By now, it’s easy to be cynical about the Internet’s ability to degrade rational argument. After all, one can only read so many birther blogs without starting to go numb. Still, once in a while, the foggy chaos that is the online world parts, and we catch a glimpse of how the realm’s worst ideas form, adapt to the environment, and, despite their utter lack of fitness anywhere else (well, with the popular exceptions of AM radio and Fox News), thrive in cyberspace. Perhaps the best recent example is a chart that has been racing around the conservative blogosphere for the last few months.
If you were a food writer and were asked to rate the best cupcakes in your town, and the top bakery was owned and operated by a self-proclaimed puppy-kicker who happened to be a virtuoso in the kitchen, would you be able to evaluate his work without bias? Would you be able to take that first bite, close your eyes, and focus only on the tango of red velvet and buttercream, ignoring the visions in your head of yelping, innocent canines flying off of decks or into furniture? That's the challenge facing any non-Sarah-Palin fan (and we are legion) who tunes into "Sarah Palin's Alaska" on TLC.
Humankind is, roughly speaking, divided into neurotic and non-neurotic people. Some people stay awake at night obsessing over every decision they’ve made, endlessly pondering intractable problems and existential quandaries—and some people don’t. George W. Bush is firmly in the latter category. We’ve long known this. So, when Bush sat down for an interview with Matt Lauer on Monday night—the day before the release of his memoir, Decision Points—it’s not as though anyone expected him to be particularly chastened or introspective.
Jesse Singal bravely agreed to watch the cable news coverage of Election Day 2010, in its entirety, and report on it for us. These are the illuminating results: Mine Eyes Will See No Glory I'll be spending the remainder of this afternoon and evening watching election night coverage and blogging about it here. Think of it as an ultra-concentrated reenactment of the Chilean miners' ordeal.
A few minutes ago on Fox News, potential Republican presidential candidate and political analog to Jared from Subway Mike Huckabee chipped in his two cents. "If he really wants to bring some level of leadership back and get control of his own agenda again," Huckabee said of President Obama, "he's gonna have to show some level of humility, he'll have to approach this with a sense of, 'The people spoke, I listened.'" Asked what issues Democrats and Republicans could potentially cooperate on, he said an extension of the Bush tax cuts. So, to review: Assuming divided control of the House and Sena
Few things in politics are more maddening than listening to staunch conservatives talk about taxes. I disagree with them vehemently on plenty of fronts, of course, but there's no other area in which they wallow so pigfully (when you've been watching cable news for six hours you've earned the right to use nonexistent words) in their willful ignorance. Their intellectual universe isn't large enough to accommodate the concept of a justifiable tax increase, and it leads to policies and proposals as vicious as they are stupid.
Sarah Palin in the house on Fox! She just gave her thoughts (or "thoughts"), and she chose to run (ride?) a train-based metaphor to help explain to us, the lay viewers, what's going on in terms we can understand. (A snide person would say this is a strange choice on her part, given that an America run by Palin probably wouldn't have any trains at all, trains being a rather brazen example of the redistribution of transportation resources to those unable to afford cars.) What we're seeing out there in Real America, Palin explained, is that "the train's leaving the station.
CNN has holograms and touch screens and teleporters and tachyon impulse starships, so why the hell was Chris Wallace scrawling crap on a $10 white board on Fox News a few minutes ago? His handwriting sucks. Also, he said that he's really worried that folks are going to undersell the historical significance of Republican gains should they be major. Me too, Chris.
-When Obama won, Glenn was happy because America had elected its first black president (despite the fact that, as it turned out, Obama hates white people. -Glenn does this weird thing where he shows a past clip of himself making a prediction or taking a call on his simulcast radio show, but the camera stays on him while the clip runs over his right shoulder. Present Glenn just sorta sits there glowering while Past Glenn does his thing. The effect is incredibly creepy and meta. -Nobody knows who wrote the stimulus bill.
At 5:00 I'll be tuning into Glenn Beck, a rich, sumptuous meal for the modern connoisseur of crazy media. So a rather bland, easily digestible appetizer seems like a good choice in the meantime. No point getting the fried tortellini and the bruschetta and the penne alla vodka. "CNN Newsroom," the garden salad of late-afternoon TV. Alas, as soon as I tuned in, Brooke Baldwin made the mistake of attempting to talk about the economy in a cogent way. Over shots of stock ticker displays, she said, "We've been talking a whole lot about jobs, jobs, jobs, with regard to this election.