Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You'll Never Go Broke

sticking it to those damn Liberal "coastal elites".

In the past, such was the Big Magic to be found in bashing the Liberal coastal elites that it could simultaneously make the Scintilla from Wasilla wealthy and give David Brooks something to tsk-tsk Centristly over:
But over the past few decades, the Republican Party has driven away people who live in cities, in highly educated regions and on the coasts. This expulsion has had many causes. But the big one is this: Republican political tacticians decided to mobilize their coalition with a form of social class warfare. Democrats kept nominating coastal pointy-heads like Michael Dukakis so Republicans attacked coastal pointy-heads.

Over the past 15 years, the same argument has been heard from a thousand politicians and a hundred television and talk-radio jocks. The nation is divided between the wholesome Joe Sixpacks in the heartland and the oversophisticated, overeducated, oversecularized denizens of the coasts.

What had been a disdain for liberal intellectuals slipped into a disdain for the educated class as a whole. The liberals had coastal condescension, so the conservatives developed their own anti-elitism, with mirror-image categories and mirror-image resentments, but with the same corrosive effect.

This year could have changed things. The G.O.P. had three urbane presidential candidates. But the class-warfare clichés took control. Rudy Giuliani disdained cosmopolitans at the Republican convention. Mitt Romney gave a speech attacking “eastern elites.” (Mitt Romney!) John McCain picked Sarah Palin.

Palin is smart, politically skilled, courageous and likable. Her convention and debate performances were impressive. But no American politician plays the class-warfare card as constantly as Palin. Nobody so relentlessly divides the world between the “normal Joe Sixpack American” and the coastal elite.
From the grandest of Conservative enterprises (reanimating the corpse of Richard Nixon's dead career or providing the cemtral pillar for entire American Conservative movement) to the smallest dab of Centrist editorial spackle (giving Mark Halperin something to gush about between trips down to the Piggly Wiggly to buy peppermint foot lotion for John McCain) -- 
FROM: Mark Halperin
TO: Coastal Elites, the Media and Establishment Politicians of Both Parties
RE: Sarah Heath Palin 
Don't underestimate Sarah Palin. Yes, she is hyper-polarizing: she sends her fans into rapture and drives her detractors stark raving mad. But she can dominate the news cycle with a single tweet and generate three days of coverage with a single speech (as she did this past Friday in Iowa). Her name recognition is universal.

You are right to complain that she is not offering specific policy proposals and that her inaccessibility to media outlets other than the one that pays her — Fox News — puts her beyond the kind of scrutiny and accountability we have come to expect for our leaders.

But the mistake you are making is to assume that Palin needs or wants to play by the standard rules of American politics. Or that it even occurs to her to do so...
-- the mob-whipping potency of screeds against Liberal coastal elites is undeniable.

It gives the Breitbart Collective something on which to glut itself.
One of the lasting legacies of the Tea Party protests is how that movement finally and forever exposed the utter contempt and loathing coastal elites harbor for everyday Americans.
It has given Andrew Sullivan a shot at immortality:
The middle part of the country—the great red zone that voted for Bush—is clearly ready for war. The decadent Left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead—and may well mount what amounts to a fifth column.
And now it is Mr. Greenwald's turn to turn that well-turned phrase:
What Obama has specialized in from the beginning of his presidency is putting pretty packaging on ugly and discredited policies. The cosmopolitan, intellectualized flavor of his advocacy makes coastal elites and blue state progressives instinctively confident in the Goodness of whatever he's selling, much as George W. Bush's swaggering, evangelical cowboy routine did for red state conservatives.
I guess I don't get out enough.  Because while Mr. Greenwald lays claim to special insight into the instincts of "coastal elites and blue state progressives", I personally don't know anyone who has said they believe or accept President Obama's speech holus-bolus.  Nor do I know anyone (including me) who has not been bitterly disappointed at one point or another -- or frequently --  by some backslide or fuckup or sellout or egregiously stupid, one-sided attempt to "compromise" with one more olive branch extended to a clutch of fanatics who cheerfully use olive branches to torch bridges, immolate budget agreements and otherwise burn any attempt at comity to the fucking ground.

Of course, my knowledge of Liberals is meager, confined as it is to actual people living in the real world. As such, I cannot hope to match Mr, Greenwald's apparently vast and comprehensive Palinite expertise on the subject of the secret motives of unnamed "coastal elites and blue state progressives".  So speaking only for myself, I would certainly welcome any post-Obama speech editorial which counselled skepticism and a need for measurable outcomes as wise and appropriate.

But of course limiting an editorial to justifiable skepticism and a demand for tangible verification would also be so boring!  

Such a piece of work would in no way help Mr. Greenwald further his corollary goals of shitting on Progressives whenever possible (even if doing so means leaning hard on such pillars of dispassionate credibility as Ross Douthat, who, for the record, doesn't actually  manage to conjure up any actual Liberals who accept President Obama's speech in toto on which to hang his critique either) -- 
Obama may do things you progressives find distasteful, but at least marvel at how thoughtful and torn up he is about it all. The New York Times' Ross Douthat had quite a good column this week about this preening pageantry.
and burnishing his "Worse Than Bush" thesis:
No progressive wants to believe that they placed such great trust and adoration in a political figure who is increasingly being depicted as some sort of warped progeny of Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney.
But I suppose you go to war with the sniveling Obot caricatures you have now, not the sniveling Obot  caricature you might want or wish to have at a later time.

In any event, as Mr. Greenwald works his way though the lexicon of editorial contempt, I can hardly wait until he hauls the word "luxuriating" out of his arsenal.

I wonder if it will read anything like this?
In certain circles, it is not only important what opinion you hold, but how you hold it. It is important to be seen dancing with complexity, sliding among shades of gray. Any poor rube can come to a simple conclusion -- that President Saddam Hussein is a menace who must be disarmed President Barack Obama  is a monster who must be brought down -- but the refined ratiocinators want to be seen luxuriating amid the difficulties, donning the jewels of nuance, even to the point of self-paralysis…


Anonymous said...

In before "obot" "droneglass" "blindly following" "dear leader" "murdered children".

The rubes will come, and they will whine. It's what they do.

Anonymous said...

"No progressive wants to believe that they placed such great trust and adoration in a political figure who is increasingly being depicted as some sort of warped progeny of Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney."

Egads. I so wish that Greenwald could advocate for saner, more civil liberties-friendly foreign and domestic policy without turning it into an increasingly unhinged personal crusade to lecture liberals about how the flawed and undoubtedly disappointing, but still relatively liberal president who is worth supporting on most things, is worse than the devil. But that ship sailed long ago.

The GOP is cynically calling Obama a Nixonian scoundrel over nothingburger fake scandals, two of which have absolutely nothing to do with Greenwald's pet causes, while the third (DOJ subpoenas) has not been linked to the White House. But the "zomg Obama is a tyrant" thing fits what has become his essential narrative, so hey, why not pile on?

n1ck said...

Shorter Glen Greenwald:

Progressives worshipers(just one p!) of Obama must love drones and the security state, because they think Obama isn't nearly as bad as Republican would be.

That's their whole fucking argument.

No substance, just like a typical tea-party radical.

They argue against mythical liberals and progressives who call themselves that but apparently love them some drones and indefinite detention, because SHUT UP.

I consider drone warfare to be Drone TERRORISM myself. That said, the fucking things exist, and trying to argue that Obama has the ability to stop using them without being IMMEDIATELY IMPEACHED FOR WAR CRIMES AGAINST 'MURRICA means you are a naive twit.

Obama's speech making the argument that we cannot continue an indefinite war brought with it claims from the Republican radicals that he was surrendering to the terrorists. Can you imagine the scandal if Obama didn't use the airpower of drones to kill terrorists (and wedding parties)?

Let's not go fucking forgetting that Obama is NOT a liberal or progressive, but a "Centrist" in the same vein as Clinton, or fucking Richard Nixon. He is a 70's era Republican trapped being relatively sane and compassionately conservative here in the 2000's.

The United States is an empire. If you discount that fact, you're either an idiot, naive, or a liar. So starting from there, Obama is an Emperor. Full stop.

The Emperor will use whatever tools he has in his toolbox.

The fact that Obama said that his toolbox may be a little too full and that maybe some of those tools, like drones, should be taken out, or given specific instruction manuals, say something about Obama.

And no, I don't worship(one p!) Obama. I held my nose and voted for the 70's era Republican because I'm not a fucking dolt who thinks Rmoney would have made the same speech.

steeve said...

Has anyone ever seen an Obot? Like anywhere, anyone, any time?

I once pushed back on the term "Obama derangement syndrome", because true derangement is above the ordinary, such as in the Clinton years when even liberals repeated republican lies.

But now here we are.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, those damn liberal coastal elites. Yeah, we ought to shit on progressives. Yeah. You're right. It hadn't occurred to me before, so thank you for clarifying. Meanwhile, I'll go see if I can handle that Greenwart guy. He seems pretty bitchy. Not very fair. Thanks for the warning.

mahakal said...

Ross Douthat had quite a good column? This is not defensible. I can't even try.