The abductions continue: Now, its Kinsley who has been kidnaped! True, his work has been in decline for years. But could the brightest man of the 80s really have written the puzzling column found in this mornings Washington Post? At present, the U. S. is engaged in two warsand were in economic free-fall. But so what? In this mornings Post, Kinsley was banging out this:
KINSLEY (11/20/08): Smoking is a disgusting habit that can kill you and those around you. Barack Obama claims to have quit, but the evidence is ambiguous. And the media's lack of interest in this question supports the charge that Obama is enjoying a honeymoon with the press. Compare the attention given to John McCains melanomaa health problem more likely than smoking to kill him in the next four years, but also a problem beyond his control.
Actually, the media paid little attention to McCains melanomaor to any candidates health records. But Kinsley seems to think the disinterest in Obamas possible smoking is a sign of media bias. Indeed, he cant begin to comprehend why the disinterest persists:
KINSLEY: The instructions on Nicorette say to stop smoking before starting with the gum and to stop using the gum after 12 weeks. We know, because he has said as much, that Obama was still smoking the month after his doctor said he was using the gum. And even if he smoked his last cigarette on May 28, the day before his doctor said he was on gum therapy, the 12 weeks would have elapsed Aug. 20. Wouldn't you think that some reporter since then would have asked Obama whether the gum had worked? Yet no one seems to have asked.
Actually, wed have to say no. We wouldnt think that some reporter would have asked Obama about that. (In part, because Obama has taken very few questions at all.)
Heres how nutty we are at THE HOWLER: At a time of two wars and a looming depression, wed think that some reporter would ask about that. But right above Kinsley in our hard-copy Post, David Ignatius is also obsessed with some blips on the screenblips which he himself calls little mistakes. And he ends with a feel-good resolution, built from some meaningless jokes.
For the record: Why is Ignatius drawn to little mistakes? Duh! Because those little mistakes involve Hillary Clinton! More on this familiar Derangement appears in our item below.
Because we try to look on the bright side, we will ask this obvious question: Wouldnt you think these pundit duffers could link their improbable thoughts today? Ignatius could take some succor from Kinsley (who includes an inappropriate, macabre remark about the dangers to Obama of running for president). David! Smoking is a disgusting habit that can kill the smoker and those around him? Why not look on the bright side, friend? Maybe Obamas second-hand smoke will snuff his helpmate at State!
Were fairly sure that wasnt Kinsley. Ignatius? Were not really sure.
BIMBO ERUPTION: It sure doesnt take our dingbats long! Last night, Larry King asked a bimbo guest what he thought of the possible Clinton nomination. Its hard to believe, but this was the first Q-and-A the pair produced:
KING (11/19/08): All right, Christopher [Hitchens], you believe she should not take the job if offered. Why?
HITCHENS: Just listen to what Miss Caputo just told you. Miss Clinton believes she can do a fan dance like this. Maybe I'll consider it, is what she's saying...
The Clinton era is over. That's why we voted for Obama. She's now pushing him around, flirting. That's the first thing.
A fan dance, of course, is a form of striptease. Quite literally, bimbos like Hitchens cant open their mouths without turning to gender-based trashing.
More accurately, bimbos like Hitchens cant avoid doing this when the subject is Hillary Clinton.
Would Clinton be a good choice for State? We dont have a firm view about that; were inclined to trust Obamas judgment. But if anyone thought that Derangement Syndrome wasnt an actual viral disease, they should have watched the Village pundits trooping forward last night. In yesterdays post at Media Matters, Eric Boehlert offered an invaluable look at the press corps odd performance in the early days of the Clinton Administration (click here; more below). The Derangement was already showing up then. By now, its effects are full-blown.
Consider Michelle Bernards hysterics on last evenings Hardball.
As we noted yesterday, Bernard has turned out to be a sane, balanced presence in this years Hardball appearances. She heads the Independent Womens Forum; under previous leadershipthat of the late Barbara Olsen, for instancethe IWF was a nasty, hyper-partisan blight on the landscape. Bernard has been nothing like that this yearunless the topic is the Clintons. Having pimped Obama all year, this was her reaction when asked about Obamas possible choice of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State:
MATTHEWS (11/19/08): Heres David Broder, by the way. Hes the most non-partisan in the business. Heres what he wrote today. What Obama needs in the person running the State Department is a diplomat who will carry out his foreign policy. He does not need someone who will tell him how to approach the world or be his mentor in international relations. One of the principal reasons he was elected was that, relying on his instincts, he came to the correct conclusion that war in Iraq was not in American interest. He was more right about that than most of us in Washington, including Hillary Clinton.
Nowthats Broder. What do you think ofI want to askI got to bring in Michelle here.
BERNARD: If I may interject? I mean, I agree with Broder. I think that if he is If the president-elect is seriously considering Hillary Clinton, hes going to have a huge problem with the people that put him in office. It borders on sheer lunacy!
Bernard has staged fan dances all year in Obamas honor. She has pandered, fawned, kissed keister and pimped; she has even agreed with Brian Lamb that her favorable stance toward the Dem hopeful might offend the IWFs big conservative donors. (Click here for the transcript of a fascinating, hour-long interview.) But as soon as Clinton enters the stew, Bernard is willing to tell the world that Obamas judgment borders on sheer lunacy. But then, Hitchens took the same approach. He said the situation with Clinton makes [Obama] look stupid and weak.
Theyve pandered, fawned, smooched and kissed keister all year. But so what? According to tenets of Hard Pundit Law, all allegiances go by the board when someone named Clinton swims into view. But then, this is the ultimate hurt of Clinton-Gore Derangement. Its a vicious, viral illness. It eats the brain away.
Beyond that, Derangement Syndrome makes sufferers express certain scripted thoughts. Approved Standard Scripts fly out of their mouthsfor example, the Standard Script about Clintons all-consuming lust for the White House. Forgive Bernard, in the grip of illness. But heres her complete first statement:
BERNARD: If I may interject? I mean, I agree with Broder. I think that if he isif the president-elect is seriously considering Hillary Clinton, hes going to have a huge problem with the people that put him in office. It borders on sheer lunacy!
When do you ever see in the history of the United States government people who are up for cabinet positions negotiating before the American public? I do ask, how does this end up in the Washington Post? We call him No-drama Obama. You know, he ran such a disciplined campaign. Hes now the president-elect, and once again, all of the headlines in the news are about Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton.
And again, I have to say to myself, Who is the president-elect? Is it Senator Obamaformer senator Obamaor is it Hillary Clinton? When does it end? She is a leader. She is not a follower. If shes going to be a good diplomat for the United States government, she has to be able to follow Obamas lead. And lets face it, Senator Clinton probably still is looking to 2012 and 2016. You cant do that and be an effective diplomat and also be an effective follower of the president-elect of the United States.
Theres a word for thatits a case of hysteria. But the hysteria of those in the grip of this Syndrome takes on certain well-defined patterns. As they insult Obamas judgment, sufferers will quickly voice this thought: Hillary Clinton seeks nothing in life but the White House. Hitchens, lacking control of his vitals, also recited this Standard Scriptin a way which made little sense. Indeed: Clinton never thinks about anything else, the afflicted bimbo opined:
HITCHENS: I actually agree with what Tom Friedman said. It must be very nerve-wracking to have a Secretary of State who you know is thinking about four years ahead or maybe eight all the time. She never thinks about anything else, never has thought about anything else, except the possibility that she might one day be the president of the United States.....Someone who simply can't think about anything but her own ego, or sometimes her husband's. If Barack Obama does this to himself, he will never have a minute's peace in foreign policy and neither will we.
Weird, isnt it? According to Hitchens, Obama knows that Clinton thinks of nothing but her lust for the White House (all the time). And yet hes planning to pick her anyway, thereby assuring himself of a very nerve-wracking tenure! No, that doesnt really make sensebut the Syndrome forced the pundit to say it. Tourettes makes bimbos bark like dogs. With this drome, they howl at the moon.
And they play one other familiar card; they quickly cite the race-baiting. Hitchens went there in his first answer, presented in fuller form here:
HITCHENS: Just listen to what Miss Caputo just told you. Miss Clinton believes she can do a fan dance like this. Maybe I'll consider it, is what she's saying. Now, I think it shouldn't have been offered to her, as you started by saying. But it's even more humiliating for the president-elect if he says, Will you do it, and she says, Actually, I'm perfectly happy where I am. I'd rather have something else. He's absolutely booked himself this way for hiding to nothing. [sicas show in the CNN transcript]
She's the woman who played the race card on him in the election several times. She's the woman who many, many, many of us voted not to worry about anymore. The Clinton era is over. That's why we're voting for Obama. She's now pushing him around, flirting. That's the first thing.
Bernard went into more detail when she turned to this topic. Indeed, when challenged by Joan Walsh, she played the saddest card of them all. As a black person, she could just tell that it was race-baitingalthough she didnt even know which state she was talking about:
BERNARD: There are always questions about the Clintons. We had a very long primary season here in this country. It was very difficult. The you know, presidentformer president Clinton race-baited. There were so many questions
WALSH: He did not race-bait.
BERNARD: that went on all throughout the primary
WALSH: You and I disagreeyou and I disagree on that.
BERNARD: Well, as an African-American, I can tell you that I personally felt horrified when I saw the comments he made about Jesse Jackson winning whichever state it was, whether it was South Carolina or North Carolina, and as an African-American, it was race-baiting. It was disgusting.
WALSH: I respect your opinion, but I disagree.
Bernard cant say where the offense occurred. But as an African-American, she is quite sure it occurred.
For ourselves, we agree with Walsh; were not inclined to think that Bill Clinton race-baited either. In particular, we dont think his statement about Jackson was disgustingbut then, we know the state where the statement occurred, and weve even read the full transcript of the now-famous exchange. (And of course, we respect Jesse Jackson.) It was a foolish thing for Clinton to say, because shrieking freaks in the pundit corps will perform this fan dance through the annals of time. (Two more examples: Bob Shrum and Leslie Stahl, in a discussion well briefly touch on tomorrow.) We took Clinton to be making the worlds most obvious statement: Obama rolled in the South Carolina primary because of the states large African-American electorate. And yes, thats the most obvious statement on earth, as was this earlier statement: Huckabee rolled in the Iowa primary because of its large evangelical electorate. As every living human knows, the South Carolina and (lets say) Ohio primaries turned out differently duet to the different make-up of the two states Democratic electorates. In our view, it wasnt evangelical-baiting when people explained Huckabees win. And were sorry, but it wasnt race-baiting when Bill Clinton took a similar tack.
But Derangement Syndrome has driven your politics from 1993 to this day. In yesterdays article, Boehlert starts sketching the early history, a history which is largely untold. (Weve tried to sketch the untold history of the Syndrome in 1999 and 2000.) Sadly, liberals ran off and hid in the woods all through the Clinton-Gore years. And so the liberal world is full of souls who simply dont know this story.
Boehlerts article starts to tell you where you and your nation have been all these years. Last night, a bimbo named Hitchens started with gender-trashing insultsand the effects of this damaging Syndrome showed themselves further from there.
By the way: Why did Hitchens and Bernard feel so free to insult Obamas judgment? In their accounts, his judgment borders on lunacy. He is being humiliated, pushed around; he looks stupid or weak, Hitchens said. Heres our question: Is Hitchens ready to go this route because he looks down on people of color? Was Bernard prepared to insult Obama because shes the daughter of Jamaicansbecause shes inclined to look down on non-Carribbean blacks?
Were Hitchens and Bernard playing race cards? As we said yesterday, so too today: Any damn fool can play these games when these cards keep getting drawn.
We strongly recommend: If you read just one thing this week, make sure its that long piece by Boehlert. This history has barely begun to be told. Career liberals seem to know not to go there.