I write to follow up Wild Bill’s having taken to task (a worn-out expression: apologies to Eric Blair) the insipid, wormy pundit David Brooks.
I take to task the absurdly dishonest Charles Krauthammer, whose column, I gather, Wild Bill has enough sense not to read. I usually don’t read it either, but one was reprinted in the local non-news-paper this morning.
The column ends with its thesis, that the new crop of GOPer Representatives and Governors is “recklessly principled.”
Implied but not explained: that “recklessly principled” is a good thing. The designers of the Titanic were recklessly principled, a principle being speed over strength in matters of hull.
Next: They are principled, CK argues, because they are so purely focused on fiscal responsibility. Mr. Tee-Hee Party goes to Washington and Madison, so to speak.
To which assertion even CK must have said to himself, as he was writing the column, “Bosh. Get a load of me!”
Evidence of bosh and load: The Wisconsin union already conceded on budget-balancing points, but the Clown Governor (exposed in a prank call) wants to enact Rove’s stated (on Fox News) strategy: destroy public-sector unions so as to dry up campaign-funding for Dems and thereby improve chances to win a presidential election. Again, Rove makes no secret of the plan, and Walker, Wisconsin Ranger, hasn’t, either. Therefore, replace “recklessly principled” with “cynically unprincipled.” Up is down.
A larger question: If Party tools like CK know they are lying, and their audience (which may or may not like the lie) knows they are lying, is it lying? Or is it more like a sad bit of burlesque in a dank corner of the Pseudocracy–the costume soiled, the clientele soused by noon?
Whom is CK kidding, whom is Fox News kidding, and so on? Not themselves. Not us. Not even their followers, one presumes.
Which leaves a hole where there could be some interesting journalism–disconnected, one hopes, from either major Party. So the greater sin is not that Brooks is dull and wormy or that CK practices mendacity; it is that these and other pundits take up space.
It is not that they are insincere or illogical (these are among Orwell’s concerns), but that, professionally, they are.
They provide our discourse no nourishment. It’s not the lying, which is too transparent to deceive; it’s the empty calories.