Village Idiots, Continued
Against my better judgement, I wandered over to Politico for a little look-see at what was passing for Village Conventional “Wisdom” on this dreary Tuesday, and boy howdy, should I have stayed home. Although there was, at the top of the page, one article that mentioned the, uh, President; except for an irrelevant smidgen of 20-year old Clinton nostalgia, Politico was as usual obsessed with the Republican government in exile, even though there was no conceivable news value in any of it.
I know, I know, you can’t spell “Politico” without POO, but even I had to put a clothespin on my nose to ward off the stench of the steaming piles scattered everywhere. The “top” story, if you want to call it that, was a fawning essay (if you want to call it that) about “wonky” Paul Ryan, who understandably is looking for a new “path to power,” since the last path didn’t turn out so well. Although the article was unadulterated hagiography, it nonetheless relied almost exclusively on unnamed sources; I guess even the most shameless Republican hacks don’t want to be caught saying things like “Ryan has no interest in the sheer grind of campaigning,” lest they be pummeled in a hail of rotten vegetables.
Ralph Reed, Grifter for Jesus and all around has-been, is evidently desperate enough for attention these days that he did go on the record, but only to say that the “indispensable” Ryan had “street cred (!) on the right that goes back 20 years,” which is somewhat remarkable for a 42-year old, Randian halfwit or no. Hilariously, every other paragraph had a clickable photo menu, evidently for those who can’t stop laughing (or worse) at the, uh, beefcake shots Ryan unwisely released to Time magazine just days before his well-deserved defeat for the Vice Presidency.
Although I was besieged by pop-up ads at every click, of which there are many because a Politico story invariably turns 600 words into a three-page epic, I could no more resist reading the whole thing than Chris Christie could resist a 16-pack of Ho-Ho’s, and besides, I’d only seen the word “wonk” once. My ill-advised gluttony paid off: the final page was a bit of “original” reporting about a “wonky” meeting wherein the unflappable Ryan fielded “tough” questions from journalists, spending a whole “90 minutes” wading into the “budget weeds,” which would be a lot, if the budget weren’t $3.08 trillion. And if the “journalist” hosts weren’t from Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, it might have been “tough,” too.
Skipping over an article about how “unthinkable” it would be for the House GOP to cut a dime from the Pentagon and another wherein Speaker John Boehner (surprise!) disagrees with the President, I eagerly leapt into a piece about Eric Cantor and the GOP’s latest round of “rebranding,” titled, temptingly, “Cantor 4.0.” For once, a little skepticism has seemingly crept in over this latest round of cynical sloganeering passing for governing, which is as good an indication as any that Cantor is finished. At Politico, the old saying seems to be, “fool me thrice,” and then “you can’t get fooled again.”
Little did I know, Cantor 1.0, circa 2009, was something called “National Council for a New America,” utterly forgotten everywhere but at Politico, where they must have fallen for it and remain bitter to this day. Then there was Cantor 2.0, “Young Guns” (whose average age was north of 45), which was a self-aggrandizing 2010 book utterly devoid of content, but which nonetheless passed for a meaningful political treatise in the fetid air of the Village. Still hoping to kick that football yet again, Politico played Charlie Brown to Cantor’s Lucy in 2011, only to find that “Cut and Grow” was about as popular as crabs in a whorehouse, even as empty slogans go.
Now that Cantor has come out with, wait for it, “Making Life Work,” even Politico is getting bored with this insulting BS, and gets as close as it possibly can to saying so without giving up cocktail weinies forever. Fortunately for Cantor, there is still at least one Villager stupid and credulous enough to treat such errant hogwash as news; Politico reports that Cantor will be appearing on “Meet the Press” on Sunday. Even when you’ve lost Politico, there is still David Gregory.