A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Tag: charles pierce

Sentence of the Day

by evanmcmurry

As usual, from Charles Pierce; as usual, about Paul Ryan:

He is a Leading Intellectual Force in a party full of people who eat oatmeal with their toes.

As usual, the whole post is worth a read.

Charles Pierce Is Slowly Writing Moby Dick

by evanmcmurry

There are numerous reasons to love Charles Pierce, my favorite being he so regularly drops neologisms into his posts that it’s impossible to tell if he ever actually makes an error. For instance, does the following contain typos?

You may remember Holder as the star of one of Thiessen’s previous paranoid episodes, in which Holder was responsible for killing a U.S. Border Patrol agent because Holder personally was running guns to Hezbollah, which was peddling weed in northern Mexico. Fast And Furious! Fast And Furious! Och, thim was the days.

I honestly can’t tell. This guy’s the Herman Melville of political blogging.

Sentence of the Day

by evanmcmurry

As usual, from Pierce, on the Fix The Debt con:

Listening to these people talk about the national economy is like listening to a burglar tell you that you should really polish the silver more often.

Whole thing is worth a read.

Quote of the Day

by evanmcmurry

“A couple of years ago I had a chance to have dinner with Tom Clancy and he was enthusing over some gun he had just seen on a naval battleship. And I’m sitting there while he is talking, thinking, you can’t fake it. If you don’t really have the passion for those kind of guns, you can’t write Tom Clancy novels.” —David Brooks (via)

The Ghost Of Richard Nixon Is Everywhere And It Can See You Sleep

by evanmcmurry

Hell has frozen over, officially, at least as measured in Nixons (1 Nixon = 5 sweat drops).

Remember about a month ago, when Mitch McConnell called the Obama administration “Nixonian“? Neverminding, of course, that McConnell is the exact brand of twerp who would have been assistant to Nixon’s counsel, or would have defended him with snide editorials, or questioned the patriotism of those who prosecuted him; or that McConnell was scoring points by comparing the current Democratic administration to a former Republican one, as if he knew his party would one day have to accuse President Hillary Clinton of being too Bush-like and he needed to seed the ground.

Now comes Charles Pierce faulting Paul Ryan for coming up short against the megalomaniac precedent that is Dick Nixon:

There’s a lot of old Dick Nixon in young Paul Ryan…There was the crass connection to “the working men and women,” like [Paul Ryan]. The way his voice drops and his eyes glow when he starts talking about the America in which he grew up, where he flipped burgers and washed floors and dreamed very big dreams. There is the obvious effort to… connect, a gift for a simulacrum of empathy that is just inches away from actual sincerity, but which sells on the screen like someone who truly cares about you, his fellow struggling Americans. But it wasn’t until he started tearing up that it all came together for me.

The difference, of course, is that Nixon was deeply, authentically marked by deep and authentic poverty and deprivation. He came by his ultimately self-destructive neuroses honestly. He earned every wound that he imagined the smart people of the world — the Jews, those damn Kennedys — had inflicted on him. He actually worked a job outside of government, and outside the Washington universe of government-dependent think tanks. He once actually had to earn a living. Paul Ryan hasn’t lacked for a job since he left college as the golden child of Wisconsin Republican politics, riding his family connections into a job with then-Senator Bob Kasten.

There’s little to argue with there. Hunter S. Thompson once called Nixon democracy’s greatest mutant; certainly no such Phantom-of-the-Opera level appellation applies to Paul Ryan the Glorified Actuary. But we truly are in a strange time when Charles Pierce is invoking the ghost of Richard Nixon while Mitch McConnell is using him as a scarecrow.

If Harry Reid Is A Liar For Speculating About Romneys Tax Returns….

by evanmcmurry

Pierce, as usual, with a great grab. If Harry Reid, is a “dirty liar” for his claim that Romney paid no taxes during the years for which he won’t release tax returns, what does that make Romney-defender Jonathan Karl?

Harry Reid comes to the floor of the Senate and makes this outrageous charge that has absolutely no evidence — I mean, Mitt Romney paid $3.1 million to the IRS in the one tax return that we’ve seen so far. He paid taxes. (Ed. Note: Objection. Relevance. The return Romney has released are not the issue here.) It’s a completely false charge. (Ed. Note: You don’t know that any more than Reid does because we don’t have the returns.) [Emphasis Pierce’s]

Uh…damn right? Karl knows as much as Reid what’s in those returns. Which makes Karl a dirty liar, too. And everybody who’s defending Romney. And everybody who’s accusing him. And everybody in between. Everybody’s speculating until Romney releases his returns. Call me meshuggah, but isn’t that exactly Harry Reid’s point?