Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time before the editors of The Wall Street Journal came up with a snippy, little “both sides do it” apologia for Paul Ryan’s recent “inarticulate” exploration of “inner city culture.”
Oh my, where do I begin . . . how about the first sentence?
A week later, and liberals are still lining up to assail Paul Ryan’s “racism.” The episode is worth noting not because Mr. Ryan said anything wrong, but because of what it shows about the political habits of today’s elected and media left.
Well! that obsessive “elected and media left” just won’t quit distracting the “elected right” from mounting it’s 52nd attempt to Repeal Obamacare, or its important effort to assign a special prosecutor to teach Lois Lerner a lesson about Liberty.
One thing that’s truly exceptional about Americans is their firm belief that this is their planet and they make the sun shine and the rain fall on it. If something good happens on Earth? Americans had a hand in it. If something bad happens on Earth? Americans will fix it, tout de suite. Got problems? send America “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore” and we’ll whip ‘em into shape.
And, after running The Greatest Show On Earth for over 200 years now, Americans are the world’s go-to experts on every topic under the sun, because . . . we say so. And the First Amendment guarantees that we get to say just about anything with authority and it must be respected.
So. If we don’t believe in evolution or climate change or bad things happening in American History, well, goshdangit, it doesn’t exist. And, to make sure it keeps on not existing, we’ll change the textbooks so our chilluns ain’t infected by bad ideas. And this is possible because, in America, a scientist has no more say than Sarah Palin. We’re a democracy, don’t you know?
What is it about the democratization of ignorance that some folks find so intoxicating?
We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.
In case that sounds like political argle-bargle to you, Laura Clawson, a linguist with expertise in political argle-bargle over at Markos’ Place offered up this helpful translation:
The problem is “in our inner cities” (where the black people live) where men (black men) are “not even thinking about working.” It’s a “real culture problem” (black culture).
Thank you, Laura. That’s what I thought. Now that we’re all post-racist it hardly seems necessary to speak in tongues about racism, anymore, but Mr Ryan is, after all, a conservative. So, maybe he’s not ready to shed his political correctness for that bold leap into 21st century overt racism, yet.
Of course, the well-read and wonktastic, Rep Ryan (R-Planet Derp) supported his argle-bargle with citations from Charles Murray. Evidently, Ryan’s scholarly quest has advanced from Ayn “Queen of Mean” Rand’s dystopic, but not overtly “colorful” maunderings, to Murray, a white nationalist specializing in pseudo-scientific studies that “prove” that social inequality is caused by genetic inferiority.
A huge number of well-meaning whites fear that they are closet racists, and this book tells them they are not. It’s going to make them feel better about things they already think but do not know how to say.
—regarding his book, Losing Ground, quoted in “Daring Research or Social Science Pornography?: Charles Murray,” The New York Times Magazine, 1994
Well, I have good news and bad news, Mr Ryan—if you are taken in by this sophomoric pseudo-sociological crap you are a lot dumber than you come across (and that’s saying something) but you’re no closet racist. You’re an out and about, down and dirty hardcore bigot. And no amount of P90X, deer-stalking and catfish noodling is ever going to make you a man, let alone a principled man.
OK Poors, maybe you can’t afford to go to CPAC to feel the love, in person, and learn all of the great ways Conservatives can change your lives but that’s where Rump Roast can help by reporting the Good News (wouldn’t a nice hunk of rump roast taste really good right now?).
Fahgeddaboudit! Poors. Feed Your Souls, you silly moochers. So what if your parents are welfare-sucking meth heads who haven’t gotten dressed since 2006 and who are too busy feeding their heads to put apples in brown bags for you? Stay hungry!
Jesus and the GOP love you. And Paul Ryan has spent a lot of time and taxpayer dollars flying from swing state to swing state to investigate your plight and he now has a shitload of Poor Ideas!
P.S. Remember Poors, it’s not the policies that suck, it’s the word choice.
So you will be free to once again lurve your children. Speaking at CPAC he opined:
He then told an anecdote he said was relayed to him by Eloise Anderson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) Department of Children and Families secretary.
“She once met a young boy from a very poor family, and every day at school, he would get a free lunch from a government program,” Ryan said.
“He told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch, one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids,” he continued. “He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him. This is what the left does not understand.”
Yes we libs think having kids get a free hot lunch at school (not to mention breakfast) is the height of parental neglect and lack of caring. And not, you know, maybe lack of food and neat brown bags in the house.
Why does Paul Ryan hate the Poors he’s trying to save so much?
According to some conservative observers, Paul Ryan is ripening nicely into an even more serious fellow and Big Thinker than we might have guessed, based on his previous performance in Romney/Ryan 2012.
In a departure from his earlier Conservative Tough Love position, Ryan’s most recent philopsophical meanderings have led him to investigate the plight of America’s Poor and how sadly the bleeding-heart-liberals’ Big Government War on Poverty has failed them for so long.
For 50 years, we’ve been going in the wrong direction, and liberals want to march on. Some in Washington insist that you’re concerned for the poor only if you’re committed to a path that has failed the poor. But the question isn’t whether we should do more or less of the same. It is which new direction will work best.
The MSM editors at Bloomberg Review beg to disagree:
Ryan paints the past five decades of fighting poverty as a lost cause. He is mostly wrong: Presidents from Johnson to Reagan to Clinton all made their contributions, and evidence shows federal programs reduce the poverty rate by almost half. At the same time, it would be a mistake to call the welfare state an unmitigated success. Its programs must be constantly re-evaluated, and its failures terminated.
I grew up in a blue-collar steel-town in the Rust Belt, schooled by nuns, during the papacy of “The Good Pope” of Vatican II—John XXIII, and the presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the first Catholic President of the United States. It doesn’t get more Catholic than that.
Those were the days, my friend . . . change was in the air. And little Catholic school girls, like myself, were growing into natural liberals. We were the children of American Dreamers and veterans who had fought to make the world safe for Democracy. Nothing would hold us back from making the world a better place for all God’s children to live.
So, imagine my surprise when, as a young adult, it became increasingly clear to me that the Church that had been partially responsible for shaping my political beliefs was becoming more and more conservative—and Republican, as I watched.
As time went by and Americans actually talked about issues like abortion, contraception and same sex-marriage, the clergy, anxious to protect their own social policy agenda from the attack of modernity, found natural allies in the GOP’s growing base on the Religious Right.
It was a marriage made in heaven. Mature, hard-working, mostly white people with conservative social and economic values were welcome under the GOP Big Top.
[Source image by the brilliant Terry Gilliam of Monty Python]
Paul Ryan has some big decisions to make in the near term, one of them being, of course, whether or not he’d like to be the Leader of the Free World. Because he is a Big Ideas man, Ryan has most likely realized that if he wants to go for it, he’ll have to rid himself of the lingering scent of eau de Loser that he picked up on the RomneyBus.
To that end, Rep. Ryan is recasting himself as the Neo Compassionate Conservative and the courtier press is only too happy to polish his nibs. The Washington Post, which appears to be willing to cast its nets further and further offshore, in these post-print days, kicked off #RyanMania with a verbose and glowing fanzine profile of Paul Ryan, Champion of the Poor, last month.
For those of you, like me, who were hornswoggled by the notion that something paranormal had knocked Paul Ryan off his ass on the road to Janesville, last week—my sympathy. I know how stupid you feel.
Just as the third chorus of Kumbaya had faded on the breeze and Patty Murray peeled off to do something better, Paul Ryan betook himself to Mr Chris Wallace’s World of Whimsy on Fox News Sunday for a preview of the GOP’s plan to amp up America’s Post Holiday Blues.
We as a caucus—along with our Senate counterparts—are going to meet and discuss what it is we’re going to want out of the debt limit. We don’t want nothing out of this debt limit. We’re going to decide what it is we’re going to accomplish out of this debt limit fight.
So. Apparently, over the weekend, the GOP did just what Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) predicted. They “. . . figure(d) out they F*ck*n lost,” the government shutdown spin cycle and have executed an impressive grande jeté in the general direction of the debt ceiling.
Do not, however, expect that the change of focus to a far more damaging objective will, in any way, temper the illogical ignorance, silliness and breathtaking incompetence that Republicans brought to last week’s discussions, debates and posturings.
Nope. This is only Monday and we already have howlers ranging from Sen. Tom Coburn’s(R-OK) belief that there is “no such thing as a debt ceiling” to Rep. Ted Yoho’s (R-FL) hallucinatory vision that not raising the US debt limit would “have a stabilizing effect on global markets.”
A lot of folks, on both sides of the political spectrum, have expressed some amount of surprise that House Republican leaders have come out so unequivocally and forcefully in support of President Obama’s plan to carry out a military strike against the Syrian regime for its use of chemical weapons on its own population.
I, myself, would like to go on record as not the least little bit surprised by that development. Let’s face it, it sucks to be a Republican in Obama’s second term. It’s one thing to keep a straight face for four years of birthers, conspiracy theories, socialism, creeping sharia and Agenda 21 if it’ll get you the cracker factory vote. But now, given the cyclical nature of government business, it’s time to act the fool all over again for very diminished returns.
For nine long months, Republicans have been biding their time, waiting for another chance to take a whack at the economy. That doesn’t mean they had a clue or anything approaching a consensus on how they would play it, nevertheless they were ready to rumble—nine whole days in September, to threaten a government shutdown. Then, round about the holidays, the BIG EVENT - debt limit, dundundun.
On August 1st, no one would have predicted that a punitive attack on Syria would zip to the top of the agenda. When Republicans went off to their home districts and summer vacations, they were all about defunding Obamacare, shutting down the government, defaulting on their debt and trying to forget their humiliating Farm Bill debacle.
If, as Mitch McConnell claimed at CPAC today, the Democrats’ 2016 “presidential ticket looks like a rerun of the Golden Girls,” given that the all-star lineup at CPAC 2013 includes in its cast Jeb Bush, Eric Cantor, Steven Crowder, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Ron Johnson, Wayne LaPierre, Dana Loesch, Reince Preibus, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Wayne Allyn Root, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, Ben Shapiro, Allen West, the ghost of Andrew Breitbart, and Mitch himself, what rerun shows would best encapsulate:
(a) CPAC 2013?
(b) the Republicans’ prospective 2016 presidential ticket?
‘Speaker of the house’
Isn’t worth my spit!
And lifelong shit!
Cunning little brain
Thinks he’s quite a leader
But there’s not much there
What a cruel trick of nature
Landed us with such a louse.
God knows how we’ve lasted
Abiding with this bastard in the house!
My apologies to Herb Kretzmer, whose brilliant Les Miserables lyrics (English) should not be taken in vain, and to you, gentle Roasters, but since we’ve all been plunged into the misery of sequestration, I just couldn’t resist. [see the movie!]
We should though, I guess, take some comfort that, as mystified as “we the people” are by the behavior of our duly elected representatives, they are no more clear on what’s going on there.
Well, a Speaker’s work is never done. While less important members of Congress get to lamely splash around in the shallow end of the Lame Duck session, sober serious men of import have things to do. So it is that Speaker John Boehner has spent the last few days consulting his personnel binders, astrological charts and donor lists to determine who’s been naughty/who’s been nice and who wins the Chairs of the Various House Committees. And, at last, the list of winners for the 113th Congress’ House Lobbyist Windfall Sweepstakes have been announced. And guess what? everyone on the list just happened to turn out to be Caucasian with a prominent Y-chromosome!
Yep, Speaker Boehner consulted his collection of White Dude Binders and found the perfect match for every House Chairmanship. What’re the odds they’d all be WHITE MALES?? Way to go, GOP! That ought to be a base broadener.
Boehner’s picks are pretty unremarkable except for a few boners (erm, pardon the pun) like appointing climate change skeptic, Lamar Smith (R-TX) to head up the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. (Maybe he got confused because Smith is a Christian Scientist?)
Another “notable” on Boehner’s short list is Paul Ryan to do an encore as Budget Committee Chair despite the fact that Ryan needed a special waiver because his term-limit was up. Guess it’s just unimaginable to have budget committee without Boy Blunder at the helm? Maybe a Special Extraconstitutional Proclamation naming Ryan Committee Chair for Life?
So Roasters, hoist yourselves another hearty holiday draught of Schadenfreude 2012 and drink deeply! mid-term elections will be here before we know it.
In addition to civic duty, I’m willing to admit that part of the reason that I voted for Barack Obama was revenge. That was the last small, petty bit of silliness that the Romney campaign dragged around to the must-win states that they didn’t win—an offhand remark from Obama: “Voting is the best revenge!” Naturally, because this is what a flailing campaign does, they tried to construe this as something other than the obvious point:
You vote against Romney and move on. Don’t hate—just win.
I’m not as chill as the President is. I like winning, and I like that we did. But I still have some bad feelings, so let me sum up more ways in which it is revenge, and not just because “living well is the best revenge.” (Which I will always hear in Ivana Trump’s voice, interestingly.)
You also vote because the bastards don’t want you to, and together we work on doing what we need to do. You look at the disenfranchisement, the long lines, the attempts to end early voting, the robocalls and leaflets that gave wrong election dates and the negative ads not designed to make people vote for a given candidate—but to make them give up their franchise in despair. You look at all that undemocratic fuckery and you have to vote. You have to try and change it. You have to believe that we can do better; but more than that, we have to do it together.
And for Obama’s part, he has to keep the faith with us that we put in him—and his victory speech is long on the promise that he will keep that faith. But here’s a thing he doesn’t have to worry about now—re-election. His mandate is that he did get re-elected this time. He has four more years. It’s all he’ll get. So this “why doesn’t he make a big friendly bipartisan gesture” talk I’m hearing?
Boehner and McConnell can fold that noise up into all sharp corners and sit on it until 2014. If they want to continue to be obstructionist, that’s fine—but the next referendum is on them. And voting is the best revenge.