Drunken Sailors and Moonbats

To: Tim Cavanaugh From: Nick Gillespie Subject: Drunken Sailors and Moonbats I'd say the only people happier than you and me that this is the end (my only friend, the end) are the last few readers who continue to mistake … Read More

By / May 17, 2007

To: Tim Cavanaugh From: Nick Gillespie Subject: Drunken Sailors and Moonbats

I'd say the only people happier than you and me that this is the end (my only friend, the end) are the last few readers who continue to mistake Jewcy for some sort of philo-Semitic porn site. I emerge from this exchange with you a) sadder than ever that I was ever born; b) even more sadder that you were ever born; and c) curious about when the target demo of this site will get the good news for modern man that they've been ransomed by, as Bob Dylan sung it so sweet and loud and true, "the man who came and died a criminal's death."

The Republican presidential debate was the big news last night—even bigger than the Richard Paul revelations you unearthed—and sadly I was too busy writing to you about blogs to even remember that it was on (full disclosure: I went to a T-ball game last night, then watched the Bulls-Pistons game got in the way, and around 11:30 p.m., there was also a really good Seinfeld on, the one where Elaine eats Mr. Peterman's antique piece of cake from the Edward VIII-Wallace Simpson wedding, so it's not like I wasn't prioritizing).

I give special credit to Glenn Greenwald for keeping his eye on his own white whale (the Bush administration's Lee Marvin-like "Who's Gonna Get Me a Beer?" attitude toward the Constitution, with civil liberties and due process playing the Michele Triola role) and ignoring the debate completely (though I'm a bit concerned that GG hasn't been heard of since 6:16 EST, especially after Mitt Romney's call for "double Guantanamo," whatever the fuck that is). The same goes for Noah Shachtman, who continues to report on the Pentagon's special new zit creams, "teeny tiny drones that can see like bugs, and hear like bats," and a bunch of other crap that is, however important, slightly less interesting than the old Edmund Scientific's catalog used to be. You know what the power of the blogosphere is, Tim? The right to ignore the news. Which, next to the rights to crack cocaine and freedom of/from religion might be the only one that matters.

Having said that, props to Swampland, which actually liveblogged the whole damn thing (though to be sure, only in a post-George Jetson world could watching something on TV be seen as akin to hard work; let's face it, in a world of Payless Shoe Source and footwear composed of all manmade materials, old-style shoe leather reporting is fading faster than Joe Klein's hairline). Not only that, but Time's Ana Marie Cox, late of Suck and Wonkette, actually managed to do something her MSM automaton colleagues consistently fail to do in their posts: inject some modicum of reality and/or attitude:

9:21 PM I have a bulletin for Senator McCain. You lost in 2006 because of the war. No, seriously, you did. Also? Retire the drunken sailor story. It dates you. And, really, you don't need to be dated.

She's right: The war (duh) was the major issue in the midterms. Fox News quoted McCain thus:

"We didn't lose the 2006 election because of the war in Iraq. We lost it because we in the Republican Party came to Washington to change government, and government changed us," McCain said. "We let spending go out of control. We spent money like a drunken sailor. Although I never knew a sailor – drunk or sober – with the imagination of my colleagues."

What, did McCain never hear about the Newport Sex Scandal while at Annapolis?

CNN (yeah yeah I know that they're commies) noted after the midterms that 57 percent of voters disapproved of the war (an equal percentage disapproved of Bush, but it's not clear how you separate the two); I doubt that many folks hated the Medicare prescription drug benefit (though it is loathsome for all sorts of reasons). I actually like the drunken sailor gag, if only because McCain comes from a long line of sea-loving alcoholics (and because I harbor an unseemly Ernest Borgnine/McHale's Navy fixation, which is second only to my Tovah Borgnine fixation). So I figure that McCain has earned the right to use "drunken sailor" until our boys come home from over here, there, and everywhere.

That said, there is something very weird going on in GOP political discourse when Ron Paul, the sole declared antiwar candidate, is hooted and hollered off the stage, even as he is a) the only Republican who is espousing something like traditional GOP foreign police; b) the only candidate vaguely in touch with the American people (latest polls show 55 percent of folks, an all-time high, saying we shouldn't have gone in the first place); and c) the runner-up in Fox News' own text message poll (Dr. No came in second only to Mitt Romney). If I gave a rat's ass about partisan politics, it would all be as frustrating as, well, the print edition of Time giving Ron Paul a C- and gratuitously calling him "Mr. Magoo." Indeed, if I gave a rat's ass about Mr. Magoo, arguably the most celebrated alum this side of Sister Souljah of your and mine alma mater, I'd be even more pissed.

And props to Kausfiles as well. Mickey apparently watched the debate but spared us all the tedium of a blow-by-blow analysis, instead compressing his take into the political equivalent of a haiku:

GOP Debate–kf Lazy Horse Race Blink Take**:

Win: Giuliani, McCain, Huckabee. … Romney didn't come on strong–"double Guantanamo!"–until too late, therefore he loses relative momentum;

Lose: Paul, Tancredo, Gilmore

Not Much Impact: Hunter, Thompson, Brownback

**–In other words, a "winner" isn't someone whom I liked, but who I thought gained support among Republican primary voters who actually watched the thing. … 7:37 P.M.

I'm jealous of the West Coast time differential. It not only makes it easier to watch Monday Night Football all the way to the end of the game, but you can watch presidential debates and then go out and drink for another six or seven hours.

Michelle Malkin liveblogged too, so more power (or maybe just Red Bull) to her, too (and the brave freedom fighters at Hot Air) even if she beat Ron Paul like he was Jose Padilla in (fully constitutional!) federal custody:

1003pm. Ron Paul buys the moonbat, blame-America line as the cause of global jihad. Goler: Are you suggesting that we invited the 9/11 attacks, sir?

That's not what Paul said, but never mind; you'd have to be a…a…a wingut or something to think that U.S. foreign policy ever has anything to do with how foreigners view the American government or people. I think it's just great that somebody actually uses the term moonbat without irony. It's like Gatsby calling people "old sport": funny and sad all at the same time. All that's missing is the swimming pool.

But here's the exit question, Tim (and I really hope never to speak to you again): Has political discourse become so Manichean that everything is black/white, right/left, up/down, stuffing/potatoes, is-Razzles-a-candy-or-a-gum? Whatever happened to the traditional America, where politics were tough but fair, and nobody hated each other or lied about each other's records or anything like that?

This is what your blogosphere has reduced us to: more voices and more choices. Worse still, it's more difficult than ever to avoid people yapping and offering up their opinions. Here's hoping that we can return to the mores of a more civilized era, when political rivals shot each other to death in Weehawken or likened each other to long-armed apes and then, at the end of the day, got together in the White House to booze it up on the taxpayers' dime.

To: Nick Gillespie From: Tim Cavanaugh Subject: Next Time, Let's You and I Pay To Do This

It's all about Glenn Greenwald, isn't it? While we lay waste our talents getting and spending on the Republican debate, only Dubba-G keeps fighting the good fight, devoting lengthy, sub-referenced, abundantly codiciled blog posts that capture the nation-sweeping excitement of the Comey testimony. He takes a slap at "the truly odious Joe Klein," and who can't feel the Greenwaldian tension? Beats there a heart so cold it doesn't thrill to the excitement of full-bore Klein hatred?

But wait: Here's Joe Klein himself, also hot on the trail of the Comey. And his fellow Swampland critter Karen Tumulty right there with him. So if they're all writing about the same dull topic, and also writing about each other, why does Jewcy need a couple of paunchy, self-pitying goys to do its blog snark about them? Why can't we just get down with the hot new "bag" of outsourcing journalism, and farm all this work out to some Anglophilic grad student in Bangalore?

I'll tell you why, Nick. Because in my day we didn't need all these "facts" and "figures" to clutter up our crystalline prose. By God, we got the news through sheer horse sense! We're not just a couple of wet-behind-the-ears linkalists, dammit! We're riding the high country of real reporting, and J. Jonah Jameson and Perry White and Tony Vincenzo are beet-red with aggravation at our high-spirited hijinks. And just to show you how hard it can be out there, try and read these sentences from our assigned beats this week, without putting your head into that set of shark's teeth I've got hanging on my rec-room wall.

Michelle Malkin:

The Hot Air team has broken out the popcorn.


(Yes, I'm extrapolating here from Pear's role in the 1995-6 welfare debates.)

Glenn Greenwald:

It is because the Beltway class is as corrupt and barren of integrity and judgment as they are.

Danger Room:

So Horiuchi is building a circuit that he hopes that can emulate how "interaural level differences" are processed "in the bat brainstem and midbrain."


Almost-candidate Chuck Hagel discusses "America's Role In The World" at the Center for National Policy in Washington.

ZZZZ! Wha—uh? Please don't cut my dick off, Mr. Hitler!

I think every one of those gems could be turned into a catchphrase every bit as good as "In the absence of weights, I am employing isometrics" or "I don't understand your hostility towards me" or "Bitch set me up."

Am I at 500 words yet?

Why aren't any of our targets writing about the Wolfowitz endgame? (Can somebody just shoot me now that I'm writing about the Wolfowitz endgame?) What about Prince Harry's royal draft dodge? Why are the media elites ignoring the story of the lamb panda? Who dares to speak for the surgical sponge left in Judge G. Blair Harry? How long can we continue to ignore the link between the sixth grade teacher attack prank and the eighth grade substitute teacher gay sex money shot? All I can say is, "What happens in Ms. Buford's class stays in Ms. Buford's class."

Yes, Nick, this crazy, mixed-up hill-of-beans world is too much for the citizen journalists who have made this week so regrettable for both of us. In this maelstrom of decay, you can trust Michelle Malkin, and it's on the shoulders of the diminutive firecracker that we must at last bestow the mantle of our blogger of the week, because she's the one who came up with this: "Forget about the candidates and the questions and the campaign. Call the wah-mbulance: Journalists are whining about the food and restrooms."

Which sucks, actually. So no, the blogger of the week is Mickey Kaus, because he compared either me or you to either Jimmy Stewart or the Duke. So he wins it.

But then again, where else but in Noah Shachtman's Boom Boom Room can we be reminded of the timeless lesson that you really can cook yourself to death in a tanning booth, just as you can die if your underwear's too tight or have your head eaten by a spider-infested bouffant? He calls it the Danger Palace, but he's making the world a safer place.

Then again, how can we not give the Palm to Karen Tumulty, who not only shares a name with New Brunswick, N.J.'s first and shittiest restaurant but wins all our hearts with a self-effacing "Just found the link. Blogging 101." And what of Glenn Greenwald, locked in an eternal struggle against his bizarro-universe counterpart Green Glennwald, a.k.a. John-Alberto Gonzales-Ashcroft?

And have we no sense of decency, at long last, if we don't join in the general disapprobation of John McCain's drunken sailor joke—perhaps the only thing on which all this week's bloggers agree?

Yes, Nick, they're all winners. To us, they're all our sons, and I guess they are, I guess they are! Everybody's a winner in what will undoubtedly be our last hurrah as the world's oldest boy band. And we're winners too! We are, we are! So why do I feel so bad?

Previous Movable Snipes:

Jonathan Ames and Amanda Marcotte [Jewlicious, The News Blog, Gothamist, The Revealer, Maud Newton]

John Derbyshire and Daphne Merkin [James Wolcott, Reason's Hit & Run, Design Observer, Kesher Talk, Matt Yglesias]

Michael Helke and Fiona Maazel [, , , , ]

Spencer Ackerman and Melissa Lafsky [Captain’s Quarters, Feministing, TNR's The Spine, Jossip, Wonkette]

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