Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dumbing down

Good grief. Channeling a snark-booted inner fashionista, Ezra Klein linked to a Politico story about the high price tag of Sarah Palin's new wardrobe and expressed outrage over "$150,000 of other people's money" donated to the RNC that was spent on her clothes and make-up.

And this is important political discourse because of why?

Doesn't this tit-for-tat open the door to a gotcha rehash on the set designed by Britney Spears' concert team for Obama's "temple" at Invesco Field? Or the full-scale replica of Air Force One's fuselage that arrived at the stadium before Barack's appearance? And who, pray tell, paid for all that stagecraft? I've lost count of the voluminous direct mail and emails, emails, emails! soliciting donations for the DNC, Obama, Robert Wexler, Chris Dodd, Barbara Boxer's PAC, and on and on. So I'm unmoved by Ezra's ire except to get a bit peeved at what my contributions to Democrats may have funded.

What's next from the whirl of crap? Wasted energy sizing up Michelle Obama's wardrobe? Or Barack's? Or Cindy and John McCain's?

Last year, Glenn Greenwald (thank goodness, still sane) wrote about the Politico sewer into which Ezra jumped:

The Politico today is prominently touting on its front page another vapid, petty, and inane "news story" -- the type of story which has, in just a few short months, become its hallmark:
Romney spent $300 on makeup 'consulting'
Fast forward to (with emphasis):
One of the reasons why vapid petty-personality "journalism" of this sort has so disadvantaged liberals and so advantaged right-wing fanatics is because the latter are not only willing, but droolingly eager, to exploit these sorts of themes, while liberals in general are highly reluctant, almost embarrassed, to do so....
Not anymore.

When the right-wing attack machine joined by wacky doodle pundits mocked John Edwards $400 haircuts, didn't we (well, "some" of us) liberals realize the derision was a ridiculous diversion from important discussions about Edwards' policies married with the old GOP smear strategy: paint liberals as elitists and feminize Democratic men?

So now bloggers fight gasbags with gasbags? Lovely. I don't recognize the liberal wing of the blogosphere anymore.
Does a post-partisan landscape mean you can't tell liberals from conservatives? Because the piffle-whacked sludge one has to wade through to get to meaningful analysis has blurred the lines.

A few of my biggest disappointments this campaign season include:
  • the dumbing down of political discourse on liberal blogs
  • the destructive sexist, misogynistic attacks on Hillary Clinton and her supporters (and recently Sarah Palin)
  • the Democratic caucus system that disenfranchises most voters
  • the pledged delegate sham
  • plus the Malignant Absurdity™ howled to the four corners that the Clintons and Hillary voters are racists.
Biggest losers of 2008: liberal bloggers. Well, not all of them, but a heckuva lot particularly the Blog Boyz.

See super-duper smart Anglachel for more details and our most reliable witness, Bob Somerby, who recommended that Josh Marshall "pack his satchel and go."

I second Somerby's motion. All those in favor say, aye!
UPDATE: More on "dopey" Politico from Eric Boehlert at County Fair.

POSTSCRIPT: M'yeah, I haven't blogged much. Busy, busy. But I'll try to do better. Begging your patience.

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