Are you a fanatical, wild-eyed left-winger, prone to posting long USENET screeds with subject lines like “DID DUBYA KILL ANN LANDERS??!!!!!! (YES!!!)” and packed with air-tight logical arguments like “bush dint’t want to invade iraq until the pretzle incident THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!!”?
Do you love those too-clever-by-half rhetorical shenanigans, like calling Bush “Resident Select” or “Commander In Thief” or “Republican, insofar as he ‘can’ steal an election!”?
If so, then, boy howdie, do I have a treat for you. Here’s a neologism I just came up with, and you (you!) are welcome to use it incessantly — in newsgroups, in letters to the editor, in long, spittle-intensive harangues delivered to the guy sitting next to you on the bus — between now and the televised speech next Tuesday.
Are you ready? Are you sitting down? You’d better sit down. I know how excited you get about these things. I’m serious about the sitting-down. Well, anyway, here it is:
“George Bush’s State of Buffoonion Address”
Go nuts. No need to thank me. In fact, you can even claim you made it up yourself. I wash my hands of the whole thing.
Update: Last night I was describing to a buddy my campaign to insinuate the phrase “State Of Buffoonion Address” into the left-wing vernacular by publicizing it on my website.
“Oh hey,” he said, “While you’re at it, could you try and get everyone to adopt my new phrase, too?”
I said that I would. So here it is, everyone.
“Keepin’ it real in two-thousand and threeal.”
Please employ it forthwith.
We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of defective yeti:
I am the President of the United States. Some of my little friends say that a missile defense system is unfeasible. Papa says, "If you see it on the yeti, it's so." Please tell me the truth.George W. BushGeorge, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, George, whether they be liberals’ or Democrats’, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.Yes, George, a missile defense system will work. Its effectiveness is as certain as love and generosity and your re-election, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas, how dreary would be the world if there were no missile defense system! It would be as dreary as if there were no Republicans. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The endless flow of funds to the military industrial complex would be extinguished.Not believe in a missile defense system! You might as well not believe that we can lower taxes and keep Social Security solvent! You might fire hundreds of test missiles, but even if not a single one were intercepted, what would that prove? Nobody thinks a missile defense system would work, but that is no sign that it couldn’t work. The most real things in the world are those that intelligent people discount. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? I mean, since you stopped drinking? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.No missile defense system! Thank God, it will be build! And a thousand years from now, Georgie, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, we will continue to pay for this wonderful, glorious dream.defective yeti
It’s not often that I disagree with Joshua Micah Marshall, but this whole “Trent Lott has got to go!” thing is a total crock.
Let me preface all this by pointing out that I rank Trent Lott right up there with athlete’s foot on the list of admirable organisms. And no one would be happier than I to see him resign in disgrace. But what’s this donnybrook about, anyway? It’s about a single sentence, muttered at a birthday party, filtered through the reinterpretation engine of the nation’s pundits.
For the record, here’s exactly what Lott said. He observed that, when Strom Thurman ran for president in 1948, Lott’s home state, Mississippi, voted for him. “We’re proud of it,” Lott continued. “And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over the years.”
God alone know what he meant by “these problems,” but note that there no mention of race. Pundits, though, have been quick to point out that Thurmond ran on a platform of segregation. Some have therefore concluded that Lott’s remarks were tantamount to an endorsement of the segregationist policies of the 40’s.
That’s quite a stretch, if you ask me. What’s much more likely is that Lott was engaging in a little bit of birthday hyperbole, stating that Thurmond is a good guy and therefore he would have made a good president. You and I and the American constituency of 1948 all agree that Thurmond would have been a terrible president, but lionizing a birthday boy is hardly unusual for any of us. Apparently Lott made a statement almost identical to this (“if we had elected this man 30 years ago, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are today.”) at a 1980 Thurmond rally. Some have seized on this a proof that Lott meant what he said this time. I’d argue just the opposite. I’d say it proves that he was just pulling stock phrases out of a hat and tossing them at the Senator willy-nilly.
But, okay, for the sake of argument, let’s say that Lott does support segregation, and chose to reveal this in a cryptic, off-the-cuff remark made at a birthday party. Where does that leave you? Does the revelation that Lott is a Good Ol’ Boy shock anyone? Are there people saying “Jeeze, up until last week I though Trent Lott was a tireless crusader for racial equality and civil rights, but this utterance has completely turned me around!” No, of course not. Democrats aren’t seizing on this because it changes their opinion of Lott one iota, but simply because they can.
And that’s exactly what happened to Clinton, you’ll recall. I bunch of people disliked him, they caught him making ambiguous statements, and they raked him over the coals. Remember, Clinton wasn’t impeached because he had sex with that woman, but because he lied about it. There, as here, the issue wasn’t what he’d done, or what he believed, but simply what he had said.
Few people are criticing Lott for actually embracing segregation policies; they are instead criticing him for saying something that could be construed as approbation for segregation. “Any suggestion that a segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive and it is wrong,” Bush said today. That’s right: Lott’s suggestion is wrong, but no comment on whether it would be wrong for Lott to actually believe that a segregated past was acceptable. The same goes for the Democrats. Lieberman said “Senator Lott’s recent comments about Strom Thurmond’s 1948 presidential campaign were hurtful, divisive, and fundamentally un-American.” The comments, the comments.
At what point did we all become more concerned about what people accidentally say than what they actually believe or do? Lott says something stupid and folks want to run him out on a rail; meanwhile, not a single person in the government has lost their job over the intelligence failures which culminated in the WTC attacks, despite the fact that 9/11 was a very real event (as opposed to mere words) and that some people are clearly culpable, of negligence if nothing more.
Besides, if Lott supports segregation, I’d rather he tell us outright that keep it secret. Furthermore, we have no shortage of idiots in office, and they are as free to express their opinions, no matter how asinine, as the rest of us are. It’s odd how liberals drop their stalwart defense of the first amendment whenever race becomes a factor.
The Republican National Committee and George Bush have every right to can Lott if they feel that he has become a political liability. But the rest of us can’t just demand he be unseated because of a jumble of words that may or may not express some view we find reprehensible. If you believe in democracy — and I do — then you have to face the fact that sometimes people you don’t like wind up in office, and it’s not your place to overturn the will of the voters, no matter how wrongheaded you think those voters might be.
In case you hadn’t gleaned it from this site, I’m a progressive Independent that almost always votes Democrat. So no one is unhappier than I to see the Republicans snag control of all three branches of government. But who can blame the voters, when the Democrats are so fractured that they can’t rally behind a single person to articulate what little message they have? The most recognizable and respected figures in the party were so busy competing against one another for the 2004 nomination that they couldn’t speak with one voice even long enough to stave of this major setback.
George Bush demonstrated in the 2002 election that you don’t need a cohesive plan (“If affirmative action means what … I’m for, then I’m for it.”) so long as you have a personality to present it. But who has really gotten the Democrats fired up in the last two years? A loser (Gore, on the rare occasions when he pokes his head out of hiding and says something worth hearing), a Republican (McCain, during the flurry of reports that he might run on their ticket in 2004), and a dead guy.
Many have pooh-poohed the negative ramifications of the Wellstone Memorial-turned-rally, but its implications were more profound than just ghoulish opportunism. It showed that, while they wouldn’t stand behind Wellstone and his progressive politics while he was alive, they would enthusiastically point to him and shout “that’s what we stand for!” when he inadvertently procured three hours of prime time television. This desperation for a spokesman spoke volumes about the Democrats’ paucity of vision.
Also, Buffy the Vampire Slayer wasn’t very good last night, so it was kind of a double blow.
Update: Okay, I got kinda worked up about the elections there, but it’s all better now. I just went to the gym and watched CNN Headline News where they didn’t mention the election once. It was, like, wall-to-wall Winona Ryder verdict coverage for the entire hour I was on the treadmill. Oh wait, they did break away at one point to talk about — this is true — the sniper case.
Now I’m all distracted and apathetic again — thanks CNN! Estimated Date Of Giving a Rat’s Ass About Poilitics Again: April 28, 2004. See you then!
Update: My email to Jennifer Dunn, Washington State Representative:“If peaceful efforts to destroy Iraq’s weapons or to bring about a regime change fail, then I have decided to authorize any means necessary to accomplish these goals. Military force should always be a last resort.” So you have written on your webpage, and I commend you for this position. But I fear that the Congress is poised to cede its decision-making capabilities to the Executive branch, by approving a war resolution that hands the Bush Administration a foreign policy carte blanch.I do not believe that the White House shares your philosophy of only utilizing military force as a last resort. Waiving your responsibility as a Congresswomen to serve as a check and balance to the Bush Administration’s warmongering is therefore tantamount to reneging on these principles that you hold dear. I hope you’ll have the courage and the integrity to stand up for your convictions, and ensure that Congress continues to have a voice in the planning process of this momentous decision.Respectfully Yours,Matthew Baldwin“Warmongering” and “renege” were probably a little over the top, but, whatever. Steal, rewrite, use.Update: Senator Patty Murray Responds!Dear Friend:Thank you for contacting me by email. This is just a short note to let you know that my office has received your message. If you are from Washington state and …Yeah, that’s about where I stopped reading …
Matt Drudge is horrified that those attending a summit on starvation are “enjoying” a meal of lobster, caviar and champagne. Yes, it must be disheartening for Mr. Drudge to see his long, hard battle on behalf of the starving get undermined like this.
People who work to alleviate starvation while eating well are one infinity less hypocritical than people who call this hypocritical while doing nothing themselves.