Thus Spake The Pantload

Jonah Goldberg, author of “Liberal Fascism,” has some “helpful” advice to offer his favorite political punching bags, who all are admittedly much smarter and more qualified than he is, to do things the way he imagines people like that do things, since he clearly doesn’t know any better.  A classic piece of duplicitous, lazy concern-trolling, from the LA Times:

The ground zero mosque controversy is one of the stupidest debates of our time. I don’t mean the substance of the debate (though there’s no shortage of stupidity on that front either). I mean that we are having it at all.

Here, he’s pretending that Republicans don’t need to make this a controversy, echoing the lie that they are responding to a groundswell, rather than loudly and in lockstep, creating it.  So the whole premise of the column is not only a lie, but a blatantly obvious one that requires him to ignore what everyone on the right has been saying for the last few months.

The CIA usually defends its existence by pointing out that we never hear about its successes, only its failures. The bombs that don’t go off don’t make headlines. Politics works the same way. Good politicians instinctively see down the road and around the corner. Great politicians do this not just with political headaches but with weighty affairs as well. We call such foresight statesmanship.

From a person, and party, who wouldn’t know statesmanship if it fell on their heads.  Do go on.

With the ground zero mosque, we have gotten the exact opposite. The supposedly pragmatic political wise men have been blinded by ideology or incompetence and have failed to see what was so obviously around the corner. It’s as if they’ve wanted to turn a dumb idea into an emotional and unwinnable national controversy.

Note the insultingly fake above-it-all-ness, and from one of the sleaziest smear merchants polluting our discourse.  Nice try, fatstuff.

Let’s start with the incandescent idiocy of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. If Bloomberg had a scintilla of foresight, he would have prevented anyone from ever hearing the words “ground zero” and “mosque” in the same sentence (for the record, it’s really an Islamic cultural center two blocks away that includes a mosque).

This ignores the fact that Holy Wars turn on the Republican base so much that they’re trying to ban all mosques in several other places, and calling them terrorist training facilities.  We know the Pantload doesn’t read much, but this is a bit ridiculous.

Bloomberg is not only the mayor. He’s also a billionaire with massive sway in the city’s media, finance and cultural institutions. Moreover, the Big Apple is a Hieronymus Bosch hellscape for landlords and developers. Rent control, historic preservation, zoning, environmental impact, community protests, union delays — not to mention plain old red tape and corruption — offer enough tools to stop any project before it starts (ground zero is still a gaping hole and everyone has wanted that land to be developed, fast).

I haven’t noticed that any of this liberal fascism actually stops development in the densest and fastest-changing city on earth, but tossing it in is mandatory for any righty, particularly one with an unusually fake “argument” about the actual subject at hand.

The notion that Bloomberg couldn’t have quietly stopped this in New York is like saying Satan is powerless to do anything about the heat in Hades. He could have kept the molehill from becoming a mountain with an afternoon’s worth of phone calls. The center would be built, just not so close to ground zero; no big deal.

Had it been built anywhere, the Right would have gone just as nuts…  It’s TWO BLOCKS AWAY, not even visible from anywhere on the site, and look what we have to put up with.  Trouble is, Jonah, Bloomberg, despite being wealthy, as not a fascist nut job, and felt strongly that the location was appropriate.  He also lives and works in that diverse city, unlike, say, Harry Reid or Sarah Palin, or worse, you.

But instead of quietly extinguishing a controversy, Bloomberg said it was as important a “test of the separation of church and state” as “we may see in our lifetimes.”

Exactly.  But if you’re a righty, you can’t have that.  It would prove you wrong and make you look like a (bigger) asshole.

He also insists that opponents should be “ashamed” of their bigotry, even though he himself expects “special sensitivity” from the mosque’s backers. Apparently, it’s only shameful to think ground zero requires “special sensitivity” if you oppose the mosque. Bloomberg needs a tutor to pass his own church-state test.

They should be ashamed, and you should be, too.  You’re a cynical, uneducated fatass stoking racism for political gain, and it shows.  There aren’t two sides to the issue, one is right and the other is wrong, period.

Which brings us to President Obama (who himself could have quietly intervened months ago) and what may be his most embarrassing blunder yet. At a White House dinner with Muslim leaders Friday night, Obama offered what every major journalistic outfit in the country took to be unqualified support for building the mosque. Indeed, Obama aides preened over his moral courage, telling the New York Times that there was no doubt which side he would take.

“He felt he had a responsibility to speak,” said David Axelrod. But by Saturday morning, Obama tried to weasel out of it with the sort of lawyerly parsing everybody despises. Speaking to reporters in Florida, Obama claimed he had no position on the “wisdom” of the project, and anyone who mistook his academic comments about building a mosque in Lower Manhattan for an endorsement misunderstood him.

He didn’t actually say the last part, but it makes a better story, as you’ll see:

Well, if his real intent was to remain agnostic, he should fire his speechwriter immediately.

Well, Sarah Palin’s speechwriter made up a whole new word when she started her tirade on the subject, but is evidently still employed.  Points, though, for working in the teleprompter, empty suit canard.

But of course that wasn’t his intent. He wanted to seem heroically principled. But when he was hit with an entirely foreseeable backlash (according to one poll, nearly 70% of Americans oppose the mosque), he once again led with his glass jaw and, in effect, told everybody they were too dimwitted to grasp the brilliant nuance of his remarks.

Again, he said no such thing.  Jonah also rounded up the mid 60′s opposition reported in one poll to get to his “almost 70%” figure, leaving aside the fact that almost that many Americans want us out of Afghanistan.  Public opinion is only useful when it agrees with you.  Otherwise, as Dick Cheney said, “So what?”

This was the opposite of statesmanship. By elevating an already stupid idea and a poisonous debate, he forced everyone to take a side on a polarizing issue (including vulnerable Democrats like Nevada Sen. Harry Reid who, late Monday, came out against the mosque), while undermining his own credibility, not to mention America’s reputation around the world.

And coming from the son of Lucianne Goldberg, to whom America’s reputation around the world matters not a whit and for whom poisonous debate happens whenever his lips are moving, the smugness here is particularly nauseating.

And it all could have been avoided with a some foresight and a few phone calls.

And if Goldberg actually believes that, he must have gotten Mad Cow from his mid-morning Whopper.  People say that Goldberg is the stupidest person in the media, but I don’t think that’s fair; he’s just the stupidest one that actually thinks he’s smart, which is considerably more insufferable.

27 Comments

  1. michlib says:

    One wonders how many other constitutional safeguards can be abrogated with ” a few phone calls and foresight ” in Golberg’s ideal society. He certainly is an authority on facism !!

    • cocktailhag says:

      Thanks for pointing that out, michlib. It was rolling around in my head as I wrote but I didn’t emphasize it enough. After all, Pantload’s Mama helped get Clinton impeached via telephone. He thinks that’s the way things are done.

  2. daphne says:

    hmmm….and all this time I’ve been under the impression that the “almost 70%” opposition was ginned up by Goldberg et. al. demonizing the project before the general public was even aware of it. But what do I know, living in my upside-down world.

  3. nailheadtom says:

    Too bad this brouhaha over the Manhattan mosque has taken all the attention away from the real example of religious freedom now taking place in Texas. Just outside San Antonio, acolytes of an Aztlan societal and spiritual revival have begun construction of a pyramid patterned after the great one that once existed at Tenochtitlán. As part of a complex that will include a ball court, astronomical observatories and dormitories for priests and their attendant slaves, the pyramid will be the centerpiece for religious ceremonies that include but are not limited to human sacrifice. As was traditionally the case in pre-Columbian Meso-America, the religiously significant ball games played on the new court will showcase the very best in athletic talent from the region, with immense rewards and recognition to the victors and death to the losers. Ignorant, nativist, bigotted local residents of European descent have objected to the construction of this facility and its subsequent uses but more enlightened neighbors point out that the US constitution guarantees freedom of religion and opposition to the project is expected to subside with time.

  4. The Heel says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/18/sarah-palin-palinisms_n_685346.html#s127865

    The dumbest things Sarah said so far. What’s your favorite?

    Mine is “‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”

    So Hag, next time you think something I say is funny, remember – English is a living language!

    :)

    • nailheadtom says:

      Real Clear Politics: “August 21, 2009
      “Wee-Wee’d Up” Explained

      It had to be a first in presidential rhetoric, the president of the United States referring to people in Washington being “wee-wee’d up” in August. He was referring to a trend in which he’s been counted out before in August, and still found his way to the White House.

      Today in the briefing room, press secretary Robert Gibbs explained just what that unique term means.

      “I think wee-weed up is when people just get all nervous for no particular reason,” Gibbs said, repeating Obama’s view that this is an “August pundit pattern.” He agreed with a reporter that “bed wetting” would probably be “the more consumer friendly” term.”

  5. mikeinportc says:

    Two words: Branch Davidians Pam Geller

    There.Fixed it for ya ,tommy. Had your Crazy mirror pointed in the wrong direction. You’re welcome.;)

    • nailheadtom says:

      Don’t know the lady. Did Janet Reno and Bill Clinton have her burned to death by military flame throwers, too?

      • cocktailhag says:

        She’s no lady. And as nearly as I recall, the Branch Davidians did have themselves barricaded in with enormous stockpiles of weapons, were sworn enemies of the government, and vowed not to surrender alive. The situation was handled abominably, but at least it was a situation, and not a fantasy.

        • nailheadtom says:

          Don’t remember the release of an inventory of the “enormous stockpile of weapons” they might have had there in the “compound”, as the media liked to call it. Must not have had any ammunition, since the damage to the assault forces was pretty minimal. What do you suppose the campaign ribbon and service medal for that operation look like? And, let’s face it, anybody that’s a “sworn enemy of the government” deserves to die, even if they’re a little old lady or a toddler. After all, it could easily have been in their plans to hijack aircraft and fly them into prominent buildings or kidnap government diplomatic officers and hold them hostage. They might well have wanted to blow up some buildings, too. There’s just no such thing as excessive force in a critical situation like that. Thank goodness for the government.

          • cocktailhag says:

            Well, like all righties, you have selective Alzheimers. The reason the compound blew up as it did was because of all the ordnance within. Are you implying that this was some sort of hobby farm? It’s perfectly all right to be a sworn enemy of the government; you currently are, as is FOX. It’s the constant incitements to violence that are problematic.
            It’s funny you keep whining about 9/11 when it’s clear you don’t know anything about New York, and were thus completely unaffected by it, just like Sarah Palin et al. Like the rest of them, you’re just using at as an excuse to let your racism and xenophobia out of the closet, having learned less than nothing from it.

          • nailheadtom says:

            A. Haven’t mentioned 9/11.

            B. How do you know that I haven’t been affected by it?

  6. cocktailhag says:

    It’s a little obvious.

  7. Ron Paul issued a statement. Parts of it are crap, but much of it is good, and makes me miss actual conservatives. Not because I’d agree with them on much, but that I would agree with them on something.

    http://amovingworld.blogspot.com/2010/08/ron-paul-on-park51-community-center.html