An enigma wrapped inside a riddle, shrouded in an American flag

Modern conservatism is nothing if not self-contradictory. It stands athwart history yelling “stop”, but it would never interfere with the free market forces that drive history. It worships Burke and Oakeshott, but it distrusts anyone who’s read a non-Regenery book in the past year. It believes that Ivy League pedigree is a true mark of distinction, but finds that everyone at an Ivy League school — except Robert George and Harvey Mansfield — is a pinko commie. It rejects science and polling, but believes that a few surveys are all it takes to prove that feminism is a failure.

None of this is surprising. In fact, it is exactly what you would expect from the love-child of William F. Buckely and John Birch.

But it can make for an incoherent message. Part of the reason Republican attacks on Obama haven’t worked is that they alternate between describing Obama as an arugula-loving, elitist mastermind who will lead us to commusociafascism and as a watermelon-eating nitwit who will unwittingly cede our sovereignty to North Korea.

I think the same thing is happening with Sonia Sotomayor. They can’t even decide whether to make fun of her for eating Puerto Rican food or to paint her as a fancy-pants who only pretends to like it. It reminds me a bit of the mother-sister scene from “Chinatown”: she’s an elitist, no, she’s a wetback, she’s an elitist, no she’s a wetback. SHE’S AN ELITIST AND A WETBACK!

It’s hard to see how this is going to work.






66 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    SHE’S AN ELITIST AND A WETBACK!

    John McCain tells us that people that pick arugula make $50 an hour, but white folks are too wimpy to do it.

  2. 2
    cleek says:

    It’s hard to see how this is going to work.

    it’s working just fine. you simply need to think of the GOP noise machine as a money-making enterprise, not as a political entity.

    it’s selling books, t-shirts, bumper stickers, gathering donations for pols who will graduate to the TV news and lecture beat, employing the hucksters and charlatans who hawk nonsense to imbeciles with more cash than brains. it’s thriving.

  3. 3
    Indylib says:

    Now, via 538, wingnut economists don’t like her saving and spending habits and refer to their grandmas to justify their criticism.

  4. 4
    Rick Taylor says:

    Republicans in congress should just tell their base to go jump in the lake. The Democratic party never has trouble doing so.

    It’s funny, people are lauding Obama for a master stroke. What did he do? He just nominated a highly capable non-extremist judge to the supreme court who happened to be hispanic and female. The only reason the GOP is hamstrung is they cannot afford to alienate their ever crazier base.

  5. 5
    LD50 says:

    It worships Burke and Oakeshott, but it distrusts anyone who’s read a non-Regenery book in the past year.

    None of this is surprising. In fact, it is exactly what you would expect from the love-child of William F. Buckely and John Birch.

    Ah….. THIS is why I come here!

  6. 6
    2th&nayle says:

    DougJ, I think the reason you’re having difficulty seeing how this is going to work, is because you’re looking for some kind of logic or reason to wingnut thinking. Stop it! I don’t care who you are, or where you come from, you can’t make sense out of nonsense, and this is nonsense.

  7. 7
    gex says:

    @Rick Taylor: The problem with that approach is that the Dem base votes for them anyhow (with the exception of Nader votes on occasion). For the right, the evangelicals are at least one part of the base that in the past has just stayed home instead of vote. I’d imagine that there a few Sam/Joe the (not) plumbers out there who, if they weren’t being fed red meat about all the horrible things liberals are doing to the baby Jesus and the American flag, wouldn’t vote either.

  8. 8
    Rick Taylor says:

    Off topic, and everyone knows this, but in the WSJ via Calculated risk, banks have no shame.

    … Banking trade groups are lobbying the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for permission to bid on the same assets that the banks would put up for sale as part of the government’s Public Private Investment Program.

    The lobbying push is aimed at the Legacy Loans Program, which will use about half of the government’s overall PPIP infusion to facilitate the sale of whole loans such as residential and commercial mortgages.

    Federal officials haven’t specified whether banks will be allowed to both buy and sell loans …

    Some critics see the proposal as an example of banks trying to profit through financial engineering at taxpayer expense, because the government would subsidize the asset purchases.

    I can’t imagine the administration would allow this. That banks are even attempting to do it is mind boggling.

  9. 9
    Jay B. says:

    More like “An enema, warped inside a wrapper, drenched in misery”

  10. 10
    Rick Taylor says:

    @gex:

    It’s also the result of a conscious strategy. Rove chose to cultivate the base to get 50+1% of the vote, and it’s come back to bite them hard. It’s been long in coming, but couldn’t be more deserved.

  11. 11
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Hello, welcome to the RNC fundraising center.

    If you’re donating to protest the hot-headed, far-left, elitist Supreme Court nominee, press 1.

    If you’re donating to protest the hot-headed, far-left, dimwitted Supreme Court nominee, press 2.

    If you’re not sure, press # and we’ll connect you to Rush Limbaugh.

  12. 12

    fulfill all my wishes with your taco flavored kisses! http://vids.myspace.com/index......oid=713207

    the GOP, reduced to the level of a South Park sketch

  13. 13
    TenguPhule says:

    And another thing, where the fuck do these “Conservative” hypocrites come off on “judges must strictly follow the law as laid out” immediately after coming down from “exceptions to the law need to be made for torture, R corruption and cronyism”?

  14. 14
    Calouste says:

    @Indylib:

    As someone points out in the comments, a federal judge has an appointment and salary for life plus nice federal health care. That takes away a lot of the reasons why people save money.

    On top of that, Sotomayor doesn’t have a husband or kids she might need to care for, so why would she need to save massive amounts of money?

  15. 15
    The Other Steve says:

    In fairness, wasn’t the same true of Bush?

    Bush is the evil genius who is also an idiot.

  16. 16
    TenguPhule says:

    Banking trade groups are lobbying the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for permission to bid on the same assets that the banks would put up for sale as part of the government’s Public Private Investment Program.

    So let me get this straight.

    The same shit assets we have to get off the banks books or else they go tits up, they want the ability to BID UP the prices while having the assurance that the taxpayers will pick up the final bill anyway for the shit sold?

    JFCNTZYM.

    Boil the oil, sharpen the bowel-rods.

    Some bankers need a cold iron enema.

  17. 17
    Jay B. says:

    @The Other Steve: I never heard the “evil genius” part with GW. I heard “evil” and “fucking stupid”, but never the genius.

    Rove, yes. But that was just fear. Rove’s an idiot too.

  18. 18
    gex says:

    @TenguPhule: Yes. But at the end of the day Bank A will have Bank B’s toxic assets and Bank B will have Bank A’s toxic assets. If you can’t see how that solves the problem, well, let’s just say it’s obvious why you aren’t a Wall Street big-wig.

  19. 19
    Zifnab says:

    @TenguPhule:

    And another thing, where the fuck do these “Conservative” hypocrites come off on “judges must strictly follow the law as laid out” immediately after coming down from “exceptions to the law need to be made for torture, R corruption and cronyism”?

    See: OKIYAR, I

  20. 20

    It’s hard out here for a Republican.

  21. 21
    gus says:

    Forgive me father, because I will use arugula in the preparation of tonight’s meal.

    Also, black beans, corn, red bell pepper, garlic, bacon and olive oil.

    No mustard, though.

  22. 22
    ironranger says:

    @Rick Taylor
    I’m not a bit surprised the banks would attempt it. We’ve already seen plenty of evidence of what the greedy, the shameless & the brazen are capable of.

  23. 23
    Indylib says:

    @Calouste:

    I’m laughing at the thought that the he-man wingnut referenced his grandma in his criticism and most importantly how is this in any way relevant to her nomination?

    Christ on raisin toast, these asshole will criticize anything as long as they view you as being on the opposite side from them.

  24. 24
    demkat620 says:

    No mustard, though

    They don’t have mustard in Real America.

  25. 25
    The Other Steve says:

    It rejects science and polling, but believes that a few surveys are all it takes to prove that feminism is a failure.

    It’s not quite clear what his point is.

  26. 26
    kid bitzer says:

    15–

    i honestly don’t think anyone on the left ever believed that bush was both an evil genius and an idiot, or even talked both those lines.

    the dial went straight to “idiot”, and never budged off that line.

    yeah, as jay b. says, there was a while when we were scared about rove, and he seemed to be damned canny and cunning. wasn’t anything to it, but at least that’s where you might have heard “evil genius.”

    but the only people who ever thought bush jr. was any kind of genius were the boys at powerline.

  27. 27
    The Other Steve says:

    @Jay B.: Well, I was thinking the “He planned to do this…” in relation to some idiocy.

    There was an awful lot of that, and the conservatives used to ridicule over it.

    I’m afraid we’ve become them.

  28. 28
    Mike G says:

    President George H.W. Bush, announcing the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court on July 1, 1991: “He is a delightful and warm, intelligent person who has great empathy and a wonderful sense of humor.”

    Republican Senator John Danforth on Clarence Thomas on July 16, 1991: “His empathy is with the disadvantaged people of this country. He would bring a perspective to the Supreme Court which nobody else brings.”

  29. 29
    aimai says:

    Calouste

    @Indylib:

    As someone points out in the comments, a federal judge has an appointment and salary for life plus nice federal health care. That takes away a lot of the reasons why people save money.

    On top of that, Sotomayor doesn’t have a husband or kids she might need to care for, so why would she need to save massive amounts of money?

    Well, I looked at that amazingly offensive grandma based smear and thought something else–I thought she probably spends a lot of money helping support her mother, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. When you don’t come from money the people around you always need help. And you probably always give it.

    aimai

  30. 30
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Coherence is so pre-post-wingnut.

    No self-respecting Beltwinger would touch it.

  31. 31
    Zifnab says:

    @Jay B.:

    Rove, yes. But that was just fear. Rove’s an idiot too.

    That was the big joke. Rove was hailed as a “genius” for… what exactly? Losing by a quarter million popular votes? Squeeking by in a nail-biter in no less than three different states, mostly by the grace of conservative party officials? Running really negative ads and shamelessly lying at every opportunity?

    It’s like going to a boxing match and watching a guy win by “points” with a panel stacked by the winning boxer’s dad’s friends, then hearing how his trainer was a miracle worker who knew all the good tricks.

    The conservatives have had some masterful political strategists. They had to, because they’d been working up hill from the 50s to the 90s. But Karl Rove? The man who thought Bush could win California if he just campaigned a little bit longer there? The man who watched his party in both Congressional Houses go from majorities to near filibuster-proof minorities inside eight years? The man who’s own boss nicknamed him “Turd Blossom”?

    Yeah, not so much.

  32. 32
    aimai says:

    stupid free floating block quote.

    aimai

  33. 33
    jrg says:

    The GOP will attack her identity. They will lose credibility before they judge her ideology… then the Huckabee will riff on her theology.

    There. I just saved you three weeks of TV.

  34. 34
    Rick Taylor says:

    Republicans should stick to attacking her as a liberal elitist. As laughable as that message is, it at least cannot be construed as racist. They called Kerry a liberal elitist, Al Gore, John Edwards, Obama, it’s a label they’ll put on any Democrat regardless of race or gender.

    But trying to paint her as incompetent or unqualified? This from the party that gave us George W Bush? This from the party that ran Sarah Palin and told us she’d be perfectly qualified to be Vice President or even President? This from the party of Joe the Plumber? What possible motivation could they have for trying to discredit a Princeton cum laude’s competence, other than the fact she’s Hispanic and therefore can be tarred as being an affirmative action pick?

  35. 35

    It’s not a left-right argument. It’s a top-bottom argument. Most of us just don’t notice it. And they don’t want us to notice it.

    Sotomayor is neither an elitist nor a wetback. She’s a corporatist. Her rulings almost always side with Big Business. That’s why the Wall Street Journal likes her.

    This is how I expect her nomination to play out over the airwaves: We’ve already had someone call her Che Guevarra in robes (or a dress, I forget). Rush Limbaugh will find something about her to complain about and call her “deSPICable” in his usual racist punnage. The racists will get a chuckle over this. The Left will come to her defense. There will then be a debate about empathy and emotion in the courtroom. One side will pretend that their side and their judges never feel any emotion. The other side will wax about the wisdom of growing up with the people.

    She will be confirmed, but “conventional wisdom” will mean that Obama will have to choose the next candidate farther to the right. Sotomayor will consistently vote with Alito, Roberts et al on cases involving Big Business.

    In brief, anyone, no matter what race, creed, ethnic history or national origin, will be able be able to sit anywhere on the bus he or she pleases. But more and more of us will not be able to afford riding on the bus.

    And there will be no bus.

  36. 36
    PeakVT says:

    It’s hard to see how this is going to work.

    It’s working for me. . . as a comedy routine.

  37. 37
    eric says:

    It is a dessert topping and a floor wax.
    Eric

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    @gex:

    But at the end of the day Bank A will have Bank B’s toxic assets and Bank B will have Bank A’s toxic assets. If you can’t see how that solves the problem, well, let’s just say it’s obvious why you aren’t a Wall Street big-wig.

    It’s obvious how that will work. The government will put up part of the purchase price. So Bank A will have Bank B’s toxic assets and Bank B with have Bank A’s toxic assets, and both will have a bazillion dollars of taxpayer money to sweeten the pot. It’s a very nice program if you can manage it.

  39. 39
    Zifnab says:

    @Bob In Pacifica:

    It’s not a left-right argument. It’s a top-bottom argument. Most of us just don’t notice it. And they don’t want us to notice it.

    Which decisions are you referring to exactly? The baseball strike injunction? Was there a banking decision or an oil company decision I missed?

    She will be confirmed, but “conventional wisdom” will mean that Obama will have to choose the next candidate farther to the right.

    That makes perfect sense to me. I mean, after John Roberts was selected, Bush went right out and nominated the looniest lefty he could get his hands on.

  40. 40
    The Cat Who Would Be Tunch says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    I can’t imagine the administration would allow this. That banks are even attempting to do it is mind boggling.

    The 6-1 ratio, non-recourse nature of the loans is just too enticing for any of the financial groups to pass up. Mind boggling? Not really. I mean, hey, word got out that the banks were lobbying the Treasury to waive warrants (options) that Treasury received when it provided TARP funds to the banks. In other words, that’s roughly the equivalent of a person asking for a loan from a bank at an agreed interest rate and the person later asking to pay back the loan without the interest.

    Do some reading on Old National Bancorp. The government ended up renegotiating the warrants it received down to 20% of the actual value e.g., you and me just got screwed out of any of the “profits” that TARP or PPIP or any of the handful of programs were supposed to provide to taxpayers.

    Don’t bother making any sense out of it. It’s not about following any set of consistent principles, just like the so-called current “conservative movement”.

  41. 41

    @eric: Damn – you beat me.

  42. 42
    Lizzy L says:

    Remember the poster? Obama looking sternly at you, the caption something like, “Everybody chill out; I got this…”

    Everybody chill out. The Rs will do their usual poo-flinging, they will look like complete fools, Sotomayor will be confirmed. Next.

  43. 43
    kay says:

    Newt Gingrich is demanding Judge Sotomayor withdraw.

    Last week, he demanded Nancy Pelosi resign.

    Remember when people used to listen to him? What were we thinking? Has this always been his one and only tactic? A petulant demand that his opponents surrender? We really could have saved a lot of time and trouble. Ignore him for 7 days, and he moves on to his next “victim”. Had we only known….

  44. 44
    Zifnab says:

    @Bob In Pacifica:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....us_rulings
    From the cases I’m reading, she appears to be perfectly amicable to collective bargaining – in the MLB and NFL cases – and I haven’t seen anything that strikes me as hard-line corporatist.

  45. 45
    Zifnab says:

    @kay:

    Remember when people used to listen to him? What were we thinking?

    They were thinking, “Fuck I hope he doesn’t try and shut down the federal government again.” Also, “this douchebag is so not getting my vote in the next election cycle.”

    And with that, Gingrich went up in a puff of irrelevancy after he was booted from office. All you’re hearing is the sound and fury, ultimately signifying nothing.

  46. 46
    LD50 says:

    That was the big joke. Rove was hailed as a “genius” for… what exactly? Losing by a quarter millionpopular votes? Squeeking by in a nail-biter in no less than three different states, mostly by the grace of conservative party officials? Running really negative ads and shamelessly lying at every opportunity?

    Also, there’s good reason to believe that the GOP’s wipeout in ’06 was his fault more than anyone else’s. Even tho people begged him to help out several vulnerable GOP senators, he blew off this advice and concentrated on trying to knock off several Democratic Senators who *he* thought were vulnerable, several of them from blue states. Punchline, not a single Democratic representative from the House or Senate lost their seat that year, and most of the Senators he couldn’t be bothered to help lost.

    Wanker started believing his own hype. And the GOP still thinks he’s a genius.

  47. 47
    WereBear says:

    Wanker started believing his own hype. And the GOP still thinks he’s a genius.

    The bar for “genius” in the Republican party amounts to not drooling on oneself while on television.

  48. 48
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    She’s a corporatist. Her rulings almost always side with Big Business

    If she was truly a corporatist, poutrage pundit Glenn Greenwald wouldn’t be singing her praises.

  49. 49
    fisher cat says:

    It’s hard to see how this is going to work.

    It won’t, and the silver lining is that this same contingent will lead to tons of dollars being wasted trying to “primary” the five or six GOP senators that will inevitably vote to confirm.

  50. 50
    gbear says:

    And the GOP still thinks he’s a genius.

    Unfortunately, the clueless network and cable news shows still think so too.

    Seems to me that most of the news shows are more wankerific than even the GOP, given that it’s only the worst of the worst GOPers that appear on the shows week after week. If they don’t spew bile, they don’t get airtime.

  51. 51
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @kay

    Reminds me of the old Robin Williams bit, the line of death.

    “Cross this line and you die!”

    (You step over it)

    “OK, cross this line and you die!”

    (You step over it)

    Repeat ad nauseum

  52. 52
  53. 53
    kay says:

    @Zifnab:

    I watched the Gingrich years in something akin to horror. I hate all that chaos.

    He has such a plummy, self-satisfied voice, and, yet, he’s a mental case. It was a hostage situation, as far as I’m concerned.

  54. 54
    Ned R. says:

    Whoops, that got posted a bit late! (My initial sentence was to DougJ’s original post.)

  55. 55
    JK says:

    Mother-sister scene from “Chinatown”: she’s an elitist, no, she’s a wetback

    Brilliant reference to one of the greatest movies ever made.

    The Republican line of argument also calls to mind a great SNL skit

    Wife: New Shimmer is a floor wax!
    Husband: No, new Shimmer is a dessert topping!
    Wife: It’s a floor wax!
    Husband: It’s a dessert topping!
    Wife: It’s a floor wax, I’m telling you!
    Husband: It’s a dessert topping, you cow!
    Spokesman: [enters quickly] Hey, hey, hey, calm down, you two. New Shimmer is both a floor wax and a dessert topping!

    h/t http://snltranscripts.jt.org/75/75ishimmer.phtml

  56. 56
    kay says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    Next week, Gingrich demands Obama initiate his own impeachment proceedings.

    Judges are good at filtering out bullshit.

    Sotomayor is doing a crossword, waiting for someone to say something that might apply to the ISSUE at HAND here.

  57. 57
    Calouste says:

    @fisher cat:

    Yep. Why else would Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III come out and say that the GOP might not fillibuster? He probably did a straw poll of the GOP Senators and found out that there are quite a few who are not interested in upsetting their Hispanic (and female) constituents ahead of a reelection.

  58. 58
    Rick Taylor says:

    @JK:

    And the video

  59. 59
    JK says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    Many, Many Thanks. For me, this was SNL’s Golden Age 1975-1980

  60. 60
    jonas says:

    @Ned R.: Yeah, when a right wing meme loses Hewitt, stick a fork in it — it’s done. I guess that leaves Mark Levin, but who cares.

  61. 61
    different church-lady says:

    It’s really very simple Doug: the modern GOP is no longer a political party. They are now an episode of Bevis and Butthead — they don’t care if what they say is coherent, as long as it makes the base snicker.

    Call one of “those liberals” an elitist and the base snickers. Call someone a wetback and the base snickers. Call someone an elitist wetback and the “heh heh… heh heh heh…” can cover the entire 30 minute episode.

    They are dealing with their powerlessness by entertaining each other with juvenile humor.

  62. 62
    Anne Laurie says:

    When you don’t come from money the people around you always need help. And you probably always give it.

    See, Aimai, that’s why Those People (us people) need to discover the all-purpose solution that is True Free-Market Capitalism, as based in the Protestant Work Ethic. Because only third-generation rich people like Dubya Bush deserve a helping hand every time they fvck up! If you insist on allowing the first generation to waste their hard-acquired resources on all those slackers exploiting genetic/community ties, you’ll *never* accrete enough assets to join the Truly Deserving(tm) in the top one-hundredth of one percent! See, e.g., Justice Clarence Thomas and his “Crabs in a Bucket” thesis…

  63. 63
    DougJ says:

    Bush is the evil genius who is also an idiot.

    True. But I find more and more that it’s only nuts (yes, there are liberal nuts too) who buy the evil genius stuff at this point.

  64. 64
    DougJ says:

    @JK

    I always liked that skit.

  65. 65
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @DougJ: Bush, who is also an idiot, is the had an evil genius pulling his strings.

    –fixed for logical clarity

  66. 66

    .
    Nobody pretends to like mofongo, dummy.
    .

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