Anguished over the results of the election, Lena Dunham reneged on her promise to move to Canada, instead seeking consolation and spiritual advice from the vortices and red rocks of fashionable Sedona.
As Hillary’s fortunes decline, Kevin Williamson volunteers to write Hillary’s epitaph for her.
Bill Clinton won because he was always winning; if Hillary Rodham Clinton has lost, it is because she is losing.
President Clinton had a diabolical knack for turning his self-inflicted problems into referenda on the moral standing of his opponents, or of anybody who happened to be convenient for the purpose; thus the Monica Lewinsky scandal became a question not of the presidentâ€™s venality in the Oval Office and elsewhere or of his consequent crimes â€” perjury, etc. â€” but a public trial of Kenneth Starr for the crime of being a buzzkill. Everybody â€” everybody, friend and foe â€” knew that President Clinton and his minions were lying about the matter, but the Democrats place an extraordinary value on cleverness: They are the party of the student council, and Bill Clinton has spent 50-odd years proving to the world that he is the cleverest boy at Hot Springs High School, and his admirers loved him not in spite of his gross opportunism and dishonesty but because of those very things. Finally, the Democrats rejoiced, a man who can show those Republicans for the unsophisticated, unclever fools that they are! Mrs. Clinton is at the moment looking somewhat short of clever. President Clinton not only survived his worst scandal but positively thrived off it, because his response hit his conservative tormentors in their most vulnerable spot: their reputation for being scolds and prudes, hypocritical sexual obsessives, etc. Mrs. Clintonâ€™s response to the e-mail controversy, conversely, finds her repeatedly punching herself in her political nose, giving the impression that she is too old and out of touch to understand how e-mail works, that she is curdled, that she is the unslick half of the couple, that she does not have what it takes to do what her husband did to his rivals. She isnâ€™t winning because she does not look like a winner to Democrats seeking a champion.
Yesterday, Establishment liberals everywhere were sobbing into their Chardonnay over the demise of The New Republic, after the resignation of most of its Establishment staff followed the announcement of new owner Facebook-co-founder Chris Hughes’s decision to change “the editorial leadership, move the magazine to New York, and rebrand the venerable, century-old publication as a ‘digital media company.'”
Andrew Sullivan (who used to work there) collected a thoroughly representative sample of the bitching and the whining.
But expatriate writer Claire Berlinski wasn’t moved to tears. In her view, the sweeping away of the old Establishment means that now there is room for new perspectives, new talents, and hungry younger writers like herself to replace them and flourish.
By now the whole universeâ€”or at least everyone in New York and Washington who reads The New Republic and thus thinks their universe is the universeâ€”knows that some utterly vulgar Silicon Valley yutz marched into The New Republic, said something utterly vulgar about turning it into a â€œvertically integrated digital media company,â€ and made all the journalists there cry. Then they all resigned en masse, which prompted everyone on Twitter to talk about the death of a Great Institution and how awful these vulgar Silicon Valley yutzes are and how great it is that everyone resigned and how much they hate Buzzfeed. It was a really big deal, if youâ€™re the kind of person in New York or Washington who reads The New Republic. …
What does that say to you? I know what it says to me. It says, â€œSome Silicon Valley yutz with more money than senseâ€”and a magazine on his hands that somehow heâ€™s got to publishâ€”is hiring.â€
So without further ado:
Dear Chris Hughes,
I like Buzzfeed. I agree that Leon Wieseltier was just becoming a total insufferable windbag. I like it that you made a lot of journalists cry. That, to me, says â€œThis Chris guyâ€™s got the right stuff.â€
So I wonder if you would kindly consider me for the position of editor-in-chief of The New Republic. If given a chance, I will use my proven skill in helping Silicon Valley yutzes vertically integrate their digital media companies, and I will help you to vertically integrate your media company digitally. I can also help you integrate your vertical company media, or digitalize the company of your media vertical. Or anything vertical, reallyâ€”Iâ€™ve got the full compliment of Homo Sapiens talents. Iâ€™m totally bipedal. I eat, sleep, and breathe integration. Heck, Iâ€™ll vertically integrate every damned thing I seeâ€”Iâ€™ll vertically integrate your dog, your washing machine, your tax returns, whatever you want digitally verticalized and integrated, you just tell me and it will be integrated. Vertically. Frankly, the only really relevant point as far as Iâ€™m concerned is that you have a lot of money.
Iâ€™m guessing the last thing you need is another fussy, self-important, hysterically-resigning prima donna of a journalist on your hands. So let me reassure you that Iâ€™m just not like that. Iâ€™m really cool. No-drama-Berlinski, they call me. Or someone did, once, before he got to know me for about five minutes. And never, ever, have I publicly described myself as â€œan intellectual.â€
So please, can I have some of the money? I would really like that.
Give me a call, Chris. Iâ€™m down with the plan. Iâ€™m into your vision. Letâ€™s disrupt things. I know thatâ€™s not how you put it, but Iâ€™m not allowed to explain precisely how you put it in this particular vertically integrated digital media vehicle. However, I am sure I can adapt to your new company culture and disrupt whatever you want in whatever vernacular you choose.
PS: I bet I could be a dance editor, too. I mean, how hard could that be?
David Harsanyi at Reason also thinks there is nothing wrong with hoping self-important liberal pols step on a banana and take a huge public pratfall.
Is it inherently unpatriotic or immoral to want to see a president fail? After chewing over the larger implications of that vital question, I’ve come to a conclusion: I am a twisted human being. Thankfully, I’m not alone.
You see, when I’m not wasting time greedily praying to be rich, I plead with some higher power to sentence my middling local representatives to painful obscurity and professional failure. My congresswoman, for instance, carries an intellectual confidence so severely out of step with her skill set that the promise of disappointment, I trust, one day will bring me great joy.
If we can’t look to our politicians to fulfill our yearly schadenfreude quota, whom can we trust?
Which brings me to radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who recently, at a conservative conference, had the temerity to reiterate his desire that President Barack Obama “fail”â€”not the economy or nation, mind you, but the politician. Pundits across the nation went into apoplectic tizzy fits over such blasphemous and ugly thoughts.
Since when is rooting for the success of an ideologically driven elected official a civic duty, you may wonder? Wonder no more. It merely depends on the politician. …
[M]any of us are hoping that all those in power fail, because those in power have a grating habit of being annoyingly self-righteous, hopelessly corrupt, resolutely incompetent and completely apathetic about the freedoms that they have sworn to protect.
As we Baby Boomers start canceling our vacations at Gstaad and lining up to apply for jobs at supermarket checkout counters, Colby Cosh (the insolent little twit) consoles himself for the damage to his own portfolio with a little gloating at our expense.
For the children of the Baby Boomers, there is a special delight in watching the world economy shake itself to pieces like a two-dollar pram at this particular moment. Our elders, who bought prosperity and nice pensions at our expense and pulled the ripcords on their â€œFreedom 55â€ parachutes without leaving any behind in the passenger cabin, are getting it in the neck just when they thought a secure old age, with money for travel and expensive pastimes, was a safe bet. Iâ€™m willing to watch my meagre savings suffer from market turmoil in exchange for contemplating the dilemma of those who are now between 55 and 65.
These are people who started their working lives at a time when labour unions were strong, taxpayers outnumbered retirees nearly 10 to one, housing was as cheap as borscht and the basic personal exemption covered most of a living wage. They congratulated themselves on building an elaborate â€œsocial safety netâ€ at the expense of their children. Their great numbers have allowed their preferences and superstitions to dominate culture and media. Theyâ€™re the ones who burned through tonnes of pot and then launched a War on Drugs when they grew bored with it; they drove mighty-bowelled Mustangs and Thunderbirds in their youth, and only started worrying about the environment when they no longer needed a capacious backseat to fornicate in; they espoused and took full advantage of sexual liberation, but were safely hors de combat by the time AIDS reared its head. The first time I see one shopping for dog food, I doubt Iâ€™ll be able to suppress a laugh.
As for the younger crowd, it is a quite distinct pleasure to watch their panic and uncertainty. The actually existing danger is not too great, but no one born after about 1980 has much practical experience of severe recession. …
Victor Davis Hanson observes that, only two weeks into the new Obama Administration, the trainwreck is already well underway.
Some of us have been warning that it was not healthy for the U.S. media to have deified rather than questioned Obama, especially given that they tore apart Bush, ridiculed Palin, and caricatured Hillary. And now we can see the results of their two years of advocacy rather than scrutiny.
We are quite literally after two weeks teetering on an Obama implosionâ€”and with no Dick Morris to bail him outâ€”brought on by messianic delusions of grandeur, hubris, and a strange naivete that soaring rhetoric and a multiracial profile can add requisite cover to good old-fashioned Chicago politicking.
First, there were the sermons on ethics, belied by the appointments of tax dodgers, crass lobbyists, and wheeler-dealers like Richardsonâ€”with the relish of the Blago tapes still to come. (And why does Richardson/Daschle go, but not Geithner?).
Second, was the “stimulus” (the euphemism for “borrow/print money”) that was simply a way to go into debt for a generation to shower Democratic constinuencies with cash.
Then third, there were the inflated lectures on historic foreign policy to be made by the clumsy political novice who trashed his own country and his predecessor in the most ungracious manner overseas to a censured Saudi-run press organ. …
At home, Obama is becoming laughable and laying the groundwork for the greatest conservative populist reaction since the Reagan Revolution.
Abroad, some really creepy people are lining up to test Obama’s world view of “Bush did it/but I am the world”: The North Koreans are readying their missiles; the Iranians are calling us passive, bragging on nukes and satellites; Russia is declaring missile defense is over and the Euros in real need of iffy Russian gas; Pakistanis say no more drone attacks (and then our friends the Indians say “shut up” about Kashmir and the Euros order no more ‘buy American”).
This is quite serious. I can’t recall a similarly disastrous start in a half-century.
The Daily Mail gleefully chronicles Mr. Morgan’s inevitable rebuke for hubris.
If he didn’t believe in karma before, Piers Morgan must surely do now.
The ex-newspaper editor, now a columnist for The Mail on Sunday’s Live magazine, took great delight in making fun of President Bush for falling off a Segway – the two-wheeled, motorised, gyroscopically balanced scooter that, its makers promise, will never fall over.
His paper, the Daily Mirror, ran the headline in 2003: “You’d have to be an idiot to fall off, wouldn’t you Mr President.” It added: “If anyone can make a pig’s ear of riding a sophisticated, self-balancing machine like this, Dubya can.” So, it seems, can Mr Morgan.
He broke three ribs after falling off the Segway at 12mph in California – just three days before he was due to make his biggest TV appearance to date, as a judge on the grand final of reality show America’s Got Talent. …
He had to be taken to hospital to be patched up, but despite his misfortune, Morgan made it to the TV studio. His celebrity friends have been chortling at his expense. Simon Cowell has urged people to make Morgan laugh because ‘it causes Piers absolute agony’.
Writing in Live magazine this week, Morgan is rueful about the comments on Mr Bush. He says: “Since only he and I appear to have ever fallen off one, I think the makers of the Segway can probably still justifiably claim the machines are “idiot-proof”.”
Muslims in Spain have already reasserted a right to conduct Saracenic prayers in the mosque in Cordoba. Osama bin Laden has expressed the recovery of the Islamic Kingdom of Andalusia as one of the goals of his jihad. Spanish bishops are justifiably alarmed by Islamic ambitions.
Spain’s bishops are alarmed by ambitious plans to recreate the city of Cordoba – once the heart of the ancient Islamic kingdom of al-Andalus – as a pilgrimage site for Muslims throughout Europe.
Plans include the construction of a half-size replica of Cordoba’s eighth century great mosque, according to the head of Cordoba’s Muslim Association. Funds for the project are being sought from the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, and Muslim organisations in Morocco and Egypt.Other big mosques are reportedly planned for Medina Azahara near Cordoba, Seville and Granada.
The bishops of those cities are alarmed at the construction of ostentatious mosques, fearing that the church’s waning influence may be further eclipsed by resurgent Islam financed from abroad. Up to one million Muslims are estimated to live in Spain. Many are drawn by a romantic nostalgia for the lost paradise of Al-Andalus, the caliphate that ruled Spain for more than five centuries.