Friday, May 29, 2015

Kathleen Parker In The Forbidden Zone

If I were forced to categorize Kathleen Parker's writing, I would charitably describe as Peggy Noonan hand-me-downs.  Except for that one time when Ms. Parker (as I once wrote) --
...achieved brief fame outside the wingnut Thunderdome a few years ago when, after an entire career spent lobbing red meat to violently insane bitey-bitey Conservative zombies, was suddenly and hilariously shocked!shocked! to discover after a less-than-supporting column about Sarah Palin that her readers were not just violently insane bitey-bitey Conservative zombies, but violently insane bitey-bitey Conservative zombies who super-duper luuurved them some Sarah Palin...
-- reliably behind the fence-line of the wingnut-welfare paddock, saying the right idiotic things about whom or whatever the Right is demonizing this week.

So when she decided to pound on Bill Kristol, well, I'll give* her some credit for that.  Sure, she's a decade too late and, sure, by virtue of Mr. Kristol's inexplicable indestructibility bagging on him is the most risk-free form of counting coup imaginable.

Still, it's heartening to see that, once every seven years or so, someone at the wingnut welfare middle-management trough will risk muttering something ungood under their breath:
Parker: Being Bill Kristol

Kathleen Parker 6:25 p.m. EDT May 27, 2015

One can understand why The Weekly Standard’s William Kristol would try to nullify Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy, but smearing all baby boomers in the process seems a stretch of veracity in the service of a blank page.

In the June 1 issue of the conservative magazine he co-founded, Kristol writes that we’ve had enough already with boomer presidents. They’re all a bunch of losers, he says in so many words, causing exactly no one to lose sleep.

I don’t usually single out other commentators, but I’m making an exception — not because I’m a woman, or a boomer, or a Hillary Clinton supporter (though Kristol makes me want to be one), but because despite being wrong about most everything, he remains an influential voice in politics.
This made the Jonah Goldberg over at America's White Supremacist Journal of Record cranky enough to put on his cranky pants:
Parker goes on with any number of psycho-babbly potshots and easy point-scoring. Kristol opened himself up to some of it by lapsing into the shorthand of generational stereotyping. But I am at a loss as to why anyone would get so bent out of shape about the badmouthing of their generation (Go ahead and dump all over Generation X, I won’t care one bit). One sees this all the time with young people who’ve come to invest vast amounts of their self-esteem in their age. But it’s kind of sad to see in Baby Boomers.

It’s not clear to me that Kristol is the one with the long-simmering issues here.
So there's that.

Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, right where the story should have taken off, it wandered down a side road and died by a dumpster.

You see, the story, Ms. Parker, is not to be found in the details of Mr. Kristol's latest crimes against history, factual reality, and common decency.  These days, those crimes are three-for-a-dollar:
Basically, Kristol posits that the past three presidents — all boomers — were “indulged” do-nothings and part of a generation who only “aspire to the appropriate attitude and affect, and seek the suitable sense and sensibility.”

Poor guy. Who’s he hanging with? And should we tell him he’s a baby boomer, too? Kristol, 62, snuggles his self-loathing like a blankie.
The story, Ms. Parker, is the continued existence of Bill Kristol himself.  Like a cockroach made of neutronium, it appears that nothing of this world can put a dent in his career "despite being wrong about most everything".

Doesn't that intrigue you, Ms. Parker?  Doesn't that stir some glimmer of long-dormant journalistic curiosity?  Because Bloody Bill Kristol's continued and completely unwarranted presence in the public eye can only be the result of decision being taken by very powerful people at major teevee networks and newspapers.

Who is taking those decision?  Why?  What do they tell their friends when that smirking ghoul appears on camera for the umpteenth time because of the choices they made?  What hold does he have over them?  What unspoken debt are they repaying to the detriment of the commonweal they are supposed to serve?  To what club or cult or cabal do they all belong that makes them so cravenly beholden to such an obviously malignant troll?

There are millions of us out here in Real Murrica who would love the answer to that question, but who can also deduce that since propping up the credibility of monsters like Bill Kristol year after year after year must require such a vast, coordinated and well-financed confederacy of collaborators that no journalist who values their paycheck will ever go poking around in this forbidden zone.

*Thanks for the catch


Geese Howard said...

Give her some credit, not gove her some credit?

Mike Lumish said...

Ms. Parker never was no journalist. Ms. Parker is the propagandist who, in 1993, paid a visit to the Five Colleges area centered on Northampton, MA, and was so horrified by the open perversion that she ran screaming back home to blubber in her local (yet inexplicably syndicated) column about the lesbians and the tattoos and the metal-thingies-in-the-faces. Obviously, Pulitzer material.

Dave McCarthy said...

"...but because despite being wrong about most everything, he remains an influential voice in politics..."

that IS heartening...

Lawrence said...

"the lesbians and the tattoos and the metal-thingies-in-the-faces"
Mike, you make me miss college AND the '90s.

god said...

I remember when Ms Parker defended some racist southern senator (Helms?) for getting the family maid pregnant and having a black daughter, something the senator had denied all his life. The senator was 22 or 23, a grad student, and the maid was 16 (and may have been 15). It was just something that was done in those days, don't you know, said ms parker.

bowtiejack said...

I think god is referring to Strom Thurmond.
But the interesting thing is one reads "some racist southern senator ", and one wrinkles one's brow and muses, "Hmmm, I wonder which one?".

Incidentally, before the Civil War, the richest men in America (the Koch brothers of their day) were not the Northern industrialists, but the Southern plantation owners. Why, it's almost like it was all about the money (slavery, that is).

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Jack is correct; slavery and the Civil War were, first and foremost, about the money. Not only could the Southern planters keep their human cash cows if they broke away and formed an independent nation-state, but also they could then default on their massive debts to Northern bankers. The planters were indebted to the bankers because--despite the wealth of the planters--their extravagant, quasi-aristocratic lifestyles cost them more money than they made.

Of course, the Southern planters knew it would be hard to talk the common white dudes into fighting and dying so the planters could live like Bourbon-era aristocrats, so they had to invent all that buncombe about "states' rights", "white supremacy", etc. The propaganda only worked for a while, then the planters were compelled to resort to the draft.

Also of course, the Northern bankers knew it would be hard to talk the common white dudes into fighting and dying so the bankers could stay filthy rich, so they had to invent all their propaganda about "preserving the Union", in addition to ending the brutal injustices of slavery. Their propaganda also quit working after a while, and the bankers, too, were compelled to resort to the draft.

The bankers showed how little they ever actually cared about the injustices of slavery after the Civil War ended. In the Compromise of 1876, they cheerfully ended Reconstruction in exchange for the Southern planters' agreeing to cease the continued resistance to the Union, blithely abandoning the freedmen to their Jim Crow fate. The Northern bankers did not care; their debtors now could be relied upon to pay their debts, or lose their property to the bankers. That was all the bankers ever cared about.

Besides, the Northern and Southern misruling classes had decided by then that they needed each other in mutual defense against those scruffy workers, with their subversive talk of unions.

The Civil War was not a victory of Good over Evil; it was a victory of a lesser evil over a greater evil.

Frank Stone said...

Ah, yes, Kathleen Parker -- the embarrassment who wrapped herself around Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign so as to serve as his personal flak jacket.

Seriously -- her Romney-related columns from that time bring to mind a starry-eyed 11-year-old schoolgirl with a hopeless crush on the high school football star. (Oh my GOD did you see how totally awesomely AWESOME my boyfriend Mitt was in the debate oh my GOD did you see how he like totally wiped the FLOOR with Obummer and that means the whole election is like TOTALLY up for grabs now did I say boyfriend I meant preferred candidate but I mean GOD isn't he just like the DREAMIEST???)

Green Eagle said...

"easy point-scoring"

It wouldn't be easy if they didn't make it easy.