I just had to note that Rachel Maddow’s “Geek Week” has elevated her from brilliant liberal commentator to a brilliant journalist as well. She may very well be the finest broadcaster in media today.
I’m not sure why the ongoing fever pitch of ugly behavior in these Untied States of America is causing any sense of surprise among anyone who’s been paying attention.
The reactions and the stories you’ve been seeing of late are not new and they are not random or accidental. The spitting on a congressman and the gay and racial epithets hurled as reported last weekend, you don’t think that’s the same force that drove James W. von Brunn to make his way to the Holocaust Museum in June 2009? You don’t think the same force that caused Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s Rochester office to get pelted with a brick is the same force that caused Raymond Hunter Geisel’s arrest for allegedly threatening to assassinate then-candidate Barack Obama in August 2008?
There is an ugliness brewing in America. It is a nebulous, corrupted, churning cloud of poo-poo. And it is billowing. It is not random, and it is not by accident, and it is not merely driven by racism, though that is one of its most powerful currents. Paranoia, fear, anti-abortionism, ignorance, economic despair, there are so many ingredients in this shit-storm that Martha Stewart would have trouble divining a recipe from it. But it’s there, and I emphasize that it is not there by accident.
Remember, then-candidate Obama had been a child when Bill Ayers was blowing shit up. And yet, Prudence Palin was one of the most out-front and most unspoken when it came to America’s newest “ism.” In fact, I’d say that in this, the post-Dubya era, she was the pioneer of talking as ugly as you can to whip up a frenzy.
Guess what she’s doing today?
She’s campaigning for John McWeirdsmile in sunny Arizona.
Despite John Boner’s lame protestations of late, his party is one that does not take this ugly cloud seriously. But, as our good friend Rachel Maddow pointed out to us, such firing up by our political leaders can have horribly tragic consequences. Go on, watch it, and be sure to perk up your ears at 3:45.
…and certainly in my kids’ face…
Twitter was all, well, atwitter last evening, as tweeps watched the bloodbath exchange between Rachel Maddow and Pat Buchanan on TRMS. Here’s the embed:
My favorite part of this exchange was Buchanan’s claim that 108/110 white males on the court was acceptable because “This has been a country basically built by white folks in this country.” Perhaps Buchanan simply forgot to think about this recent news story:
Iowa Rep. Steve King defended his vote Wednesday against a House resolution that acknowledged the use of African-American slaves in the construction of the U.S. Capitol.
The western Iowa Republican was the only House member to oppose the measure late Tuesday. The resolution, which passed 399-1, orders officials to place a marker inside the new Capitol Visitor Center using some of the original stone quarried by those slaves for the historic building.
Argue all you like that this country was built by “white folks,” you jackass. They certainly didn’t do it alone. They did it on the backs of others, and in doing so, they blocked those generations of people from routes to achievement, and they did so culturally and institutionally. That’s the point. Schmuck.
Proud, so proud of Ms. Maddow, who stood toe to toe with this idiot and didn’t even pull a Teresa Giudice table-flip, which would not have been an unreasonable reaction to the ignorant, troglodyte ideas venting past her from this jackass.
When Ben Affleck spoofed the almighty Keith Olbermann recently, it wasn’t very good. It had its moments. The exaggerated camera changes, were funny. But it didn’t nail it. It fell flat.
I’m a big Keith fan, but I’m not just being a fanboi here. I think an Olbermann spoof could be very good. Affleck’s just wasn’t. Good satire requires more than a germ of truth. Many say that Olbermann’s Special Comment segment can be “over the top,” sure. However, it does serve to remember that the segment was born in reaction to the Secretary of Defense characterizing people who disagreed with him as “morally” and “intellectually” “confused.” Such an assertion by such a highly-placed government official demands “over the top,” and thank Zeus that somebody had the balls to deliver.
Besides, Olbermann has never done and would never do a Special Comment on a triviality or on a personal matter, as Affleck’s portrayal suggested. He’s never come close to such an ethical infraction. You shouldn’t satirize a strawman. It’s just not funny. No, Affleck should stick to impersonating Alec Baldwin. His Olbermann was an utter failure.
Leave it to Amy Elliott, granddaughter of Bob Elliott, to clean that mess up. Last night, Ms. Elliott did her damndest Rachel Maddow. It was very good. Watch:
Ms. Maddow, I believe you have arrived.
Parenthetically: I am wishing I could find an online embed of the SNL Digital Short from last night, in which Neil Patrick Harris plays the theme from Doogie Howser, M.D. It is, without hyperbole, the funniest thing I have ever seen. I cannot watch it again lest I turn blue and poop on the carpet laughing. I love brilliance. And that was brilliant. (I am guessing SNL couldn’t license the music for the Web, so no Web embed. Damnit Jim.)
Also, can someone please tell the editors of The Huffington Post that it’s not called a “skit,” but a “sketch?” Grrrrr.
Update, Oct. 14: Missed it by that much, at least in the hed. Olbermann named Frum “worser.” The Fox Ted Baxter took top honors.
Also on this evening’s television version of TRMS, conservative dickhead David Frum, upon being graciously invited into Rachel Maddow’s living room, proceeds to plop down on the sofa and slam his muddy boots onto the coffee table. Fortunately for us and for television, Dr. Maddow was not content to let him get away with it. The exchange was riveting:
There is simply no equivalency argument to be made of the New Liberal Media versus the rancid bile that’s come from the likes of Fat Boy Limbaugh and Fox “News” over the years, heckling idiots at rallies notwithstanding. Frum’s inclination to immediately attack the very show he appeared on is a belying and nearly ironic example of how our media dynamic actually works versus the weird invective Frum was offering with his mouth. He was invited to appear on a television program and immediately attacked the television program on which he was appearing. Which side is it, Mr. Frum, that is more interested in the rumble than the resolution? Hmmmm, fucktard?
And notice the conditions to which Frum refers throughout. Now that we’re the opposition, he says, now that it’s apparent there will probably be a Democratic majority, now let’s play nice. Was this guy being all outspoken and stuff when Sensenbrenner was turning off the lights and the microphones? When Conyers had to hold hearings in a furnace room in the basement? When the vote on prescription drugs was held open for hours while Delay wheeled and dealt? Where was Frum’s call to play nice then?
If Frum doesn’t make Keith’s list tomorrow, I’ll eat my hat and my shirt, too. What a dickbong. Hey. I just invented a word. Look at that.
Rachel Maddow, doing what she does best, tonight:
One truism in American politics now is that Americans trust Democrats more than they trust Republicans on the issue of the economy. It’s borne out by the polls, by which I mean that it is observably true, but it’s also a truism, in the sense that it’s taken for granted; it often doesn’t even explained. Well, Obama’s proposal today on the economy, on the government taking action in hard economic times to create jobs by building infrastructure, if you want to understand why Americans broadly like Democrats on economic issues? Lookie here! This is the DNA of the Democratic Party on the economy in a time of crisis. When the private sector is failing to do what the country needs it to do, use the public sector to help relieve the pain, to stimulate the private sector, and, ultimately, everybody wins. Public works projects create jobs. People get hired to build those roads and bridges and schools. When those buidling projects are done, we all benefit from improved quality of life because our roads and bridges are improved, and they’re safer, too. And the cost of doing business in America goes down because the truckers and the shipping companies and the widget makers all benefit as much as you do from fewer axle-breaking frost heaves on the highway. It’s yet to be seen whether America is ready for a new New Deal. But if we need one economically, we will need a President who can make that case, that government’s got to have a role to play. That’s why it’s no accident that tough economic times turn American eyes toward Democrats.
It’s also why John McWeirdsmile has appeared to be so utterly tone-deaf every time he has whined about earmarks. Certainly, there’s pork in earmarks, but that’s also sometimes how a state or congressional district accquires badly-needed infrastructure jing. And since right now feels eerily more like the Great Depression than certainly any time since I’ve been alive, it might be a bad idea to be charging against infrastructure investment in local communities, seeing as how that was one tool in FDR’s arsenal what helped snap us the hell out of it.
I am utterly ecstatic that Mr. Obama has proposed infrastructure investment as monetary policy. I just hope he’ll be able to find the money to do it. Infrastructure investment is, to me and also to Rachel Maddow, the most essential and yet most severely overlooked national security issue for America. Not to mention that all this talk about “going green” goes nowhere without the proper infrasturcture upgrades nationwide. I believe fervently that you can measure a country’s health by the shape of its transportation infrastructure, and we’ve poured neither enough money nor enough sweat into ours for years.
Fortunately, it’s looking like Obama’s coattails may reach all the way to Hong Kong, while McWeirdsmile’s may not even shade his crack. Florida Gov. Charlie Christ…sorry, I mean “Crist”…snubbed Commander Tigh real bad today, choosing to go to Disney World rather than to be seen with him. That is stunning; not even Crist, who was on the train early for the Republigoat nominee, is willing to be seen with him. Stunner.
John McWeirdsmile has apparently learned an important lesson of governance from The Current President: Take All Of Your Credibilty and Piss It Away And Then Poop On It, Then Bludgeon It With A Stick. What a dickhead.
“I like my beer cold, my TV loud and my homosexuals flaming.”—Homer J. Simpson
I got a double-shot of Michelle Obama
last nightnight before last. She was on the John Stewart Show and then she was on the Larry King Show. Larry King may be one of the most useless interviewers in history. Michelle Obama, however, is simply an incredible person. King tried to pin her down and ask her if all this stuff made her mad. No, she said, you just have to keep on rolling and know who YOU are. That’s such a commendable reply, and is, I suspect, the secret to the Obamas’ success.
It is interesting though to note peoples’ annunciation demons. Michelle Obama cannot say the word “pundit.” She says “pundint.” Of course we know that Prudence “Heh? Heh?” Palin has the same “nukyoolar” affliction as does the Current President and that Randi Rhodes cannot say the word “subsidy” (she says “substidy”). I myself have trouble uttering the phrase “President Palin.” It always comes out as “Grab your ankles and pray to Jesus!”
I also was fortunate to have caught Dr. Maddow of course on the Big Chin Hour with Jay Leno last evening. She was brilliant as usual. Not to mention she wore REALLY BIG GLASSES. Like someone else I know. (Me.) It is glorious to see this brilliant lefty accorded such recognition. Papa has said and I agree, we enjoy Countdown quite a lot, but, these days, we’re damned near sitting through it just to get through to TRMS. She is the best, truly.