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Daily Howler: Like Itchy and Scratchy, Gail Collins can tell which items are tacky and cheesy
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YOU MAY BE AN ELITIST IF: Like Itchy and Scratchy, Gail Collins can tell which items are tacky and cheesy: // link // print // previous // next //

YOU MAY BE AN ELITIST IF: With a nod to Brother Foxworthy, you may be an elitist if: You can’t figure out what is wrong with Gail Collin’s “cheesy” gun reference.

Before we get there, let’s review the usual blather as Collins sneers, high-hats and eye-rolls her way through our current election. In today’s column:

We learn that stealing the other guy’s slogan is “tacky.”

We learn that the soda was overpriced.

We learn that retired vice admiral Joe Sestak can sometimes make clumsy statements. (If we trust Collins’ quote, that is. We can’t find through Nexis or Google.)

We learn that pro wrestling is fixed. (What a shame that Collins hasn’t been!) We learn that a Tom Petty song is better than the theme song from Rocky.

As you know, this is the type of tedious drivel which drives every column by Collins. But then, we get to gaze at the soul of a malfunctioning, upper-class press elites. Collins knows all about tacky and cheesy. But she seems to be clueless on this:

COLLINS (4/24/08): Finally, at the victory party, Hillary herself emerged, to the tune of Tom Petty's ''I Won't Back Down.'' Let's all try to rally around this song because the alternative is watching her go through nine more primaries to the theme from ''Rocky.''

Then out came Chelsea and a pink and glistening Bill Clinton, fresh from that peculiar radio interview in which he referred to a mysterious memo that he said proved the Obama campaign played the ''race card'' in South Carolina. When asked about it later, he accused the reporter of not caring about the issues.

To all appearances, Collins has no idea what memo Bill meant. She knows about the price of Sprite. But she doesn’t know squat about this.

Did Obama’s campaign “play the race card” during the early primaries? However you might answer that question, the memo in question is hardly a mystery. Unless you belong to a langorous crew which spends its time lolling about in a palace, offering remarks, like Inky and Scratchy, about which behaviors are tacky and cheesy. Whatever they think about his view, people who have followed this race know which memo Clinton meant. Paid a vast salary, Collins doesn’t. But then, as palace dwellers all know, this race has gone on much too long.

Inside the palace, high-hats like Collins know one thing—how to sneer snidely. Which brings us around to her comment on guns. With appreciation to Brother Foxworthy, you may be a pseudo-liberal if you don’t see the problem with this:

COLLINS: Ever since Barack Obama’s campaign took fire with his call for a politics that was bipartisan and sensible and uplifting, Hillary has been telling her party that this was a pipe dream, that politics was frequently mean and irrational and that it got more so the higher you went.

In Pennsylvania, this worked really well for her. When Hillary was cheesy (see: gun lessons from Dad at Lake Winola) or negative, that was just her showing what you need to do to win. But when Barack attacked her for attacking, he was reverting to old politics. And if old politics are all we're going to get, why not hire Hillary? Forget about another Morning in America. Clinton's on the move, and it's a dark and stormy night.

Darlings, in CollinsWorld, it was just cheesy! It was cheesy when Clinton discussed those lessons from Dad at the lake. You see, the lessons weren’t ballet—or piano. Therefore, they can’t be discussed!

Some of you still may not see what’s wrong with Collins’ High Judgment. Some on our team never will: Such people may be elitists! After all, it isn’t like we haven’t seen this high class sneer in this manner before. Just remember the fatuous Rich, wetting his shorts when Brother Gore mentioned the rifle he owned as a child. (The rifle his father had given him. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/9/06 and 10/3/07.) In a similar vein, just remember the sneering Collins, mocking Gore when he dared to inquire about a sick, five-year-old child. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 4/3/08.

You may be an elitist if: You don’t see what’s wrong with these moments. In politics, no—it isn’t “cheesy” when you recall the things you did as a child with your dad. It isn’t “cheesy” when you show some group of voters the ways in which you may understand the actual ways they may live. What follows isn’t cheesy either, though Collins, hidden beneath her high hat, is too benighted to know it:

COLLINS: Although Obama has seemed way off his game lately, the odds are still really, really good that he'll get the nomination. The superdelegates are just waiting for him to win something so they can rally. And once the fighting is over, there's no question that Hillary would rally her supporters behind him. (This is a woman who sat down for a chat with arch-conservative-right-wing-conspirator Richard Mellon Scaife just to wrest an endorsement from his little fringe newspaper in Pittsburgh.)

Darlings, it seems that may have been “cheesy” too! After all, that “little” newspaper is on the fringe, Collins snidely says.

Everyone knows about Brother Scaife, a major kook from back in the day. But wouldn’t you know it? According to Burrelles, the paper in question isn’t that “little!” Last year, it was third biggest paper in Pennsylvania—number 68 in the nation. Sorry, but no—that just isn’t “little.” Unless you don’t care who wins.

Might we tell you what Clinton was doing when she discussed her father? When she went to that third-biggest newspaper? She was doing the things a person do if she’s trying to win an election! This country is simply crawling with voters who are less fine than Collins, who knows how gruesome that theme song is. Their fathers taught them to shoot guns too. For the record, one of those people, mocked by Rich, now holds the Nobel Peace Prize.

But high-hat pseudo-liberals like Collins have been at this game a very long time. As any long-standing Dem might know, they’re masters at losing elections. In their hearts, what they love is the “principled loss”—the crushing 60-40 defeat, in which half-wits in high-hat Manhattan salons can see their vast superiority to the unwashed, gun-toting rubes who elected (sneer) Candidate X.

They’ve been at this game a very long time—and Democrats have the defeats to prove it. They know when the Pepsi was over-priced. They’ll take a moment to laugh at an admiral. And darlings, they simply abhor that song! But they don’t know what memo Bill Clinton referred to. And they’ll tell you Scaife’s paper is “little.”

Collins has sneered her way through this race, rolling her eyes at all she surveys and complaining about those endless debates. (Nine years ago, she sneered at Gore when he asked about a sick child. Somehow, she forgot to say that her cohort had hissed and jeered for the full hour, in that press room.) But then, they’re in this game to sneer at the rubes—to sneer at rubes wherever they’re found. Darlings! It’s cheesy to talk about guns! To stop by that little rube paper!

TOMORROW: Keith’s return

YOU MAY BE AN INSIDER PUNDIT IF: Meanwhile, you may be an insider pundit if: You understand this passage from David Broder’s new sleep-walking column. The Pundit Dean rattles two primal scripts. The first concerns straight-stuff McCain:

BRODER (4/24/08): [I]n pointing to those vulnerabilities in her rival, Clinton has heightened the most obvious liability she would carry into a fight against McCain. In an age of deep cynicism about politicians of both parties, McCain is the rare exception who is not assumed to be willing to sacrifice personal credibility to prevail in any contest.

Clinton had seeded doubts about her own character long before this campaign began through her record as a polarizing figure, her secrecy and her obvious prevarications. But in the seven weeks between Ohio and Pennsylvania, a Post poll found shockingly high percentages of voters who regard Clinton as dishonest and untrustworthy. The negative attacks she has launched against Obama have hurt him but equally have added to her reputation for opportunism.

Two famous scripts are retyped here. They define a political era.

Let’s start with the script about Clinton, in which the sleepy old Dean is barely speaking English. Clinton is “a polarizing figure?” If that means that many people hate her, Broder’s statement is accurate—but how does this reflect on her “character?” (Instead, might it reflect on all those kooks who typed up those murder tales?) Broder forgets to explain this. Meanwhile, we’ll have to admit that we really don’t know which “obvious prevarications” he means. Which lies does this tired old typist refer to? The one about the Cubs and the Yankees? For years, Broder’s cohort pimped it as her most famous lie. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 4/16/08.

But once a script has been locked into place, it virtually types itself. Nor is there the slightest need to justify what the script says. So it is with Broder’s statement that McCain “is not assumed to be willing to sacrifice personal credibility to prevail in any contest.” The Dean doesn’t tell us who assumes this—nor does he say if their assumption is warranted. And this is odd, because let’s be frank: John McCain basically lied through his teeth all through his last run for the White House.

He lied about the Confederate flag—later said that he had, for God’s sake. He lied about Bush’s tax proposal. He ran a phone bank against Bush in Michigan, then openly lied about that. He reinvented his stand on abortion every time he opened his mouth. He kept telling a nasty joke about Gore—a “joke” which was utterly bogus on the factual level.

Today, he lies about the things he said about Bush’s tax plan back then. But a tired old man somehow hits the key which produces this praise for McCain.

Let’s say it again: John McCain pretty much lied through his teeth all during his last campaign for the White House. It’s in our archives, but you haven’t heard it, because Broder’s cohort prefers this tale—and because fiery liberals at liberal journals have let Broder’s cohort recite it.

They also allowed all the lies about Gore. We hope their money spends good.