Numb for the past thirty years: We're sorry to pick on Dahlia Lithwick, who, we're completely sure, is a very nice person.
We've avoided citing her despairing essays in the past few months. But this sort of thing never stops, and yes, it is instructive.
In this new, featured piece at Slate, Lithwick says we're all going numb. This is the way her essay starts, despairing headlines included:
LITHWICK (6/14/18): It’s All Too Much, and We Still Have to Care/We're sure that Lithwick is a very good person. But these repeated essays help explain how we all got to this place.
What’s going on at the border is horrifying, but we can’t go numb and turn away.
As a purely descriptive matter, it’s surely true: We are all going numb. As Donald Trump makes war with Canada and peace with dictators and human rights abusers, the narrative is that everyone’s lost all feeling. Polls show the public believes that Trump paid off a porn star, and they don’t care. They believe that he lies habitually, and they also don’t care. A Pew poll released last week showed that nearly 7 in 10 Americans “feel worn out by the amount of news there is these days,” which is how we end up with real journalists like Chuck Todd pushing a humorous pharmaceutical solution to the problem of constant breaking news destroying our minds.
According to Lithwick, "we're all going numb."
"Constant breaking news" is "destroying our minds," she says. Despite this, "we still have to care."
Earth to Lithwick:
Many of us aren't going numb. And many of us—specifically, the useless meritocratic elite of which Lithwick is a member—has been utterly useless, and thoroughly numb, for at least the past thirty years.
That sat through every assault on reason conducted by the mindless elites to whom they hoped to belong. They sat through the endless charades of the endless Whitewater pseudo-scandals. They then sat through the twenty months of their press corps' "war against Gore," the war which sent Bush to the White House.
They noticed nothing. They spoke about nothing. Now, as they start losing their grip. they tell the world that we are all going numb.
We're sorry, but that isn't true.
How numb are members of Lithwick's class? Good God! Look again at the way her mind works, even today:
LITHWICK: As a purely descriptive matter, it’s surely true: We are all going numb. As Donald Trump makes war with Canada and peace with dictators and human rights abusers, the narrative is that everyone’s lost all feeling. Polls show the public believes that Trump paid off a porn star, and they don’t care....In fairness, she mentioned Canada and North Korea first. But what's the very next thing that bothers her?
On one occasion, in 2006, Donald J. Trump is alleged to have had sex with a money-grabbing porn star; in a world which goes crazy when someone has sex, he paid her not to say so. For unknown reasons, this is the first thing that pops into Lithwick's head, other than the news of the past few days.
Lithwick belongs to a profoundly useless "meritocratic" elite which functions a lot like a cult. They've failed the public every step of the way. She keeps failing again.
We have no doubt that Lithwick is a very good person. But the elite to which she belongs is a grasping, useless elite.
They've persistently kissed the ascots of power. How devoted are they to the people who hold it? Neither Lithwick, nor anyone else (except Clark Hoyt), ever wrote a serious profile of Maureen Dowd's repellent work. Neither Lithwick, nor anyone else, ever wrote a profile of the lunacy which Chris Matthews produced for roughly ten years, before he finally flipped in 2008.
Dearest darlings, it just isn't done! But decades of silence from this elite is what made Trumpism possible.
Dowd and Matthews, and many others, were Trumps before Trump became Trump. The Lithwicks averted their gaze and agreed not to speak. They had important careers to build—careers among this utterly preposterous, brain-dead elite!
First it was Yale, then Stanford Law. From there, we got to this:
Everybody's going numb! Why can't Emma save us?
The constant breaking news: Stating the obvious, the "constant breaking news" of which Lithwick speaks isn't news at all. It's just a bunch of corporate hacks speculating about The Chase—and doing so all day long.
Why do they speak about nothing else? Why are they happy to speculate? It's because they actually care about nothing else, and they never have! And by the way:
Watching them do this convinces the public that maybe they should vote for Trump. That, plus the C-bombs and F-bombs from our most brilliant "artists."
In the end, this is the broken-souled culture of Lithwick's meritocratic elite. Yes, they "went to the finest schools." But because they're so empty, they're useless.