Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Our high-end pundit corps

Historical research for "liberals" at the Washington Post?

They really can be a sad bunch. From today's Washington Post, we have:

Ruth Marcus, a "liberal" in Big Pundit terms, on the notion of Caroline Kennedy as a Senator: "I know it's an emotional -- dare I say 'girly'? -- reaction. But what a fitting coda to this modern fairy tale to have the little princess grow up to be a senator."

Again, Bob "the Daily Howler" Somerby is annoyingly right: they live for their novels. Or, in this case, fairy tales. [Update: I really had not seen Bob's post referencing Marcus' column when I wrote this; but it shows what a Daily Howler disciple I've become.]

E.J. Dionne, Jr., also a leading Big Pundit "liberal": "Some opponents of the Vietnam War turned sharply on the military and 'the war machine.' It remains a scandal that veterans of that conflict often bore the brunt of the war's unpopularity when they returned home."

Another fairy tale, the one about how the dirty [Cheney]ing hippies victimized the war veterans as being responsible for the whole thing. This particular fairy tale is straight out of the "culture war"/Southern Strategy script, in which the fact that veterans were prominent in the anti-Vietnam War movement from start is just airbrushed away. As the "liberal" Dionne is also willing to do. At least he didn't work in a hippie girl spitting on soldiers at the San Francisco Airport, a favorite piece of "culture war" urban folklore.

And, by the way, there's nothing wrong with the term "war machine" if used in a rational way. There's a culture-war footnote to that, too. During the Nixon Administration, a Canadian pop band called the Guess Who Group were invited to play at the White House. But they were not allowed to play one of their biggest hits, "American Woman", because it included the lines "I don't need your war machine/I don't need your ghetto scenes". A good house "liberal" like Dionne certainly wouldn't want to offend any Nixon fans! A wild guess: Dionne thinks some American opponents of the war complained about the "war machine" because he heard the term repeatedly in "American Woman" playing on the radio: a song by a Canadian band.

Richard Cohen says the United States should assassinate now-notorious Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe. Because, you know, we're the United States and we can kill who we please just because we decide they need killin'. And there are never any adverse consequences or lingering commitments from such actions.

Your Big Pundits at work.

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"It is the logic of our times
No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
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-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?


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