicians always do that you know... Omigod, I wrote a lot of crap! I better add some factual material.

10:07 pm: Ha ha, Camille Paglia sure gave it to those Democrats! What? The thing about Studds is wrong? Ugh, what a drag. I gotta start saving this shit for the weekends.

11:11 pm: If I blog about my radio show tomorrow morning maybe I'll remember it when I wake up, and not just turn off the alarm and go back to sleep like last time.

Oct. 27, 6:18 am: That Bob Dylan show sounds awful.

6:50 am: If I were Kevin Barrett, here's how I would have handled that protest.

7:10 am: It was bad, what the Muslim cleric said about rape. "Clean out the White House" doesn't mean get rid of Bush! God! You're so stupid!

7:36 am: Ha ha! Canada! Ha ha!

8:04 am: Okay I'm about to go on the radio. UPDATE: I was on the radio.

10:01 am: I take pictures.

1:38 pm: Some people have trouble with the blog in their browser. Foxfire! O God that's funny! Fox-Fie-Err. Fox-Fie-Err. Wow.

4:16 pm: Reading about TV is kind of like reading and kind of like watching TV. So maybe we should just read about TV. But then we'd need TV shows to have something to read about. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

4:46 pm: Bes-tial. Bes-ti-al. BESSSSSSSSSSSSssstial. Bes. Ti. Al.

6:06 pm: Wow. This place is awesome.

7:25 pm: No, wait. Wait. No, was it cool to laugh at that? No, because yeah, if it was Hitler because of the Jews. Steve Irwin didn't kill any Jews.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

8:05 pm: You know? Because, you know?

Oh, I can't stand this anymore, I quit. Some things just don't bear close examination.

Monday, October 30, 2006

SHORTER TIGERHAWK. You're in the managerial class? Me too! Boy, don't non-salaried employees suck?
SHORTER JOSH TREVINO. Liberals have BDS so bad it turns them against their own mothers, according to this lifestyle story in the New York Times which I suddenly trust unreservedly. And they say they're for "privacy," whatever that is, but they really just mean Ess Ee Ex. I would pity them if they weren't about to kick my ass.
I'd like to see the Democratic Party become centrist. If they win because they found moderates to run in key districts, I think they'll have a special obligation to please people like me. I'm going to hold them to the bargain.
What bargain? Who are you? Why, it's Professor Ann Althouse, who normally speaks only of Democrats as anti-feminist, whiny losers, to the cheers of her largely right-wing readership. But now that the Democrats stand a chance of winning, Althouse considers herself as indispensible to their success.

Having followed her work a while, I don't see this as simple bandwagoning. I think Althouse believes she actually has something to do with the Democrats' anticipated victory. It's sort of like Divine giving her acceptance speech from the electric chair in Female Trouble: deluded, yes, but with the saving grace of hilarity.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

OR A SPORTS CAR. THAT WOULD BE NICE. Fooled by our ignoble retreat from Daylight Savings Time, I wound up watching some of the Sunday morning gibberish. Ben Stein (Ben Stein!) recited a speech he'd written for George Bush, admitting Iraq was a mistake. Then Michael Steele (Michael Steele!) explained that the difference between himself and his Democratic opponent was that he'd wait an extra 60 to 90 days to pull our troops out "if the Iraqis don't want us."

And there's this:
Meanwhile, even as Bush was praising Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as "a smart, tough, capable administrator," endangered Republicans like Kentucky Representative Anne Northup and Ohio Senator Mike DeWine have been joining the increasingly loud chorus of calls for the secretary's ouster.
And pressure for change is not coming only from the desperate and the wobbly. Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison -- a Bush loyalist well ahead in her bid for re-election -- is expressing regret for her vote to authorize the invasion and is advocating partitioning Iraq along ethnic lines. "We have to step back and stop trying to put our American ideas onto this problem," she told the Houston Chronicle.
I should be glad to see the consensus moving the right way, but on the other hand, what the fuck? Many of us have been hearing for years that we were traitors to express skepticism about this adventure, and now I hear Republicans coming out with this shit. Don't we get an apology or a fruit basket or something?

Friday, October 27, 2006

TALES OF ORDINARY MADNESS. We hear today, after a blessedly long hiatus, from Camille Paglia, whose anger at liberal colleagues has made her a surprise hit with folks who would otherwise never listen to a humanities and media studies professor say anything, unless she were reading back their fast-food order. Paglia is still mad at other intellectuals, even when she agrees with them:
The feckless behavior of the Bush administration has been a lurid illustration of Noam Chomsky's books -- which I've always considered half lunatic. Chomsky's hatred of the United States is pathological -- stemming from some bilious problem with father figures that is too fetid to explore. But Chomsky's toxic view of American imperialism and interventionism is like the playbook of the rigid foreign policy of the Bush administration. So, thanks very much, George Bush, you've managed to rocket Noam Chomsky to the top of the bestseller list!
Chomsky's "toxic" view, as explicated by Paglia, has been fulsomely borne out by actual events, yet Chomsky is "half lunatic." In fact, to hear Paglia tell it, President Bush himself is more than half lunatic:
...I've become concerned about Bush's mental state in the past few months. Sometimes in his press conferences or prepared statements (which I listened to on the radio), I heard a sort of Nixonian tension and hysteria. His vocal patterns were over-intense and his inflections impatient, lurching and sarcastic. There was this seething quality to his speech that worried me and that seemed to signal that something major is being planned -- perhaps another military incursion.
Interestingly, despite this startling accusation of incipient Presidential lunacy, Republicans are linking to it.

Lord Nazh is phlegmatic: "Granted she has her hang-ups like any good lefty does... scim the lefty parts if you must." This guy says "A liberal Democrat tells it like it is!"; Fraters Libertas is tickled that Paglia "opines on liberal talk radio." In a long post, one Dr. Melissa Clouthier says of Paglia's warning of a Bush mental breakdown that "If I were him, I might be paranoid. I've mentioned this before. I'd be paranoid because everyone does seem out to get me..." One hopes her Doctorate is not in psychology.

Apparently you can get big play from the right by talking smack about liberals, even if you simultaneously suggest that George W. Bush is one sleepless night away from blowing up Iran to still the voices in his head. This suggests a new definition for the term Bush Derangement Syndrome.
THESE COWS ARE VERY SMALL, BUT THOSE COWS ARE JUST VERY FAR AWAY. I see Republicans are bragging about their poor reading comprehension skills. This is a Virginia election, however, so it might just work.

Here's my favorite report of Webb's novels so far, from noted rightwing news aggregator CNS:
Virginia Senate hopeful Jim Webb was taking flak Friday for what sounded like a child sex scene in his 2001 novel, but critics who have examined the books he wrote over a two-decade period also see a pattern of discriminatory and offensive characterization of women and racial minorities...

But, [Mychal] Massie ["national chairman of the conservative African-American group Project 21"] added, "Speaking as a writer, a person tends to write what they believe in. Even in presenting a fictional writing the author writes from a core philosophy -- an intrinsic philosophy."
Don't tell these people about Nigger Jim or they'll haul Mark Twain's body out of its grave and throw it in the Chemung.

It'd be annoying if an important election turned on this bullshit, but I gotta be honest with you: sometimes I feel as if I've been a little unfair to conservatives, portraying them as illiterate clods and such like, and it's nice to be reminded that I have if anything understated the extent to which their cause relies on plain pig-ignorance.

UPDATE. Of all people, Michelle Malkin shows a grasp of basic literary concepts.
COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN. I got to an advance screening of Babel this week. I've never seen Iñárritu's other movies (Amores Perros, 21 Grams), but I can see why he's a big deal. He's really good at showing the undramatic ways in which dramatic events develop. Two brothers, each jealous of the other's claims on their father, wind up shooting a tourist; a young deaf girl seems perfectly well-socialized within her peer group, but when she is casually reminded of the doors that are closed to her, she begins to act out sexually; a Mexican nanny wants to go to her son's wedding and takes a risk that has a good chance of working out -- until her nephew takes a risk of his own that turns everything into a nightmare.

This shows great storytelling craft, but Iñárritu wanted something bigger than a mere story, and mashed a bunch of them up into some sort of thread-crossing statement picture. Unfortunately I don't know what the statement is supposed to be. Communication is obviously a big part of it -- language barriers, deafness, "Babel." But if you want to say that communication breakdowns are the cause of all the problems in the film, you have to define both "communication" and "problem" so broadly that they barely mean anything. If the Americans have wound up in Morocco because they can't talk to each other, does that mean getting shot is a communications problem? And do the boys get to the point of target practice because their conflict resolution skills are imperfectly developed, or because they're boys and have a gun?

Also, the film slows way down at the end, so that we may more fully experience, or wallow in, the agonies of the characters -- but at that point they were still strangers to me, and in fact I cared much less about all but one of them than I had at the outset. Only the deaf girl's story held me -- partly because Kikuchi Rinko's performance is so amazing, but also because her story had suffered the least from distractions: her deafness, and her adolescent simplicity, made it necessary for Iñárritu to focus intensely on her, and we could read a world of details into her silence. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett just can't compete with that, no matter how photogenically they suffer.

It occurs to me that this sort of multi-thread strategy breaks down dramatic interest of necessity, and that it only works if the multiple plots and casts coalesce to suggest a community that we can care about, as in Nashville or Dodes'ka-den. God knows Altman's stars, wannabes, and innocent bystanders chronically talk past one another, but their town still lives because their blind, groping need holds them together; Kurosawa's dump-dwellers have communications problems, too, and there's even a character who doesn't speak (well, maybe because he's really a ghost), but that's just what you expect from people who live so close to one another that each man must jealously guard his identity, or the private pain that is all he knows of it. (Though spouses are interchangable. Damn, that's a beautiful movie; I wish I could watch it right now.)

If there's a community in Babel, it would seem to be The World. That may have been a little too big a target for Iñárritu, at least at this point. But he's got great skills, and he makes Morocco, Tokyo, and Tijuana feel so real in the short spaces devoted to each of them that I wonder what he could do for one place over an hour or so. Let me know when he makes a simpler movie.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

ALSO, THEY FUCK DOGS TO MAKE HIPPIES. One of the madmen at Gates of Vienna has written hundreds of words complaining that black people are prejudiced against white people.
So, everybody is supposed to keep their culture, except people of European origins? All cultures are equal, but some are more equal than others? Why is colonialism always bad, but not when my country, which has no colonial history, gets colonized by Third World immigrants?
Also, a bunch of dark people moved into his country, and they steal and rape white women. No word yet on whether they drive Cadillacs to pick up their welfare checks.

I seem to remember hearing stuff like this when I was growing up in a Northeastern American city that was growing less white. (Bridgeport now has a minority majority, I believe, though it's still run by white people). Still, I don't recall hearing, in my childhood or in my adult visits there, that the solution was to wage global war against Southern Baptists, lest we all be absorbed into Dixietude.

The prior post is about the Swedish integration and equality minister, Nyamko Sabuni, who sounds terrific. The author then starts raving about black people who call other black people "oreos" (though there is nothing remotely about that in the text about Sabuni), Jesse Jackson, etc.

The post before that is about veiled women in Europe, and somehow drags in the ACLU and "ghetto gear" ("baggy pants and exposed boxer shorts").

One gets the impression that these soldiers joined the Keyboard War Against Islam to get away from themselves, and are not having much luck.

UPDATE. Comments are... well, here I am reduced to twirling my index finger next to my head:
Fjordman, I think it is time for Swedish and Norwegian patriots to set up governments in exile, just like occupied countries did in WWII...

It seems, at this point, that the choices are between following democracy until it kills us all or, eventually, going for the jugular and staging a coup in (at least) France...

For things to change, whites must strengthen our racial consciuousness, which, reports to the contrary, does exist -- though it is suppressed. And once we act, once we liberate ourselves... I have no doubt whites are waking up, slowly but sirely, but we need to take the thinking to the next step.

Might I suggest we start by issuing our own "fatwas" against Muslim clerics inciting hatred... If the authorities have decided to destroy our countries for whatever reason, they have no legitimacy, and must they not be overthrown?...

So, if any of you white folks out there want to stay alive and have a future for your children... know your enemy and start taking steps to defeat your enemy...
Gates of Vienna appears on the blogroll of Armed Liberal and other fine moderate bloggers.

UPDATE II. At Dean Esmay's site, Mary Madigan says Gates of Vienna is "often maligned as being 'Islamophobic.'" I'd say Islamophobia is the least of their problems.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

MARKETING FOR OF DUMMIES. Jeff "Criswell" Jarvis finds something else to love about our hopeless future: a brave new generation called "millennials" who, according to the Jersey Star Ledger,
can text message, listen to their iPods and instant message on their laptops -- all at the same time. They are patriotic and relentlessly optimistic about the future.

They rarely read books for fun and most likely aren't reading this newspaper.

They are the most diverse -- and perhaps the smartest -- generation in U.S. history...
The smartest generation in U.S. History? Do you know any people who take no pleasure in reading, need to be constantly entertained by demotic IMs and crappy pop music, and never believe anything but the best about themselves and the place they happened to have been born in?

I have. They're called morons. In fact I would say that such behaviors and beliefs are pretty much the definition of moronism.

To be fair to the kids, I do not for a second believe that they are as this article describes them -- else they would all be in special-needs facilities, instead of out there tearing up my lawn.

Rather I believe the "popular speaker on the academic lecture circuit" whose press release is breathlessly replicated in the Star-Ledger just seeks to portray them as such -- so that marketers, excited by hints that this latest generation is even dumber and riper for the picking than the last, will hire him as a consultant, hoping to learn the secret codes that will sever the idiot strings connecting the kids' wallets to their $100 jeans.

As for Jarvis, well, he's just interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. He'll probably remain equally enthusiastic about all things New and Happening even as President Jenna Bush is texting OMG I JUST BOMMED IRAN!!!! to her constituents and ROTFLHAO.

For more of my increasingly hoarse denunciations of the notion that one can be smart without knowin' nuthin' except the names of characters on "The Sopranos," see here.
MEANWHILE DOWN AT THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD TV STATION... Paul J. Cella unleashes another Jesus-without-contractions stinker at RedState . The theme this time: atheists have such "shriveled" imaginations that they "can only conceive of divine vengeance as something obvious and inexpressibly cartoonish," whereas in reality God showed his love for America by killing hundreds of thousands of its citizens with gangrene and grapeshot.

One of his commenters points out flaws in Cella's syntax, and his seconds step forward with these defenses:
Those to whom God gives eyes to see will see. Likewise those to whom God gives ears to hear will hear. To all others, even the wisest among them, it will seem as foolishness.

I would suggest that you pray for insight and enlightenment, for it is beyond my power to explain it.

We would like to help you understand, but I suspect that the total lack of subtlety, spirituality, vision, and poetry in your heart and soul makes that an impossible task.
"Poetry" they call it now? Back in the day we just called it acid.

Right-wing world has been getting crazier by a minute, but this is a new development: critics who insist on even simple predicate logic are not answered, just told that they lack an inner light that would allow them to "see."

Remember: it doesn't mean they're losing. It only means they think they're losing. But it's still fun to watch.
SHORTER ACE OF SPADES: The better liberals do in the polls, the more I hate them & fags.

(On the other hand, Mr. Spades did recently admit that Tim Robbins was "wise enough to walk away" from comments made by Rosie O'Donnell, a "bridge troll." So he probably qualifies as a Michael Totten centrist.)

UPDATE. MT centrist Dean Esmay* explains that CNN is working for Al Qaeda. If things get any more moderate around here, we'll all be hung as war criminals by Christmas.

*2nd UPDATE. Apparently I can't even spot the tonal differences between Dave Price and Dean Esmay! How insensitive is that? For examples of the actual Esmay's authenticated centrism, see here and here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

REVERSION TO FORM. Hadn't checked out Mr. Moderate Michael Totten for a while -- not since he won some respect from me by declining to agree with lunatics that his Lebanese friends were proud and happy to be bombed by Israel.

So I peeked in:
Producers aren't the only ones bored with the format. How about hiring lots of centrist pundits?... Here are a few places to start. Half of them have been on TV already. Put them on more often!
Go look at his list of "moderates." I warn you: it's pretty much what you expect (though he waits until comments to sort-of-include the Ole Perfesser).

Next week: an expose of that Idiotarian bastard FDR.

UPDATE. Fun comments, in which Michael gamely takes part. Is centrism in the eye of the beholder? I take centrism to mean on-the-other-handism that seeks to split the difference, which I like better in politics (which is largely about splitting differences) than in commentary, where it tends toward warm mush.

Peter Beinart's stuff, for example, seems to a hothead like me like an endless stream of polite requests for everybody to stop being so unreasonable. This is not my cup of gruel, but if you don't care for pistols at dawn, I can see where you might find it soothingly accommodationist. Beinart would probably try to form a T-group in a gang war.

The folks on Michael's list have agendas which can be entertaining, on the mad terms of our poisonous debate, but I can't imagine ordinary people reading, say, Armed Liberal yelling at a newspaper and thinking it an attempt at finding consensus. They'd probably wonder why he was yelling at a newspaper.

Most of us are frankly a little strange.

Monday, October 23, 2006

WHAT KIND OF MAN READS INSTAPUNDIT? "Okay, with about 6800 votes so far, we've got 74% in favor of Republicans keeping both houses, 17% in favor of the Dems taking one house, and 9% in favor of Dems taking both houses..."

I keep hearing all this stuff about how the Perfesser "has never been much of a Republican. He's more a thinking Libertarian," etc. So how come his readership is more Republican than Jesus Junction, Alabama?

I expect someone will explain to me that Republicans are actually more open-minded than Democrats, and that is why they listen every day to the non-partisan stylings of the Perfesser, then go out and support the GOP at approximately twice the rate of the rest of their fellow citizens.

They keep using that word "libertarian" -- I do not think it means... oh, hell, I don't think anyone knows what it means any more.

UPDATE. All respect, of course, to situational libertarians like Loretta Nall, who was harassed by scumbag cops and is now funding a run for Governor of Alabama by flashing. (Hat tip Wonkette. I haven't caught the act, but even if "the biggest boobs in Alabama politics" turns out to be the lame gag it sounds like, I will endorse Ms. Nall for anything she wants, short of a third-party check.)

Whatever beef we may have with sincere and starry-eyed fans of the Articles of Confederation and the law of the jungle, it is as nothing compared to our feelings against suburban douchebags whose only true guiding principle is, as commenter Kia reminds us, "I got mine, don't worry about yours."
WOLVERINES! As I have predicted time and time again, the strategy wizards of the GOP are looking, in these dark late innings, to terrify American voters into electoral submission. "BEST GOP HOPE: SCARE 'EM SILLY" runs the head on Dick Morris' latest ad for his consulting practice, with space generously donated by the New York Post. Per Morris, Republicans "need to sound a note of alarm and fill the airwaves with specifics of exactly what will happen if the Democrats triumph." He suggests a TV commercial in which Islamofascists are left free to kill by bleeding-hearts and their deranged insistence on so-called "rights." Why not just show turbaned terrorists streaming through a revolving door?

This Hail Marianism has only just commenced and greater madness will surely ensue, but it is not too early to call out promising contenders for Craziest Campaign Subterfuge. For your consideration, Ace of Spades, who is strongly pushing a campaign to unmask Ted Kennedy as a Soviet agent. Soon enough will come the details of the threat: Gorbachev seizing power in the "new USSR," tanks on Main Street, Kennedy as Commissar of the Soviet Republic of Amerika! Citizens awake!