A daft diatribe from the clearly berserk columnist Joe Klein, in extremis over the “radical nihilist minority of the Republican Party” but full of gratitude for the Renaissance wonders of his generation, that is to say, “rock ’n’ roll, The Sopranos,” and—get this—“Whole Foods.” I say commit him to a loony bin:
Is it just me, or is there a whiff of the apocalypse in the air? It isn’t hard to locate the immediate cause of the shutdown and impending debt-ceiling debacle: the radical nihilist minority of the Republican Party and the GOP’s craven leadership. Words should not be minced here. These radicals—it is wildly inaccurate to call them conservatives—are a pestilence feeding on ignorance and cynicism, preying on fear as a period of unprecedented prosperity wanes. They are not the apocalypse but represent the desperate last gasp of the white majority and of an era. My generation’s era….
We are far from that now. My generation has done wonderful things—increased equality across racial, gender and orientation lines; rock ’n’ roll; The Sopranos; Whole Foods—but we have made a hash of government. We failed to bring our democracy into the information age; instead we brought it to a precipice. We allowed lobbyists to fester, turning every major piece of legislation into an encyclopedia of contradictions. There is some polling evidence that the millennial generation will be different, more collegial. I certainly hope so. Our sell-by date has passed.
(October 21, 2013)
Another emotional moment with David of Plumsteadville, who also is a bedwetter, a pants befouler, an incurable nose picker, and gets dizzy in skyscrapers above the third floor:
I’m a 45-year-old man with a lifetime subscription to Rolling Stone. Reading the Dylan cover story is making me want to cry and I have no idea why? Is it the writing? The story? Just Bob? I really have no idea. But great piece, thank you.
I hope Bob lives forever.
(October 10, 2013)
An esoteric discourse on good and evil as perpetrated in The Prog by a Great Books fanatic:
As a child who preferred comics to sunlight, my favorite book was a thick Marvel Comics compilation called Bring on the Bad Guys. It contained the origin [sic] stories for such devious fiends as Doctor Doom, Mephisto, and Loki. I loved that book because each story rejected the idea of the genetically bad supervillain and looked instead at what drove each of them down the evil path.
In the world of comics, when you start talking about what makes the bad guys so bad, the next thing you know you’re actually learning something about the world as it is, not as a cartoon.
That colossal gasbag, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is in full flow about his many passions, and the only one exempted from his irruption is the housekeeper who bore his child:
My passion is after-school programs, my passion is environmental issues, my passion is promoting health and fitness, doing movies, being a businessman, running UC’s Schwarzenegger Institute and teaching our kids about bipartisanship and working together.
(November 1, 2013)
Columnist E.J. Dionne Jr., for whom Greece is an exemplar and Spain the Promised Land, flings a challenge to “opponents of Obamacare” and then plants his fingers firmly in his ears:
The administration has never adequately defended the law or explained why government will inevitably have to play a larger role in guaranteeing health insurance to all our citizens—as the public sector does in every other wealthy democracy.
Now, everyone is paying attention. The way to still the noise is to challenge opponents of Obamacare. Can they really make the case that the country would be better off without it? And what would they do instead?
(November 4, 2013)
The Progressive Populist
Someone claiming the marketable name of Mike Lux is loosed on the pages of a leading left-wing madhouse, and he whoops it up for a delusory world, unaided by any intoxicants of any kind—just stupefying idealism:
The contrast between tea party extremism and populist progressives could not be more telling. Both are based in part on the anger tough times stir up, but these two movements are moving in opposite directions. Tea party conservatism is out of control and out of ideas, spiraling down the drain and trying to destroy everything in its path. The progressive movement is on the rise, fueled by ideas and excitement about how we build something, namely a strong prosperous middle class that is growing again as wages rise and concentrations of wealth and power are broken up.
(November 1, 2013)
The Bill Press Blog
A detumescent idealist, Bill Press, laments what the Prophet Obama hath wrought:
It’s too early to write the history of the Obama administration. But, at this point, it looks like, for the most part, that history may be summed up in three words: coulda, woulda, shoulda. I “coulda” signed an immigration bill, but Congress was too busy shutting down the government. I “woulda” closed the gun show loophole, but the NRA wouldn’t let me. I “shoulda” done something about climate change, but I just ran out of time.
The one, big exception is the Affordable Care Act. That is the one concrete thing President Obama has accomplished. As Joe Biden would say, that’s a “BFD,” which is why the breakdown of the Obamacare website is so inexcusable. It will be fixed, but it never should have collapsed in the first place.
(October 25, 2013)
The impressionable Richard Cohen, columnist for the esteemed Washington Post, innocently attends a screening of Steve McQueen’s lurid portrayal of slavery, 12 Years a Slave, and returns to his word processor thinking that he was once a slavemaster and for 150 years white America has engaged in a vast cover-up. God, he looks stupid:
“12 Years a Slave” is art at its highest, not just on account of mastery or talent but because of what it makes yesterday say about today. We obscured, we covered up—we made the past conform to the present and insisted that hurt or pain had no right to persist, as if family tales told at the kitchen table dissipate when the silverware is put away. As a nation, we like to look pretty, but sometimes we weren’t. The grave obligation of art is to show us what we look like. McQueen, has held up a mirror. God, we look ugly.
(November 5, 2013)