Monday, September 26, 2022

Snarkeology 101: I Cannot Believe We Forgot The Celebrate The 17th Anniversary Of The Late Robert Novak...

...losing his shit and storming off the CNN set back in 2005.

The Dubya Administration was just beginning to come apart at the seams.  It was becoming clearer by the day that claims of Iraqi WMD were flat out lies, and the air was hot and redolent with names like "Judith Miller", "Jeff Gannon", "Scooter Libby" and "Valerie Plame".

No one ever figured out exactly what set Novakula off, although as a 100% in-the-tank bombastic stooge for the Bush White House, there were any number of reasons why it was probably a bad idea for the infamously thin-skinned Novak to be anywhere near a camera while James Carville needled him and challenging his "toughness".  

From 9News, 08/04/2005:

CNN suspends Robert Novak after he swears, walks off set

NEW YORK (AP) - Robert Novak, whose revelation of a CIA officer's name in a 2003 column has sparked a federal probe, was suspended by CNN after he swore and walked off the set during a live telecast of "Inside Politics."

CNN correspondent Ed Henry said afterward that he had been about to ask Novak about his role in the investigation of the leak of Valerie Plame's identity, which Novak has repeatedly refused to comment on aside from some references in his column...

A contretemps which I'm sure would never be allowed under CNN''s new, rightwing management.  

And while no one ever figured the exact why and wherefore for the eruption, but many novel theories were advanced, including my own, which you can still find here ("Carville Discovers Novak’s Launch Codes".)  Although it is a sign of the times and the age of the Liberal Blogosphere and the transience of all things that the links for every single graphic I linked to in the post (as was the custom of the time) are now dead.

Ah, but the memory, my friends.

The memory lives on.

I Am The Liberal Media

The Both Siderist Ring Has Awoken. It’s Heard Its Master’s Call.

The oldest and most enduring Big Lie in American politics and media has been the Big Lie of Both Sides Do It.  Entire careers have been built on it.  Entire media corporations have taken it as their guiding principle.  For as long as I can remember it has been the official state religion of the Beltway press and those who strayed from it were caste out as heretics.

The Big Lie of Both Sides Do Ia was the One Lie which made all the other big lies possible.  And for a time -- a very brief time -- during the Trump Administration it was assumed by many political pollyannas and weak-minded persons that this ancient evil had been destroyed.  

But the Big Lie of Both Sides Do It was not destroyed.  It mere laid dormant for a time -- a very brief time -- until various hucksters and con men and demagogies and pundits once again needed the toxic energy the Big Lie offered.  And now the Big Lie of Both Sides Do It is once again on the move and gaining speed.   Reconstituting its old legions and rebuilding its old alliances. 

 In fact, just this week the Chaos Queen of Arizona was seen chanting the ancient conjure words to bind herself to one of the most painstakingly evil men in America in the name of bipartisanship.  

From Business Insider:

Mitch McConnell calls Kyrsten Sinema the 'most effective first-term senator' he's seen and praises her defense of the filibuster

Sinema delivered a speech on "The Future of Political Discourse and the Importance of Bipartisanship" at the University of Louisville's McConnell Center, named after the senior Kentucky senator, who introduced Sinema at the event.

"I've only known Kyrsten for four years, but she is, in my view — and I've told her this — the most effective first-term senator I've seen in my time in the Senate," the Republican leader said. "She is, today, what we have too few of in the Democratic Party: a genuine moderate, and a dealmaker."

McConnell went on to commend Sinema for her opposition to ending the so-called filibuster in the Senate, which requires 60 affirmative votes to advance legislation...

From the C-SPAN transcript, with emphasis added:

Sinema:  In Washington, our politics have become increasingly radicalized, spiraling steadily downward into bitter and tribal extremism.

Also Sinema:  ...some political leaders on both sides of the aisle have let the loudest and more extreme voices in each party dominate the discourse.

And again Sinema:  For too long, political games in Washington — on both sides of the aisle — stopped progress from protecting our communities and keeping families safe and secure. So common sense proposals were tossed to the side by partisan lawmakers who chose politics.

As Wonkette points out, Sinema has alienated pretty much every demographic group imaginable -- 

Sinema consistently demonstrates the moral courage and savvy political instincts that have rendered her radioactive in Arizona. A new poll for AARP Arizona revealed that Sinema has underwater approval among every possible demographic: Democrats, Republicans, independents, women, men, Hispanic voters, white voters, voters under 50, voters over 50 ... geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids ... they all hate her. No one thinks she's a righteous dude.

Just look at these numbers. It's a political flat line.

-- except the worst of the worst.

Which is why, although there are many, many words that would get me banned from Twitter that I could use to describe the monstrous company that Sinema keeps, the most accurate words of all would be "entirely" and "predictable".

Burn The Lifeboats

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Professional Left Podcast #669

"That's life on the Hellmouth." -- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Don't forget to visit our website -- -- for all those sweet bells and whistles:  there are links to donate to our podcast work at that site, as well as links to our swingin' Zazzle merch store,  our respective blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Kittehs! and much more. Many thanks once again to @theologop for building it all for us!

The Professional Left is brought to you by our wholly imaginary "sponsors" and real listeners like you!

The Think System

I now have a revolutionary new declassification method called the Think System where you don't bother with procedures or writing things down.

From the Rolling Stone:

Trump Is Now Claiming He Can Declassify Documents Telepathically 
The very desperate former president went on Fox News to vent to Sean Hannity about his legal woes, and offer a new defense of his document-hoarding 
The conversation eventually turned to another of Trump’s myriad legal quandaries: the Justice Department’s investigation into the material he was — and maybe still is — hoarding at Mar-a-Lago. Trump has long argued that he declassified all of the highly sensitive classified documents the FBI retrieved from his Palm Beach estate last month, a claim so dubious that his lawyers have refused to make it in court. 
Trump told [Sean] Hannity not to worry, though. There need not be any physical or even anecdotal evidence that he declassified the documents, as the president has the power to do it with his mind. 
“If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying it’s declassified — even by thinking about it,” Trump said. “Because you’re sending it to Mar-a-Lago or wherever you’re sending it. There doesn’t have to be a process. There can be a process, but there doesn’t have to be.”...


La dee da dee da dee da 
La dee da
La dee da...

I Am The Liberal Media.

Snarkeology 101: Three Cheers for Crazy Uncle Liberty

Today we do things in the proper order:  First the set-up, then the punch-line.

The setup:  Which MAGA rally was this recorded at and who said it?

The folks who are getting the free stuff, don't like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, Because the folks who are paying for the free stuff, Can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff, And, The folks who are paying for the free stuff, Want the free stuff to stop.

and the  folks who are getting the free stuff, Want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting!

Now...The people who are forcing the people who Pay for the free stuff, Have told the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff,

That the people who are PAYING for the free stuff, Are being mean, prejudiced, and racist.


the people who are GETTING the free stuff, Have been convinced they need to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff, By the people who are forcing some people to pay for their free stuff, And giving them the free stuff in the first place.

We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are Now more people getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.

Now understand this. All great democracies have committed financial suicide somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded.  The reason?

The voters figured out they could vote themselves money from the treasury by electing people who promised to give them money from the treasury in exchange for electing them. The United States officially became a Republic in 1776, 231 years ago. The number of people now getting free stuff outnumbers the people paying for the free stuff.

We have one chance to change that in XXXX.

Failure to change that spells the end of the United States as we know it.


A Nation  of Sheep Breeds a  Government of Wolves!

Borders:  Closed!

Language:  English  only

Culture:  Constitution, and the Bill  of Rights!

Drug  Free: Mandatory Drug Screening before  Welfare!

NO  freebies to:  Non-Citizens!

We the people are  coming

The punch-line:  This was not recorded at a MAGA rally.  

In fact this came over my transom before MAGA existed.  Before Trump was a glimmer in Steve Bannon's eye.  This comes from my archives from September of 2012, and refers to the upcoming 2012 elections.  A full decade ago, during what most recently-former Republicans in the media still rhapsodize as the Good Old Days.  And yet except for a "Where We Go Dumb, We Go All" tag-line and creepy theme music, it is indistinguishable from the deranged venom vomiting out of the mouth of the average Republican voter in 2022.

This is what I wrote about it at the time:

If you're like me (and why wouldn't you be), on any given day you get a whole clutch of THIS IS IMPORTANT FOLKS! (It's always "folks") forwarded to you from Crazy Uncle Liberty.

They are long on BIG FONT and short of "facts", these emails are, and judging by the embedding they have passed through the sweaty hands of many PATRIOTIC AMERICANS who READ THE CONSTITUTION before they reach my in-box, and if you can squint your way past the festoonage of American flags and giant, angry eagles holding assault rifles without laughing, you will be vouchsafed a privileged position from which to observe the screaming, batshit abyss of the wingnut soul (here is one of the tamer examples from my archives)...

Google a chunk of any of these missives and you will invariably find them all over the wingnut blogosphere like diaper rash, cropping up regularly on reliably crazy Conservative bilge-spigots with names like "Red State", "Free Republic", "Patriot Rising", "Barrons" and "The Wall Street Journal".  Then take two minutes to debunk any of these missives and you will get back grumbly complaints about factcheckers all being on the Soros payroll, or the boilerplate Centrist reply of "Libruls are just as bad or worse!" (here is another of the least racist/sweary samples from my archives)...

The point being, these were not the Good Old Days of the GOP that recently-former Republicans pine for.  The base was just as hateful, just as bugfuck and just as racist as the are now, but recently-former Republicans and the compliant mainstream media were more successful at lying about it.  The only thing that changed was that Donald Trump didn't outsource the job of activating the GOP base to professional mercenaries like Rick Wilson and Steve Schmidt,  Instead Trump spoke to them directly in the language they had already been groomed to respond to.  

And they loved him for it.

You say you want more?  Well sure.  Because my archives are loaded with this stuff.  From the same September, 2012 post:



Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al: 

We have stuck together since the late 1950's for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is a model separation agreement:

--Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

--We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them.

--You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.

--Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military.

--We'll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar and biodiesel.

--You can keep Oprah ,  Michael Moore  and  Rosie O'Donnell . You are, however,  responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.

--We'll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street.

--You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens.

--We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks.

--We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and  Hollywood  .

--You can make nice with  Iran  and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.

--You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.

--We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.

--You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McClain . You can also have the U.N. but we will no longer be paying the bill.

--We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.

--You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors.

--We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right.

--We'll keep "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The National Anthem."

--I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute "Imagine", "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", " Kum Ba Ya" or "We Are the World".

--We'll practice trickle down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.

--Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.

Would you agree to this?   If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you answer which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.


John   J. Wall

Law Student and an American

P.S. Also, please take  Ted Turner , Sean Penn ,  Martin Sheen , Barbara Streisand , &  Jane  Fonda with you.

P.S.S.  And you won't have to press 1 for English when you call our country.

Forward This Every Time You Get It !  Let's Keep This Going, Maybe Some Of It Will Start Sinking In.

This is why I titled the original post "Three Cheers for Crazy Uncle Liberty".

Because Crazy Uncle Liberty was finally forcing the Party of Lincoln to run the bilious crazy they all secretly worship all the way to the top of flagpole, and then demanding that Willard Romney step into the public square and salute it.

Which is why, if you really want to know what the GOP was like during the Before Time and what led to the rise of Trump, don't ask a Never Trumper.

Because Never Trumpers knew.  They knew and they let it happen.

If you really want to know what the GOP was like during the Before Time and what led to the rise of Trump,  ask the people who have been right about the Right all along and spoke about it openly back when warning that the GOP was rocketing down this road was career suicide.

If you really want to know, ask a Liberal who was there.

I Am The Liberal Media.

The Old Home Place


This was the dining area of Castle Driftglass.  The photo was taken when I was staging the place for sale a decade ago.

A few details.

The little round table by the window was my grandma's -- she kept family photos under the glass.  Grandma was one of the most effective community organizers I have ever met, and a ruthless card cheat when playing double solitaire.

The big book on that table was the Complete Works of William Shakespeare, which I lost, along with half of all my books and a number of other things, when the sewer drains backed up into the basements on our street in Springfield during a mighty storm when the sewer collapsed.  That was also the flood that killed my Camry.

The lovely drafting/art table was handed down to me by my sister.   Part of the deal for the condo was the new owner got to keep it.

The big cabinet thing is a  a mid-century modern wall unit I picked up at the terrific White Elephant Resale Shop, which was located at 2308 North Lincoln Avenue in Chicago and which has since closed.  I bought it for much less than it was worth when I was living in an apartment on Greenview Avenue just north of Irving Park, behind the school where they filmed parts of My Bodyguard.  The cabinet is huge and heavy and has a little drop-leaf cubby that served as my bar for a number of years.   I got it home by lashing it to the roof of my ancient Cutlass and driving it carefully over rough streets with one hand on the wheel and one hand out the window "steadying" it as if that would do any good.   I can still hear the Cutlass' chassis groaning under its weight.  I've hauled it around with me ever since and it is currently out in my garage playing home to one thousand spiders and 10,000 crickets.  

A lot went on in the Castle that I'll probably never share, but one thing I can state categorically is that I never inflated its value to $327 million in order to scam some bank into loaning me money and to impress some other rich assholes.   

As promised, I'll post more photos of the Castle as the mood strikes me.

I Am The Liberal Media.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Snarkeology 101: Both Siderism Like Strontium-90 In The Milk And The Triumphant Return of The Driftington Post

These days, playing the Both Sides Do It card is no longer the automatic win it was just a few years ago.  Yes, it's still with us like the chronic ideological disease it has always been, but the unalloyed deference to anyone who invokes it is not so omnipresent.  

To save what's left of his career, Matthew Dowd, the undisputed King of Both Siderism during the 2016 presidential campaign, has gone so far as to nuke his entire, damning Twitter archive full of gloating, pissy Both Siderism and automatically block anyone who brings up his very inconvenient past.  Pundits who, make no mistake, are still members of the High and Holy Church of Both Sides Do It, now routinely couch their Both Siderism by prefacing their lie with "This is not one of those both sides do it things".  And even recently-former Republicans regularly roll their eyes at Both Sides-ism. 

Don't get me wrong.  It's still out there and it's still virulent, especially at the local level where fools, cowards, simpletons and Republicans still hide their foolishness or stupidity or cowardice or the rank evil of their party by aping the ersatz savviness of the pundits and waving off any Republican atrocity with, well, y'know, Both Sides   

But twasn't always so.  No sirree Bob.

Not so very long ago, attacking this Biggest of the Big Lies -- pointing out that it was the Big Lies that made all the other lies possible -- 

But the Pig People would be nothing but a minor nuisance -- a boil on the ass of democracy -- without their  Centrists who keep the "Both Sides Do It" spider hole well-furnished and open for business.  Pound for pound, Centrism is the biggest and most debilitating lie in American politics bar none.  It is the Big Lie that makes all the little lies possible, which is why I focus so hard on those who traffic in it.  They are the ones most vulnerable to and terrified of being called out in public.  They are the ones we must run out of the media on a rail.

-- was the darkest of heresies.  Merely whispering your doubts about Both Siderism, questioning whether it was a toxin that had poisoned our politics, was considered shameful and transgressive.

So just imagine the fate of those of us who shouted this heresy out loud.

Over and over again.

Decade after decade.

All of the following is from a two-week period, a decade ago, in September of 2012.

Fake Centrism: Democracy's Retrovirus:

On this blog, I have made the point thousands of times over the last seven years that Fake Centrism is our most dire and dangerous political problem.  Without a Fake Centrist narrative, Conservatives have no place to hide their lies, slander and depravity.  With a Fake Centrist narrative, there is no Conservative fraud or treason so large that the media will not* bury it under an avalanche of reflexive, "Both sides do it"-ism.

Fake Centrism is the retrovirus that is killing our democracy's capacity to defend itself from its internal enemies: it is the immune-system-destroying disease which allows every other kind of Hate Radio/Fox News opportunistic political malignancy to run wild through our body politic.  And man, once you start to notice how automatically every water-cooler Cicero and two-bit Tom Friedman uses  Fake Centrism  to prop up their lazy arguments, it's really creepy.

 The Big Lie of Centrism -- Like Strontium-90 In The Milk.

You know, I just ran across this the other day in a piece for the Creativity Post, titled "George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior":
"Both of our political parties have become openly uncivil toward each other and toward anyone or anything that disagrees with their programs. The televised debates focus on which candidate can hurt or dishonor the others the most. The winners are usually the most dishonest, unscrupulous and immoral of the lot and who have the most money to wage the most comprehensive “hate” campaigns."
    1. How this has fuck-all to do with creativity, I have no idea.
    2. The author uses the list to whine about what big meanie heads our politicians have become
Of all the places to come across centrist bullshit. They could at least have the decency to confine it to the news sites. 

Once you start listening for it, you cannot help but notice how the Big Lie of Centrism has seeped into everything and now shows up everywhere


And on.   The Big Lie of Centrism -- Like Strontium-90 In The Milk, Continued. 

And on:  The Big Lie of Centrism -- Like Strontium-90 In The Milk, Continued Again

A million posts have been written by a thousand bloggers debunking the Fake Centrist equivalence using every instrument in our orchestra, from methodical deconstruction  to operatic swearing.

None of it works, because aging Villager clowns like Ted Koppel will never put themselves across the table from people who will press the one question for which there is no rebuttal:
And what if you're wrong? 
What if the actual history of the rise of Hate Radio and Fox News and Regnery Press and on and on exactly parallels the craven, capitulating, Broderite fail, fail, fail of your Mainstream Media?

What if the simple, sad truth of the matter is that your "objective" corporate media was simply, hideously unfit to cope with an aggressive, coordinated and sustained siege from a mob of well-funded demagogues and liars (Hunter Thompson from The Atlantic, 1997):
MH: How will history remember Bill Clinton?
HST: I don't know about history. I don't get any satisfaction out of the old traditional journalist's view -- "I just covered the story. I just gave it a balanced view." Objective journalism is one of the main reasons American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long. You can't be objective about Nixon. How can you be objective about Clinton?
MH: Objective journalism is why politics have been corrupt for so long? 
HST: If you consider the great journalists in history, you don't see too many objective journalists on that list. H. L. Mencken was not objective. Mike Royko, who just died. I. F. Stone was not objective. Mark Twain was not objective. I don't quite understand this worship of objectivity in journalism. Now, just flat-out lying is different from being subjective.
MH: If you found yourself teaching a journalism course -- Dr. Thompson's Journalism 101 -- what would you tell students who were looking to go about covering stories? 
HST: You offering me a job? Shit. Well, I wouldn't do it, I guess. It's not important to me that I teach journalism classes.
MH: But if you did, what would your reading list be? 
HST: Oh, I'd start off with Henry Fielding. I would read writers. You know, I would read Conrad, Hemingway, people who use words. That's really what it's about. It's about using words to achieve an end. And the Book of Revelation. I still read the Book of Revelation when I need to get cranked up about language. I would teach Harrison Salisbury of The New York Times. All the journalists who are known, really, have been that way because they were subjective.
I think the trick is that you have to use words well enough so that these nickel-and-dimers who come around bitching about being objective or the advertisers don't like it are rendered helpless by the fact that it's good. That's the way people have triumphed over conventional wisdom in journalism. 
It was the relentless fail, fail, fail of your Mainstream Media, Mr. Koppel, more than any other factor, which left our democracy staked out like a goat at a watering hole, wide open to the predations of monsters like Rove and Limbaugh, DeLay and Coulter, Cheney and Hannity...

And Trump.

And on:  The Big Lie of Centrism -- Like Strontium-90 In The Milk, Contd Yet Again.

It's everywhere:

Political Independents: The Future of Politics? 
by John Avlon Sep 23, 2012 
They've been both relentlessly courted and politically sidelines for years. But two new books show how voters who reject both Democrats and Republicans can become a force.  
In the final stretch of this play-to-the-base presidential election, it is strange to say that the 40 percent of Americans who identify as independent are currently close to an afterthought. With so few undecided voters left, even most independents have chosen sides by now. 
But some day this election is going to end, and if the next president and the next Congress hope to break through the hyperpartisan stalemate, they are going to have to find ways to appeal to the largest and fastest-growing segment of the American electorate.
Edwards details prescriptions for each of these problems: primarily election reform, including open primaries and redistricting reform and congressional reform, including filibuster reform. (Some of these proposals dovetail with suggestions made in the “Making Congress Work” plan developed by No Labels, a group Edwards and I helped cofound with fellow Daily Beast columnist Mark McKinnon and Nancy Jacobson)...


I frankly cannot see the other side of this river of offal.  It runs as deep and wide as the mighty Mississippi and carries so much freight for awful, lazy and cowardly people that I can't imagine the corporations who own our media will allow it to be dredged without a fight.

But what else can we do?

What immortal hand or eye/ 

Can reframe this fearful symmetry?

Not a Liberal hand, certainly.

Not a Liberal eye.

Because as long as Liberals are not permitted to exist anywhere within our national political conversation except as strawmen and cartoon characters, there will never be a spare nickel in the system for anyone who stands athwart this nonsense and shouts "bullshit".

As the Hunter Thompson interview reminds us, the plague of Both Siderism in American political reportage has spanned the millenia.  It's the engine that drives a mighty, multi-billion dollar machine that smooshes anything that would stand against it.  Which made it all the more dispiriting trying to pound home the same point that no one wanted to hear over and over again on a platform so tiny that maybe no one listening it at all.  

In fact, a few of you might recall that, just to relieve the mind-numbing barrage of Both Siderism which rained down on us every day from every direction, 12 years ago I very briefly spun off a parody blog called "The Driftington Post" --

-- in which I had planned to toss off short, chirpy, vapid "Some Say a Thing, But Others Say the Opposite" posts about the evils of partisanship -- 

Partisanship Decried.

-- in the voice of the endless parade of Both Siderist opportunists and scuttlefish over the decades who have all but destroyed our ability to speak honestly about our national problems.

[Fun Fact: The Driftington post above links of a now-dead-and-gone article from The American Conservative that was entitled, "Can The Tea Party Deliver?"]

Now flash forward 12 years and you can, perhaps, imagine my reaction to the most recent crew of Both Siderist grifters launching, with great fanfare and national media coverage. this latest political scam which is literally nothing but a big ol' slab of moldy Both Siderism --

-- served up like Elmer Gantry selling salvation to the rubes.

On the other hand. looking back at where we were 10 years ago in this long, uphill slog, it's fair to say that you and I have made some actual progress.   

 And I do find some comfort in that.

I Am The Liberal Media

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Snarkeology 101: Mittens Romney, David Brooks and the Public History of a Campaign that Failed

Now that the temporal embargo on talking about anything beyond the last five or six years has been temporarily lifted, we here at the Driftglass Blog have launched an occasional and soon-to-be award winning feature called Snarkeology 101, which will reach back into the past and bring forward some long-buried home truths about the GOP that were in evidence long before these last five or six years but which had been declared Forbidden Knowledge by the recently-former Republican Defenders of the Faith and Guardians of the Terrible Secret.

Today we tackle Mittens Romney: The Man Who Might Well Coulda Saved Us All From Donald Trump If The Left Hadn't Savaged Him So Ruthlessly.  

Bad Liberals!  Naughty bad Liberals!

You see, since Donald Trump has robbed recently-former Republicans of their ability to tell great big whoppers about how awesome the GOP is today, they've had to resort to telling great big whoppers about how awesome the GOP was during the Before Time.  Tarting their recently-former party up as as something mighty and heroic that was so brutally undone by those sneaky, scheming Liberals that they may well have been responsible for driving the GOP to the DayGlo orange fascist bosom of Donald John Trump.

And so, thanks to Vox, here is a couple of samples of the whoppers that recently-former Republicans tell about Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign for president:

Take it away Zack Beauchamp:

The Mitt Romney martyr myth


[Mitt Romney's] actions displayed the moral decency and leadership that have rarely been seen from Republican officials in the Trump era. Romney’s actions caused one prominent political writer to advance an argument that many conservatives have embraced in the Trump era — that Democratic attacks on Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign are to blame for the GOP’s radicalization and the emergence of Trump.

“It was the left’s (and the media’s) treatment of Romney that numbed the electorate to real, valid concerns about ‘character’ four years later,” writes Tim Alberta, Politico’s chief political correspondent. “The mistreatment of this man, the demonization of him on a personal level by opponents in both parties, will be studied for decades to come.”

On this view, Democrats smeared the kind and decent Romney so brutally — attacking him as a heartless “vulture capitalist” who hated minorities — that Republicans became inured to this kind of argument and convinced there was no advantage to playing nice anymore. Call it the “look what you made me do” theory of How We Got Trump.

“All those stereotypes Democrats fabricated to assail Mitt Romney helped inoculate Trump against similar charges,” Noah Rothman writes in Commentary. “In this sense, the Obamans themselves helped clear the way for Trump.”. 

The evidence for these claims is vanishingly thin...

Now let's you and I light a couple of lanterns and walk down the narrow stairs down and down to my bloggy archives from September 2012.  Exactly a full decade ago.  The week that Even David Brooks finally bailed on Romney's doomed, incompetent campaign, triggering an avalanche of "Even David Brooks" follow-ons from pundits across the spectrum from The Maddow Blog and Joan Walsh to Joe Scarborough and Scott Brown.

From September 18, 2012:

Even David Brooks


Letters, I get letters.

Also comments.

Also letters.

And among these letters there is always one that asks why I waste my time biting the ankles of the mighty and indestructible David Brooks.

After all, who reads that asshole, right?  

Well for anyone who has been following the amazing spectacle of Willard Romney's radioactive plutocrat core breaching it's bland, well-coiffed containment unit and melting right straight through the Earth's mantle, you may have noticed that an amazing number of analysts and pundits have breaded and deep-fried their own observations with some variation of the words "Even David Brooks..."

From the Twitter Machine...
By my count, every single segment on MSNBC that touched on this story either lead with or included an "Even David Brooks..." piece. Predictably, Andrew Sullivan is delirious, sporting massive and completely unwarranted Reasonable Conservative wood at the whiff of David Brooks (and David Frum and Ramesh Ponnuru) finally being forced at gunpoint to write some words that any Liberal could have written in their sleep at any point over the last 30 years:
The Sane Right
Just a word to say that David Brooks' column is simply superb and to emphasize that both David Frum and Ramesh Ponnuru have made important points about why Romney is disgusting and wrong, respectively...

If you're of a mind to, you can read the whole thing here, including all the Twitter catches.

But I believe the point has been made.

The thing that killed the Romney campaign was Mitt Romney.   Please proceed governor.

And the Republican base embraced Donald Trump because that's what decades of Limbaugh/Gingrich-style Conservative media and Republican politics had groomed them to do.

I Am The Liberal Media.

Snarkeology 101: I Cannot Believe We Forgot The Celebrate The 17th Anniversary Of The Late Robert Novak...

...losing his shit and storming off the CNN set back in 2005. The Dubya Administration was just beginning to come apart at the seams.  ...