Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mashed-Up Bag of Meat?!

Keith Olbermann of MSNBC is an avatar of much that's wrong with our political discourse today. His tirades against anyone with whom he disagrees are often laced with vitriol, artery-popping anger, and sheer spittle-spewing meanness. His persona is humorless and strident. He rarely smiles except to sneer, and the only thing that elicits anything close to a laugh is the misfortune of his ideological opponents.

I mention all this because of what I heard him say on his Countdown show last night (Don't ask me why I had him on. It's a long story). Talking about Michelle Malkin, a columnist who also manages one of the best blogs on the internet and whom Olbermann awarded his nightly "Worse Person in the World" prize, the gentleman opined that without Malkin's "total mindless, morally bankrupt, knee-jerk, fascistic hatred," she would "just be a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it."

Set aside the fact that anyone who's at all familiar with Malkin would be repelled by the obscene misrepresentation in the first part of Olbermann's characterization, and ask yourself how ugly and twisted must be the mind that would come up with the second part (What exactly is a "mashed-up bag of meat" anyway?). Sadly, this is not the first time Olbermann has sought to dehumanize a woman with whom he disagrees. A few months ago he had on his show a guest named Michael Musto who launched a distasteful, unfunny rant against Carrie Prejean simply because Ms Prejean had answered a question in a beauty contest in a way approved of by neither Musto nor Olbermann. Olbermann snickered in sympathy throughout Musto's entire embarrassingly stupid revilement:

Mr. Olbermann has also favorably quoted Geraldo Rivera, another fine gentleman who once hosted a television show in which guests threw chairs at each other, and who said of Malkin that he'd spit on her if ever the two should cross paths. Such a statement tells us far more about Rivera, and Olbermann, than it does about Malkin, of course, but Malkin's response to Olbermann's sophomoric name-calling, tells us quite a lot about her. It certainly answers the question of who, between the two of them, has the most class:

"In case you were wondering what kind of lipstick we big mashed-up bags of meat wear, I prefer M.A.C. Lustreglass in Ornamental or Lipglass in Spite. Because nothing goes better with fascistic hatred!"

Mr. Olbermann is a hero to the crowd because of his relentlessly ill-natured attacks on anyone who doubts the wisdom of progressive political nostrums. If the left ever had the power to launch an inquisition against its opponents, Olbermann would bid fair to be its Torquemada. He's a man for whom no blow is too low, no insult too hurtful. He seems to delight more in humiliating people than in criticizing their ideas. Indeed, for such as Mr. Olbermann, one achieves the latter by doing the former.

Its a shame that a corporation like NBC would continue to pay this man to say the things he does, but perhaps the NBC bigwigs kind of like it. Thankfully, hardly anyone ever watches.


Do the Right Thing

Ralph Peters at the New York Post has been a reliable commentator throughout the last decade on teh wars in the middle east so when he offers his opinion on what we should do in Afghanistan, as he does in this column, it's wise to listen.

Peters writes that the President is faced with essentially three options: He can give McChrystal the troops he's asking for to suppress the insurgency, he can adopt the Biden strategy of waging war surgically in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, or he can essentially do nothing by sending a token increase of troops to Afghanistan.

The surprise for me was that Peters thinks McChrystal is wrong and Biden is right. He also fears that President Obama will make the worst of the three choices which is to do nothing:

The evidence on the ground, the lessons of history, and our real security needs strongly favor the Biden approach, but giving Gen. Stan McChrystal the full surge he wants would be far better than "more of the same, with new slogans."

This president has to make a decision. A real decision. But it looks like he's going to wiggle, squirm and dodge, then go in front of the teleprompter to vote "present" again.

Worsening the muddle, the troop-level debate is being disgracefully politicized on all sides.

Obama's seeking the least politically damaging choice, rather than the most effective military approach. He's less concerned with winning than with avoiding blame.

Shameful, shameful, shameful.

Meanwhile, too many conservatives are doing to Obama what they rightly decried when the left did it to Bush: Dems used Iraq as a club to beat Bush; now Republicans want to wield Afghanistan against Obama. Hey, this is about our national security and the lives of those in uniform -- not scoring cheap political points.

Shameful, shameful, shameful.

Read the whole thing. It's pretty interesting, especially his assessment of General McChrystal.


Decline Is Not Inevitable

Charles Krauthammer has composed an excellent snapshot of America in 2009. He argues that despite the doom and gloom prognostications of the declinists, there is nothing inevitable about Americas sinking influence, power, and economic well-being. We have the choice whether to continue along that path or to remain on the road of American exceptionalism. Unfortunately, those currently in power see America as a deeply flawed, immoral hegemon which needs to repent of its sins by abdicating its role as world leader. So far from agreeing with this analysis, Krauthammer rightly argues that America is the most benign hegemon in the history of the world, that we have been a great benefit to the world and that we need to maintain that role both for our sake and for the world's.

Our current leadership, being both historically naive and economically inept, sees things differently. We have the opportunity to recover and retain our greatness and to hold at bay the darkness that threatens civilization, but it will mean shedding the burden of a left-liberal ideology which seeks to turn us into Sweden.

Krauthammer's is an excellent essay. A little long, but well worth the read. Thanks to Jason for sending it along.