Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Idiot Liberals (special CTRL-C/CTRL-V edition) 

Some more examples of Liberals Who Exclusively Attack Other Liberals this week. Kevin Drum does a nice rundown here. His list included Gregg "Brother of Frank" Easterbrook, who really is a Charter Member in this club (along with Mickey Kaus, of course), and guy who, in general, likes to write about what stuff he knows nothing of. Harvard grad Matthew Yglesias explains Gregg's latest lunacy:
I'M SURE THERE'S A GOOD IDEA HERE SOMEWHERE. Gregg Easterbrook offers up the intriguing thesis that Democrats have gone astray in the current Social Security debate because "It is dogmatism to refuse to listen to Bush's proposal, or to assume that change in the existing order must be bad." And, indeed, that would be dogmatism. But Easterbrook probably ought to take his own advice and listen to Bush's proposal instead of inventing some other proposal, attributing it to Bush, and then slamming liberals for rejecting it. The column goes on and on about how wonderful it is that the White House wants to reduce "taxation of labor income" by lowering the payroll tax.

But Bush's plan would do no such thing. An awful lot of weird lies, spin, and distortions have issued forth from the RNC communications shop on the subject of Social Security, but this isn't even something anyone has ever pretended the Republicans want to do. Where he got the idea that this is the essence of the Bush plan, I couldn't say, but it's not in there. Open-mindedness is an excellent thing, but there's no need to be so open-minded that you just start assuming people are proposing changes you like instead of looking at the changes they're actually proposing.
See, Matt is a better writer now, at age 23 or 24 or whatever he is, than I'll ever be, hence the cutting-and-pasting there.

Now, today, we have another Liberal Who Hates Liberals, Joe "Anonymous" Klein. Luckily, we also have another writer who is much better than I (but at least this guy is over 20 years older than I am) to help us out (although, he does a lot of cutting-and-pasting himself in this post). Digby:
"Anonymous" Is A Putz

Campaign Desk points out that Joe Klein is pulling things out of the ether:
Finally, there was the boorish and possibly unprecedented hooting of the President by Democrats during the [State of the Union] speech.

"No! No! No!" they shouted, inaccurately, when Bush asserted that the Social Security trust fund would, in a decade or so, start paying out more money than it takes in. If nothing is done, it surely will.
Campaign Desk correctly notes:
Beyond the fact that such "hooting" was far from unprecedented, Klein's short-term memory must be playing tricks on him. Democrats did not start crying out "No! No! No!" when the president asserted that the trust fund would soon start paying out more money than it takes in. Rather, the Democrats accurately started calling out "No! No! No!" when the president inaccurately asserted that "By the year 2042, the entire system would be exhausted and bankrupt." You can hear for yourself on the White House video of the address (Real Media or Windows Media) -- the moment in question is about 15 minutes into the speech.

You can also hear the boorish boos of Republicans when Clinton said in the 1997 address that we didn't need to change the constitution to balance the budget. (Little did we know then that the 90's GOP balanced budget amendment hobby horse was actually designed to stop themselves from bankrupting the country.)
Here's a nice little reminder from way back in 1999 of what the country was like in the days when our un-boorish representatives practiced civility and decency:
Reps. Robert Schaffer (R-Colo.) and John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) sent a letter to colleagues last week arguing that they should skip the speech because Clinton "is demonstrating his lack of respect for the Congress and its legitimate role."

But Schaffer had few illusions that his absence would be noticed: "What happens tonight is Congress and the president coming together to send a message there's some semblance of normalcy in Washington, and the detestable conduct of the president is somehow tolerated," he said. "The president doesn't care and nobody cares. The theatrical production is going to go on unimpeded."
Klein, no doubt, was sitting in front of a camera somewhere that night, hunched over the desk like a slobbering beast, so intensely focused on Clinton's manly member that he simply didn't hear a thing.
See, I'd never be able to write something as good as that last sentence.
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