We’ve seen this gong-show before: Last week, Jonathan Chait wrote a piece for New York magazine about some aspect of race.
We found it quite underwhelming. We didn’t really get his point. We didn’t think his work was especially sharp.
We thought Chait made one important new point. On the down side, we thought he buried that one naughty point under a mountain of feathers.
What was Chait’s new point? Midway through his lengthy piece, he discussed an obvious problem in our political discourse—the lazy, low-IQ use of the R-bomb which has come to typify low-IQ “liberal” discourse.
He even gave examples. This is not allowed:
CHAIT (4/6/14): [M]any, many liberals believe that only race can explain the ferocity of Republican opposition to Obama. It thus follows that anything Republicans say about Obama that could be explained by racism is probably racism. And since racists wouldn’t like anything Obama does, that renders just about any criticism of Obama—which is to say, nearly everything Republicans say about Obama—presumptively racist.As part of our pathetic discourse, presidents have been criticized for playing too much golf going back to not liking Ike. But when McConnell played this dim-witted card with respect to Obama, Lawrence went him one better.
Esquire columnist Charles Pierce has accused Times columnist David Brooks of criticizing Obama because he wants Obama to be an “anodyne black man” who would “lose, nobly, and then the country could go back to its rightful owners.” Timothy Noah, then at Slate, argued in 2008 that calling Obama “skinny” flirted with racism. (“When white people are invited to think about Obama’s physical appearance, the principal attribute they’re likely to dwell on is his dark skin. Consequently, any reference to Obama’s other physical attributes can’t help coming off as a coy walk around the barn.”) Though the term elitist has been attached to candidates of both parties for decades (and to John Kerry during his 2004 presidential campaign), the writer David Shipler has called it racist when deployed against Obama. (“‘Elitist’ is another word for ‘arrogant,’ which is another word for ‘uppity,’ that old calumny applied to blacks who stood up for themselves.”)
MSNBC has spent the entire Obama presidency engaged in a nearly nonstop ideological stop-and-frisk operation. When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell chided Obama for playing too much golf, Lawrence O’Donnell accused him of “trying to align...the lifestyle of Tiger Woods with Barack Obama.” (McConnell had not mentioned Tiger Woods; it was O’Donnell who made the leap.) After Arizona governor Jan Brewer confronted Obama at an airport tarmac, Jonathan Capehart concluded, “A lot of people saw it as her wagging her finger at this president who’s also black, who should not be there.” Martin Bashir hung a monologue around his contention that Republicans were using the initialism IRS as a code that meant “nigger.” Chris Matthews calls Republicans racist so often it is hard to even keep track.
In the process, Lawrence showed his disrespect for everyone in MSNBC’s audience. Or are we unable to see that?
It’s hard to know why anyone would think inanity of this type is good for progressive interests. It is good for people like O’Donnell and Matthews, of course.
It lets them pander to gullible liberals in a way which such marks find daring. In the case of the reprehensible Matthews, it lets him stage an hour-long show with perhaps five minutes of prep.
That seems to be the number one goal in Matthews’ privileged life.
It’s very rare for liberal writers to mention this pseudo-liberal inanity. In our view, the passage we’ve posted represents the one new thing in Chait’s extremely long and meandering piece.
But uh-oh! In the passage we’ve posted above, Chait criticized MSNBC by name. In the part of that passage we edited out, we even mentioned Joan Walsh!
These sorts of behaviors are not allowed in the new Salonist era. At Salon, Walsh quickly howled about this highly unfortunate example of Chait speech. And then, we had yesterday’s remarkable conduct by Melissa Harris-Perry and a panel of low-IQ, Stalinistically-leaning guests.
We thought Harris-Perry’s conduct was astounding, absurd. Her guests, three of whom were professors, may have been even worse.
Anyone who lived through the 60s has seen this gong-show before. Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the intellectual squalor displayed on Sunday’s show.
(Tapes of all three segments concerning Chait are available here.)
We didn’t think much of Chait’s long piece, but we’re fairly sure of this:
McConnell wasn’t “trying to align...the lifestyle of Tiger Woods with Barack Obama.” And no one outside our own circle of ditto-heads will ever believe that he was.
O’Donnell made that pitiful statement that because he’s often lazy and false. When liberals tolerate corporate-fueled bullshit like that, we cut ourselves off from the world.
Yesterday, on The One True Channel, a gang of unimpressive people rushed to punish Chait for his troubling speech, which we found rather underwhelming.
Yesterday’s program was very important. Tomorrow, some pitiful excerpts.