"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Jul 25, 2010

Fruit so low it scrapes the ground, collecting mud and worms, and the fecal remains of a tired ignorance...

You can count on Matthew Yglesias, for the really low hanging fruit.

I can't tell you why, at one in the morning, with the full knowledge that my kids'll wake after I've only had three or four hours of sleep, I decided to check up on Yggie. Especially since I already have the delightful Lord of War (one of those rare films, where Nick Cage decides to leave behind the hammy schlep half of his divided stage persona) playing background, on the telly.

Probably what I get for reading the latest Donkalot cheerleading, here.

Anyway, the smarmster making it easy:

"...At some point conservatives need to ask themselves about the larger meaning of this kind of conduct—and Andrew Breitbart’s—for their movement. Beyond the ethics of lying and smear one’s opponents, I would think conservatives would worry about the fact that a large portion of conservative media is dedicated to lying to conservatives. They regard their audience as marks to be misled and exploited, not as customers to be served with useful information."

I get playing the scold. Really, I do. It takes no effort. The horse you ride in on has a bright, shiny new saddle. You have a ready made audience, and clearly defined Others to play the MacBeth and Richard III roles. And you get to consign all the naysayers to Gehenna, or somesuch.

But, whatthefuck, Yggie? I mean, really now...

The guy you take money to shill for (1) promised to close Gitmo, (2) promised to take on the banks, (3) promised to deliver health care and health insurance reform, (4) promised to end the Bush Era torture, (5) promised to deliver on financial regulation, (6) promised meaningful environmental protections.

He reneged on all his campaign promises. No surprise here. But, then he went for the extra shivving , and expanded upon everything Bush started.  He pulled a fast one with Bagram. Defended (in the courts) Bush era torturers. Refused and obstructed (again, in the courts) investigations into the same. He and a compliant Congress (which rubber stamped his back room deals) handed the insurance and pharmaceutical industries captive customers and captive markets, as well as legal cover for their pillaging of the tax rolls. He simply abandoned environmental protection. Gave the banks the keys to the treasury. Gave BP control over its own toxic catastrophe. And turned financial and jobs legislation into a sideshow which still managed to help banks and low wage employers financially gang rape the working class and the working poor.

(Yes, yes - I think the word "rape" has a legitimate creative use, in this case.)

Slipped that knife right between the ribs of the commonweal, that wily Imperial Barack.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with expanding government to take on big business, the war machine and corporate polluters, Barack Obama hasn't actually done it. And whether or not (like me) you doubt that any reasonable or realistic separation does or can exist between government and big business, Barack Obama will never play the role of defender of the commonweal, against corporations.

But don't tell Yggie. He has far too much on his plate, worrying about dirty Republican and conservative liars. And scolding them on the intertubewebz.

Don't get me wrong - I don't think anyone should hold Yggie personally responsible. Yggie might play the court jester, but he didn't actually pick the king. Guilt by association sucks. Really, it does.

Just because Matthew Yglesias does it to every conservative, by lumping them in under the broad and general category, doesn't mean we should hold him to that account.

He can't help himself, the dear. Really, he can't.

He has to expend almost all his effort pretending that he's not a "[mark] to be misled and exploited." Or more to the point, that he doesn't daily play the part of just another one of the shameless shills who fails to give his "customers...useful information," what with doing the opposite with almost every word he writes...


Frank Partisan said...

Liberals forget its the Democratic Party in power. That should be the target.

Breibert needs to be taken down for snarkiness.

Anonymous said...

Pwogtopia defines itself not by what it does, but by complaining about The Evil Rethuglicans.

Ethan has it right.

But Pwoggies don't get what you do, what Ethan gets, what I get, what a handful of others get. Pwoggies' only mode of existence is to look for The Evil Rethuglican to Blame.

This is their distraction from reality. We know why. Reality is uglier than Pwogtopia.

I have mocked this Pwogtopia many times, at PRN. In Pwogtopia, nothing will be as hoped-for until we have a Federal Government that is 100% Democrat --everywhere you look, a Democrat in Power, a Democrat implementing Power.

For Yggie, only one theme works:

If there is a Republican ANYWHERE on the landscape, blame him/her/them for EVERYTHING.

This can be seen, sadly, in wiser commenters' remarks around the InterWebToobz. Over at Chris Floyd's, "Grandma Jefferson" cannot help herself -- she always has to utter a broadside against "teabaggers" as if they are the problem.

Apparently she doesn't see that 2% of the population, holding no power whatever in the Fed Govt, are not the ones causing the problems.

It's all fairly simply explained, really. If Pwoggies have to accept that Their Obamessiah and The Noble Democrats in Charge are the ones causing the problems, then:

(1) they are supporting the bad guys; and

(2) they need to consider THEIR OWN ROLES in the problems now afoot.

This is to be avoided because:

(1) they can't imagine it's their fault, because it's SOMEONE ELSE'S RESPONSIBILITY to fix the problems; and

(2) they themselves don't have to do anything because, by being Pwoggies, they are noble, elevated, pure and blameless, and really that's all a person has to do. Be a Pwoggie and, voila! the problem is solved.

This is the standard thought process of The Pwoggle... the reason things are bad is because... well, because some people DO NOT THINK LIKE PWOGGIES and dammit!, they need to become PWOGGIES.

What a fine fantasy they've conjured. It reinforces their self-impression as The Noblest Humans in America, and relieves them of having to do a damned thing!

Brilliant formula, really, if you're trying to absolve yourself of responsibility and assuage your attendant guilt for not shouldering that responsibility.

Way to go Yggie! Way to go Pwoggies!

Andromeda said...

Charles: What's PRN?

JC: "intertubewebz"---I love it!

"Pass the buck" is alive and well in America. It seems that the favorite pass-time of many Americans is "blame the other guy"---and I don't think anyone should be pointing fingers at anyone other than themselves.

I don't see "the buck stops here" anywhere anymore.

What I mean by that is people need to start looking in the mirror because until they acknowledge their own responsibility and own up to their own behavior (and how it contributes to ongoing problems) the country as a whole---and the world as a whole---is not going to escape from the clutches of the ultra-wealthy few.

And Obama is Bush 2.0---no ifs, ands, or buts. Viral marketing is amazing; big media essentially "repackaged" Bush into its opposite: a black man who is a great orator, doesn't embarrass the country overseas (although that is changing) and does a great job at feigning interest and compassion toward the American public.

Anonymous said...



It's one of my two blogs, and is a satire of "progressive" punditry.

Frank Partisan said...

I returned the favor, and added this blog to my blogroll.

Andromeda said...

Charles, thanks. :-)

I figured you had a blog but I poked around and couldn't find it; what's your other blog?

Anonymous said...

Jack's got it listed on the right margin, Andromeda. constructive destruction. You can quickly link to both if you just click on the name Charles F. Oxtrot where it appears above each of my comments in this thread.

But let's not make this thread about me.

Justin said...

I've had a half-baked idea about this whole thing, I'll lay some of it out here because I think you are getting right to it. So roll along with me here, can't promise I'll be entirely coherent.

The Breitbart thing is interesting to me as a study in deception. I mean, our entire media apparatus is filled with selectively edited points of view, video, and facts that give us a distorted world view. This is most obvious on television.

Yet Breitbart is getting singled out as uniquely bad over this.

I mean, to take a recent example, there was much television coverage over Britain releasing that guy convicted for the Lockerbie bombing to Libya. Libya's role in this coverage is of a uniquely bad state sponsor of terrorism, offering shelter to terrorists who would do something like bring down an airliner with a bomb. Nowhere in this discussion is a mention of how the United States has done the same thing with Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, to take two examples.

More generally, there really isn't a single thing that we learn about that has not been edited, sometimes very deceptively so, and most especially and persuasively on television. I mean, does anyone recall those studies showing how misinformed people were who get all their news information from television? Fox News got singled out as the station with the least informed audience, so liberals talked a lot about it, but the problem is fairly widespread. And you could cast a pretty wide net here that goes beyond the bounds of the study.

Does any coverage of something like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or our war in Iraq, Afghanistan, or where-ever not get filtered and distorted in the process of turning coverage into news? Do we ever see dead bodies in Iraq? Afghanistan? Pakistan? That to me was the thing about Breitbart, every news station does the same thing as he did, selectively edit and excise content as to completely distort the context of what is presented. All of our news is very selective in presenting the facts.

until next time...

Jack Crow said...


I didn't notice this until right now. I have a reply, after today's run. Thanks for these thoughts.