MATT PLAYS KISS KISS TOO! Twisting logic and language all around, Matt pretends that Bob Kagan really meant it:
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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9, 2006
So lets see. The Lieberman campaign accuses people of crimes—although they have absolutely no evidence. The press corps dumbly recites their charges, routinely failing to mention the fact that they have no basis for making them. And Lanny Davis sinks into sophistry hell with that disgraceful piece for the Journal
. Davis was appalling on C-SPAN a few weeks ago. Yesterday, he sank even lower. (And oh yes: Channeling Lanny, Bill OReilly played Joe McCarthy on The Factor
That said, we were also surprised by Connecticut voters. This morning, the Hartford Courant is saying this
concerning yesterdays turn-out:
PAZNIOKAS (8/9/06): Statewide turnout was estimated at more than 40 percent, 15 percentage points higher than the last major statewide Democratic primary, a gubernatorial contest in 1994.
More than forty percent! (We assume, from context, that this means forty percent of registered Democrats
.) We know—its August, and its just a primary. But given the focus on this race—given the issues that were at stake—what in the world would it ever take to get U.S. voters to care?
MATT PLAYS KISS KISS TOO:
Wed like to be more polite about this. But after eight years, its not possible:
Were not sure when weve seen its equal. We refer to this truly ridiculous post
, in which Matt Ygeslias joins the crowd playing kiss kiss kiss with Bob Kagan. Its almost impossible to reason more strangely—or to be more compliant in the fourteen-year war against our Big Major Dems
Lets not even try to recap the absurdity of Kagans Sunday column (for that, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/8/06
). Instead, lets go straight to the Yglesias piece, in which he tries to explain Kagans conduct away. How hard will career liberals struggle and strain to stay in good stead with the capitals Big Players? Lets watch Matt play kiss kiss kiss with the man who is sliming our leaders:
YGLESIAS (8/8/06): Its not a lie if you believe it!
NOT A LIE IF YOU BELIEVE IT. Let's return to the subject of Robert Kagan's odd column accusing people who changed their mind about Iraq—or even, in Al Gore's case, people who didn't change their minds about Iraq—of dishonesty. Commenting on the article, Eric Alterman, like Jon Chait, was particularly distressed about this because both of them thought of Kagan as a decent, honest exponent of the other side's views. I think this sort of misconstrues the situation. The whole value of reading honest adversaries like Kagan is that you get to see the genuinely ridiculous elements of their worldview. If that business had been in a Hugh Hewitt column, I would just dismiss it as typical partisan propaganda. But that's not Kagan's style—he must genuinely think that if a person is hawkish about some stuff, or hawkish some of the time, he has a duty to be hawkish about everything, all the time.
To his credit, Matt had at least noticed, in his first post, that Kagans column was a bit odd. Hed even noticed that it was especially odd when it came to the matter of Gore. (But then, what else is new? This has been happening for seven years now, with barely a peep from our pipsqueaks.) But thats pretty much where the sanity ended. How does Matt evaluate Kagan? According to Matt, we read the works of such decent, honest men so that we can get to see the genuinely ridiculous
elements of their world-view. Indeed, according to Matts strange claims, thats the whole value of reading them! We know—those claims are surpassingly strange. But then, Matt says the following too. Its bizarre, so well post it again:
YGLESIAS: If that business had been in a Hugh Hewitt column, I would just dismiss it as typical partisan propaganda. But that's not Kagan's style—he must genuinely think that if a person is hawkish about some stuff, or hawkish some of the time, he has a duty to be hawkish about everything, all the time. [Matts emphases]
Excuse us? According to Matt, Kagan genuinely thinks the following: If a person is hawkish about some stuff, or hawkish some of the time, he has a duty to be hawkish about everything, all the time.
Lets state the obvious: Since no one
could possibly think such a thing, Kagan doesnt think it either! If Kagan thought that, hed be insane. Why then would we be reading him?
Oh thats right—we almost forgot! Wed be reading him so we could play kiss kiss with a powerful inside player! So we could recite a few more of his genuine thoughts—so we could remain a sack of sh*t in good standing. Acting as if this all makes sense, Ygelsias goes on to describe one of Kagans books. Sorry—wed like to edit this passage down. But as with lunacy of most kinds, this defies all attempts at summary:
YGLESIAS: [Its] a curious book, with both an interesting and insightful component and an utterly ridiculous one. The valuable element is the observation that American and European views of international relations don't come out of vacuums. Europeans live in countries with relatively weak militaries embedded in a very strong and effective international institution, while Americans have a gigantic military and exercise hegemonic control over our continent. Thus, Americans are inclined to see problems as amenable to resolution through unilateral force, while Europeans are inclined to see them as amenable to resolution through multilateral diplomacy.
But instead of drawing from this the conclusion that Americans and Europeans alike should endeavor to check and correct for our biases, or that these contrasting perspectives are what makes transatlantic cooperation so vital and necessary, or that wise leader should seek to find a compromise position, or any number of reasonable things, [Kagan] concludes that American biases are always correct and European ones always wrong. This is basically consistent with his apparent belief that it makes no sense to be hawkish sometimes but not other times. I don't think he's smearing Gore or anyone else, I think this is genuinely the view.
Is that what Yglesias means to say? Does he mean to say that Kagan thinks that American biases are always correct—and that European biases are always wrong? From this, as from Kagans earlier alleged thought, we could then draw the following conclusion: Robert Kagan is out of his mind.
But then, so is Matt Yglesias—unless hes just decided to play kiss kiss kiss kiss with a powerful pundit.
Good God! The vast contortions career liberals endure to stay on the good side of major players! No matter how daft their writing may be; no matter how indecent their attacks on our leaders; we will torture our thought and torture our language to pretend that theyre actually decent and honest—to insist that they arent smearing Gore. (After all—Its not a lie if you believe it!)
For ourselves, we hope this pays off big for Matt—as he sells his mind and his soul for his future success. And oh yes, concerning Kagan? Concerning those utterly ridiculous thoughts—the ridiculous thoughts he must genuinely think? Sorry, Matt—youve been self-punked! As it turns out, Kagan e-mailed Eric Alterman about his nasty, cultish column. What explains his nasty, stupid thoughts? Does he genuinely think the weird things he wrote? Sorry. Since no one could actually
think such things, no—as a matter of fact, he does not. Instead, heres what Kagan told Alterman
about his Post column—roughly the ten millionth Washington Post column which has offered cracked slanders of Gore:
KAGAN: Dear Eric, You're right. I wasn't careful enough about the wording. I meant to say that Al Gore was once hawkish (as VP) and including on Iraq, and that was what he reversed. I didn't mean to suggest that he reversed himself on the war itself. But that is how it reads. I wrote too fast.
Perfect isnt it? Kagan trashed only one person by name—it was Gore—fordishonestly flip-flopping on Iraq, even though Gore hasnt flip-flopped at all! And how could he make such a weird (but perfectly typical) mistake? Of course! He wasnt careful enough with his wording!
Poor Kagan! He simply wrote too fast!
Absent-mindedly, he wrote the name of the most famous Dem who hasnt
changed his mind on Iraq! At the Post, Kagan writes only one column a month—but he cant bother to take his time with it! And what a surprise! By total coincidence, when he forgets to be careful about his wording, he ends up doing what theyve all done for the past fourteen years—he ends up offering the latest nasty, stupid attack on one of our partys best-known leaders. The good news? At last, we know why this has gone on for so long. Theyve been writing too fast the whole time!
Did Kagan genuinely think the things he wrote? Since no one
could possibly think such nonsense, no—as a matter of fact, he did not. Indeed, even Kagan wont try to defend the things he wrote! But for fourteen years, the Kagans have been very well served as theyve lodged their slanders of Dems. The Kagans dont have
to defend what they write! Career liberals keep doing it for them!
LETS MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND:
Lets make sure we understand the pattern displayed in this episode.
Since January 1992, our Big Major Dems have been endlessly trashed, by Big Major Insider Players like Kagan. Clinton was trashed for a string of pseudo-scandals which the press corps still hasnt tried to explain. Candidate Gore was trashed for two years as delusional—as a big liar, just like Bill Clinton. Kerry was trashed as a feckless flip-flopper—as someone who had shamelessly lied about his war record. And Hillary Clinton has been pre-trashed, in ways well plan to discuss on the morrow. (Meanwhile, John McCain has been pre-defined as The Worlds Greatest Secular Saint. Everyone knows this—
except the boys who serve as our bright career liberals.)
Simply put, these trashings have been endless, and quite potent—and they continue right up to this day. Indeed, these trashings have defined
our party—and our partys top leadrers—in the minds of millions of voters. But then, one other thing has been quite endless—the way the Good Little Boys of our career liberal press corps have pretended not to notice them. The endless attacks on Clinton and Gore came from within the mainstream
press. Result? All good Career Liberals—good boys, like Matt—retreated deep inside their shells. They didnt dare stand up and complain—and sometimes, theyre moved to defend those who trash us! Indeed, Kagan is a powerful player—and so his absurd, nasty column must be explained away. It cant be
that hes stupid and irresponsible—no, by the rules, Kagans decent and honest.
And so Matt twists himself like a pretzel, making ludicrous claims on Kagans behalf—claims that are so utterly daft that Kagan himself wont even make them! Kagan must really believe this, Matt says. Until Kagan says, Sorry, I dont. I simply typed much too fast.
Yes! This is
how your Dem Party leaders have been successfully trashed for the past fourteen years. This is
how Bush ended up in the White House. And for that reason, this is
how we got to Iraq. We hope it all pays off for Matt, because a large human price has been paid for his cohorts vast silence.
MATT ON TRUTH SERUM:
A thought experiment! Heres Yglesias, retyping his palaver on a good, solid dose of truth serum:
ACTUAL YGLESIAS: If that business had been in a Hugh Hewitt column, I would just dismiss it as typical partisan propaganda. But that's not Kagan's style—he must genuinely think that if a person is hawkish about some stuff, or hawkish some of the time, he has a duty to be hawkish about everything, all the time.
YGLESIAS ON SERUM: If that business had been in a Hugh Hewitt column, I would just dismiss it as typical partisan propaganda. But unlike Hewitt, Kagan's a player—so I must act like I genuinely think that his nasty, dumb comments make some sort of sense. Its true—his column was inexcusable, even by Hewitt standards. But I must say that hes decent.
Isnt it great? Hes willing to come right out and tell us! If it were Hewit, Id tell you the truth.
Since its Kagan, Ill have to pretend.
how we got to Iraq. We only hope that these helpful fellows are well-paid for their 14-year service. Wed like to be more polite about this. But after many years, its simply not possible.