Pappagallo: Do you think you're the only one that's suffered? We've all been through it in here. But we haven't given up. We're still human beings, with dignity. But you? You're out there with the garbage. You're NOTHING.
First the not-at-all discredited, widely-praised-for-being-right-about-everything William Kristol gets a gig on the Times op-ed page, then--
No, wait. I'm thinking of Billy Crystal, the guy from City Slickers. It's the other Kristol -- the entirely discredited one, the smirking beneficiary-of-nepotism who was wrong about everything with regard to Iraq and can't wait to be wrong about everything with regard to Iran -- that the Times (in the person of another beneficiary of nepotism) saw fit to grant a weekly column.
And now this:
Like the naïve shmuck I so frequently am, I turn on CNN to watch its report about the just-completed New Hampshire primary, when what to my wondering eyes do appear, but two of the most hideous clowns the right has to offer (from a world-class all-star lineup of clowns).
First: Ralph Reed -- college plagiarist, Ghandi-hater, Young Republican election manipulator, recipient of a command by the Holy Spirit (in a D.C. bar) to "come to Jesus," Abramoff crony, Indian-tribe deceiver, humper of corporate accounts, and collaborator of those protecting sweat-shop wage slavery among women in the Northern Marianas Islands (where the conditions of employment include such benefits and "perks" as forced abortions and forced prostitution), yes, Ralph Reed is now one of CNN's election commentators.
You heard me. Baby-faced Ralph, chatting and chortling with Anderson Cooper and analyzing his little heart out vis a vis the numbers and the implications. Ralph Reed, the very poster boy for the morally compromised and the smilingly untrustworthy: We thought, to our openly-expressed relief, that at least he was finished. But no. He's back, and CNN's got him.
But wait, there's more. Chuckling merrily beside him and twinkling as only he can, none other than virtue maven and self-parodying hypocritical moralist and former (supposedly) gambling maniac William "Bill" Bennett. You may remember him from such inspiring, instructional, and holier-than-thou tomes -- yes, tomes, because Bennett is a sage and doesn't traffic in mere "books" -- as The Book of Virtue and The Moral Compass.
You may also remember him from such articles chronicling his, um, devoted pursuit of casino gambling as this...in which we are informed that "documents provided to The Washington Monthly put his total losses at more than $8 million."
I don't care, and you don't care, whether or not Bennett gambles and how much he wins or loses. It's when, after a long night working the $500 slots, he goes home and writes, in a book purporting to teach us (for our own, and the nation's, good) this: "We should know that too much of anything, even a good thing, may prove to be our undoing...[We] need ... to set definite boundaries on our appetites," that one rather begins to lose a) one's respect for the man, as well as b) one's lunch.
Still, arguably, so what? A Republican Party without a constant and prominent supply of people who say one thing and do another would be unrecognizable to the human eye. "How true," the reader thinks. "But wait -- didn't Bennett also say something noteworthy on the radio once?"
Yes, he did. He said, "you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down."
Glad he aired "both sides" of that proposition: crime rate goes down/morally reprehensible. Of course, you could abort every white baby in this country and the crime rate would go down, too. In fact, you could abort every white and black baby, and the crime rate would go down even more. It's a choice. I'm just sayin'.
This, America, is who CNN is paying good money to "analyze" the election. A highly compromised right-wing p.r. slimeball and religious operative, and a self-satisfied, pompous gasbag-hypocrite directly out of the pages of Moliere, Dickens, and Twain. (I know. I've said this before. But I must keep saying it, because nobody listens.)
Sweet Jeebus, CNN, is that the best you can do? Are there no "conservative" commentators in this great nation of our country other than the beamingly repellent, the almost-indicted, and the smugly dishonest?
It is, alas, a rhetorical question. Then again, it may have an answer, and the answer may be, no. You read the right-wing blogs, the National Review online (and its psych ward, The Corner), The Wall Street Journal opinionizers, the Heritage Foundation propagandists...
What is it like, the current state of rightist discourse and "conservative" commentary? I'll tell you what it's like. It's like The Road Warrior, with us inside the fort and the others -- the Jonah Goldbergs and the David Frums, the Kathryn Jean Lopezes and the Peggy Noonans, the Mark Steyns and the Michelle Malkins and the Michael Medveds and others whose names begin with "M," raving and marauding out in the sands, biting the heads off wombats and flinging rusty old exhaust pipes like spears over our walls and sticking out their tongues at our women and children and roaring up and down the dunes and braying about "character." Meanwhile, back at base camp, The Humongous (Rush Limbaugh) and his catamite (Ann Coulter) drive each other into a sexual frenzy with fantasies of waterboarding Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
And when, for respite, we turn on "America's Most Trusted TV News Source Because it Supposedly Isn't Fox," we get Ralph Reed and Bill Bennett -- twice the alliteration, for twice the insult to what's left of our intelligence.
Thanks, CNN. You've given me one more reason not to turn on the tube.
Back to the blogs!
Cross-posted at www.barbel.wordpress.com