Teabagging with Rich Lowry

Life must be pretty frustrating for third-tier righties these days; for eight long years they dominated the op/ed pages, waxing hawkish and Randian as the country did the same, spreading their tiny wings in the bright dawn of the Permanent Republican Majority.  Lack of real world experience or any discernible talent was no obstacle in those salad days if your politics were right; with David Brooks and Bill Kristol safely at the Times, there was always plenty of room at the Gazettes and Journals of small-town America for guys like Rich Lowry.

Lowry, of course, is merely a symptom of a much larger disease, caused by twenty-odd years of ruthless Affirmative Action for the “thinkers’ of the Right on the op/ed pages of America’s newspapers: we now have a laughably unqualified and hyperpartisan Peanut Gallery yapping in unison about some irrelevancy or the other, each day, in newspapers nobody reads anymore.  Could the two be related?  As righty blatherers go, Lowry never really settled on a schtick.  He was sort of the Chihuahua of the Chickenhawks, cheering the wars minus the faux-intellectualism (or evocative name…) of Max Boot, bashing liberals with neither the arresting venom of Ann Coulter nor the Cheetoh-sodden “humor” of Jonah Goldberg, and glorying in the American Imperium without the taxicab “journalism” of Tom Friedman.  Safely ensconced as “Editor” of America’s Shittiest Website,* National Review Online, he typed predictable screeds that met the syndicate’s word count, and the checks rolled in.  Those were the days, my friend.

They ended.  (Except for the checks, of course…)  As the party, wars, economic policies, and the political movement he mendaciously extolled for his entire brief career lay in ruins all around him, today he was reduced to finding an “upside” to Palinmania, and the Oregonian ran it, out of pity or spite I can’t tell.  You see, Rich Lowry is now a Teabagger, and doesn’t care who knows it.  (Cue Gloria Gaynor….)  Clearly feeling upstaged by the magnetic craziness of Glenn Beck, and perhaps fooled by crowd videos he saw on Fox, the guy who was too chicken to fight Al Franken just ordered a flattering moose-hunting ensemble from J. Crew, and is ready to battle liberals in it as soon as his Mom helps him put it on.

He gushes over the concept, which exists only under his blow-dried coiffure, of the way Sarah Palin “transformed her Facebook page into a must-read organ of conservative opinion,” and at the way she gives “them” (a Beckian ripoff term that means all non-teabagging Americans) “agita.”  He goes on to gloat that the “contempt of her enemies only increases the ardor of her fans.”  Well, duh, but the relative numbers of these two groups, and their relative IQ’s, could turn out to be something of an obstacle down the road, just as the stupidity of that statement makes him look like an even bigger nincompoop.  But no matter.

He goes on for paragraph after excruciating paragraph waxing triumphant at the way “press bias, self-congratulatory liberalism, Christianity-hating secularism, and intellectual condescension” are all quaking in their Birkenstocks when Sarah unleashes her mighty wink, and even desperately cribs Queen Sarah’s absurd line about “11 fact-checkers” when tiredly and somewhat unaccountably bashing the AP as “liberal.”  (Sort of like the crappy newspapers that run his embarrassing “column,” I guess…)

But Lowry isn’t done… You see, they make him write 750 words even when he doesn’t have a footnote worth of material.  He thinks it’s great that she quit her only office of consequence halfway through, since it will free her from governing, which for Republicans only leads to disaster and corruption trials.  Despite her lack of substantial ideas about anything, she’s got a “vibe” that has Lowry dancing like Tom DeLay, since we all know that thumping bass, minus lyrics, has been the only thing Republicans can use anymore to get elected.  And best of all, as Lowry pretends to see it, she represents the final break between actual political discourse and the Fox-fueled reality show he’s been so anxious to see replace it, once and for all.

This pathetic excuse for a column offers its readers nothing except to show that Lowry, lacking as usual any better idea, has now hitched his little red wagon to Sarah’s star, and hopes to ride it either to the moon or continued employment, whichever comes first.  As Fox would say, “I wish him well.”

*H/T: Sadly, No!

27 Comments

  1. Jim White says:

    The “Chihuahua of the Chickenhawks” thing is great. Lowry is such a pitiful creature. Normally I would have a little twinge of sympathy for someone in his crumbling situation, but I can only watch and stifle a smile.

  2. Jim White says:

    My Palin post this morning also mentioned the Fox fainting couch about the 11 fact checkers. It’s so funny when they play the victim.

    But I also have “exclusive” video from inside the Palin tour bus:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv2s_Alfu4Q

  3. rmp says:

    Just as I often thanked Junior for screwing up almost everything so we could elect an intelligent Democrat, I want Rich and Sarah to keep doing what they do.

    Palin Confuses Iraq And Iran In Hannity Interview (video)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/19/palin-confuses-iraq-and-i_n_363878.html

  4. sysprog says:

    Chihuahua of the Chickenhawks?

    Now you’ve gone too far.

    You’re mocking Alex P. Keaton, the star of President Reagan’s favorite TV show.

    And remember that, when Alex went to Iraq, he was the leader of a victory there.

    And look ye to Alex’s calmness, his firmness, and his concessions to the moderates :
    http://nationalreview.com/thecorner/2002_03_03_corner-archive.shtml

    THE CORNER
    March 2002

    [Rich Lowry] I’m not really sure what we could do any differently from what we’re doing now. What would we do? Nuke Riyadh? Baghdad? A real conundrum–let me know if you have any bright ideas about it… This is a tough one, and I don’t know quite what to think. Mecca seems extreme, of course, but then again few people would die and it would send a signal. Religions have suffered such catastrophic setbacks before. As for the Saudis, my only thought is that if we’re going to hold them responsible for terrorism, we had better start doing it now, not after an even more catastrophic attack. And, as a general matter, the time for seriousness—including figuring out what we would do in retaliation, so maybe it can have some slight deterrent effect–is now rather than after thousands and thousands more American casualties. [...] Lots of sentiment for nuking Mecca. Moderates opt for something more along these lines: “Baghdad and Tehran would be the likeliest sites for a first strike. If we have clean enough bombs to assure a pinpoint damage area, Gaza City and Ramallah would also be on list. Damascus, Cairo, Algiers, Tripoli and Riyadh should be put on alert [...]

  5. I don’t know any of these people. Am I missing anything?

    Yes, that’s a rhetorical question. Since they began sprinkling their pixie dust over the American universe, I encounter folks who sound very like them every day, too many of them to recount here. Just the other day, a women behind me at the supermarket checkstand, leafing through the impulse-purchase tabloids, sighing and clucking, turned to her husband and in exasperation, allowed as how they should leave poor Sarah Palin alone.

    Then again, I live in Arizona, where the Republicans in the State legislature have decided to sell the state capitol grounds and office buildings to avoid raising taxes. Who needs TV? Ars gratia artis seems so irresponsible these days, when there’s so much pristine reality still to ruin.

    • cocktailhag says:

      You have to read a lesser metropolitan daily like the LA Times or the Oregonian to be treated to their musings, but they naturally make many TV appearances as well.
      Ah, if they ever “left poor Sarah alone” she’d vanish into a puddle like the Wicked Witch.

    • dirigo says:

      Let’s see what’s what where the roads meet, where two worlds collide, as Jerry Lee says …

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO2_LnlDdY4

    • sysprog says:

      Golly gee, dirigo, there’s some great insight there. This country’s been sliding towards suffering and perdition on account of people paying too much heed to damned secularists and atheistic Presbyterians like Tom Paine and Mark Twain, and now we’ve got infestations of money-grubbing godless shrinks who just want to create new disorders to beef up their own business. But now we can use proper religion to treat or even prevent the so-called “PTSD”.

      Hallelujah!

      Now let’s see what everybody here can do to help out. For starters, at the next choir practice at the Church Of Our Lady Of The Spirits, we’ll open up our Little Red Songbooks and we’ll all learn how to use that old-time religion to prevent new-fangled nonsense like so-called “PTSD”.

      Onward, Christian soldiers! Duty’s way is plain;
      Slay your Christian neighbors, or by them be slain,
      Pulpiteers are spouting effervescent swill,
      God above is calling you to rob and rape and kill,
      All your acts are sanctified by the Lamb on high;
      If you love the Holy Ghost, go murder, pray and die.

      Onward, Christian soldiers! Rip and tear and smite!
      Let the gentle Jesus bless your dynamite.
      Splinter skulls with shrapnel, fertilize the sod;
      Folks who do not speak your tongue deserve the curse of God.
      Smash the doors of every home, pretty maidens seize;
      Use your might and sacred right to treat them as you please.

      Onward, Christian soldiers! Eat and drink your fill;
      Rob with bloody fingers, Christ okays the bill,
      Steal the farmers’ savings, take their grain and meat;
      Even though the children starve, the Savior’s bums must eat,
      Burn the peasants’ cottages, orphans leave bereft;
      In Jehovah’s holy name, wreak ruin right and left.

      Onward, Christian soldiers! Drench the land with gore;
      Mercy is a weakness all the gods abhor.
      Bayonet the babies, jab the mothers, too;
      Hoist the cross of Calvary to hallow all you do.
      File your bullets’ noses flat, poison every well;
      God decrees your enemies must all go plumb to hell.

      Onward, Christian soldiers! Blight all that you meet;
      Trample human freedom under pious feet.
      Praise the Lord whose dollar sign dupes his favored race!
      Make the foreign trash respect your bullion brand of grace.
      Trust in mock salvation, serve as tyrant’s tools;
      History will say of you: “That pack of G.. d.. fools.”

      - – John F. Kendrick, 1916

      __________

      • Skeptic says:

        Wow! I had never really heard the actual lyrics of that “song,” sysprog. I’m almost sorry to have read them now. I feel as if I need to have my eyeballs bleached.

      • dirigo says:

        My indignation rests on the reporting in the Boston Review story that the VA has been nickel and diming on real mental health care for veterans, on the grounds that all our men and women need do is sit up straight and read the good book.

        Sounds like a microcosm of the national health care debate, don’t it?

      • dirigo says:

        There’s a little sleight of hand there, sysprog.

        Kendrick was not the original author of the song.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onward,_Christian_Soldiers

        • sysprog says:

          Well it spoils the joke to explain it, but I guess it’s spoiled anyway.

          I had just assumed that everybody knew that the original words, and the original music by Sullivan, and the adoption of the original hymn by the Salvation Army, were all in and from the 19th century, way before the 20th century parody version in the IWW’s “Little Red Songbook”.

          George Bernard Shaw, 1905 :

          [...] Sarah and Barbara come in with their respective young men, Charles ["Cholly"] Lomax and Adolphus ["Dolly"] Cusins. Sarah is slender, bored, and mundane. Barbara is robuster, jollier, much more energetic. Sarah is fashionably dressed: Barbara is in Salvation Army uniform. [...] All four look as if they had been having a good deal of fun in the drawingroom. The girls enter first [...]

          BARBARA. [...] Cholly, fetch your concertina and play something for us.

          LOMAX (doubtfully to Undershaft). Perhaps that sort of thing isnt in your line, eh?

          UNDERSHAFT. I am particularly fond of music.

          LOMAX (delighted). Are you? Then I’ll get it. (He goes upstairs for the instrument.)

          UNDERSHAFT. Do you play, Barbara?

          BARBARA. Only the tambourine. But Cholly’s teaching me the concertina.

          [...]

          BARBARA. (Rising.) Come along. Come, Dolly, Come, Cholly. (She goes out [...]

          [...]

          LADY BRITOMART (violently). I wont be consoled, Stephen. There is nothing the matter with me. (She rises and goes towards the door.)

          STEPHEN. Where are you going, mother?

          LADY BRITOMART. To the drawingroom, of course. (She goes out. Onward, Christian Soldiers, on the concertina, with tambourine accompaniment, is heard when the door opens.) Are you coming, Stephen?

          STEPHEN. No. Certainly not.

          END OF ACT I

          - – George Bernard Shaw, 1905

      • cocktailhag says:

        I can see a torch song number, sysprog…. Who wants to lie on my piano and sing?

  6. I never thought I’d say this: I actually miss William F. Buckley.