Sunday, August 31, 2008

This is Rich

I wasn’t going to post again tonight – twice in one day is quite enough. But tomorrow's column by Frank Rich, "Obama Outwits the Bloviators," is so outrageous that it deserves a swipe of midnight contempt. To paraphrase E.B. White, it’s rare to find someone who is both deeply incoherent and profoundly offensive. Frank Rich is both.

Case in point for offensiveness: “With Hillary’s tacit approval, [the bloviators on cable TV speculated that] the roll call would devolve into a classic Democratic civil war.”

That the man who confidently predicted that the Clintons’ alleged soulless racism would plunge the nation into a new “civil war” should have the temerity and/or amnesia to use that term again – and to do so in faux-snide jest – is profoundly shameful.

That one of the chief lieutenants of the Hillary-Hating Brigade should deride others for delivering very mild versions of his own vitriol in anticipation of the convention is nervy, to say the least. And then to say that the failure of these neo-Macbeths to carry out their expected mayhem is somehow evidence of Obama’s omnipotent cleverness – “stealthily hatching a drama of his own,” with a “meticulously calculated” dramatic arc – rather than crediting the obvious fact that it evidenced Bill and Hillary’s skill, character and party loyalty… that’s a denser derangement than one generally encounters outside of David Lynch movies.

That the leading political columnist of the New York Fucking Sunday Times for more than the past decade should denounce “the mainstream media” is just silly. What is he, a goddamn blogger? And to use their alleged cluelessness as evidence of the increasing irrelevance of television… uh, Frank, how’s the dead-tree business doing lately?

Also, what to say about his attribution of “unshakeable Clinton addiction” to them? I mean, I’m sure Rich and Dowd share tips on That he should attribute Hillary’s remarkable speech to her need “to reconcile with the alienated Obama Democrats she might need someday” is simply evidence of his unshakeable CDS. As is his failure even to mention Bill’s equally powerful speech. As is his selective citing of polls, choosing to ignore the consistently large numbers of Hillary voters who have yet to commit to Obama. Any equivalent among Deaniacs in 2004 or Bradleyites in 2000? No, I didn’t think so.

But, then, he doesn’t really want us to remember those elections. This glorified gossip columnist and avid fanner of flames regularly did the VRWC’s work, deriding not only Hillary and Bill Clinton, but also energetically using his bully pulpit to spread right-wing lies and snark about Al Gore in the 2000 campaign. In the process, he helped to give us eight years of Bush, as Somerby has eloquently documented. As Bob says, the dead of Iraq stare up from their graves at Frank Rich.

But, to end on a lighter note, let’s turn from the offensive to the simply untethered. What can one make of the following two sentences?

“None of this, any more than the success of Obama’s acceptance speech, guarantees a Democratic victory. But what it does ensure is that all bets are off when it comes to predicting this race’s outcome.”

Huh? An ordinary speaker of English would take it from these lines that – prior to the convention’s unprecedented “success” and Obama’s brilliant thwarting of the evil, divisive Clintons and their nut-job dead-enders – most people believed that the presidential race favored John McCain. The presumption behind those sentences is that that tide has now turned, and that that's why “all bets are off.”

What possible universe is Frank Rich occupying? In what part of the Milky Way Galaxy did anybody believe that this isn’t shaping up as an overwhelmingly Democratic year? Who in his right mind doesn’t know that if McCain wins, he will be doing so against enormous odds? And that if Obama loses, it is a failure of equally enormous proportions? And that polling has consistently shown that Hillary would be far, far ahead of where the Precious is now?

Okay, got that off my chest. ‘Night, mother.

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