Friday, January 04, 2008

Vodkamoron on Huckabee and the "Corn-S[h?]ucking Idiots" in Iowa

Sadly No! has this, and it's worth a read.

So many things very many things...

First, just sit back and groove on the delusional crankdom of the following quote by Mark McKinnon on those who "don't get" Bush:
And for those who don't get it? That was explained to me in late 2002 by Mark McKinnon, a longtime senior media adviser to Bush, who now runs his own consulting firm and helps the president. He started by challenging me. ''You think he's an idiot, don't you?'' I said, no, I didn't. ''No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don't care. You see, you're outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don't read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it's good for us. Because you know what those folks don't like? They don't like you!'' In this instance, the final ''you,'' of course, meant the entire reality-based community.
Oh, man! That is some funny shit! Or it would be, if it weren't probably true. They like the way he walks. They like the way he points! And, as you might recall, some of them like the way he looks in a flight suit. [1] That's a good reason to elect somebody president, you betcha...

But the real fun starts later in the SN post, when they quote Stephen Green, a.k.a. "Vodka Pundit"--looking dapper in an absolutely aDORable little suit! And so slimming!--harshing on Iowa Republicans. Now, Mr. Pundit is still somehow under the impression that Jimmy Carter was a worse president than Dubya...but, astounding though that is, it's really nothing in the context of this screed. Never mind that, had Carter's absolutely inSANE ideas about, e.g., energy independence been implemented, we wouldn't currently be engaged in shooting ourselves in the ass in Iraq. No, never mind any of that. These people, they aren't much impressed by facts. Remember: that's the hang-up of the "reality-based community," and completely out of place in Our Post-Modern World.

What's really interesting is that this seems perfectly to reveal what the effete elite of the GOP think about the people who win them elections. Hint: 'derision' is too weak a term. Turns out that those simple rural folk who were dead on when they were digging on W's walk are JUST NUTS when they like Huck. NOW they're just CRAAAAAZY! All that folksy shit is cool when it helps elect the scion of one of the effete elite families on the basis of his manner of ostension...but a commoner?!?!? I mean REALLY!

The funniest part of the screed has to be Mr. Pundit's botched attempt to deride Iowans by calling them "corn-sucking [sic] idiots."

Now, one look at Mr. Pundit [see pic at SN] makes it fairly clear that he's never seen corn outside some kind of compote at Le Bernardin. But the thing is, Mr. Pundit, people don't, ya know, suck corn. Or, er, not that I know of. They--or, rather, we--do sometimes shuck corn, though. So perhaps that's the term Mr. Pundit was looking for. Corn grows inside green leaves or husks sometimes called shucks, and one shucks corn when one removes these leaves. Perhaps Mr. Pundit has shucked oysters--on, say, Martha's Vinyard or somesuch--in which case he is at least familiar with shucking in general. As for the sucking, well, that's really none of my business.

Oh, it will really be fun watching the long knives come out if Huckabee's success continues. Funny thing is, the guy really does seem to be a little nutty. But it's not his nuttiness that's bothering Mr. Pundit and his EE-GOP pals. They don't seem to mind Huckabee's CDS, or his rejection of evolution. What seems to bother them is that he comes from the wrong side of the tracks.

I wish none of this crap happened in American politics. But, given that it does, it couldn't happen to a more deserving party.

[1] E.g. G. Gordon "I'm a big f*cking psycho" Liddy (a.k.a. Herr Einsatzgruppen), who said, of W and his appearance on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln:
"Well, I -- in the first place, I think it's envy. I mean, after all, Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man. And here comes George Bush. You know, he's in his flight suit, he's striding across the deck, and he's wearing his parachute harness, you know -- and I've worn those because I parachute -- and it makes the best of his manly characteristic. You go run those -- run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman's vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn't count -- they're all liars. Check that out. I hope the Democrats keep ratting on him and all of this stuff so that they keep showing that tape."


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

"Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man."

Well, I'll never get G. Gordon Liddy's back on anything, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut now & then.

Fact is, Gore hired Naomi Wolf just to dress him in earthtones in an attempt to raise him up to metrosexuality, which at least would have been an improvement over being a robot or a tree.

At least Barack is effortlessly a total stud physically and rhetorically, John Edwards is a prettyboy with the gift of gab himself, and even your mother, let alone a robot or a tree, can scold as well as HRC.

[Something for everyone there...]

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, "fact is" that Gore hired Naomi Wolf to dress him in earthtones etc. Is that like the "fact" that he claimed he invented the internet, or that he discovered Love Canal?

TVD apparently operates under the right-wing tenet that one should never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

From Somerby, where there's mountains of documentation of memes that originate solely in the fevered imagination of the idiotic press corps or the right-wingers whose bidding they do:

"According to Duffy, Wolf was helping Gore target female voters, as she'd done for the Clinton campaign four years before (see THE DAILY HOWLER 3/3/03). Later reports fleshed out this point; they noted that Wolf was helping Gore's daughter on a project called GoreNeta project aimed at younger voters, especially young female voters. But although Duffy didn't cite the soon-to-be-famous tones, he did make a fleeting reference to wardrobe. According to Duffy, "since [the Gore campaign] set up shop in January, Wolf has been paid a salary of $15,000 a month in exchange for advice on everything from how to win the women's vote to shirt-and-tie combinations." This comment seemed to be sourced to an unnamed Gore "advisor". Had Wolf been advising Gore on wardrobe? It's hard to know why that would have mattered; we hate to be the ones to tell you, but politicians (and TV journalists) do take advice about wardrobe. BUT FOR THE RECORD, WOLF FLATLY DENIED ADVISING GORE ABOUT CLOTHES, AND NO ONE SEEMS TO HAVE CONTRADICTED HER. As the press began to rant and rave about the "mad genius" who was who was Gore's "secret guru", Melinda Henneberger interviewed Wolf. The report appeared in The New York Times on November 5, 1999. HENNEBERGER: Contradicting reports from within the Gore camp, [Wolf] also said she had not been telling [Gore] how to dress, either: not a single fashion tip, or even so much as a "nice tie, Mr. Vice President". Wolf said the same thing on This Week. But guess what? In point of fact, no Gore staffer had ever "reported" that Wolf told Gore to wear earth tones. In fact, this tale was based on a single "speculation", a "speculation" which no one seems to have confirmed (details tomorrow). Did Naomi Wolf tell Gore to wear earth tones? Incredibly, this pointless claim became one of Campaign 2000's most widely-flogged and damaging spin-points. But the claim was based on the flimsiest "evidence". You heard it flogged for an obvious reason: It was a story your pundit corps liked. In fact, the brainless flogging of Al Gore's clothes hardly began with those earth tones. By the time the flap about Wolf began, the press had been flogging Gore's wardrobe for months."

9:55 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Oh, please. I withdraw the remark, because you're right that the earthtone thing is apocryphal. But the speech is unnecessary, nor does it relate some greater truth. In fact, the original statement conveys the greater truth.

Naomi Wolf was hired as an image consultant [$15K per month!], and Gore did get more metrosexual. [And the WaPo reported that Wolf was a fan of earthtones.]

Liddy's statement,

"Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man."

remains accurate, unless you have a further rebuttal.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shorter TVD: I'm going to believe what I want to believe.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

If you had a rebuttal to my last statement, you'd have made it. But you didn't, so you left a cheap shot.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right. A claim for which you've adduced no evidence aside from the rantings of Gordon Liddy needs a *rebuttal*. No wonder you get your head handed to you here all the time.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Sez you.

You provided my evidence, that

Naomi Wolf was hired as an image consultant [$15K per month!]

and that Gore's wardrobe changed

I added
And the WaPo reported that Wolf was a fan of earthtones.

which you can google for yourself.

Are you the same anonymous who claimed Bush would hole up in the White House surrounded by tanks if removed from office? Because if you are, why would I or any sane person care about your opinion on who wins debates around here?

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been dippin' into the Kool-Aid I see, TVD.

You refer to the unsourced *speculation* that Somerby mocked, and WOLF HERSELF EXPLICITLY DENIED as 'evidence", and I'm the guy who's way off base. But your faith-based belief that it's true trumps all.

Again, there's a reason you're continously mocked on this site as the guy who presents claims either entirely without evidence or with shitty evidence. Think hard and maybe you'll understand why. Don't hurt yourself though.

And for the record, I never made any post about tanks around the White House.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Ah, I see it was the Capitol building. If that was you, you're being disingenuous and sophistic, hiding behind parsing. It all depends what "is" is.

If you weren't the "anonymous" who posted that, I withdraw the remark. Just like I withdrew the other one, although upon further review, using the WaPo, and you yourself as my sources---clearly non-right wing sources---it still puts Naomi Wolf's denial in doubt.

She a) was hired as an image consultant b) Gore's wardrobe did change and c) she was on record as digging earthtones, which where suddenly seen on Mr. Gore's back.

Not conclusive, but easily enough to leave the question open. I didn't say you're way off base. But I remain agnostic on the issue.

As for you trying to turn this into some grand indictment of my credibility, I don't have to think hard to understand why. It's a tactic used by several others here who disagree with my general stance on things. Nail me once on any sentence or clause, no matter how trivial, and I'm totally full of shit on everything.

But you haven't done that, regardless of how you insist or have convinced yourself you have.

So, was it you who wrote of a real possibility of Bush surrounding the Capitol building with tanks? Be honest, now.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, for the second time, it wasn't me who wrote that, but if it will have a medicinal effect on your delusions, feel free to continue believing it.

And there is NO real evidence that Wolf was hired as anything but a consltant to help with outreach to female voters. NONE, except the insane presumptions of the children in the Washington press corps. You know, those sources you cite in the WaPs and Salon who continue to embarrass themselves (assuming they're actually capable of being embarrassed, which so far appears impossible), as ably documented and ridiculed by Somerby.

You don't remain agnostic, because you refuse to acknowledge evidence which doesn't comport with your faith-based belief.

For example, try this from Somerby (3/7/03):

"Before we look at Connolly’s attempt to “confirm” this speculation, one comical point should be noted. Was it true? Had Gore made a “recent change” in which he began wearing earth tones? As a matter of fact, he had not. It is perfectly clear from the campaign reporting that Gore had worn earth tones on the trail EVER SINCE HE BEGAN TO STUMP. (Duh. Many people wear “earth tones.”) Indeed, in April 1999, the Daily News Record, a fashion publication, reviewed the wardrobes of all the new hopefuls. Susan Watters quoted fashion mavens on the candidates’ duds. At one point, Watters quoted Fred Davis, “the head of [Dan] Quayle’s image team:”

WATTERS (4/16/99): “[Clinton] got elected sloppy. But those days are over. That’s one of the great advantages George W. Bush has. He’s a sharp dresser. He looks presidential. Al Gore should take a hint from Bill Clinton, who used custom tailoring and great fit to help build a presidential image. Gore needs to move from earth tones to black and dark grays.”

Oops! All the way back in April 1999, Davis said that Gore had to dump all those earth tones. But seven months after the Watters report, Morris was discussing Gore’s “recent change” to the troubling tones, and “speculating” that Wolf was behind it. It is true that Gore had recently begun to wear a brown/olive suit to some public events—a suit that was starting to drive the press corps crazy. But had Gore made a “sudden change” to earth tones? At best the claim was a wild exaggeration, and at worst the claim was simply false. But so what? Connolly and friends had spent the entire month of October making up tales about Gore’s boots-and-suits. There was little chance that your “press corps” would let a few facts wreck a treasured tale now."

The children of the Washington press corps refuse to let go of their favored narratives, despite any evidence to the contrary. And people like Tom Van Dyke are there to lap it all up, provided it comports with their pre-conceived preferences. This is how idiotic myths like Love Canal and the invention of the internet continue to come back to life, even after the facts seemingly drove a stake through their hearts.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Geez. You seem to be unable to make a point with getting nasty, or turning it into some greater attack on my personal self. That's a shame.

From the first that you disagreed with my assertion, I was open to your rebuttal. There are many urban legends that we all buy into, absent the facts. I check almost all of them before posting; this one slipped through. Since the criticism came from the left, I was less suspicious. Hardly dipping into Kool-Aid. That would be citing things like World Net Daily, which I assiduously avoid.

Your latest rebuttal is strong, and my compliments. But you're arguing a narrow point, about the earthtones. Urban legends often have at least some basis in fact. Did Wolf advise Gore to behave like an "alpha male," as the article alleges? If so, Liddy's snide remark remains unmolested.

But you're right about the Washington press corps, and the "narrative" thing. Of course it cuts both ways---against both parties, as it's a lazy flaw of the media even on non-partisan topics--- but I did notice that they didn't like Gore and they didn't like Kerry, and gave neither of them the benefit of the doubt. And lately, they don't seem to like Hillary either.

I hope you'll consider withdrawing your remark that I believe what I want to believe: certainly we all do that, but I'm open to persuasion, and have also been known to make observations that depart from my own preferred narratives, as I do in the previous paragraph.

And there were only two comments on this blog the day of the Capitol thing, both from "anonymouses." My preferred narrative would have been to assert you were both of them. But I gave you the courtesy of asking if you were. I gave you the benefit of the doubt. If you say you're not that other fellow, I'll take your word for it. [Signing your writings, even with a fake name, would prevent any future confusions.]

And if you decide to ever give me the benefit of the doubt, that I'm not an ogre or unreasonable cementhead after all, thanks in advance.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Re: personal attacks, you're right. 100%. And I'm 100% wrong. I apologize.

In retrospect, I detect anger that I mis-directed at you. But as far as the substance goes...

What makes me angry are these idiotic memes that the press gets in its head and then decides to make *the story*. It really doesn't matter if it has any discernable basis in reality or even merely a tenuous one.

It's these news-distorting narratives that have totally destroyed political reporting in this country. I don't mean to imply that there isn't any of it in other countries. However, it seems restricted to the tabloids in places like the UK, whereas here it has infected so called "mainstream" journalism.

I of course have no firsthand knowledge of what Wolf advised Gore about. That being said, I see no reason not to take both of them at their respective words, since to my knowledge neither has a reputation for baldly lying.

Anything is possible, but considering Wolf's previous work with Gore's daughter on getting out female voters, it seems logical that it was in that capacity that she was hired on officially to his campaign. But I still don't see why it in any way implies that Gore needed to be, nor should have been, urged to behave like an "alpha male". Nor why she shouldn't be taken at her word that she "[wrote] memos for the Gore campaign about the concerns of women, and work[ed] closely with Ms. Schiff on reaching younger voters...and helped the vice president in touch with the everyday concerns of women, who Ms. Wolf, at 37, has been listening to over the last decade. Concerns about the cost of day care, or the way women in the service industry worry about job security and health insurance. ''I just carry these women's voices with me,'' she said, ''and that's what he's listening for.'" (NY Times - Henneberger)

Not to mention that it's absurd that Gore's daughter, who is close friends with Wolf, would stand for any implication from a friend that her father is not *masculine enough*.

It just has all the markings of a puerile media "narrative".

10:41 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Thank you for the above, anon, and I won't be repeating the "earthtones" canard.

My allusion to the problem of "narrative" was based on some work I did last year headhunting for a newspaper editor-in-chief, and heard the complaint from insiders. It's primarily a function of intellectual laziness, and as I noted, it appears also in non-political reportage.

There is also the issue of bias: one well-respected libertarian who'd worked at the LA Times said the environment was so secular and hostile to organized religion that mentioning you went to church on Sunday would get you blackballed.

But that's another discussion.

3:26 PM  

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