On the brighter side, so is Thoreau: In our view, Karl Rove was getting results in this morning’s New York Times.
Frank Bruni started by noting the reams of crap that Hillary Clinton has absorbed through the years. Weirdly but familiarly, here’s where that thinking took him:
BRUNI (5/20/14): If Republicans believed in global warming, they’d surely divine her hand in it. Speaking of body parts, I suspect we’ll move from Hillary’s brain to her heart, probably her liver, possibly her pancreas and maybe even her pinkie toe. What Hillary goes through in the public arena isn’t an examination. It’s a vivisection.Truly, this is a classic piece of Clinton/Gore journalism. The Smithsonian ought to preserve it.
That she endures it is admirable. That she’s so willing to is scary. With all politicians, you worry about the intensity of the hunger that enables them to suffer the snows of Iowa and the slings and arrows of outrageous pundits. With Hillary and Bill, you worry that it’s rapaciousness beyond bounds.
You also grow weary. The Clintons are exhausting. And that’s just one of many drawbacks worth discussing as Hillary plays Hamlet, mulling what to do.
Bruni is struck by all the shit that’s aimed at Hillary Clinton. His conclusion?
Just like that, it makes him think that the Clintons are rapacious! Also, that they’re exhausting.
Rove peddles shit about Hillary’s brain. This means that she is exhausting!
And not only that! Just like that, Bruni is calling Hillary Hamlet, apparently because she hasn’t announced whether she is running.
No candidate has ever announced this early in a four-year cycle. To Bruni, Clinton’s failure to announce means she can’t make up her mind.
This is the way this game has gone for a very long time. When we see such familiar reactions, we see Rove getting results.
Yesterday, we saw Joan Walsh sounding off on Rove. We often wonder if the new Walsh is a total confection, or if this person is somehow connected to the original version of Walsh.
At any rate, this is part of what she wrote. We know this is a standard script. But can Walsh possibly mean this?
WALSH (5/19/14): [Rove] took the chance to hit back at White House press secretary Jay Carney, who mocked him for challenging Fox calling the state of Ohio, and the election, for President Obama, as an example of someone whose own “cognitive capabilities” ought to be questioned. Not surprisingly, Rove defended himself: “We ought to define, if we’re calling it, we ought to be willing to defend it and explain it to the American people.” He then described Fox’s humiliating on-air fact-checking of its own election call as “45 minutes of really good television.”Speaking of being made literally dumber, can Walsh possibly think those things? Or is she just fluffing us rubes?
That’s right: The cringe-making episode in which Fox’s Megyn Kelly was forced to leave Rove’s side and travel to the network’s data-crunching boiler room and ask trained professionals why they were disagreeing with a partisan hack; the episode that served as an object lesson in the dangers of epistemic closure, also known as what happens when living in an echo chamber makes you literally dumber—that was “45 minutes of really good television.”
Now, that’s Rove’s spin—even he isn’t addled enough to think it was good television. But he is addled enough to think it’s good spin.
By now, about three million people have described that election-night episode as “good television.” And no, it wasn’t stupid for Rove to do what he did, even though the Fox projection turned out to be right that time.
On election night 2000, the “trained professionals” at the networks called Florida wrong two different ways before their labors were done! In fairness, maybe Walsh didn’t stay up that late. She seemed to understand nothing else about that brutal election.
According to Walsh, Rove was challenging the “trained professionals” who were calling the shots for Fox! We know—this is a standard talking-point with which we liberals now get pleasured.
Surely, though, Walsh is simply running us rubes when she says such ridiculous things. Please tell us she can’t really mean it!
On the brighter side, it was a beautiful early morning as we walked to the coffee joint today. Each day, we walk through block-long Pearlstone Park, which lies between MICA’s Mt. Royal Station and the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
Perhaps because of a cool, wet spring, the park looks like the forest primeval. Entering this morning, our favorite passage from Thoreau popped right into our head:
“This is a delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense, and imbibes delight through every pore. I go and come with a strange liberty...”
At the joint, we read about incompleteness. What could be better than that?