BLOWS SONG! On the day Bob Bennett got kicked to the curb, Charles Blow sang a favorite old tune: // link // print // previous // next //
MONDAY, MAY 10, 2010
Last pitch for some ugly history: For our money, Sally Jenkins got it very much right in Saturdays Washington Post. She wrote about three recent incidents involving assaults against women committed by male athletes. As she described George Huguelys apparent killing of Yeardley Love, she asked a very good question:
As she continued, Jenkins cited Professor Jay Coakleys account of the types of social settings in which this conduct tends to flourish:
We think Jenkins column is superb; we strongly recommend it. But as we read it, we couldnt help thinking of the sexual trashing another fraternal order administered in 1999the nasty sexual trashing the establishment press corps dished to Naomi Wolf. The psychosexual disturbance of several major pundits has been astoundingly clear for years. (Start with Maureen Dowd and Chris Matthews.) But as a group, the fraternal order hit very hard at that timeand it changed the course of world history.
We describe those ugly, inane events in the large chunk of Chapter 5 we have now posted at How he got there. (Our account of the sexual trashing of Gore is yet to come.) As you read about what the press corps did, you might ask the truly superb questions Jenkins eventually asked:
Those highlighted questions needed asking in the 1990s, as the establishment press corps staged its long psychosexual breakdown. Within the fraternal order, of course, everyone knew not to notice or ask.
It gets worse. Within the fraternal order, the remarkable events of that era have rarely been discussed, to this day.
PART 1BLOWS SONG (permalink): Robert Bennett (R-Utah) will not be serving a fourth term in the United States senate. Over the weekend, Utah Republicans, in their state convention, denied him a spot on the primary ballot; Bennett wont even be able to ask Republican voters to re-nominate him for his post. On the front page of Sundays Washington Post, Amy Gardner described the carnage:
According to Gardner, Bennett fell as part of an ideological battle within the Republican Party, as part of a powerful anti-Washington tide. She didnt mention race, for an obvious reason: Bennett is the whitest politician on the current American scene (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/5/10).
On Saturday, the Tea Party movement took its biggest scalp yet; that scalp belonged to a white Utah Mormon. But on the very day Bennett was thus turned out, Charles Blow wrote his latest paint-by-the-numbers column about the Tea Party, in the New York Times. Lets face itBlow knows only one song. This was the start of his column:
If it werent for his colleagues Rich/Collins/Dowd, Blow would be making a case for himself as perhaps the most hapless major columnists in American journalism. He seems to know only one songand he sings it incessantly, even on the day when the whitest pol in the land is getting blown away.
This is one of the obvious ways the liberal world keeps conspiring to losenow that it has emerged from the decades-long hibernation in which it engaged until the war in Iraq.
Like many other pseudo-liberals, Blow has accused the Tea Party movement of racism, again and again. He rarely finds anything else to discuss about this potent political movement. If he isnt making direct accusations, he gives us the thrill of insinuation. Somewhat comically, he soon said this in Saturdays column:
That high-minded sentiment was a bit comical, given Blows endless focus on race within this movement. But you know how the liberal world is! No matter how many disclaimers we may offer, we will quickly return to our sweeping accusations about race. As he continued, Blow cited Amy Kremer, a Tea Party honcho, who said, while appearing on The View, that racists arent wanted within the movement. And he cited one of the most inept pieces of social science we have seen in some time:
Classic Blow! First, he says there is no way to know how many Tea Party supporters are motivated by racism, or to what degree. Three paragraphs later, he announces that large swaths among those who show strong support for the Tea Party also hold the most extreme views on a range of racial issues. He didnt give any examples of these extreme views, of course. But shortly after his heartfelt disclaimer, he was happy to let us know that the fringe theory is a farce.
It if werent for the follies of Collins/Rich/Dowd, Blow would be making a case for himself as the dumbest American columnist. But in citing that University of Washington study, he did provide a key service. When the study appeared a few weeks back, it was lovingly embraced all through the liberal world, despite the hapless work of the young social scientist who had presented it.
In how many ways did Christopher Parker bungle his study of race? He failed to explain where his data came from. He failed to present his full data. He took results from a standard type of question and thoroughly mis-analyzed them. At 538, our own Professor Tom Schaller just made the bungling worse.) And then, the liberal world jumped in! Liberals seized upon relatively minor differences between the responses of Tea Party supporters and the responses of Tea Party opponents to create the kinds of foolish statements which litter Blow latest piece.
In this way, the liberal world conspires to lose. Its hard to believe how inept we liberals turned out to be when we emerged from our decades-long naps and returned to the political wars.
In Utah, the Tea Party kicked Bennett to the curb because of some votes he cast in the senate. But pseudo-liberals know only one song. Singing that song again and again, we strongly conspire to lose.
Tomorrow: Among the worlds strangest questions