Posted tagged ‘Obama’

Her? Oh, That’s Just Crazy Old Aunt Peg

October 12, 2009

Peggy Noonan, in defiance of all normal expectations, keeps getting more embarrassing. It’s one thing to think outside the box. When the box is your head, you get this:

It was a good thing, the Nobel Peace Prize. Every year the giving of it was a matter of note throughout the world, almost a matter of state.

Don’t you love the reflective tone of pipe-puffing wisdom in the first sentence? No, you don’t. You find it phony and insufferable. As for, “Every year the giving of it…” well, you feel (as I do) that it displays all the homespun authenticity of a Quaker Oats commercial. The bad ones, without that fun mumbly music they’ve had recently.

So much for style. What about the writer’s substance?

Briefly: Obama doesn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize because he’s not Mother (“You’re so good, it’s SCARY!”) Teresa. Neither is he Nelson Mandela, Woodrow Wilson or “Ferocious Teddy Roosevelt.” Fair enough, in its whiny way. Then, alas, the crazy takes over, and Peggy “The Ophelia of the Right” comes into her nudnik own.

More deeply into the political life of the 20th Century, there were Jimmy Carter and Al Gore, and their Peace Prizes were what they were.

Can’t argue with that. Who, other than the right-wing fantasists whose divorce from reality has proven anything but amicable, would dare argue that they weren’t what they were? But get this:

It was always absurd that Ronald Reagan, whose political project led to the end of the gulag and the fall of the Berlin Wall, and who gambled his personal standing in the world for a system that would protect the common man from annihilation in a nuclear missile attack, could not win it.

This is the Republican creation myth, and so it deserves exactly as much respect, free of literal agreement or belief, that one would show a Hopi legend about the origin of the world (“So Tawa divided himself and there came Muiyinwuh, God of All Life Germs; Spider Woman also divide(d) herself so that there was Huzruiwuhti, Woman of the Hard Substances, the Goddess of all hard ornaments of wealth such as coral, turquoise, silver and shell…”).

Note, to your queasy disbelief, that the words following “Berlin Wall” refer — [in addition to Ronnie’s “personal standing,” as if that a) means anything when you’re acting as President, and b) means anything to a man decreasingly able to distinguish between life and movies — to the “Star Wars” missile defense system.

Yes, that missile defense system — the one whose components could never be shown to actually work, the one whose field tests required foreknowledge of where, when, and along what trajectory the targets were to be launched, the one that (at a cost of tens of billions) would at best have been destabilizing and would have brought anxiety to the trigger fingers in the USSR, the Warsaw Pact, and the general vicinity even though everyone would know that it didn’t work.

To sum up: Ronald Reagan deserved the Nobel Peace Prize because he failed to waste a fortune on a boondoggle that would have made the world less safe. That he failed to win it was “absurd.”

Oh, Peg, how can you possibly top that?

But nobody wept over it, and for one reason: because everyone, every sentient adult who cared to know about such things, knew that the Nobel Peace Prize is, when awarded to a political figure, a great and prestigious award given by liberals to liberals. NCNA–no conservatives need apply. This is the way of the world, and so what? Life isn’t for prizes.

Never mind the nausea lurking in the prospect of learning what Peggy Noonan thinks “life” is “for,” or that the final lines are a crabby old schoolmarm’s idea of “consolation.” What we want to know is, what about Andre Sakharov (1975)? What about those liberal scalawags, Anwar al-Sadat and Menachem Begin (1978)? What about Lech Walesa (1983)? Why does Peggy Noonan hate freedom?

And what about Henry Kissinger? Because, as every sentient adult knows, “Along with North Vietnamese Politburo Member Le Duc Tho, Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, 1973, for their work in negotiating the ceasefires contained in the Paris Peace Accords…”


This is an award for not being George W. Bush. This is an award for not making the world nervous. This is an award for sharing the basic political sentiments and assumptions of the members of the committee. It is for what Barack Obama may do, not what he has done. He hasn’t done anything.

Actually, dear, no. This is an award for having traveled more than any other president in the first year of a term specifically and explicitly to repair the damage done by the man and the administration you spent eight years defending and praising. This damage was done to the very possibility of world peace, to the legitimacy of diplomacy, to the idea of respecting international law, to the reputation of the United States as an honorable member of the community of nations, and to the hopes of every “common man” around the world whom people like you, Peggy Noonan, and your right-wing propagandist colleagues, take such pleasure in bleating admiration for until it comes time to hold them indefinitely, torture them, or blow them into protoplasm as “collateral damage” in wars you promote against people who are no threat to us.

Go watch the video, again, of the exultation around the world when Obama was elected. That sound you’ll hear is of the human race breathing a sigh of relief. You want the United States to be the leader of the world? Once again, finally, you’ve got it. Now choke on it.

Oh, wait. One more thing. Please, please grace us with more rants like this:

America hasn’t just helped the world, it literally lit the world with its inventions, which are the product of its freedoms. The lights under which the Peace Prize judges read, and rejected, the worthy nominations? Why, those lights were invented by an American. The emails the committee members sent to each other, sharing their banal insights on leadership? They came through the Internet. Who invented the Internet? It was a Norwegian bureaucrat with a long face and hair on his nose and little plastic geometric eyeglasses? Oh wait, it was Americans. The members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee are healthy because they have been inoculated against diseases such as polio. Who invented the polio vaccine, an enfeebled old leftist academic in Oslo? Nah, it was a man named Jonas Salk. He was an American.

It doesn’t get any more jejune than this, from the Cowardly Lion recitation of accomplishments (“Who invented the electric light/So you can see in the dark and put your pj’s on right?/Who is the guy who invented email/For every computerized male and female?” etc.) to the teen sarcasm of “oh, wait” to the thick-as-a-brick obliviousness of the fact that, e.g., “Sir Timothy John ‘Tim’ Berners-Lee, OM, KBE, FRS, FREeng, FRSA (born 8 June 1955), is a British engineer and computer scientist and MIT professor credited with inventing the World Wide Web, making the first proposal for it in March 1989.”

Face it, Peg. Reagan is dead and W is in permanent, well-deserved disgrace. Join him there or, like that other Scandinavian said, Get thee to a nunnery.


A Letter to Sarah Palin from God

October 31, 2008

NOTE: The following words occurred to me, seemingly out of nowhere, in the innermost recesses of the mind of my brain. I can only conclude that they came from God. I present them, therefore, not as a “writer” but as a medium, a messenger transmitting the divine text and converting it, as best I can, from a mode of pure thought into the publicly-accessible form of the written word. E.W.

Dear Sarah:

I would ask, “How are you, child?” but for two things. One, who knows better than I, Who Am That I Am, how you are? And two, my purpose in communicating with you here is not to ask how you are, but to tell you how you are.

You are a disappointment to Me, Sarah.

You seem to think, as do many of your co-religionists, that what you profess to believe–and, indeed, what you may actually in fact believe–is more important than what you do. You seem to be under the impression that advertising an ardent belief in Me (or Us, if you prefer) absolves you of any responsibility to act in accordance with what you know–or, at least, what you should know–constitute My values and precepts.

The list of your transgressions is extensive, and includes:

– That, while you know full well My admonition to Love Thy Neighbor, you spread calumny and derision about half of the population, presuming to declare who is and who is not “the real America.”

– That, while you are fully aware of My Commandment forbidding you to bear false witness, you utter lies and deceptions on a routine basis, verily, you seem unable to speak publicly without lying. You have lied about opposing the Bridge to Nowhere; you have lied about firing the librarian and police chief of Wasilla; you have lied about your previous statements regarding climate change; you have lied about Alaska’s contribution to your nation’s oil and gas production; you have lied about Barack Obama’s position regarding habeas corpus; you have lied about your use of a TelePrompter at the Republican convention; and in manifold other ways have you lied, and lied, and lied.

– That, while you are entirely acquainted with My intention to bestow upon Man dominion over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, yet you play fast and loose and get cute with, and otherwise wink at, the danger posed to all living creatures (including Man) by climate change; and you profess to be unsure as to whether these perils are caused by Man, while all reputable study affirms this analysis beyond dispute.

– That, while you are surely acquainted with My Son’s admonition that you “beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye,” yet you persist in criticizing Obama’s (modest, progressive) taxation plans as constituting “socialism,” and abjure it as an evil, whilst never acknowledging that your own Republican Party put in place laws that have resulted in the most egregiously “socialistic” takeover of the nation’s banks in history; moreover, your own state of Alaska–particularly under your administration–is the most socialist of all the fifty states, in its collective taxing of the oil industry and its distribution, to every man, woman, and child in the state, a check upwards of three (3) grand each year.

– That, while you proudly profess to believe in “freedom,” you have lately complained that if newspapers criticize you for “negative campaigning,” they are abridging your First Amendment rights under the Constitution–as though “freedom” means only your ability to say anything that enters in unto your head (regardless of how baseless or slanderous) but does not apply to the press.

Of the sheer stupidity of this last assertion I, Who Am Eternal, shall say nothing, for I love all my creations, regardless of how ignorant, unsophisticated, or just plain dumb. Similarly, I will pass over your inability to answer the simplest question in a coherent sentence, your meanness of spirit, and the great selfishness and want of taste you display in subjecting your poor children to the travails, exhaustion, and abuse of a national presidential campaign.

Rather, Sarah, it is your hypocrisy and mendaciousness that mightily offend Me. I am, as you know, a just and compassionate God. But even I (blessed be Me and blessed be My Name) have a limit to My patience. Thus, I find not only that you are unqualified to be Vice-President of the United States. I find that you are a human person deficient in those basic qualities (honesty, decency, compassion, modesty, personal integrity, a respect for knowledge, and a concern for truth) that are pleasing unto Me and which ought to constitute the character of the righteous woman.

You are not just a bad candidate. You are a bad person. I only hope you will awaken to this fact, acknowledge the error of your ways, and take steps to atone for these transgressions before the Day of Judgment, when I shall be forced to render a decision concerning your eternal fate.

Yours in Me, etc.,

cc. Jesus Christ

A Woman Scorned

July 14, 2008

Like you, when I want a good bracing shot of fake altruism, self-serving moralizing, and pseudo-principled expressions of outrage, I turn to Republicans. I know they’re good for it, because that’s all they’re good for.

Sorry. That’s all for which they’re good.

Recently, though, I’ve discovered a Democratic source of this all-too-renewable natural resource. She is, as the N.Y. Times noted on June 12 of this year, “a top Clinton fund-raiser, telecommunications entrepreneur and member of the Democratic national convention’s platform committee.” She’s married to a British Lord.

She’s Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild. You may remember her from such recent accomplishments as telling Anderson Cooper, regarding Barack Obama, “…frankly, I don’t like him. I feel like he is an elitist. I feel like he has not given me reason to trust him.”

Yeah, that old gag: “elitist,” which we thought had been retired along with Newt Gingrich’s relevance. Here it is, uttered by a woman who is mistress of the 3,200 acre Rothschild family estate, and who was introduced to her husband (Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian de Rothschild) by Henry fucking Kissinger at the Bilderberg Conference.

(Don’t bother applying to attend. Wikipedia: “Attendees of Bilderberg include central bankers, defense experts, mass media press barons, government ministers, prime ministers, royalty, international financiers and political leaders from Europe and North America.”)

Forester was recently on the radio here in L.A., talking to the excellent (and Huff Post blogging!) Patt Morrison. The topic: Hillary loyalists, and how they will or will not be able to reconcile themselves to Barack Obama’s victory and join in the effort to get him elected in November. It turns out that, alas, Lynn Forester may not. In fact, she may vote for, and possibly work on behalf of, John McCain.

Now, this matter was previously autopsied in The Huffington Post on June 13 by Richard Silverstein, here.

Silverstein quite understandably dealt with it by not really believing the Lady meant what she said. So he wrote a few paragraphs and wisely bailed out.

But why should that stop me? Because a month later she’s still saying it. Here is what Lynn Forester told (what sounded to me like an audibly incredulous) Patt Morrison. (Listen to the whole thing here, under “Hillary Holdouts.”)

“At the end of the day we are choosing the President of the United States, the most powerful job in the world for the greatest county that ever existed on the face of the planet.”

(All right, I have to interrupt for a moment and invite you to join me, as we smash our heads against the wall at this GOP-style American-exceptionalist frothing. Can’t the U.S.A. be a great country without having to be “the greatest country that ever existed on the face of the planet”? Which itself is kind of a mixed cliché. She means either “on the face of the Earth” or “on the planet.” Never mind. Let’s move on.)

“And we cannot say that our party, or our loyalty to our party, is our first obligation. We are obligated to choose who will lead this country best, who will work harder for all the people in this county. And so I don’t feel guilty at all if I don’t vote Democratic. And it was California’s Ronald Reagan who said, he did not leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left him.”

It’s hard to know where to start to adequately describe the bad faith, uber-disingenuousness, and sheer baloney-rich nonsense of this statement. So let’s not try yet. Instead, let’s just review what “Dan from Brea” (a former Hillary supporter) said when he called in. Because he nailed it:

“I cannot believe anyone who seriously supports the fundamental principles that Hillary campaigned for could say with a straight face that they would consider voting for John McCain…I have a hard time taking your position seriously.”

Tell me about it, Dan. Because here’s what this woman, whose claim on our attention is predicated on her having worked passionately for Hillary Clinton, would have us believe:

1. That she is of the sincere opinion that John McCain, whose positions on major issues are almost identical to those of His Catastrophic Chimpitude, George W. Bush, will “lead this country” better and “work harder for all the people in this country,” than Barack Obama, whose positions on almost every issue are almost identical to Hillary Clinton’s.

2. That this attitude represents a selfless devotion to country, if need be at the expense of petty Party loyalty.

3. That Barack Obama has not given Forester “a reason to trust him,” but John McCain has.

4. That this position is adequately explained and justified by something Ronald Reagan — California’s Ronald Reagan — once said.

If you listen to the broadcast, you hear Patt’s other guest, Jill Iscoll (fundraiser for HRC and chair of her Senate campaigns) take a somewhat less ridiculous stance. Iscoll, to my ear, even sounds a bit embarrassed by the full-throated absurdity of her sister Hill-raiser.

What the two women have in common, however, is a shared sense of indignation at how Hillary was treated by the press during the primary. There was misogyny. There was sexism. “The press tried to marginalize her,” Iscoll said. “She was not a marginal candidate.”

“Marginalize”? After months of writing and broadcasting about Hillary’s “inevitability”? Whatever. And yes, there were strains of misogyny and sexism in the coverage, just as there were strains of racism. But then Iscoll says, about her candidate, “She is the greatest figure of our age for millions and millions of people, not only in America but around the world.”

Again with the face-of-the-planet hyperbole. Meanwhile, neither of these women mentions any of the half-truths, lies, contradictions, fudgings, or evasions for which Hillary was responsible, from I-was-shot-at-in-Bosnia to the-voters-of-Florida-deserve-to-be-heard-even-though-I-earlier-agreed-that-they-didn’t.

What we have here, in other words, are two feminists still pissed that their gal lost. They’re entitled. Lynn Forester is even entitled (whatever that can possibly mean, coming from me, a nobody with a Dell and broadband), to vote for, work for, and give money to, John McCain.

But don’t pretend to justify it on the basis of “leadership.” Have the simple honesty to identify your position for what it is: sheer, unadulterated, 99 44/100ths percent pure spite — one of the most blatant examples of spite on the face of the planet.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, spite is to revenge what masturbation is to sex.

So go enjoy yourself. But don’t ask everyone else to applaud you for it, or to adopt your (bogus, nonsensical, pseudo-selfless) “reasons” as their own — or, worse, to take them seriously and try to dissuade or appease you.

We’ve had, thanks to the thoroughly corrupted Republican Party, eight nightmare years of lies, propaganda, and insults to the intelligence of ourselves and our household pets, all presented as ostensibly matters of principle and patriotism. The last thing we need is more of it from Democrats — regardless of their titles.

United Mime Workers Silent on Presidential Endorsement

May 22, 2008

The union representing most of America’s “non-verbal, gestural, movement-centric” performers, the United Mime Workers, today continued its refusal to endorse formally any candidate for the presidency of the U.S. or, indeed, to answer any question put to it.

Responding to a reporter’s query at its weekly press conference, a “spokes”person for the group addressed the matter of the union’s preference for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or John McCain by convincingly portraying a man carrying a heavy trunk on his back across a beach.

When challenged by another reporter, that the proffered answer did not actually deal with the issue, the union representative impersonated what onlookers took to be a seven-year-old eating an ice cream cone in a hurricane.

Reaction from the various presidential candidates was swift in coming. Senator John McCain noted, “The nation’s mime workers are a vital part of our nation’s security system of the nation, and a bulwark team of defensive front-line against Al Qaeda along the border, and, um, an important part of a nutritious breakfast. I am pleased to have their support even if they support no one.”

Senator Hillary Clinton, continuing what many view as a futile campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, praised the mime workers “because they know what I have learned as I have listened to people all across this nation, which is that it’s not enough to make pretty speeches. Sometimes you have to stop talking and just act like a cat trying to walk up a sliding board. And that’s what I’ve been doing every single day.”

Front-running Democratic contender Barack Obama praised the mime workers’ “ability to do more than just talk, and to say so much by saying very little in the service of saying nothing at all.” Obama went on to declare that, in a McCain presidency, “life for mimes will be exactly as it has been under President Bush, except with more expensive leotards.”

Post Hoc Ergo Shut Up Hoc

April 23, 2008

As we say in our latest book, How to Raise a Jewish Dog, “the argument that ‘only Hillary can win the big states necessary to elect a Democrat’ is entirely fallacious and absurd, and should be immediately shot in the head and then ushered off to an honorable retirement.”

(Disclosure: We don’t really say this in our latest book, How to Raise a Jewish Dog. This is my idea of product placement. But why not? We say other things, as funny if not funnier. Everyone who reads it loves it. Check it out! But first read the following.)

This, both in self-perpetuating, tedious discussions among tv commentators, and from the Hillary camp, is their argument: Hillary won Michigan, Ohio, and now Pennsylvania. These states are essential for Democrats to win if they hope to beat McCain. Obama “can’t close the deal,” Hillary says, meaning, he can’t defeat her decisively in those states. And, since those states are essential to a Dem victory, “only” she can beat McCain. Thus, Democratic delegates–whose main priority should be winning, regardless of specific policy details–should see the light, flock to her, and elect her the Democratic candidate for prez.

But this argument is not so much “flawed” as it is “stoopid.”

True, Obama “lost” Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania–against another Democrat. Obama lost in a race in which his universe of possible votes was, by definition, cut more or less in half. He wasn’t running against McCain in Pennsylvania; he was running against Clinton. But Clinton, and the braying jackasses of the media (they know who they are–no, wait. They don’t know who they are. We know who they are.) insist that this bag of apples is also, or is “really,” a bag of oranges.

Saying that Obama can’t win Pennsylvania in November because he lost to Hillary is like watching an intra-squad practice game among, say, the San Antonio Spurs, and concluding–after one team “loses”–that the Spurs can’t possibly hope to compete in the playoffs. “A team consisting of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Brett Barry lost. How can they hope to prevail against Phoenix or Boston?”

So asketh the stupid son. To him you shall say, “Jesus Christ, are you a complete idiot? Or a tv pundit trying to invent something to talk about? That’s only half the team. It lost to the other half. Both halves of the team will play together against someone completely else when they go into the playoffs.”

Naturally, at this juncture, someone will point out that X percent of Obama voters and Y percent of Clinton voters have told pollsters that they will refuse to vote for the other side’s candidate if she/he gets the nod, and will instead vote for McCain. Fine. Whatever. Let’s say they really mean it–today.

Does anyone really think they’ll all feel the same way after three months of hand-to-hand, hand-to-mouth, and foot-in-mouth combat in “the general”? When McCain, with all his history and tax cut switcheroos and lobbyist-infested staff and iffy wife and photo-of-him-hugging-Bush-with- his-eyes-lightly-closed and Iraq-for-a-hundred-years mischegoss and Sunni-Shia confusion, has finally been challenged and shamed by the Democrats, who have thus far been busy eviscerating each other? And when a single gaffe, scandal, “misspeaking,” or revelation can torpedo a campaign overnight?

Sure, some Dems who want Hillary to win will vote for McCain rather than Obama. But how many? No one knows, because no one can know. Is that any basis upon which to demand delegate fealty–and in defiance of the popular vote? Obviously not, obviously.

Democrats of every stripe should, effective immediately, give this argument the back of their hand. And the more it is advanced, the more askance its advancer should be looked at. Harsh words, yes, but in this case not uncalled for. And every time Hillary asserts it–every time she says that beating Obama in Pennsylvania proves that only she can beat McCain in Pennsylvania–she should be identified either as a disingenuous, calculating sneak, or as someone who doesn’t quite understand how primaries are different from general elections.

Which do you think she is?