Saturday, March 27, 2010

In Which Tom Friedman Becomes His Own Sassy Black Friend

Tom Friedman's latest ode to America's suspiciously Tom-Friedman-esque "independents and centrists" has been rightly mocked, mostly for lines like this:

That is why I want my own Tea Party. I want a Tea Party of the radical center.

As valid as those criticisms are -- and I mean, here's Tom Friedman wishing aloud for a political movement that simultaneously represented the majority of the American public and also wanted to enact all of Tom's policy preferences, which is just about the saddest bout of narcissism committed to page ... and poor Tom can't even describe his fantasy majority party without being completely incoherent -- I submit that the line is even more spectacular in context:

That is why I want my own Tea Party. I want a Tea Party of the radical center.

Say what?

That's right, Tom Friedman just imagined you, the reader, as an ethnic supporting character on a mid-90's sitcom who was just BLOWN AWAY by the off-the-wall craziness of Friedman's vision.

"What's that, Tom Friedman? A party for extremist moderates? You better chiggity-check yourself before you wreck yourself!"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Doomed To Fail

Not that I don't agree with the sentiment behind Gawker's Mickey Kaus oppo research project, but I just can't see it going anywhere, for three reasons:

(1) Mickey is the Boring Kind of Weird. Here's a man who has been making literally the same three or four points -- illegal immigrants bad, welfare bad, unions bad, and sometimes health care good -- using the same arguments written the same way in the same forum for what feels like an eternity. That's a different kind of weird than "screwing a member of your staff and then having a creepy fundamentalist organization encourage you to bribe your way out of it"-weird.

(2) Nobody Cares. Oppo research is valuable for finding embarrassing information or proving that someone is a hypocrite. I doubt Mickey is actually capable of embarrassment (how would he write what he writes otherwise?) and in any event he's likely to be too boring to have done anything particularly embarrassing (see #1). As for hypocrisy, Mickey's political leanings are so wildly incoherent that it's pretty much impossible to tar him as a hypocrite. Only one thing would really get to Mickey's reputation: evidence that he knowingly hired illegal immigrants. [What about buying a Chris Bangle BMW? -- ed. Okay, two things.] Everything else is either common knowledge (he's an idiot) or representative of his acknowledged past as an actual liberal. Even if he committed a Kardinal Sin and once *joined a union* [The Harvard Law School Local 402? -- ed. I know, I know, bear with me], he can just claim that doing so helped him see the light and turn into the blog version of the Pinkerton Detective Agency.

(3) You Don't Need Oppo Research for a Crackpot. There's a reason why the phrase "Hey, Lehane, what do we have on Dennis Kucinich?" has never been uttered. I mean, look at Mickey's greatest hits:

- Referring to waterboarding as "semi-torture" and believing that the issue was an electoral winner for the GOP.

- Screaming about how health care reform will be incredibly expensive, obliquely referring to death panels and then endorsing health care reform anyway.

- Tinfoil hat speculation involving Obama encouraging a flood of illegal immigration in advance of the 2010 Census.

- His hilariously habit of linking to the kind of websites that are on Southern Poverty Law Center watch lists.

- His fervent desire to drastically cut social security benefits for current recipients. (Remember, he's a Democrat!)

- Displaying foreign policy chops that Tom Friedman would find woefully naive.

- Opposing help for the unemployed in the midst of high unemployment because it represents an nefarious, secret attempt to repeal his precious welfare reform, and citing to wingnut think tanks for proof.

- Having literally no idea how Washington works.

- Having literally no idea how Wall Street works.

- Seriously believing that dire predictions about the housing bubble and its effect on the U.S. economy were just ploys by liberal do-gooders to expand the welfare state, and that the housing bust was "no big deal".

And that's just random stuff I managed to write about when I was bored! His archives are a veritable treasure trove of offensive and wrong.


That's really Mickey's advantage here: if you get one thing wrong, you'll hear about it forever ("And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion", etc.); but if you live wrong, then there's too much to work with -- it'd be like criticizing Christopher Hitchens for making inflammatory statements or Lady GaGa for dressing like a MegaMan boss ... where do you even start?

Good luck, Gawker. You're gonna need it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Leave The Record Alone Mickey

Kandidate Kaus, just two short months ago:

Let the record show that, in the crunch, it was the "progressive" left that bailed on health care reform.

Well, I'm going to assume without looking it up that those 34 'nay' votes are all members of the progressive left who have totally bailed on health care reform for the reasons Mickey said. Not even going to look at the roll call. Nope.

And I'm also going to assume that the progressives were the ones who went down to the wire engaging in pointless political theater while the Blue Dogs successfully negotiated key changes to the Senate bill to ensure passage. And that the progressives wanted to scrap the process and start over with a smaller bill while centrist Democrats supported the ultimately successful effort to pass the comprehensive bill establishing universal health care for the first time in America. I mean, there's no way Nancy Pelosi wanted to see this thing pass, right? Must have happened in spite of her, and not because of her ... what with her and her kind being deluded, angry outsiders afraid to pass health care reform because it just might work.

Look, if there's one thing that I've learned from studying at the feet of Mickey Kaus, it's that progressive politicians are always stupid, corrupt, shameless panderers overwhelmed by their emotions and incapable of either political or policy success -- and there's simply no way that recent events could have proven that thesis wrong.

After all, that's the reason why we need people like Mickey in the Senate: to keep progressives from screwing everything up, just like they always do.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Does Mickey Really Look Like A Guy With A Plan?


Mickey's just a dog chasing cars. He wouldn't know what to do with one if he caught it.