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Daily Howler: In a word, their inanity overwhelms. If you ever doubted that, just keep reading
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MOURNING DELUDES RICHARD COHEN! In a word, their inanity overwhelms. If you ever doubted that, just keep reading: // link // print // previous // next //

A PUNDIT FROM OUTSIDE THE TRIBE: Paul Krugman starts a two-month break next week. Let’s say it—everyone owes him a mega-ovation for his superlative work.

PART 4B COMING TOMORROW: Or some near approximation. We still want to get to Fred Hiatt’s thoughts on Election Day; Jodi Wilgoren v. Teddy White; and of course, we want to visit Michael Kinsley, questioned RE PNAC on C-SPAN. Tomorrow, we’ll definitely start with Howard Fineman, reciting a famous “quote.” And we’ll see the Times un-beat that Drum! How inane is this race of typists? In a word, their inanity overwhelms. If you ever doubted that, just keep reading:

MOURNING DELUDES RICHARD COHEN: On what planet do these strange creatures dwell? No, we’re not talking about “red state Bush voters” or “blue state Kerry voters,” two groups whose concerns seem recognizable. We’re talking about post-election “liberal” columnists—columnists like the Post’s Richard Cohen. In yesterday’s column, the scribe revealed who the Democrats need. Their perfect candidate? That’s easy! Al Gore:

COHEN (11/4/04): If you set out to create the perfect Democratic presidential candidate, you would probably choose someone from the South or the border states, since John Kerry lost virtually the entire region on Tuesday, and someone who is comfortable talking the language of religion and values, since John Kerry was not, and someone whose wife is identified with conventional values, and, last, someone who took a very early position against the war in Iraq, which John Kerry did not. Such a person already exists and, as luck would have it, has a name: Al Gore.
Gore is perfect, Cohen says. Why, he was even “right from the start” on Iraq! Of course, Gore was the very same person in 1999, when he was the presumptive Dem candidate. Gore was from the south then too. He was comfortable talking the language of religion. And his wife was identified with conventional values! But back then, Cohen had a problem with Gore; the pundit found himself deeply troubled by the southerner’s vile cowboy boots! Here’s how Cohen began a column which trashed Gore from beginning to end:
COHEN (11/23/99): This is not your father’s Al Gore.

This is the new model. It is leaner and sleeker, buffed by weightlifting and trimmed by diet. It comes in new colors, too—not a somber Beltway gray but a bold black shirt and khaki pants and, on occasion, cowboy boots. The vice president of the United States is no more. He is now your pal Al.

Cohen trashed Gore throughout this column. Complaints? Gore was wearing khaki pants! And “on occasion,” he wore cowboys boots!

We’ve laid out the background to this in the past (link below). Gore—did we mention that he’s from the south?—had worn cowboy boots throughout his career. Everyone in the press corps knew it. But that fall, Cohen’s cohort had invented another one of their hundred thousand sociopathic lies about Gore, the man whom Cohen now promotes. Scripted by Ceci Connolly’s three hundredth bogus report, pundits had (falsely) begun to claim that Gore had just begun to wear such boots, and that switching to the “shiny new boots” proved that Gore was a Big Fake Old Phony! Cohen, a crackpot, just luuvvs Gore now. But back then, when Gore was the Democratic candidate, the pundit trashed him up and down, letting us know what a phony he was for wearing the boots he had always worn, the boots of his native South. On what planet does Cohen dwell? Easy. He lives on the far planet Lunacy.

For the record, it wasn’t just the troubling boots that had Cohen deeply disturbed. Readers, Gore was taking advice from Naomi Wolf, a former Rhodes Scholar and best-selling author who had also advised the Clinton campaign just four years before. (Dick Morris had praised her campaign advice in a recent tell-all book.) Earlier in the decade, Wolf had become a “controversial feminist” by virtue of a moderate suggestion; although she herself favored the right to choose, Wolf suggested that pro-life women should be accepted within feminist ranks. Of course, that’s the sort of common-sensical notion that Cohen is now hugely eager to chase—the kind of proposal that helps reduce the sense that Dems are some sort of northeastern elite. But when Cohen’s gang heard that Wolf was advising Gore, then decided to trash him for that offense too. Smutty boys and girls to their empty core, they found the “dirty parts” in Wolf’s excellent books and began to mock Gore for them. Here’s the start of another Cohen column, a column three weeks before he trashed Gore for wearing those boots:

COHEN (11/2/99): “The male body is home to me, my rocket, my whirlpool." So wrote Naomi Wolf in her book, "Fire With Fire" which will soon be required reading along the campaign trail. Wolf—sometimes a feminist, sometimes not, but always controversial—has just been revealed as a secret Al Gore campaign adviser, apparently teaching the vice president how to be a rocket and a whirlpool. Some of us, though, would settle for just plain Al Gore.
No, Wolf wasn’t “teaching the vice president how to be a rocket and a whirlpool,” but that’s what the thigh-rubbing, smutty man pleasurably said. Then he continued his typing, offering another stinging complaint—a complaint that today seems so perfect:
COHEN (continuing directly): But it is more and more clear that no one, least of all Al Gore, knows who that is. This is why he moved his campaign headquarters from Washington to Nashville, why he has gotten some new suits (it's the whirlpool look) [ha ha ha ha ha ha ha], and often appears in leisure clothing. He is newly energetic, sometimes manic and moves like a character in some speeded-up silent movie. I suppose this is what happens when you're a rocket.
Perfect, isn’t it? Gore, a rocket, had moved to Nashville! The very thing Cohen applauds him for now! But leave aside the smut in Cohen’s soul, and leave aside his perfect flips. How utterly stupid is the Post tyro? No, there’s nothing wrong with that sentence he quoted, the one he said was from Wolf’s book. But in fact, the sentence he pimped in paragraph one doesn’t appear in Fire With Fire, or in anything else that Wolf ever published. The troubling sentence had been dropped by Wolf before her book was ever published. (Cohen had somehow pulled the quote from an erroneous, six-year-old Esquire piece, a smutty piece about pretty young feminists he had apparently kept beneath his bed.) (It wasn’t available on-line.) But so what? Cohen spent his whole column in high smut mode, trashing Wolf—and trashing Gore. Today, he wonders why the Dems don’t pick him to be their next candidate! Al Gore? He’s just perfect, Cohen says.

Of course, as we’ve long told you, Al Gore would be president today if Cohen and his ET crowd hadn’t behaved in this astonishing way. (For the record, your favorite “liberal” career writers have always refused to discuss this astonishing conduct with you, because they’ve simply gone in the bag, putting their careers and their future earnings ahead of the interests of their country.) But you know how Cohen’s crowd did behave. Angry in ways they have never explained, they invented an endless string of bogus Gore tales and trashed the hopeful for twenty straight months. Gore was wearing khaki pants! Gore was wearing cowboy boots! Gore had moved his campaign to Nashville! Gore had grown up in a fancy hotel! Al Gore doesn’t know who he is! Why, he hired a woman to teach him how to be a man! On and on went their smutty clowning, in one of the most appalling episodes in American journalistic history. (Your favorite “liberal” career writers have refused to discuss it. Indeed, when they write three paragraphs for the great New York Times, they somehow invent new Gore tales!) These thigh-rubbing fools put George Bush in the White House—and today, they want Bush out.

Today, Cohen toots a different tune. Vote for Gore! He’s from the south! Al Gore is just perfect! But Gore was from the south back then—and Cohen went to lengths to destroy him.

“Al Gore doesn’t know who he is.” As best we can tell from our years of research, Richard Cohen was the first one to type it.

TALKIN’ RELIGION: Why does Cohen luuvv Al Gore? Easy! Gore is “comfortable talking the language of religion,” which is helpful to a Dem hopeful. Of course, Gore understood that four years ago, when the idiot Cohen somehow didn’t. One result? Gore nominated Joe Lieberman to be his VP—and Cohen trashed Lieberman up and down for “talking the language of religion.” Cohen luuvvs religion talk now. But here’s how he launched one giant attack, just two months before the election:

COHEN (9/6/00): My own continuing crisis of faith is beside the point. But the marriage of religion to politics is another matter. I thought it was in bad taste for Lieberman to go on and on about religion. But I thought it downright smug of him to suggest that God somehow favors America above all nations. The United States is a fortunate and exceptional nation, which I love dearly, but it is no more divine than any other.

"Our nation is chosen by God and commissioned by history to be a model to the world," Lieberman told the annual convention of B'nai B'rith late last month.

Cohen went on and on (and on), trashing Lieberman for his vile statement. “Lieberman's statement is preposterously false and lacks humility,” the thundering columnist brilliantly said. Indeed, by the end of his piece, he was telling the world that Lieberman’s statement had been “downright repugnant.”

So, what made this column especially stupid? Stupid even by Cohen’s standards? Uh-oh! In fact, the statement made at the B’nai B’rith convention hadn’t been “repugnant” at all. In fact, Cohen had quoted quite selectively; given the norms of American politics, the fuller statement had been quite ordinary. But what made Cohen’s column especially stupid? Here we go: The offending statement wasn’t made by Joe Lieberman at all! In fact, it was George W. Bush, not Joseph Lieberman, who had gone before the B’nai B’rith convention and made the deeply-troubling remark. Incredibly, Cohen had spent an entire column trashing Lieberman for something Bush had said! (Again: There was nothing wrong with Bush’s statement.) But so it went as an addled press corps made a joke of your previous election. A small correction, sans explanation, graced the end of Cohen’s next column.

Today, Cohen luuvvs Gore’s old-fashioned religion—but he trashed Gore’s running-mate for it back then. He even trashed Gore for religious statements that came out of George Bush’s mouth! From what planet does this man type? He types from the far planet Washington Post—a planet whose exotic race of scribes continued to laugh hard, right in your face, as Cohen typed yesterday’s nonsense.

COHEN’S HELPERS: It’s true, there’s only one Richard Cohen. But we were also amazed when we read Tom Friedman’s column in yesterday’s Times. Friedman is troubled by Bush the Younger. Bush the Elder? A whole different beast:

FRIEDMAN (11/4/04): I often begin writing columns by interviewing myself. I did that yesterday, asking myself this: Why didn't I feel totally depressed after George H.W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis, or even when George W. Bush defeated Al Gore? Why did I wake up feeling deeply troubled yesterday?

Answer: whatever differences I felt with the elder Bush were over what was the right policy. There was much he ultimately did that I ended up admiring. And when George W. Bush was elected four years ago on a platform of compassionate conservatism, after running from the middle, I assumed the same would be true with him. (Wrong.) But what troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don't just favor different policies than I do—they favor a whole different kind of America. We don't just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is.

On what planet do these odd people dwell? As everyone except Friedman knows, Bush the Elder ran his 1988 race precisely as he son later did. He ran on Willie Horton and the pledge of allegiance—and he himself made a phony “no new taxes” pledge, a pledge widely-known to be fake at the time he made it. (Please don’t make us revisit the history.) Indeed, Bush the Elder’s Karl Rove—the mixed-up Lee Atwater—apologized on his deathbed for the way he ran that seamy campaign. Meanwhile, like the puzzling Kevin Drum, Friedman somehow thought, four years ago, that George W. Bush planned to be moderate. What on earth explains the fact that these people are the stewards of your discourse?

Then, of course, there’s always Dowd. Yesterday, she keened and wailed and tore her hair as she pondered the troubling conqueror:

DOWD (11/4/04): The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule. He doesn't want to heal rifts; he wants to bring any riffraff who disagree to heel. [Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.]

W. ran a jihad in America so he can fight one in Iraq—drawing a devoted flock of evangelicals, or ''values voters,'' as they call themselves, to the polls by opposing abortion, suffocating stem cell research and supporting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

And on and on (and on and on). Maureen Dowd was deeply disturbed. But what was she writing about two weeks ago? Dowd—an idiot—was warning the flock about a Kerry goose-hunting trip! And not only that—Kerry’s contractions were coming faster! He’d even been saying words wrong:
DOWD (10/24/04): The senator is desperately trying to prove his regular-guydom. He's using more contractions and dropping G's, T's and N's, as Ms. Wilgoren points out, and he drank Budweiser with his male aides while watching a Red Sox game, when you know he was dying for an imported beer.
Even that! He drank a Bud! Watching Kerry on a hunting photo-op, the pundit longed for a greater communicator. Yesterday, Dowd rent her garments about Vile Bush. But here’s what she wrote two weeks back:
DOWD (10/24/04): One of my first presidential trips was going to Texas one weekend to cover Ronald Reagan hunting with James Baker at Mr. Baker's ranch. President Reagan came back proudly empty-handed. He didn't want to shoot any small animals. He had his faults, but he never overcompensated on macho posturing, thinking that blowing away a flock of birds in borrowed camouflage for the cameras or bombing a weakened dictator and then sashaying in Top Gun gear for the cameras would give him more brass.
Kerry was coming off “like Bush’s woman,” the smutty scribe complained to Imus. Of course, if Dowd follows Cohen’s example, she’ll soon be saying that Gore is the man because he has always hunted.

We’ve tried to tell you—we’ve told you for years: these beings can’t be from your home planet. But their alien minds still drive the debate—and again helped George Bush find the White House.

VISIT OUR INCOMPARABLE ARCHIVES: Al Gore had just pulled on his boots. Every pundit knew to say it—and they all knew they had to trash Gore in the process. Too bad the claim was totally bogus! To review their inanity in its full flower, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/4/03. Today, of course, they luuvv Al Gore. He’s perfect. The man is so southern.

Meanwhile, for a taste of the press corps’ smut-laden trashing of Wolf, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/3/03. Remember—those “liberal” career writers you just luuvv on the web have refused to discuss these topics with you. They have put their careers—their future earnings—ahead of your interests every time. Read these past reports and ask yourselves why you only read about this in THE HOWLER. Ask yourselves why these strange boys and girls invent tales about Gore to this day.