Friday, June 4, 2010


As I said a while back, "Anybody could write two articles per day, forever, just refreshing the Weekly Standard or National Review and breaking down the current iteration of craven dishonesty. The trouble is that it's exhausting." But now and then, somebody at the WS or NRO makes it too easy.

Take today, in a piece entitled "Sir Jerk," where NRO's Jay "This Bra Bomb Better Work" Nordlinger has this to say about a joke from Sir Paul McCartney:
So, Paul McCartney is in the East Room of the White House, with President and Mrs. Obama. He is being fêted because he has just won an award from the Library of Congress. He caps the evening with this remark – this is his farewell, his send-off: “After the last eight years, it’s good to have a president that knows what a library is.”

Can anyone tell me why people are such schmucks? Why they are so graceless and clueless and nasty?
Over at Salon, former Gawker writer Alex Pareene dispatches this nonsense with ease:
Whatever. It is practically universally acknowledged by objective observers, and by many right-wing admirers of the former president, that George W. Bush is, to put it charitably, intellectually incurious. Being an unintellectual regular-guy was part of his political appeal.
Pareene's a fun writer, but like a lot of Salon and Gawker personnel, he tends to hammer at the argument being made without taking the chance to advance one about the people making it. That's no indication of his talent and probably reflects the limits to his schedule more than anything. But in this case, I don't believe it would have taken too much additional effort to make a note of something.

The National Review is very good at expressing outrage at indecency. Nordlinger inveighs against people being schmucks, being "graceless and cluess and nasty." He wants to know why McCartney can't behave "like a gentleman" or "at least a non-boor." Fair questions for Jay, but — while I admit that many of the results are about people other than president Obama — they're better asked on a website whose search function doesn't turn up 53 articles with the word "teleprompter," with doubtless several featuring boorish and ungentlemanly accusations of sub-par intelligence because a Democrat uses a device employed by every single national American politician. They're also better asked on a website that doesn't take every opportunity to micro-analyze the president's jump shot or pitching arm to suggest he's some kind of effete and womanish non-American.


  1. All my rock star heroes are full of grace.

  2. [Jefferson Airplane and Slick T&A joke goes here.]

  3. More socially conservative than Nixon?

  4. Maybe Pareene just takes the National Review's, er, partiality as a given? Or are you getting at some deeper hypocrisy?

  5. Nixon's tax base was more progressive, he treated the Great Society programs as a fait accompli and expanded some, and his national healthcare proposal was more progressive than the one the Democrats just passed. Check it out:

    Nixon's Health Plan

    Yeah, we have those transcripts of his hating on Jews, blacks, gays and women, but I also don't think of NIxon as a culture warrior. He was a man who used tools. You can put red-baiting and inflaming the heartland against "fucking hippies" and exploiting the Southern Strategy to capture disaffected whites away from a post-Civil/Voting Rights Acts Democratic party into the toolbox, but the degree to which he himself sincerely believed in it is, I think, questionable. They won elections. After that, he was much more fascinated with foreign policy than cultural crap.

  6. Maybe Pareene just takes the National Review's, er, partiality as a given? Or are you getting at some deeper hypocrisy?
    No, I'm just saying he missed a chance to take a few other healthy swings. Like I said, his doing so "probably reflects the limits to his schedule more than anything." I think he just doesn't have the time in the day to cover all the bases or sometimes even to think about what some of them might be. In this case, it wouldn't have taken that long to add that material—or anything similar—so it's a disappointment, but it's not sinister.

  7. Just dropping by to remind everyone how much Wings suck ass. Well thanks

  8. To HalflifeCrysis...
    Well, as a successful cult deprogrammer my greatest achievement was getting Paul McCartney out of Wings.


Et tu, Mr. Destructo? is a politics, sports and media blog whose purpose is to tell jokes or be really right about things. All of us have real jobs and don't need the hassle that telling jokes here might occasion, which is why some contributors find it more tasteful to pretend to be dead mass murderers.