Monday, October 27, 2008

In Which Jon Swift Reminds Us How Good The Trolls Used Be.

I have a habit when it comes to the posts of Jon Swift. I save them, to savor slowly, quietly nodding and occasionally laughing out loud. So when I saw this headline appear on my sidebar, I chuckled and sat back - unlike most people.

For the record, I regret not having dessert first. But then again, this forces me to focus more upon the reaction to the post, rather than simply saying "me too."

Not that Digby did. As usual, Digby says what I might well have said had I been there. Well, as they say, 80% of political activism involves showing up.

The ever reasonable "conservative" Jon Swift has collected the most important, overlooked Pulitzer level stories emanating from the rightwing blogpshere during this election season. If the liberal media weren't so in the tank for teh gays and the you-know-whats, these stories would be in screaming headlines in every newspaper in the land.


More like this at the link. No wonder the newspaper business is on its last legs. they have no nose for the news. luckily for Americans these good folks are picking up where they left off.
Now, you may wonder why, if I am an actual, reasonable Conservative myself, first, why I cite Digby of all people, and second, perhaps more importantly, how the hell did I get the joke?

I'm Conservative, not stupid.

Actually, I'm a Progressive Conservative. That used to be an actual party up here in Canada - but they made the mistakes the Republicans have made first, and paid the price earlier. As a result, there is once again a healthy Conservative party in Canada; I was otherwise distracted, but it seems they survived in my abscence by repudiating any association with "Progress."

I'm not at all sure that was the problem, but they seized upon it as the obvious solution nonetheless.

But back to US Politics. Like all Canadians, expat and otherwise, of whatever political stripe, I pay more attention to US Politics than to Canadian politics. This is for two salient reasons.

First, Canadian parliamentary democracy is a system that more reliably ensures that persons elegible to lead the country are actually competent to lead the country. One may legitimately question their motives, their methods, frequently their morals and occasionally even their very sanity - but without any notable exception, they 'git 'er done.

We have even become somewhat reassured upon that front regarding the Bloq. Nor would there be any lack of quiet ironic appreciation of un seperatiste being placed in the hilariously ironic position of leading Canada forward as a unified nation. Oh, not that there would not be howls of outrage - but in our grey little Canadian hearts, we would assume that at the very least, we had one thing in common.

"Together; We are not Americans."

And - as our gratifyingly civilized leadership debates established - even the leaders of the Parti Quebequois and the unapologetic socialist leader of the New Democrats are clearly capable of passing a routine competency hearing.

OTOH, the best and the brightest American Conservatism had on offer this time around was... Ron Paul?!? When someone like Ron Paul (whom I adore, but would never consider to be mainstream in any sense of the word) comes out looking like the moderate grown-up, you should seriously consider that symptomatic of Serious Issues. (The widespread laughter and mockery should be taken as it is often meant, in the spirit of Grandmotherly Kindness.)

Second; it's an unavoidable fact of history and geopolitics that the decisions made in Washington and even in bordering states are as important or indeed, more important to Canadians than the polite suggestions issued from the Prime Minister's office.

Furthermore, we do love colorful politicians. We rarely elect them, because we find it just too embarrassing. The occasionally spectacular exceptions - such as Pierre Trudeau and Bill Vander Zalm of BC - serve us as occasional reminders as to how horrifying it can be to be noticed as a nation due to such antics. It's due to such reflexes that we retreat to safe, grey figures such as Steven Harper.

If the US's most besetting disorder may be said to be Xenophobia, ours could be said to be Social Phobia.

Or possibly we, as a nation, collectively share a touch of Asperger's Syndrome. Ghu knows, as a nation, we avoid over-stimulation and yet find it difficult to restrain ourselves from speaking from the moral high ground when we possess it. We are far more concerned with being Correct than being Right. Certainly we find it difficult to be in the same room with our loud, embarrassing US-ian cousins.

For most of us, the only pin one would ever see us wearing on a lapel is a simple red poppy - and that's a gesture that's irrespective of any political stance save deep, persistent national regret.

We do try to be polite - our tourism industry requires it - but it's often an exercises not dissimilar to a family thanksgiving dinner, when the people you must invite inexplicably fail to discern that in their case, the invitation should not have been taken to construe more than a polite gesture made in the expectation of an equally sincere note of regret.

IE, we upon the Canadian right still admire Thatcher, while mostly having come to stand upon the obvious - that Ronald Reagan was an opportunistic patsy. A corporatist, not a Conservative.

But we do love watching the drama and tossing our comments down upon the heads of the suffering fools from the unassailable moral high ground.

And speaking of "unassailable moral high ground," I come around to the reason why, if I am Conservative, why I'm leading with Digby, raving about a Jon Swift Post.

I'm Conservative, not stupid!

I didn't need Digby to tell me where the moral high-ground was. I have a well-informed moral compass. When I am in possession of the moral high-ground, littered with free ammunition that I merely need pick up and drop upon the hapless milling throngs below, I do not begrudge the use of that same factual ammunition by folks like digby when they are assailing the same people for the same reasons.

We are not in contention because we have an obvious common cause - which is to smack the stupid out of the deserving, so that we might actually, possibly, conceivably have the opportunity to participate in a meaningful political dialogue. And by "Meaningful Political Discussion" I of course mean one that requires several large pizzas and several pitchers of drinkable beer.

Besides, as I recurring point out to apparently little avail- I was here FIRST! I'd have even more evidence of it had I not been wiped out by a hacker a couple years ago.

The unfortunate truth is that there are very, very few voices of reason remaining on the official "conservative" cheer-leading squad. One may speculate as to why - the team sucks, the other squaddies and all the fans would embarrass a British soccer expedition to the Continent and they are - as Swift points out in his Swiftian way - taking positions that makes satire nearly impossible.

But Swift pulls it off, and with, were it possible, seemingly with even less effort than usual.

Obama was getting answers in the first debate through a clear plastic hearing aid in his ear

Ann Althouse has a unique ability to see things that no one else sees, not unlike my Aunt Agatha, until she was sent away to a rest home and forced to take medication that took away her abilities. During the primaries, Althouse discovered that a Hillary Clinton ad included the subliminal message “Nig” written on a child's pajamas. Then during the debates, Althouse noticed on her high definition television that Obama was wearing a clear plastic hearing aid in his ear and noted that he spoke haltingly as if someone was giving him the answers in the debate. “It's clearly there, a crescent of clear plastic,” she said in response to some skeptical comments (note her use of the word "crescent," a clever reference to Obama's secret Muslim heritage). Although Althouse later backed away from the story, which Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit linked to, she didn’t repudiate it entirely, concluding in the comments, "You know, just because the thing I saw wasn't there doesn't mean there wasn't something there that I didn't see." I don’t know if this is an acceptable standard of evidence in courts of law since I am not a law professor like Ms. Althouse, but it has come to be the standard of evidence in the conservative blogosphere, and I don’t see why the fuddy-duddy mainstream media can’t adopt this way of thinking, too.
I cite this particular excerpt because, well, Ann Althouse is one of the few remaining worthy targets. She can be amusing in her own right, and it's quite often deliberate. Nonetheless she does have a certain reputation for shooting first and clearing the range afterward. Like Dick Cheney, you really want to have his back, because the front side has an erratic aim and underdeveloped target identifying skills. So, it is with admiration that I note that, while Althouse's offenses against reason and common sense hardly rose to the standards of that evidenced in sources like Protein Wisdom.

As one Radical Commie Facist from Socialist Austrailia sarcastically observes: - "Conservative bloggers need to stick together, especially now that the majority of Americans seem to be voting in a most un-American manner."

I had always wondered to myself what they were stuck together with - but then again, the very name "Protein Wisdom" supplies me the answer. I'm told it does wonders for one's complexion. (I was, at deadline, still too sane to request a comment on that supposition from Ann Althouse.)

But speaking of intemperate ejaculations - I must point out for the amusement of my fellows how much more ably Jon trolls Althouse while maintaining the persona of a simple conservative than they typical conservative troll succeeds in trolling in the persona of a Typical Liberal With Some Small Concerns.

Go forth and and revel in Althouse's outraged pearlcluctching - with the delightful insight that "pearl necklace" and "Protein Wisdom" have entendres in common.

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