Good Christ Almighty

I just got around to reading the Charles Lane piece that DougJ linked to earlier (all I read earlier was what DougJ excerpted), and the whole piece is so damned stupid that it makes the excerpt almost look favorable.

I really think it is time to rethink the listicle from Matt Yglesias from just a few months ago:

Listicle of the Day: Worst Washington Post Columnists of the Zeroes

It’s beginning to feel a lot like listicle time:

10. Michael Kelly
9. David Broder
8. Jim Hoagland
7. Robert Novak
6. Michael Gerson
5. Fred Hiatt
4. Robert Samuelson
3. George Will
2. Robert Kagan
1. Charles Krauthammer

I guess technically, Lane is not a columnist, but there has to be some sort of recognition for that kind of asshattery. And the New Republic is just the gift that keeps on giving.






84 replies
  1. 1
    DougJ says:

    I hate to keep going on about this, but what the fuck is Hoagland doing on that list? He was probably the best foreign policy columnist at any major paper (I think he retired recently).

  2. 2
    Honus says:

    And where is Richard Cohen?

  3. 3
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    hmmm…. i haven’t read Hoagland in a long time, but IIRC he’s mostly a bland, center-right foreign policy columnist. I’d put Dickie Cohen or Anne Applebaum on that list way before Hoagland. And the sheer lunacy of Kelly, even considering the brevity of his zeroes career, makes him far worse than GWill. Definitely need room for Lane. And the Dick Whisperer. O how to keep at only ‘ten worst’!

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    @Honus:

    And where is Richard Cohen?

    Exactly. He’s the very worst one.

    FWIW, I think my own list was much better, if I do say so myself.

  5. 5
    Cat Lady says:

    All caucasian men. Kathleen Parker is head and shoulders above all of them, and I don’t agree with her most of the time.

    Heckuva job old white guys!

  6. 6
    mr. whipple says:

    @Honus:

    “And where is Richard Cohen?”

    He’s down at the Comedy Club for open mic night. Dood is hilarious.

  7. 7
    Mark S. says:

    Quitting the Senate was a no-lose move for the presidentially ambitious Bayh

    I seriously doubt that. Does anyone outside of political junkies and Indianans know who the hell he is?

  8. 8
    JK says:

    David Broder, Michael Gerson, Fred Hiatt, Robert Samuelson, George Will, Richard Cohen, Charles Lane, Robert Kagan, Charles Krauthammer

    A Muderers’ Row of Epic Fail

  9. 9
    Cat Lady says:

    OT, but it’s Bode Miller time.

  10. 10
    mr. whipple says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Yup. This is so fun.

    (Although this is the first year I’ve looked at these athletes and thought, ‘they look so young.’ Sigh.)

  11. 11
    jl says:

    Below is the concentrated substantive Stupid (or Fraud) of the Lane column

    “…Bayh has been screaming …that the party … a more popular, centrist agenda…that emphasizes jobs and fiscal responsibility over health care and cap and trade….Their bungling of what should have been a routine bipartisan jobs bill last week seems to have been the last straw.”

    Short run “fiscal responsibility” at the bottom of U-shaped jobs recession is the opposite of emphasizing jobs.

    Not passing health care and cap and trade is the opposite of long run fiscal responsibility (especially health care)

    And Lane thinks that there can be such a thing as ‘bipartisan’ bill in the Senate now, let alone a ‘routine bipartisan’ bill.

    On the last bit, I take back the Stupid. Lane is a fraudulant propagandist. Whatever he is, should go to the top of the bad columnist list.

    Not sure about Cohen. He may be a kind of Any Kaufman-Sacha Baron Cohen ‘colunnist’ comedy act. I have long suspected he is really David Letterman, running a dry sick-cynical gag.

  12. 12
    Daddy-O says:

    Anybody else hear that the Democrats have only FOUR DAYS to put a candidate on the ballot?

    Four days! Evan Bayh has screwed the Democrats. He’s all but given up this seat to the Republicans. What a complete asshat. But an excellent practitioner in the Art of Treachery.

    F*ck him. RAW.

  13. 13

    I, for one, would welcome more non-male, non-middle-aged listicle applicants.

    just sayin.

  14. 14
    Daddy-O says:

    Late again…

    I think I’m going to refrain from commenting on this site any more. All I ever do is make a…I don’t want to say ‘fool’, it’s not really the right word, but…out of myself.

    Then again, I was out all day with the family, for the holiday. I have SOME excuse.

  15. 15
    kay says:

    @Mark S.:

    I agree. I think he’s going to be a horrible Presidential candidate. I think he took that last name about as far as it would go.
    I’m almost hoping he’s running for President.
    Bayh is too sanctimonious for me. I am so tired of being lectured by people who were supposed to do something. I really don’t need another lecture.
    I love, love, love how he said the Senate needs major reform. Hey- wasn’t he in the Senate? One would think he would have proposed some reforms, or something.
    Am I supposed to reform the Senate? How?
    I want only to make Senators happier, and more productive. I just don’t know how.

  16. 16
    DougJ says:

    @Daddy-O:

    This site is all about making a fool of oneself. It’s a feature, not a bug.

  17. 17

    @Daddy-O:

    Anybody else hear that the Democrats have only FOUR DAYS to put a candidate on the ballot?

    No, because it’s not true. Candidates have until tomorrow to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot for the primary. If no one makes the ballot for the primary, then the Indiana Democratic Party chooses the candidate.

    My biggest worry right now is that the nobody who was trying to collect enough signatures to make a suicide run at Bayh succeeds, and is thus the default winner. I realize that a bunch of hippies concerned progressives are hoping she does, because they want to watch the party have to support someone who checked off all the boxes. I just have a hunch that someone whose only qualifications are running a small business and surviving cancer is a candidate doomed to lose, particularly if she’s well to the left of the electorate of Indiana.

  18. 18
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @kay: Atrios says he’s hearing rumors that Bayh was frustrated because those meddling kids (like this 42 year old) kept throwing wrenches into his efforts to form an official Blue Dog Coalition. And pretty much everybody says he was mad b/c he couldn’t have his Kill Social Security panel

  19. 19
    kay says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    I don’t think it’s a given that the state Party chooses a horrible candidate. I don’t know where that certainty comes from. I don’t know that it’s a given that they accept Bayh’s choice, even if I accept the premise that Bayh is putting some “fix” in.
    I’m active in a state party. We vote and caucus and such. I know I’m supposed to accept this “Evan Bayh-smoke filled room” scenario, but that hasn’t been my experience. It’s fairly lively and chaotic.
    Maybe Indiana has exceptionally disciplined democrats. I doubt it.

  20. 20
    freelancer says:

    @DougJ:

    I think I’m going to refrain from commenting on this site any more. All I ever do is make a…I don’t want to say ‘fool’, it’s not really the right word, but…out of myself.

    This site is all about making a fool of oneself.

    Indeed.

  21. 21
    BooThisMan says:

    Close between Cohen and Krauthammer at the top of the list, but I think the nod should go to Cohen.

  22. 22
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Olbermann says a source in the Bayh camp cited “left bloggers” as a reason for his leaving. “People said mean things to me!” What a fucking loser.

  23. 23

    @kay:

    I don’t think it’s a given that the state Party chooses a horrible candidate. I don’t know where that certainty comes from. I don’t know that it’s a given that they accept Bayh’s choice, even if I accept the premise that Bayh is putting some “fix” in.

    I agree. I’m worried that the 20-year Wall Street veteran who survived cancer manages to get enough signatures to be the only Democrat on the primary ballot, thus preventing the state Party from choosing a candidate.

  24. 24
    kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I haven’t liked him for a long time, so you’re just feeding my RAGE :)
    God. Could their egos get any bigger? They’re monsters.
    I keep reading that he was frustrated because he’s a former governor, and the Senate is, well, useless. Unlike being governor, where you get to…govern.
    I just can’t imagine having this attitude. Why did he keep running? Who was he possibly helping by sitting in that seat and sort of stewing, and collecting grievances? Was I insisting he be a Senator? I don’t think I was.
    Evan Bayh was doing us a favor.

  25. 25
    mr. whipple says:

    Olbermann says a source in the Bayh camp cited “left bloggers” as a reason for his leaving.

    Well, if all the Dems are this wimpy, Obama shoulda quit months ago.

    No, I’m smelling scandal.

  26. 26
    JK says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Awww… Poor little Evan.

  27. 27
    mr. whipple says:

    Hippies punched Evan into retirement.

    The horror, the horror.

  28. 28
    freelancer says:

    Haven’t seen Stuck in a bit.

    Is that ‘bagger brawl still going on downstairs?

  29. 29
    kay says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    I was just curious where the certainty comes from. I’m not active in the Indiana state Party, but this whole “Evan Bayh picks the candidate” thing we’ve all settled on sounds a little dicey.
    What it is based on? I’d like to hear from the county chairs, particularly those in counties with big cities, where Democrats have to rack up big margins. Mayors, too. Do they take orders from Evan Bayh? Ours don’t take orders from Senators.

  30. 30
    Mike Kay says:

    Okay. Just got home (been out all day) turned on Keith, and found out Bayh quit (YEA!)

    Given that he was so far ahead in the polls and had such an advantage in money, it make me wonder if there is some scandal (like a John Edwards love child) waiting to surface.

    I mean, why would any one take himself out of the game when the ball is on the two yard line, unless they had a bad injury.

    So which is affair/love child or payoffs $ kickbacks?

  31. 31
    bayville says:

    Actually, I learned something from Lane’s column: Obama was Bayh’s boss.

    I guess I should call my old Government Studies prof to inform him about this development.

  32. 32
    Zam says:

    This is off topic but does anyone know if there is some sort of crazy effort to push some anti gay shit today? Seriously half the christians on my facebook are putting up some messed up shit in all their statuses.

  33. 33
    KCinDC says:

    @J. Michael Neal, considering she hasn’t managed to tweet since Dec 5 or update her website to reflect the new situation, I’m thinking she doesn’t have the sort of well-organized campaign needed to get the signatures. And I doubt RedState will provide anything more than a few stacks of fraudulent petitions covered in Cheetos dust to keep the board of elections occupied briefly with disqualifying them. We’ll see, though.

  34. 34
    Mike Kay says:

    @mr. whipple:

    bullshit. We’ve always hated him. And as the prior chairmam of the DLC (Harold’s the current figure head), he’s always hated us.

  35. 35
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Zam:

    Seriously half the christians on my facebook are putting up some messed up shit in all their statuses.

    Bank holiday? They’ve got free time? Maybe that’s why Armando had so much time to keep trolling and calling people stupid down below.

  36. 36
    Mark S. says:

    I hope he didn’t quit because of meanie lefty bloggers, because that would be the most pathetic reason ever.

  37. 37
    Mike Kay says:

    Evan’s future gigs – Fixxed News contributor/ Lobbyist/ fellow at neo-con think tank

  38. 38
    DougJ says:

    @Mike Kay:

    New here?

  39. 39
    mr. whipple says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Hey Mike, check the snark meter.

  40. 40
    Mike Kay says:

    @DougJ:

    “New here? ”

    I’ve been here for about 3 months, but new to this discussion, today (been out, just heard about the good news).

  41. 41
    Zam says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It just looks like a group effort, people I know here in town and friends and relatives across the country posting on the same thing. They mostly seem to be about gays raping people, one person even going so far as to claim he was raped in the local gym and calling for a ban on gays in public restrooms.

  42. 42
    DougJ says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Your snark meter is due for a three-month check-up.

  43. 43
    Delia says:

    When I heard the news on the radio without benefit of intertoobs, my first thought was that Karl Rove was blackmailing Bayh.

  44. 44
    mr. whipple says:

    (been out, just heard about the good news).

    As much of a dipshit Evan is, there’s a good chance this seat now goes GOP. (And even if it doesn’t, it’s gonna be another Evan type dem.)

    I don’t know how having a big wingnut will further progressive gloals, but then I never thought burning down the village to save it was very productive, either.

    Maybe we can get 20 more Senate Dems to retire, for sure our pony will then come.

  45. 45
    KCinDC says:

    Oh, I guess d’Ippolito is tweeting here instead. So she’s more active than I thought. Still not much I can do about it.

  46. 46
    Splitting Image says:

    Actually, I learned something from Lane’s column: Obama was Bayh’s boss.
    __
    I guess I should call my old Government Studies prof to inform him about this development.

    This is one of the things I’ve found fascinating over the past year or so.

    So many Americans seem to be under the impression that they live in Canada and that the President’s main function is to be his faction’s “party leader”. This is a fairly accurate summary of what a Prime Minister does, but not so much what the U.S. President is supposed to be doing.

    If people really want the government to work that way, why not get rid of the Senate and the White House completely and make the House of Representatives a proper Parliament?

    Granted this is not completely new. Bush’s supporters were quite happy to see Congress roll over for him, but I had assumed the country was clawing its way back to sanity. The sheer number of people who seem to want a unitary executive sometimes astonishes me.

  47. 47
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    If Obama were Bayh’s boss, wouldn’t Bayh have been fired?

  48. 48
    Mike Kay says:

    @mr. whipple:

    I think we’ve all found out that having 60 Dems is not the answer.

    The republicans still can delay by forcing a cloture vote, which then allows corporate-cats like Nelson, Lieberman, Bayh, Landrieu scuttle the legislation. The gives the goopers the best of both worlds: they can kill the legislation and then blame the dems for the failure to come up with 60 votes.

    As for Evan Lieberman, the last thing we need to accomplish anything is a turncoat who constantly undermines our efforts by saying, “my party is wrong on this issue.”

  49. 49
    freelancer says:

    OT – Sullivan just quoted a Harvard professor’s rebuttal of McArdle’s methodology with her latest endeavor.

    Can’t wait to see what new classic she christens to defend the nonsense in addition to reflexively calling it a strawman:

    http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2.....e-disease/

  50. 50
    mr. whipple says:

    I think we’ve all found out that having 60 Dems is not the answer.

    We never had 60.

  51. 51
    Emma says:

    Unless he’s going to run as a Republican… nah. He’s planning to make a run at Obama in 2012.

  52. 52
    mr. whipple says:

    @Emma:

    Bring.it.on.

  53. 53
    Mike Kay says:

    @mr. whipple:

    yes we did. Lieberman and Sanders chose to caucus with the Dems. And perception is reality – they sit in the Democratic aisle during votes and during the SOTU. The public sees them as part of the party, even if they don’t wear the donkey uniform.

    Hank Aaron ended his career with the Brewers, but he will always be thought of as a Brave.

  54. 54
    rootless_e says:

    perception is reality? who knew? i thought reality was reality.

  55. 55
    Mike Kay says:

    @Emma:

    He was briefly in the 2008 contest — for about a week, and then he dropped out.

  56. 56
    mr. whipple says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Yes, if one could count on Lieberman, technically that’s true. We know how that went.

    But we already lost TK’s seat, to take us to 59, so the argument how Evan retiring to be replaced by a Gooper is good news is moot.

    How much ‘good news’ can the Dems afford to get? Losing 5 seats, 10 seats, 15?

  57. 57
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Emma: Kucinich to left of him, Bayh to the right…. I can’t help thinking this would be a Bonanza for Obama, but I am a ‘Bot.

  58. 58
    Mike Kay says:

    @rootless_e:

    maybe in the blogoshere, but not in a country were 65% of the country thought Iraq was behind 9/11.

  59. 59
    Honus says:

    Don’t short change Michael Kelly, either. If his career hadn’t been tragically cut short from cowboying around in that war he helped start, he might have been the greatest of them all.

  60. 60
    Citizen_X says:

    @mr. whipple:

    As much of a dipshit Evan is, there’s a good chance this seat now goes GOP. (And even if it doesn’t, it’s gonna be another Evan type dem.)

    You know, what’s missing these last few years is the reality that “another Evan type dem” can be fine, as long as they aren’t as much of a backstabbing attention whore as Bayh (or Nelson, Landrieu, blah blah). As in, sure, feel free to vote against bills you or your constituents are not wild about, just respect your party enough to vote for cloture.

    It doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

  61. 61
    rootless_e says:

    @Mike Kay: @ i have not noticed the blogosphere being significantly more realistic than the general population.

    case in point
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_opinion_polls

    The Newsweek Magazine poll “What America Knows”, conducted Princeton Survey Research Associates International, regularly asks American citizens a wide range of questions relating to world events past and present and a number of more trivial questions of general knowledge.[7] On five occasions the following question has been asked:

    “Do you think Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq was directly involved in planning, financing, or carrying out the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001?”

    * September 2003 responses: 47% Yes, 37% No, 16% not sure.
    * January 2004 responses: 49% Yes, 39% No, 12% not sure.
    * September 2004 responses: 42% Yes, 44% No, 14% not sure.
    * October 2004 responses: 36% Yes, 51% No, 13% not sure.
    * June 2007 responses: 41% Yes, 50% No, 9% not sure.

  62. 62
    Mike Kay says:

    @mr. whipple:

    it no longer matters.

    We can control all the committees and produce all the legislation we want, and then the republicans kill it, one by one, using the filibuster.

    I can’t even remember the last time congress passed anything for the president to sign. And this “stalemate” exists with 59 votes.

  63. 63
    rootless_e says:

    the economics discussion on dkos is now also total cartoon. goldman-sachs are apparently unique among bankers in their profit obsession.

  64. 64
    mr. whipple says:

    As in, sure, feel free to vote against bills you or your constituents are not wild about, just respect your party enough to vote for cloture.

    I totally agree with that and noted it in an earlier thread. I don’t care if every once in a while they veer from party in order to show their centrist cred, but there are ways to do that right and not be a wanker about it.

    Bayh was a wanker, but losing the seat won’t make legislation more progressive.

  65. 65
    Mike Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    ♫♫♫
    Clowns to the left of me,
    Jokes to the right,
    Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
    ♫♫♫

  66. 66
    mr. whipple says:

    Jeebus, they can’t get the proper ice surface for the 500m speed skating event.

    I smell the hand of Rahm in this.

  67. 67
    rootless_e says:

    @mr. whipple: You think it’s Rahm? Seems more like the kind of skulduggery that Geithner or Larry Summers would get up to.

  68. 68
    mr. whipple says:

    @rootless_e:

    No, it’s gotta be Rahm or Obama himself. You know only the most inept could *uck up Canadians making ice.

  69. 69
    Mike Kay says:

    @rootless_e:

    exactly. It’s as if JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Sovereign funds, Hong Kong don’t exist.

    And if ya were gonna target just one investment house, why not Citibank, after all they’re the ones behind the repeal Glass-Steagall, not Goldman.

    But that’s the thing about Great Orange Satan, they’re into tunnel vision: ie they can only see the public option and nothing else in the healthcare package.

  70. 70
    rootless_e says:

    @mr. whipple: Good point. I look forward to the Krugman post blasting the clueless WH approach to ice-making.

  71. 71
    Mike Kay says:

    @mr. whipple:

    quick, alter jane Hamsher!

    Though, it will be had to determine if she’s alert, given all the botox in her face.

    Speaking of which, you would think she’d favor the Senate healthcare bill, seeing it doesn’t contain the Botox-Tax, like the House version.

  72. 72
    Mike Kay says:

    @rootless_e:

    I imagine the Krugster gets up every morning a drinks a gallon of sour grapes.

    Hillary lost — get over it, Kruggy.

  73. 73
    rootless_e says:

    @Mike Kay: also we’re supposed to believe that europe is a socialist wonderland where vigilant regulators send over-reaching bankers to pick cabbages in the EU communal market gardens if they stray, although they were unable to foresee the sheer wickedness of GS and momentarily dropped their guard.

  74. 74
    AhabTRuler says:

    quick, alter jane Hamsher!

    Yeah, I, um, I…I’m gonna go ahead and let you fly solo on that one, okay?

    &#060/Lumbergh&#062

  75. 75
    rootless_e says:

    @Mike Kay: All those other banks exist, but they are run by modest and frugal bankers who encourage children to establish savings accounts which they invest in green energy bonds issued by hippie communes and start meetings by sternly reminding employees that “we are guarding the nickels and pffenigs of children, don’t forget”. By golly, no wonder they were shocked by GS and their grasping ways.

  76. 76

    @mr. whipple:

    Jeebus, they can’t get the proper ice surface for the 500m speed skating event.

    Canadians can’t make ice properly. That sounds like a joke. It did give NBC their excuse to just not show it, though, so they’re happy.

  77. 77
    Atrios says:

    my very deeply sourced information (mostly kidding) is that the issue isn’t bayh being upset that people said mean things about him, it’s that he kept trying to form his little groups of centrists and whenever he did liberal blogs turned him into the punching bag of the day, scaring off other senators.

  78. 78
    Delia says:

    @Atrios:

    the issue isn’t bayh being upset that people said mean things about him, it’s that he kept trying to form his little groups of centrists and whenever he did liberal blogs turned him into the punching bag of the day, scaring off other senators.

    Damn. The power of those liberal blogs is just scary. It’s like they’re the Illuminati or something.

  79. 79

    @mr. whipple:

    Your post, Mr whipple, at #65 is full. of. epic. win. So good I tweeted it. That is all. Good night.

  80. 80
    Mike Kay says:

    @Atrios:

    I think only thing that pissed him off was how his corruption (using his wife as a cutout) was exposed. I mean, the goopers never called him out over his dirty dealings, nor the corporate media, it was only the bloggers.

    other than that, he’s either leaving to enrich himself even further or because of a very big skeleton in his closet.

  81. 81
    shortstop says:

    You know, what’s missing these last few years is the reality that “another Evan type dem” can be fine, as long as they aren’t as much of a backstabbing attention whore as Bayh (or Nelson, Landrieu, blah blah). As in, sure, feel free to vote against bills you or your constituents are not wild about, just respect your party enough to vote for cloture.

    Hell, I’ll take them not even voting for cloture (sometimes) if they’ll just refrain from constantly calling press conferences to somberly note that their own party is dead wrong on every fucking issue. That’s how far I’ve fallen.

  82. 82
    Will says:

    I liked Chuck Lane better when he was Peter Saarsgard.

  83. 83
    Catsy says:

    You know, what’s missing these last few years is the reality that “another Evan type dem” can be fine, as long as they aren’t as much of a backstabbing attention whore as Bayh (or Nelson, Landrieu, blah blah). As in, sure, feel free to vote against bills you or your constituents are not wild about, just respect your party enough to vote for cloture.

    This. Tattooed on the foreheads of every elected official above dogcatcher.

    I don’t have a problem with moderates who feel like they need to vote against the party’s agenda. Well, that’s not quite true–I don’t like that they do it and would rather they be replaced with real Democrats instead of conservatives with a D beside their name, but I understand that just as there are places where a real conservative can’t get elected, so there are places where we have to put up with a conservative in order to have a D there.

    But there’s a difference between voting against the final bills–something every elected official should be free to do; exercising that kind of judgment is one of the things for which we elect them–and obstructing the process by refusing to even allow something to come to a vote. At that point you are no longer playing on the same team–you are part of the opposition party, in effect if not in fact.

    Senate leadership really needs to start playing hardball on this. No committee assignments, no party support, nothing but a political death sentence if you refuse to support procedural votes. Vote against the bill if you need to, but allow a fucking vote to happen.

    Unfortunately, Senate leadership is currently a contradiction in terms. The sole silver lining in Harry Reid’s dwindling reelection chances is that maybe next Congress we can have a ML who isn’t a worthless, spineless appendage.

  84. 84
    DougJ says:

    @Atrios:

    I can believe that.

Comments are closed.