Superman V. Mighty Mouse: The NRO Speculates

super-friends-with-benefitsI did it again. (Fair warning! The link goes to white power pamphlet National Review Online, the most intellectually dishonest rest stop on the Information Super Highway.) I visited the NRO for giggles to see how the perpetually loose screws were on the hinges, so to speak, following the SCOTUS decision on Friday.

“On October 23, 1987, the U.S. Senate rejected the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Robert Bork, by a vote of 58 to 42. I’m not saying merely that if Bork hadn’t been rejected, President Reagan wouldn’t have appointed Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote today’s opinion: I think that if Bork had been on the Court, that platform would have given him an outsized opportunity to influence America’s cultural and constitutional discussion – and that America would have been significantly less likely to embrace the sort of the change the Court affirmed today.

We’ve gone down this road before: what if you could go back in time and smother baby Adolph in his crib, or some other such rewrite of history that it satisfies your particular fetish. The thing is that even back in the Reagan Era, Bork was thought to be too conservative to be viable. Think about that for a moment. The man was as sane as he looked, which is something like an Old Testament Bookie taking odds on how long the dirty hippie would last on the cross.

History is of course fiendishly complicated, and this sort of counterfactual is impossible to prove. What if, instead of my hypothesis, the American people came to dislike Justice (or eventual Chief Justice!) Bork intensely, and as a result moved even faster in the direction of anti-originalist “living-Constitution” views? But I submit that, in my experience, even legal scholars who are in strong opposition to Bork’s views recognize that he would have been one of the most ferociously intelligent and effective justices ever to serve on the Court. He would, in my opinion, have been a game-changer.

It would indeed be a game changer. Bork was an advocate of an amendment to the United States Constitution which would allow Congressional supermajorities to override Supreme Court decisions. Imagine the time traveling that the Confederacy would do if that were the case?

Some Fries With Your Stupid, Maggie Gallagher

Wedding Bell Blues

Maggie GallagherEven though no one asked her to attend a same-sex marriage, founder of the National Organization for Marriage and notorious unwed mother Maggie Gallagher declines the invitation. But then she gives the happy couple a present anyway:

“So I would sit down with my friend and tell them this:”

“…The problem for me in celebrating your gay wedding, as much as I love you, is that I would be witnessing and celebrating your attempt not only to commit yourself to a relationship that keeps you from God’s plan but, worse, I would be witnessing and celebrating your attempt to hold the man you love to a vow that he will avoid God’s plan. To vow oneself to sin is one thing, to try to hold someone you love to it — that’s not something I can celebrate.”

2-Drink Minimum: The Comedy Stylings of Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Doughy Pantload surreal

Why do I even look at the NRO (the most intellectually dishonest rest-stop on the information superhighway)? Oh, that’s right! So I can see what would-be public intellectual, legacy hire, and the Worlds Best Son is pontificating about today. And Doughy Pantload never lets me down:

[T]here’s an old joke in the newspaper business, now immortal on the Internet:

“The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand the New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie-chart format. . . .

“Mmmm… pie,” Jonah didn’t mutter. And if he stopped there, it would be fine.

The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country, and they did a far superior job of it, thank you very much . . . ”

And so on. The list gets updated from time to time, and it usually includes, “The National Inquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.” You get the point.

Jonah never learned the Comedians Prime Directive: Never explain the joke. Of course, Jonah also has no respect for his audience to get the joke, and he may be right about that.

I don’t have the space to rehash the Federalist Papers, but at the federal level there are three branches of government and each one monkey-wrenches the other, all the time. Meanwhile, do you know how many local governments there are in the United States?

“Where’s that pie?,” Jonah barked at the lowly intern.

Some interesting copy editing there. I don’t have the space to rehash the Federalist Papers, but… Meanwhile… I suspect that K-Lo was on the editing desk that day, also weeping to Our Savior about Pie.

Anyway, the column entitled (see what I did there?) “Who’s Running the Country?” continues on for 800 words or so, mostly saying no one is running it (so much for Liberal Fascism), and then concludes thusly:

Me? I like knowing no one is running things because, for starters, it means I’m free.

800 words and that’s the conclusion. Well, thanks for the pie Jonah.

Some Dessert?

hammer-time

The NRO (the most intellectually dishonest rest-stop on the information superhighway) offers some advice to the triumphant incoming Wingnuttia class of 2014:

Already a conventional wisdom about what Republicans should do next has congealed. Supposedly it is up to Republicans to “prove they can govern” even though they do not have the White House. Senator Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) told NPR listeners that Republicans could do this by moving on trade-promotion authority, the immigration bill the Senate passed in 2013, and corporate tax reform.

With all due respect to the senator and like-minded Republicans, this course of action makes no sense as a political strategy. First: While trade-promotion authority and a tax reform that includes (but is not limited to) corporations are good ideas, voters are not, in fact, waiting anxiously for any of this. Business lobbies are. The Republican party should not pursue an agenda that is identical to theirs.

… But not much progress is possible until we have a better president. Getting one ought to be conservatism’s main political goal over the next two years.

Shorter NRO: “Do nothing.”

From The You Cannot Make This S*** Up Dept.

Maggie Gallagher

Famous unwed mother and religious scold Maggie Gallagher, founder of the failed social engineering project National Organization for Marriage, cites a Pew Research Poll that shows support for Marriage Equality falling, and gives credit to… wait for it… Duck Dynasty.

It may well be an outlier, but here is why I suspect not:

White Evangelical support for gay marriage dropped 4 percentage points, from 22 percent to 18 percent; Catholic support dropped 9 percentage points, from 61 percent to 52 percent. (White mainline Protestant opinion was virtually unchanged, rising from 56 percent support to 57 percent support.) Unaffiliated support for gay marriage continued its rise — from 71 percent to 76 percent in just one year.

But something happened over the last year to give traditional Christians second thoughts about what gay marriage would mean. What could that be?

The most likely candidate is A&E’s decision to suspend Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, after he expressed, rather colorfully, rather standard orthodox Christian views on gay sex.

Every little straw, Maggie. Grasp each of ’em. Also/Too: 5% drop in support is within the statistical deviation.

(National Review Online, the most intellectually dishonest rest stop on the Information Super Highway)

The NRO Hires a New Plagiarist

From the email thingy that Tiger Beat on the Potomac (Thanks Charlie!) sends every goddam morning:

EXCLUSIVE: Benny Johnson, the BuzzFeed “viral politics editor” who was fired for plagiarism in July, will start Monday as National Review’s social media director, a new position. Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, tells us: “Benny made a terrible mistake. But he has owned up to it and learned from it. He’s a talented journalist, with obviously a lot to contribute. He knows he’s joining a storied institution at NR, and we look forward to his helping us carry on our mission across all platforms.”

Even a few years ago, “BuzzFeed Benny” might have been locked out of the journalistic academy forever. But two factors combined to give @BennyJohnson a surprisingly quick shot at redemption, using a pillar of conservative media as his onramp: 1) a youthful digital fluency — “I love you internet :),” he tweeted during the online firestorm over his clumsy copying; and 2) the Iowa native’s red-state instincts, which had contributed to longtime mockery of him online.

His new charge: giving NR maximum reach across social media and digital. Benny will remain in D.C., and will start by giving advice and running NR’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Over time, he’ll do more creative work of his own. Benny is quite savvy about the digital ecosystem, and has a real shot at notably moving the needle for NR.

Sparklepants is an inspiration, keeping standards high and whatnot.

At The Movies With The NRO

White Power pamphlet National Review has for some reason decided to get into the film review bidness, and of course being the intellectually dishonest rest stop on the Information Super Hiway, they decided to review the movies that have ruined/destroyed art, because: Hollywood liberals. Or something.

What becomes kinda obvious is that the NRO is not grading on any sort of art curve, but just on reflexive dogma: does the movie sell Wingnuttian ideas y/n? If the answer is no, then the move sucked. And when you see this list of movies that destroyed art, your first response might be, “But I saw them in the bin at the going out of business sale at Blockbuster,” but then again, all of them made more money than Rick Santorum’s ghastly films.

Here’s the intro, so maybe it can shed some light on their criteria:

Since 2004, the year that film culture split along moral and artistic lines, political and class biases have been exhibited in films that became more and more partisan. This rift was furthered by a compromised media, where critics praised movies that exhibited cynicism along with political bias.

The link goes to a NRO article that wonders why Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ was such a critical belly flop, and Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 was boffo box office. I could make the claim that Chimpy’s second stolen election might have something to do with cynicism in the air of 2004, but that would just be cynical of me to bring it up.

Anyway, here’s some of movies (from least sucky to the #1 suck in Wingnuttia) and why they suck as defined by the NRO:

  • Lincoln (2012) — Spielberg succumbs to Tony Kushner’s limousine-liberal cynicism to valorize Obama-era political chicanery.

Shorter NRO: Spielberg should stick to lovable aliens with glowing dildo fingers and leave history to telling us how the slaves had it pretty good.

  • Che (2008) — Steven Soderbergh gives Hipster Hollywood its own four-hour rebuttal to Oliver Stone’s JFK.

“Sniff. At least JFK had a happy ending…”

  • The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) — Ass-kicking espionage disparaged American foreign policy while making money off it.

Because foreign policy in 2007 consisted of Dick Cheney playing Risk. Everyone knows that.

  • Slumdog Millionaire (2008) — an Oscar-winning tale of game-show greed as an answer to systemic poverty.

Shorter NRO: Tax cuts. All they needed were tax cuts.

  • The Hangover (2009) infantilized privileged adulthood, a celebration of chaos and irresponsibility.

Bacardi Lifetime Achievement Winner Peggy Noonan wrote an entire WSJ column in which she referred to herself as Tenderfoot, and rides a horse in Wyoming. You are on thin ice here, boys.

  • Frost/Nixon (2008) — Political vengeance disguised as a dual biopic that prized showbiz egotism over conflicted public service.

Shorter NRO: Forty+ years later, and they are still defending Nixon? These people hold a grudge.

  • United 93 (2006) reduced the pain and tragedy of 9/11 to the inanity of a disaster movie.

Shorter NRO: Everyone knows that the greatest glory of Chimpy McStagger’s awesome adventure should be treated with kid gloves, and only mentioned with head bowed in silent rooms somewhere.

  • Wall-E (2008) — Nihilism made cute for children of all ages who know nothing about cultural history or how to sustain it.

Nihilism? Protecting the environment so that there might be a planet is nihilism? No wonder I never considered being a philosophy major.

  • 12 Years a Slave (2013) distorted the history of slavery while encouraging and continuing Hollywood’s malign neglect of slavery’s contemporary impact.

Shorter NRO: “But what about the happy slaves that had it sooooo good?”

  • The Dark Knight (2008) used the Batman myth to undermine heroism, overturn social mores, and embrace anarchy.

  • Good Night and Good Luck (2005) — George Clooney, president of the corrupt canon, directed and acted in a dishonest fantasy biopic of TV-news icon Edward R. Murrow to revive blacklist lore as part of a liberal agenda.

Not to split hairs, boys, but isn’t this list a blacklist?

This takes some balls

From the NRO, the most intellectually dishonest rest stop on the Information Super Highway.

Hired!

Bill Buckley, fascist

Jason Richwine, who parted ways with the Heritage Foundation over his research arguing Hispanics are intellectually inferior to whites, has quietly begun writing semi-regularly for the flagship conservative publication National Review.

You don’t exactly need the Enigma Machine to decode the editorial policy at the National Review.

(Think Progress)

It’s a two-fer!

The National Review Online’s (The most intellectually dishonest rest stop on the information highway) Jim Geraghty says that the Newtown families are political pawns just like the 9-11 widows.

You know, Jim, this is exactly what a democracy is about: these citizens are trying to make a difference, to change things that they experienced first hand. They are trying to make the world a better place and to ensure that what they suffered through, no one else should suffer through. And yes, they have an agenda, as do you, Jim. The difference is that their agenda is towards saving people and yours is towards saving gun manufacturers bottom line.

Wingnuttia is letting the spiders crawl out of the brainpans of their Orcs and up to the mics of all their media outlets. Anyway, nice way to insult two groups of people who have been publicly shattered by events beyond their control.