SINGING DIXIE AGAIN! The 23rd district supported Obama. Sneering, Rich sends them away: // link // print // previous // next //
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2009
Nonetheless, or possibly therefore: We admired Patricia Cohens sagacity in this mornings report about Martin Heidegger. Cohens piece tops the New York Times Arts section. And Cohen shows some good common sense. She never really tries to explain what Heidegger actually said.
What did Heidegger actually say? Late in the piece, we mordantly chuckled at one particular word-choice:
Nonetheless, Cohen wrote. Did she perhaps mean therefore?
Everybody into the pool: In undergraduate days, we had a multi-year brush with greatness with future film-maker Terry Malick (then a graduate student). In his turn, Malick had experienced a major brush with greatness with Heidegger himself.
What do we recall Terry saying? Just this: According to Terry, Heideggers home had a heart-shaped pool!
As a senior, we took Terrys Heidegger coursegetting our degree nonetheless.
PART 1SINGING DIXIE AGAIN: Were constantly amazed by the Lady Gail Collins, one of the Times opinion pages line-up of fatuous stars.
Last Saturday, Collins was clowning, as alwaysthis time about health care reform. Inevitably, her insouciance gave way to ignorance, concerning a recent election:
At the very top of your press corps, a person like Collins is clowning hardand typing nonsense like that.
Question: Was that House seat in upstate New York a completely safe Republican seat? Its understandable that many voters may think that, after weeks of clowning by people like Collins. But as everyone in the press corps knows, the district in questionNew Yorks 23rdvoted for Obama in 2008, by a margin of five points. Does that make this district sound like a completely safe Republican place?
How completely safe was that district? Last June, Obama appointed the districts incumbent Republican congressman, John McHugh, to serve as secretary of the army. In The Hill, Aaron Blake quickly reported a point of widespread speculation: Obama had appointed McHugh as a way of picking up another House seat for the Dems:
Duh. This district had been Republican for a very long timebut the Republican Party has been dying out in the northeast, as the Democratic Party recently did in the south. And Obama had won the district in 2008. When McHughs appointment was announced, everybody speculated that this was Obama-being-Obama again. Like many others, Blake compared the appointment to Obamas initial selection of Judd Gregg for Commerce Secretarya pick which would have exposed a once-safe Republican senate seat in New Hampshire.
Everyone knew this back in June. But several generations of silly spin led us to last weeks electionand to Lady Collins latest know-nothing column, in which she assured the world that this had been a completely safe Republican seat. But then, Collins rarely knows what shes talking about. Moments later, there she went again:
Unfortunately, thats wrong too. In fact, Pelosi dumped the robust public option one week before last weeks news of Republican victories in races having nothing whatsoever to do with Obama. (To read the New York Times report, click here.) Pelosis dumping of the robust option preceded the news of Republican winsunless you read the silly work being done at the top of your press corps.
But then, it isnt just the Lady Collins who wanders about in a millionaires fog. On Sunday, the foggiest scribe of them all was eager to top even Collins in his sneering, clueless description of that 23rd district. Simply put, you cant get dumber than what follows and live. More significantly, this passage helps explain why your country has nothing resembling a progressive politics:
Frankly, how big a dope is Rich? Let us count the ways.
First, he matches Collins in his apparent cluelessness about the 23rd district. In a Richly comical way, he knows the district is very Republicanbecause he heard Karl Rove say so! But Rich could never be satisfied with the simple factual blundering which often animates Collins. He must add his sneering cultural arrogancethe attitude which, for at least fifty years, has made it hard for progressive views to prosper in our politics. Discussing a district which supported Obama, Rich begins to sneer about the income and educational levels of its appalling residents, and of course about their offensive whiteness. Speaking about a district which favored Obama by five points, Rich says the utterly gruesome place belongs in Dixie. Or maybe in Utah.
Collins and Rich are the long-time soul of a deeply unintelligent elite. Can we talk? They dont care about health care (or anything else). Collins cares about her simpering jokes; Rich cares about his cultural sneering. But Richs sneeringhis cultural arrogancerepresents a threat to your nations interests. You cant run a modern nation on dumb. But as long as we tolerate leaders like Rich, we liberals are going to try.
Rich was singing Dixie againlooking down his long, unintelligent nose at a district which supported Obama. You see, they arent as wealthy as Rich and his friendsand even worse, few went to Harvard! In this way, buffoons like Rich have always killed hopes of progress.
Our side just wont stop playing this way. Our side keeps begging to lose.
Tomorrowpart 2: Terrifying, he said.