Thursday, August 21, 2014

McArdle's Golden Elixir

How can Yakov cheat those poor people like that?
Why? What's the matter?
Well this is the furniture polish he sold yesterday.
As I wrote the other daythere are a lot of aspiring David Brookses out there trying to scale Mount Media by selling their version of Brooks' Golden Elixer; an admix of hippie slandering, lazy Villager Centrist sermonettes on what other people should be doing and massive historical revisionism

The latest used-furniture-polish-salesperson-of-the-week to carve up recent American history and serve it on a Conservative platter sushi-style is Meghan McArdle.

And as with David Brooks, there is already a thriving cottage industry of disreputable outsiders who take apart Ms. McArdle's Conservative/Libertarian Tinkertoy arguments as fast as she can build them, and I am not going to pitch my tent in their already-thriving marketplace.  However an Alert Reader sent this little gem along to me and, frankly, I could not resist it's shiny-shiny awfulness.

If you were blazing down one of our nation's highways and glanced fleetingly this headline
When Obama Beat Hillary, We All Lost
you might guess that the thrust of Ms. McArdle's latest contribution to American Journalism had something to do with former Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama.

But you would be wrong.

Sure that's what the label on the Ms. McArdle's Golden Elixir says, and Ms. McArdle makes a few, weak gestures in the direction of what she calls "counterfactuals" (because that sounds nice and economisty) --
One of my favorite members of this genre is the counterfactual: Would Hitler have won World War II if he had left Russia alone? Would Medicare exist if JFK had lived?...
and which every other literate would refer to as the Alternate History subgenre of science fiction:

Would WWII have ended differently if FDR had been assassinated?


Would the Confederacy have won the Civil War if they have been armed with modern weapons?


And a fan-favorite, would Megan McArdle have a job that involved being paid to put her terrible opinions down on paper if the Koch Brothers were just a couple of loud-mouth shoe salesmen from Wichita?

Probably not (from The Daily Exile):

S.H.A.M.E. just published a brand new shill profile. Its latest subject: Megan McArdle, who was just hired on this September as Newsweek/The Daily Beast’s “special correspondent on economics, business and public policy.” In case you’re wondering, yes, that’s her in the image above, beaming with joy as Charles Koch’s party clown-for-hire at the 50th anniversary bash of Koch’s flagship libertarian think-tank, the Institute for Humane Studies. But more on that later. . .
McArdle should be very familiar to eXiled readers. Many of you probably first learned of McArdle’s existence more than three years ago, when she led a smear campaign from her perch at the Atlantic to discredit the first media investigative piece exposing the Tea Party as an Astroturf campaign funded by the Kochs and FreedomWorks, written by eXiled editors Mark Ames and Yasha Levine and published in Playboy in February, 2009. 
Which is why, whatever hamfisted tale tale of alternate history Ms. McArdle might be trying to spin in the second half of this abomination --
Of course, in my counterfactual, Hillary also probably wouldn’t have proposed ambitious health-care reform; she’d have done something more modest, like a Medicaid expansion. Progressives might well say that they’d rather have the first two years of the Obama administration, followed by gridlock, than steadier but more modest achievements by a Hillary Clinton administration. And that doesn’t even get us into foreign policy, where the differences were deeper and more passionate.

To my mind, however, that would have been a much better outcome for everyone. So there’s my counterfactual for the summer: If Hillary Clinton had won, Obamacare wouldn’t have happened, and Democrats -- and the country -- would be better off.
-- like David Brooks, her real agenda -- rewriting history to remove any mention of the lunatic and often racist Republican base and the Brain Caste of the Conservative Movement who spent 40 years and billions of dollars breeding and launching them -- clearly evident in the first half of this abomination:
... I think liberals really do not understand emotionally the extent to which the Tea Party was created by the Affordable Care Act and the feeling that its government was simply steamrolling it. From the Tea Party's perspective, you had an unpopular program that should have died in the same way, and for the same reasons, that Social Security privatization did...
 Except, of course, there is no fucking "Tea Party".  The "Tea Party" has never been anything other than a fabulous, tea-baggulous "Bush-Off Machine funded by the Koch Brothers and relentlessly pimped by Fox News. As I wrote back in 2009 and as has been born out over and over again in every poll ever taken of the "Tea Party"
Most newly minted “independents” seem to be little more than Republicans who are fleeing the scene of their crime, but at the same time still desperately want believe in the inerrant wisdom of Rush Limbaugh. They are completely incapable of facing the horrifying reality that they have gotten every single major political opinion and decision of their adult lives completely wrong, so instead they double-down on their hatred of women and/or gays and/or brown people and/or Liberals, and blame them for the miserable fuckpit their leaders and their policies have made of their live and futures.

Like German soldiers after the fall of Berlin, they have stopped running away from the catastrophe they created only long enough to burn their uniforms.

But they fool no one.

Except, apparently, David Fucking Brooks.
And, obviously, Megan McArdle, who continues her Brooksian exercise in revisionism as follows
The [Tea Party] rage was similar to what progressives felt as they watched George W. Bush push the country into a war in Iraq...


Neener-neener Both Sides! 

Never mind the transparent idiocy of the argument.  Never mind that Bush lied us into that war.  Never mind that Liberals never sabotage the country or shut down the government out of pique.  Never mind that Liberals never unleashed a tide of bogus Congressional witchhunts to try to destroy Bush.  Never mind that Liberal rage was based on actual reality, and Tea Party rage is based on crackpot conspiracies hauled out from under Crazy Uncle Liberty's bed and repeated as fact 24/7/365 on Hate Radio and Fox News coast to coast at 150 decibels.

Never mind any of that because the Teabaggers iz mad, and the Libruls wuz mad, ergo Both Sides, because statistics!

And yes, Ms. McArdle actually got paid to write that.

And speaking of Ms. McArdle, here she is heroically defending her Sugar Daddies without invoking their names:
Liberals tend to write off this anger as racism, as irrational hatred of Barack Obama, or as perverse joy in denying health care to the poor, but at its root, it’s the simpler feeling that your country is making a mistake and you can’t stop it because the people in charge are ignoring the obvious. Yes, a lot of money and energy was poured into the Tea Party by rich backers, but rich backers cannot create a grassroots campaign unless the underlying passion is there in the voters (paging Karl Rove and Crossroads). The Obama administration created that passion with Obamacare.
A statement one might accept as true if one were born in, say, 1948.
And then taught to read but kept in complete isolation until the age of eight or nine.
And then put into stasis until, say, a month ago.
Then decanted and given nothing to read but the National Review, the collected work of Ann Coulter and this column by Megan McArdle.

At which point, yes, you could be excused for not laughing this excrement right off the page.

But for for the rest of us, this is just plain hilarious.  Or would be hilarious if it were coming via email in 144 point Railroad Font from Crazy Uncle Liberty.  Or even from his wife, Batty Aunt Freedumb.   But for anyone with even the dimmest memory of the Clinton Administration, McArdle's infantile attempt to flick away the mountain of evidence of the GOP's pre-existing predilection for berserk, paranoid, crackpot-billionaire-funded campaigns to delegitimize and destroy Democratic Presidents --
That’s not to say that Republicans would have somehow been all kissy-kissy with Clinton -- they weren’t very nice to her husband, after all.
-- is nothing short of contemptible.

An even if her active political memory does not extend all the way back to the Age of Clinton, there is absolutely no excuse other than rank Brooksian fraud for Ms. McArdle to so deliberately mutilate the early days of the Obama Administration to fit her narrow, ideological agenda, especially when Jon Stewart is still around on The Internets to helpfully remind us of just how completely fucking unhinged the Right was right from the start:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Baracknophobia - Obey
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

If Ms. McArdle has learned one thing from the Koch Brothers, it is never to tell a little lie when a Great Big Lie will do.  So congratulations Megan!  I'm sure you have a bright future waiting for you at the New York Times once David Brooks has an attack of conscience and decides to give up his column so he can just walk the Earth having adventures.

Like Caine from Kung Fu (Not Safe For Work):


Anonymous said...

"...but rich backers cannot create a grassroots campaign unless the underlying passion is there in the voters (paging Karl Rove and Crossroads)."

Wow, I would have thought they COULD do that, and then, I dunno, CALL it a grasroots campaign even though they initiated it, drove it and funded it. But I guess I was wrong because Ms.McArdle said so.

Good to know.

Anonymous said...

I already knew McArdle had the mathematical aptitude of a 3rd grader, but she also apparently can't be bothered to remember WHEN SHIT ACTUALLY HAPPENED, either.

The "Tea Party" was "launched" almost before Obama finished taking his oath, when Prick Santelli blamed homeowners who were underwater with their mortgages for the fucking recession and declared the OHHHH BOOGA BOOGA MORAL HAZARD that could result from them receiving government relief as the greatest threat to civilization since fascism. That was in FEBRUARY 2009.

The ACA debate hadn't even started at that point, and the bill didn't actually pass until spring of the following year. But sure, let's blame Obama's signing of a bill in 2010 for the "formation" of the Tea Party in February 2009. I mean, this is the same guy who hatched a scheme to forge his birth certificate while still in utero, so he's capable of anything!

And that's not even getting to the fact, as dg explains better than I, that the "tea party" was so angry at Obamacare because they were told filthy lies about it on a continuous loop the entire time the bill was being developed (and ever since). And McArdle of course must continue to inhabit the fact-free world where Obamacare is self-evidently a "mistake", even as it does exactly what it was intended to do and makes life better for millions of people at little to no cost to anyone other than her masters - angry white rich guys who never EVER benefited from evil government EVER. Assholes.

McArdle sometimes seems like she's on a mission to be as much of a fucking idiot as possible, and each piece she writes must surpass the previous in stupidity.

marindenver said...

Megan continues to fail upward while displaying no evident ability to think reflectively or deeply on any subject at all. The Denver Post today featured her Bloomberg piece on the high cost of raising kidz these days in which she opined that parents should buy clothes at the local thrift shop and live in 3 bedroom houses. Cuz the Duggars. I shit you not. She of the 4 figure glorified food processor and pink Himalayan salt actually wrote that.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon, Mr. Glass.

“I think liberals really do not understand emotionally the extent to which the Tea Party was created by the Affordable Care Act and the feeling that its government was simply steamrolling it.”

Ah, yes. The Tea Party, named after the Boston Tea Party, the

Maybe she's a refugee from Dark City, and the Strangers have been rewriting her memories too many times.

Enjoy your day.

---Kevin Holsinger

Anonymous said...

the OTHER anonymous sez

"...when Prick Santelli blamed homeowners who were underwater with their mortgages for the fucking recession..."

godDAMN, anonymous, I saw that live on the TeeVee machine and it made me seethe. Can't STAND that guy...makes my fucking skin hurt!

bowtiejack said...

This is a sad, confused woman.
And let us not forget, that on the streets of the New
America police are allowed to shoot sad confused people.
As long as they are not white Republicans.
Class dismissed.

dinthebeast said...

Democrats would be better off if the ACA hadn't passed? Really?
Like for instance, me? I need cataract surgery in both eyes and my MediCal approval came in the mail yesterday. If I had another $100./mo income, I'd have an unaffordable co-pay, but because of the the Medicaid (=MediCal) expansion, I do not. It will be nice to be able to see again.

-Doug in Oakland

eddie blake said...

my GOD...

they're BREEDING...

Batocchio said...

As others have already noted, the rebranding of conservatives as "the tea party" long predates legislative efforts to pass the Affordable Care Act.

I will never get tired of seeing McArdle skewered. Krauthammer at least takes some pride of craft in his despicable hackery.

DeistPaladin said...

Sure, liberals were mad at Bush for lying us into a costly and destructive war but conservatives are mad at Obama for passing a conservative reform on health care, which was similar to plans advocated by the GOP back in the 90s.


Meanwhile, earthquakes rattle the east coast as our founding fathers spin in their graves. Coincidentally, this activity began when the so-called "Tea Party" adopted their image and pretended to be just like these revered figured.

jim said...

Having to change insurers IS just like facing down a riot squad to try to prevent grannies & kids from getting barbecued in McArdleville!

( 2X4s not included? )

Anonymous said...

That Blenderella continues to find employment as a writer is further proof of a random and uncaring universe.

But we can at least enjoy watching her slide down the media scale. From The Atlantic and the Economist to the The Daily Beast and the New York Post.

Final destination: Frequent guest commentator on the Sarah Palin Channel?