Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In defense of Madlibs

Yesterday, I was struck dumb by Tbogg's post regarding William Kristol. He quoted the King of Fractal Wrongness verbatim from his column:
"Of course, everyone’s first choice for president in 2012 is Dick Cheney."

And as I was walking back to my car from my job, wherein, unlike Kristol, I sometimes serve a useful purpose to humanity, health, and truth, I was gobsmacked by the ability to write that sentence without any sense of irony. I was wracked by a misanthropic, Lewis Black felt urge to figure it out, irregardless of the possibility of bringing on a cerebral aneurysm, or two.

William Kristol is an intellectual thought-experimenter. He experiments on ideas the way make-up companies flood the eyes of rabbits with mascara to test any ill-effects. (Animal testing is okay with me, btw, for biological research) He composes a sentence, a few ideas, up to and almost including a thesis, innocuous at best, ends it with a fill in the blank, and emails it to the kid in the mailroom at the Weekly Standard. This 13-year old conservative author and keynote speaker decides to challenge Kristol, so he plays Madlibs with the column and Replies back to Kristol with his new, revised column. Kristol, bored with life, "success", and his own trumpeting the sewage-bound of recent history, takes his newly formed thesis and musters a defense. He has become opposition-prep for himself, arguing the inarguable:

"Of course, everyone’s first choice for president in 2012 is __________."

"Dick Cheney"

"Okay, I'll bite. Now Dick Cheney is SO obvious I can't go with him, but there's another Cheney I want you to know about who was in enemy territory recently..."

Wow, so much for being an electable demographic ever again. One of the most popular shows on TV, week to week is CSI with a 18 million households watching, but as an electorate, well, Marg Helgenberger isn't going to be elected to local or national office anytime soon. Conservatives tend to hate science, "liberal" colleges or anything resembling anything "elite", but as a math equation, out of 300 million (that's another six zeros after that), does 20-60/300 million = 50+/-%?

A hit show does not mean you've created a massive new political party, or wield a heft of national influence over the culture at large.
Just ask any Browncoat or fan of Jericho.

I wouldn't take these guys seriously unless I had evidence I was supposed to take them seriously. Washington Post, Major Cable News, The first new column for the Conservative Op-Ed slot of the NEW YORK TIMES?!

"Cheney for President

[...]it's been hard to escape the impression that both the Republican Party and the country would be better off today if Cheney, rather than John McCain, had been a candidate for president in 2008.[...]
[...]At the very least, a Cheney-Obama contest would have clarified conservatism’s present political predicament.[...]
[...]He was for tax cuts at home and pre-emptive warfare overseas; anything else he seemed to disdain as sentimentalism.

This is precisely the sort of conservatism that’s ascendant in today’s much-reduced Republican Party, from the talk radio dials to the party’s grassroots. And a Cheney-for-President campaign would have been an instructive test of its political viability.

As a candidate, Cheney would have doubtless been as disciplined and ideologically consistent as McCain was feckless. [...]

[...]A large swath of the political class wants to avoid the torture debate. Ed, "Sadly, no!" The Obama administration backed into it last week, and obviously wants to back right out again.[...]"

Are they that cynical? Are they fucking kidding me? Torture is defensible. Torture was practiced, even though they knew it didn't work, because people will say anything under extreme duress. They don't come clean, they bow to the will of their interrogators, and if the questions lead them in the direction of Iraq, SURE they helped Iraq, and spilled the beans in that direction. Even though none of it was independently verifiable, sustained, or corroborated, it, along with volumes of horseshit spewed by "Curveball" made it into the January 2003 SOTU.

The wingnuts need a dictionary, and a remedial class on American History, Civics, and its Government. We're supposed to be the good guys, assholes!
But just keep walking forward, and Clap Louder!

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