A Jacobian Take on Last Night’s Debate


Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe‘s resident neocon and a charter member of the Right-Wing Noise Machine, thought the Democratic debate last night was funny because – get this – it wasn’t substantive.

[M]aybe the funniest moment was when the young wife of a New Hampshire soldier serving in Iraq asked the candidates what they would do to rebuild the US military, and Representative Dennis Kucinich vowed to cut the defense budget by 25 percent.

Or when Senator Hillary Clinton, who refuses to take part in a presidential debate co sponsored by Fox News, denounces the Bush administration for having a policy of “we don’t talk to people we don’t agree with or think are bad.”

***

But in truth, last night’s debate wasn’t funny. It was worrisome. Worrisome that in 120 minutes of talk, not one of the Democratic candidates had anything substantive to say about the global jihad. Worrisome that all but one of the Democrats oppose legislation to declare English the official language of the United States. Worrisome that on the issue they spent the most time discussing — the war in Iraq — not one spoke seriously or responsibly about the consequences of an American withdrawal.

The RWNM has apparently reached the stage when its irony is itself an irony and substance is to be defined as adherence to the loopy unrealities and misogynistic nationalism of the Neocon Fear Patrol. To the RWNM, if a candidate won’t pretend there’s such a thing as a “global jihad” or that English-only legislation isn’t silly political posturing, they aren’t “serious”. Whereas the Republican candidates’ trying to 1-up each other over who would make the US the biggest and worst torturer or who watches more hours/day of the Intelligent Design Cartoon Network and believes more fervently in Tinkerbell is no doubt considered deep philosophical debate, solemn and sublime.

The RWNM’s slide into childishness may be amusing but its perversion, blindness, and hysteria are not. Its pathetic ignorance or snarky ridicule of any event or belief even marginally tied to something that actually, you know, exists, is pretty dangerous given that we’re paying these moronic blowhards to spread their adolescent night-sweats from sea to shining sea. It’s like paying Typhoid Mary to go forth and breathe on people.

I mean, I know we have free speech and all that but there are limits. If you can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater, how come you can go on national radio and yell “Hate the sane! Kill the reasonable! Torture the innocent!” and get paid Big $$$ for doing it? Don’t we have the right to protect the body-politic from idiocy infection? Can’t we quarantine these carriers of hard-core ninny-ness and misanthropic bile?

I don’t know. The America I grew up in seems no longer to exist. I’m thinking of moving from the reality-based community to the stupidity-based community. The pay is better.

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