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Slacker Friday | The Nation

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Eric Alterman

Eric Alterman

Well-chosen words on music, movies and politics, with the occasional special guest.

Slacker Friday

I’ve got a new “Think Again” column called “What’s Wrong with this Mainstream Media Picture?” about coverage of DISCLOSE Act, here.

 

And my new Nation column about the MSM’s embrace of Breitbartism and nuttiness regarding Journolist, is here.

 

Now here's Charles:
 

CHARLES PIERCE
NEWTON, MA.

Hey Doc:
   

     "Nothing from nothing leaves nothing/You gotta have something/if you want to be with me."

     Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "(They Call Me) Doctor Professor Longhair" (Professor Longhair) -- If the Republicans start telling me I don't love New Orleans, I'm setting Anthony Weiner on they asses again. Just sayin'.

     Part The First: My money's on this action's never getting to court, but I'd buy tickets to the discovery process as requested by the plantiff. Oh, yes. I would do that.

     Part The Second: The Cynic returns, baffled as always.

     Part The Third: Go ahead. Tell me that the reason for this is that we need 60 votes to pass something in the Senate. He wants this power because he wants this power. Period. Constitutional law professor, my arse.

     Part The Fourth: Behold, the most honest man in Nevada, except, of course, for that part about lying that he'd ever said these things. As a matter of fact, because his children don't look Hispanic is precisely why they don't have to worry about the Arizona law.

     Part The Fifth: Outside of The Band, whose first two albums retired the trophy in this category, no band ever has developed in its music such a finely drawn individual country of the imagination than have the Drive By Truckers. Their latest, The Big To-Do, is growing on me by the hour. This is the South where even Atticus Funch doesn't dare troll for clients. "The Wig He Made Her Wear" can legitimately be seen as a direct link to  "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)", except that the events in the former take place after the rural economic dread that hangs over every note of the latter like smoke over a cornfield has settled in for 30 years or so. Somebody smarter than me once said that the only original insight George Wallace ever had was to discover that, in many important ways, all of America was Southern. With double-digit unemployment as the New Normal, this is music that the country needs right now.
     

     Part The Penultimate: And, ladies and gentlemen, it's Senator Rand Paul, brought to you by Massey Energy and the United States Supreme Court.
     

     Part The Ultimate: Time pretty much decided to blow goats this week. I'm going to leave aside the Send-Your-Kids-But-Not-Mine freak-show to people more bloodthirsty than I.  Rather, I'd like to address the woeful ongoing unrequited romance between Joe Klein and His Own Private Newt Gingrich. Every couple of years, it seems, Klein writes this same column, possibly in violet ink across the cover of his Trapper-Keeper. It's about how "visionary" and "creative" the former speaker is, only to have Gingrich once again revert to type and break Joe's heart. In fact, if you really want to know when a lot of the problems with elite political discourse began, recall the Intertoobz back to the days of the candy-coated stories about Newt Gingrich in the wake of the 1994 midterm elections.
     

As should be obvious to everyone by now, Gingrich's primary accomplishment as a national political figure was to bring in an incredible cast of drunkards, boobs, lechers, and incompetents -- the latter two categories, by the way, would include Gingrich himself -- whom he then so alienated that they tried to throw his ass out once, failed, and then succeeded later, after Newt had let the impeachment circus run away with the country. His effect on the national polity has been universally negative. His vaunted "ideas," including his lifelong devotion to that meathead, Alvin Toffler, always read like a non-too-bright, but ambitious, teenager set loose in the New Nonfiction section of his local Borders. His credentials as a historian -- which include his partial authorship of a couple of Confederophile pseudohistories -- make Jonah Goldberg look like Thuycidides. If the man has had a genuine intellectual thought in his life, to paraphrase the great Dan Jenkins, he took it out in the yard and played with it. And, yet, Joe Klein is not the only one who looks at the 2012 Republican presidential field, (rightly) considers it a little light on the old gray matter, and then thinks to himself, "You know who could bring some gravitas to this whole operation? Newt Gingrich, Trained Historian!" Then Newt goes out and starts shilling another overripe hunk of Regnery sausage in which The Trained Historian writes: "The secular socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” This indicates that The Trained Historian is now doing his primary-source research off placards at Tea Party rallies. It also indicates (again) that, if Newt Gingrich is a historian, then every chicken who plays tic-tac-toe is Boris Spassky. And everyone pretends to be mystified  as to how this possibly could have happened.

 

P.S -- While I appreciate The Landlord's having taken up the cudgel on my behalf, I'd like also to point out to reader Perhach that my 2004 post plainly had to do with telling the Democrats not to vote for any Bush agenda items simply because he'd finally won a presidential election. That is, it was a call for Democrats not to get rolled, something that even Mr. Perhach will have to admit has been a problem recently. Nowhere did I suggest, or even imply, that the Democrats should simply stall every single piece of legislation going forward. That's irresponsible governance and I would not support it under either party. If that's unclear, I'm sure Rep. Weiner would be glad to explain it to you.
 

 

 

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