Gee willickers. Tim Noah, fresh off his sizzling expose that the Boston Globe is too mean to John Kerry, gets around to updating his scary-perceptive think piece, noting that, goodness gracious, the Boston Globe just endorsed Kerry for the NH primary. This morning.
This is approximately the seven-hundredth and eighty-eighth time they've endorsed Kerry for public office.
Will their slights and derision never cease?!
We are so impressed by Tim Noah's piece that we've decided to examine it a little more closely.
Chatterbox cannot provide scientific proof that the Globe dislikes the junior senator of Massachusetts.
The seven-hundred eighty-eight Kerry endorsements actually do militate against scientific proof of this hypothesis.
He freely admits that his is an impression based on occasional perusal of the newspaper, rather than a counting of favorable versus unfavorable stories.
Ah, yes. The "To be sure, this is complete bullshit that I formed a half-baked opinion on in the space of ten minutes" disclaimer.
It's not for nothing that Slate is the premier must-miss amateur newsletter on the Internet.
But the impression is widely shared by others. The Kerry campaign, of course, thinks so[...]
Hey! There's the scientific proof you were searching for before.
its former campaign manager called the Globe coverage "distorted, insignificant, irrelevant and vindictive."
But most of the Globe-ies and ex-Globe-ies Chatterbox interviewed for this story (mostly on background) think so, too.
Noah doesn't bother asking what party these interviewees identify with.
Or which candidate they support for President.
Sometimes there's a reason a hyperpartisan leftist tool of a hack doesn't ask a question:
When he knows what the answer will be, and wants to retain plausible deniability about knowing the answer.
This group doesn't think the Globe's coverage is "distorted, insignificant, irrelevant and vindictive," but it does recognize that the Globe gives Kerry a much rougher time than, say, the Des Moines Register.
It seems to us that the Des Moines Register probably gives Kerry much less coverage altogether. Being, you know, that Kerry is from Massachusetts, not Iowa.
The instances of Kerry-bashing at the Globe are too numerous to cite here
Translation: I haven't bothered to research this with any degree of thoroughness. But let me present to you the first four or five negative stories I found by Googling "Globe and Kerry."
but let's review some highlights:
Oddly, we think the myriad endorsements won't make this list. But yes, let's review.
In March 1989, reporter John Robinson mocked the newly divorced Kerry as "the Senate's Romeo," and wrote that Kerry "reportedly courted" the actress Morgan Fairchild "on the QT while dating another woman."
We hate to interrupt the rant of a hyperpartisan leftist tool, but could we just ask the impertinent question: Is the story, like, you know, true
We're not professional journalists, god knows. We could hardly dream of aspiring to such intellectual heights. But it seems to us a story isn't really "negative" if it's simply factual.
In October 1996, in the midst of a heated Senate re-election campaign, Globe columnist David Warsh suggested that Kerry won a Silver Star in Vietnam for "finishing off" an enemy soldier who was wounded and therefore posed no threat. This was untrue; the enemy soldier, though wounded, quickly got back on his feet.
First of all: Who says it's untrue? John Kerry?
Secondly: If this is a "negative" story, it isn't much of one. Perhaps such tales of mayhem on the battlefield give sensitive souls like Timothy Noah a case of the vapors.
We at Ace of Spades HQ can't be much worked up about it either way.
In March 2003, reporters Michael Kranish, Frank Phillips, and Brian C. Mooney reported that Kerry had tried to pass himself off as Irish to boost his popularity in Massachusetts, which has a large Irish population.
Ahem. Again, this story may be negative, but it was reported for a solid journalistic reason:
Because it's true.
Kerry did misrepresent himself as an Emerald Isle Avenger, a mother-loving son evergreen Erin, throughout most of his political career.
We're curious-- what is Mr. Noah's standard for "fair" treatment of liberal candidates he supports? That the media should actively suppress proveably true stories about such liberal candidates?
Is that the test of fairness, Mr. Noah?
We are in Eric Alterman Nation here.
In November 2003, columnist Joan Vennochi wrote, "John Kerry's presidential campaign needs more than a new campaign manager. It needs a new candidate."
Context matters. This meeeean Globe columnist wrote this when Kerry's campaign was firing staffers left and right, failing to raise any money, losing the endorsement race, and, most importantly, going straight down in all polls across the nation.
EVERY columnist, everywhere, was asking at this time, "What the hell is wrong with John Kerry and/or his campaign?"
Even we at Ace of Spades wrongly wrote off John Kerry a couple of weeks ago. And if you can fool this thoroughly-professional, meticulously-researched, well-funded operation, then what chance does a second-rate columnist in a second-city market have of getting the story right?
Kerry's rise from the dead fooled everyone -- including the juvenilely nasty and sarcastic Timothy Noah.
But, in his need for some
sort of tangible evidence for his absurd thesis, he latches on to to this comment -- similar to comments made the nation wide (and for good reason!) -- as proof of the Globe's vindictiveness towards Juan "Kid Irish" Goldberg-Kerry.
The fact that he cites this weak-sister as evidence should demonstrate how little good
evidence there is for his childish speculation.
On Jan. 18, reporter Patrick Healy nailed Kerry for falsely claiming that he'd been endorsed by John C. Land III, the Democratic leader in South Carolina's State Senate. In fact, Land endorsed John Edwards.
Noah needs to explain: Was the claim that Kerry falsely claimed the support of Land true, or false?
It seems to be true
So, again, we're scratching our heads at wondering what Timothy Noah's idea of "fairness" to a liberal candidate might be.
Suppressing true-but-damaging stories about liberals?
We think most liberal reporters believe this credo. We think that most of them do in fact endeavor vigorously to avoid publishing such stories.
Timothy Noah obviously subscribes to this creed; we think it is incumbent upon him to forthrightly admit it.
As these examples demonstrate, the Globe's swipes at Kerry are sometimes cheap shots or outright wrong, and sometimes dead-on.
We counted only one (1) story that is possibly
That means the "outright wrong" category contains a singular, not plural example.
"Dead-on" is a plural. "Outright wrong" should be singular-- and even that's arguable.
By Chatterbox's rough estimate, at least three-quarters of Kerry's Globe problem is attributable to his own behavior. "He's a stiff and a phony," Globe columnist Alex Beam told Chatterbox. "Stuff sticks to him because it's true." Beam isn't wrong. The rap against Kerry—that he's a snob, that he's an opportunist, that he approaches facts with a Clintonesque slipperiness—is grounded in persuasive evidence. Even Martin F. Nolan, a former editorial page editor at the Globe who contends the rap against Kerry is not true, concedes that it was true before Kerry remarried and endured a tough 1996 re-election race against Bill Weld. "He would shake your hand and look over your shoulder to see who's more interesting," Nolan told Chatterbox.
Is this an effing joke? Is there anything left for Timothy Noah's precious precis after this self-evisceration by "to be sure" concessions?
Only 25% of the negative stories about Kerry are unfair?
George W. Bush would convert to Islam for such a low number of unfair attacks by the Globe.
Several Globe-ies and ex-Globe-ies told Chatterbox that more negative stuff about Kerry appears in the Globe than in the New York Times or the Washington Post for the simple reason that Kerry gets more coverage locally, period.
You needed sources to tell you that?
You could have just called us. We would have told you. We would have said to you, as we said above, "Dumbass, there are a lot more stories about Kerry -- positive and negative -- in the Globe than other papers because, get this, both are based in Massachusetts."
The Globe doesn't want to get scooped on big Kerry stories,
Timothy Noah's sources are legendary for their acumen.
and the biggest political stories are almost always unflattering.
The string of scoops continues apace.
We could continue. But it just seems pointless. Timothy Noah is a jejune and juvenile hack who's not even artful
about hiding his viciously partisan agenda.
We'll stop there.
Two final points.
It's quite clear that Tim Noah is paid by the word. His writing is all of this pattern-- word-count-bloated, reportage-free brain-noodling of half-baked leftist conspiracy theories. There are a few writers worth reading at Slate; none of them have the surname "Noah."
Noah specializes in a form of sub-Dowd junior-high snark, a nearly contentless bit of spin that includes no new facts, no new insights, nothing more than the latest nasty, goofy charge he picked up from Indymedia, or from the Chris Lehane Brigades in the DNC.
For some time we've been casting about, on the prowl for the inaugural winner of our own special award.
Our Award is for shamelessly partisan hackery in relentlessly shilling for the cause of The One True Liberal Faith.
We call it the Plastic Turkey Trophy.
And we're quite proud of it.
Timothy Noah, we are happy to name you the very first winner of the prestigious Ace of Spades Plastic Turkey Trophy. Your amateurish, childish rants -- which ought to be embarassing for your employers, but, to their demerit, apparently are not -- have made you first in your class in useless leftist hacks.
And considering the company you're keeping, that's high praise indeed.
Timothy Noah-- please contact Ace of Spades HQ at your earliest convenience. We need to arrange a presentation ceremony.
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: SuperReporter Timothy Noah watches TV tonight, and he tells you what was on,
and whether he liked it or not. (Dean on Sawyers, Letterman; he didn't much like either appearance.)
He concludes with an unfunny thirty-year-old pop culture reference, comparing the new, calm Dean to the lobotomized Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
To sum up:
He watches TV; he writes some insipid, word-count-bloated prose about it; he finished up with a pop culture reference which he's quite certain is terribly clever and indicative of his good taste.
He's a male Maureen Dowd, but unburdened by all of her talent.
Next up from Tim Noah: A 60,000 word episode-by-episode guide to Riptide
and the philosophy of living contained therein. ("Don't think that geeks have nothing to contribute to the world. Just look at RoBoz.")
Breaking News from Slate's Tim Noah...
It turns out that the extremely-liberal New York Times stepson, the Boston Globe, is just too damn tough on John Kerry.
The Boston Globe, according to Noah's precious precis, actually occasionally reports on Kerry's gaffes
-- such as his long pose as an emerald-green Son of Erin -- and even sometimes criticizes his votes and policies
Well! Who knew?
Yet another confirmation of Eric Alterman's Grand Unified Theory of the Media Being Way Too Rightwing. And, shockingly, from another far-out hyperpartisan leftist tool.
Now, the Globe has, of course, endorsed Kerry in every election he ever ran in. But don't let that
fool you-- they're really rightwing extremists biased against Juan "Kid Irish" Goldberg-Kerry. All of those gushing endorsements are merely just a deceptive cover -- a Plastic Turkey, if you will -- to hide their venomous anti-Kerry agenda.
Why, all those previous glittering endorsements could qualify as Noah's next "Whopper of the Week"...
UPDATE! We forgot! The very-liberal Boston Globe, which has endorsed Kerry for every election he ever stood for -- and probably a few he didn't-- also
endorsed Kerry for the New Hampshire primary!
the pathologically anti-Kerry paper endorses Kerry yet again.
AN ENDORSEMENT from this newspaper for John Kerry, the junior senator from Massachusetts for almost 20 years, may not seem like news.
Hang on there! It may not be news to anyone who's been reading the paper for the past 30 years or so, but it sure seems like news to Tim Noah!
Watching Kerry closely over the years has given us an opportunity to see things that have occurred far beyond the klieg lights. He has a reputation for being aloof and ambitious, but we have seen him show up for an 85-mile charity bike ride in a cold, driving rain and finish it, long after the celebrity riders had dropped out. We have seen him take a little-known program for low-income youth that he believes in and make it his personal mission to get it funded consistently, passionately, and successfully, for no political reward.
We share John Kerry's values and vision for America as a confident, tolerant, enlightened nation. By his consistency, his resolve, and his experience, he has continued to demonstrate that he is best prepared to help the nation realize those ideals.
Another Boston Globe hit piece! Can Kerry recover in time for the day of the vote?!?!
ANOTHER UPDATE: Tim Noah thinks the Globe is too tough on John Kerry because it occasionally criticizes him, in between praising him and endorsing him for high office.
We're curious-- does that mean the New York Times is too tough on George W. Bush? After all, the New York Times relentlessly
criticizes Bush, never praises him, and would not endorse him for President were his opponent, in fact, a human-eating space alien.
Or does Tim Noah think the New York Times is just too easy
Coming soon from Tim Noah-- his newest expose! Why is Theater-Critic-Turned-Editorialist Frank Rich So Virulently Anti-Gay?!
Iran's Political Crisis Worsens...
just fine with us!
We root for crises in enemy countries. Unlike, say, Slate's Michael Kinsley and Salon's Gary Kamiya, who root for crises in their own country.
The hardline Guardian Council -- protector of clerical rule, defender of Islamist extremism -- has as of yet refused to reinstate thousands of candidates for office which they earlier struck from the ballots for being either "unqualified" (i.e., not religious fundamentalist lunatics) or for being "un-Islamic (i.e., ditto).
"Most" of Iran's VP's -- there are six, we think -- and most of its ministers have submitted their resignations to President Katami in protest.
We shall see. We shall see.
Andrew Sullivan Flip Watch
Apparently put on the defensive by the influential Ace of Spades Media Watch Division, Mr. Sullivan addresses those calling him "wobbly" or a left-wing sell-out:
I'm equally concerned about the obvious irresponsibility of the Democrats on national security (and spending) at a time of great peril. But at least they're not going to bait gays and nominate judges like Frank Pickering. So I'm stuck, and trying to figure things out as I go along. Hence my attempt to look at the Democratic candidates as possible presidents and subject my support for Bush to further scrutiny. Why is that such a crime? Isn't part of what's wrong with our politics that this kind of weighing of options has become so taboo?
Taboo? No, not taboo. Of course Mr. Sullivan is permitted to vote for whatever politician he likes.
But so are we permitted to point out that all of this was quite inevitable.
We've just never bought Andrew Sullivan's act. Yes, he almost certainly really did support the war. But did he ever actually support Bush? Or just a dream-world Bizarro Bush who, incredibly, supported Mr. Sullivan's pet causes, gay marriage and legal Ecstacy?
We've just always thought we detected an undercurrent of hucksterism and hoax to Mr. Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan just seemed ridiculously over-the-top in love with Presidents Reagan and Bush, writing an article called "A Mash Note to Reagan" (ewwwww) and praising Bush beyond what even we deemed reasonable.
He seemed to be at times more Catholic than the Pope on Republicanism... while all the while seeming to come at politics from a decidedly leftish vector.
A strange combination, that.
Has he been gaming the system? Has he been attempting to put into practice that old notion that you can't change a political party without joining it? That a minority group cannot be so closely associated with only one political party and hope to gain any influence within the other party?
We don't know. Mr. Sullivan might just be, as many are, a social-liberal libertarian who just doesn't fit comfortably in the Green or Democratic Party.
But whatever Mr. Sullivan's actual politics or agenda, there can be little question that he seems to be laying the predicate for a "sudden" political conversion.
He's that much closer to garnering that warm welcome from the left-wing media. He'll be celebrated and praised and he'll probably be doing GAP ads again within the year.
At the tone, the Andrew Sullivan Flip Watch displays a time of
11:46 pm (the hands have not moved closer to midnight; his defensiveness about his perceived political re-positioning perfectly balances his newfound interest in liberal presidential candidates)
UPDATE: Legions of devoted Ace of Spades readers want to know-- why are we picking on poor Mr. Sullivan?
It's not because Sullivan's criticisms of Bush are invalid. Bush is spending like a drunken sailor. He is
fiscally irresponsible. These are good, sound reasons to oppose him.
Even on gay marriage and legalized Ecstacy-- well, we don't support these positions, but we could certainly understand why someone who does might wish to replace Bush with a liberal.
We've instituted this Watch simply because we can see the train heading towards the left side of the platform. We can often see the future here; we thought we'd share that glimpse of the future with you.
The liberal media loves
defections from right to left. Jumpin' Jim Jeffords is hailed as a maverick, a brave independent voice finally having the courage to speak out against rampant Republicanism.
Meanwhile, Senator Zell Miller gets almost no press from the liberal media. "Why, he's just a Republican in disguise," they sniff. "His critique of the Democratic Party means nothing."
Well, to be sure, Senator Zell Miller certainly is
a Republican in spirit. But so is Jumpin' Jim Jeffords a liberal Democrat in spirit-- and he always has been. Why does the media "see through" Miller's pose as a Democrat criticizing his own party, and yet hail Jeffords' as an intrepid independent truth-teller whose critiques of the Republican Party are Very, Very Important and Speak Volumes About Where Conservatism Has Gone Terribly Wrong?
To ask the question is to answer it.
Let's look at Michael Moore. Michael Moore claims to be a member of the NRA. And, in a formal sense, he is. But what does that mean? We're not members ourselves, but we imagine joining the NRA is as simple and cheap as filling out short form and paying something like $15 or $20 to subscribe to their newsletter.
And yet-- with that "bona fide" in his pocket-- the media breathlessly mentioned Moore's putative membership in the NRA in every single story about Bowling for Columbine
. "Why, this man is a member of the NRA
," they squealed and squeaked, like overboiling teakettles. "So you can see that his attack on the gun-culture comes from a Perfectly Neutral Source-- and therefore can be trusted without question!"
Somehow, we doubt that if Rick Santorum joined PFLAG (donating $15 for their newsletter) the media would similarly treat his opposition of gay marriage as coming from a Perfectly Neutral Source.
So we're keeping an eye on Mr. Sullivan. Because we can see, when Sullivan executes his perfectly-predictable flip -- probably in September, in order to maximize its impact -- the media will take his defection as a decidedly deadly statement about the "extremism" of the Bush Administration.
"Andrew Sullivan was a long-time champion of Bush," Howard Fineman's gushing Profile in Courage will open. "And yet even he
has been alienated by the extremist right-wing agenda!"
Christopher Hitchens defecting from left to right means nothing, of course. He's obviously just an old crank who just likes making trouble.
But Andrew Sullivan defecting from right to left -- now, that's
news you can use!
The Doctor Does Damage Control
via the eagle-eyed newshawk Drudge:
Dean says, "I lead with my heart and not my head."
I'm sure the Doubting Deaniacs are plenty reassured by that deadly admission.
Just what we want in a President-- emotional jags and wild mood swings.
A PMS POTUS.
Confession: We've been hoping against hope that the Tiny Red Hulk could get it together in time for primary day.
It ain't happening, guys.
NOTE: "The PMS POTUS" is catty, glib, cutesy, seemingly "clever" to those who aren't very clever themselves, and girlishly juvenile.
In other words, it's a perfect Maureen Dowd put-down.
And we've got more eighth-grade-slam-book insults on the way. Why, wait 'till we starting calling Dean "Mini-Mean"!
Juan "Kid Irish" Goldberg-Kerry's Phantom Surprise
The press gushed.
It was so surprising
, so providential. A man Juan "Kid Irish" Goldberg-Kerry had saved during Vietnam just showed up, out of the blue, to embrace Kerry.
It was a lie.
Not only was the event planned, but the reporters covering it also knew about it in advance
. They knew where to point their cameras when the Big, Completely Spontaneous Surprise Reunion occurred.
And yet they dutifully played along for their new liberal standard bearer.
We don't expect this story to get the coverage that the very important "Plastic Turkey Deception" got.
And we don't expect Tim Noah's ridiculously partisan "Whopper of the Week" feature to make mention of it. Noah's got bigger scandals to uncover-- like Dick Cheney including an empire-mentioning Ben Franklin quote in a Christmas card.
The "Bush Recession": Economists Say Last Recession Began in 2000 Under Clinton
Who'd'a thunk it?
Posted on Luicanne.com.
Andrew Sullivan Flip Watch
According to Drudge: Clark says marriage is just a "term of art."
At the tone, the Andrew Sullivan Flip Watch displays a time of
11:46 pm (two minutes closer to midnight)
Another dance sample
of Howlin' Howard Dean's televised suicide.
Thanks to Kausfiles.
Boy, these are good. We're now doing our lat workouts to these tracks.
And on Mr. Sullivan's Notion of Marriage...
We don't have any brief against homosexuality here at Ace of Spades HQ.
But Mr. Sullivan's claims about "gay marriage" need to be scrutinized.
He claims that instituting marriage for gays would, among other things, immediately have the sanguine effect of reducing gay hyperpromiscuity.
This is goofy. It was not the case that 10,000 years ago, when our distant ancestors were hunting aurochs with flint spears, that heterosexual couples were hyperpromiscuous and then one day, POW, they invented the notion of marriage and suddenly people became more or less monogamous.
Nope. Heterosexual couples were pairing off in long-term, basically monogamous relationships (with the occasional infidelity, of course) throughout almost all of human history. The law recognized
this situation, and simply gave a name -- "marriage" -- to the already existing facts.
It is simply not the case that the law created the facts. The facts created the law-- as is the usual case in history.
Law evolved to recognize marriage. It did not create marriage. It merely acknowledged it with a bit of institutional formality.
So Mr. Sullivan seems to be guilty of putting the cart before the horse.
Perhaps we can talk about gay marriage one day-- when homosexuals first establish the fact
of de facto gay marriage. Life-long relationships, extended families helping to keep the couple together, etc.
It seems a bit ludicrous to be discussing gay marriage when polyamory, or at least extreme serial "monogamy," is the current fact of gay life.
We don't like to dish dirt. But Mr. Sullivan is, after all, the man who just a few years ago was shopping around for perfectly anonymous sex with complete strangers on the internet.
We don't bring this up in order to call Mr. Sullivan immoral. We don't bring it up judgmentally. We don't care about Mr. Sullivan's sexual choices-- that is, unless his sexual choices, and the sexual choices of similarly-situated persons, become relevant to an ongoing political discussion.
Which they are. Because Mr. Sullivan is forever
yapping about his purported right to be "married."
We're happy he's such a big believer in "marriage." But we do question-- marriage on whose terms? If Mr. Sullivan imagines that he can loosen up us straights with regard to marriage -- inject a little free-spirited barebacking with anonymous partners into the marital mix -- then it would seem that Mr. Sullivan isn't seeking to join "marriage" as it is conventionally understood.
If he wants to be "married" -- married as heterosexuals understand the institution -- then it is relevant to wonder if he would in fact join the institution with all of the normal assumptions in operation.
Assumptions like the "no anonymous barebacking" rule under which we poor oppressed heterosexuals are doomed to suffer.
We can't help suspecting that Mr. Sullivan is not terribly interested in joining the institution of marriage with not only its typical benefits, but its typical restrictions.
Once again, primarily interested in changing society around to better suit his lifestyle choices.
But marriage is much more important to civilization than whether or not Ecstacy is legalized or not.
We hear a lot about Mr. Sullivan's long-term boyfriend on his blog. We're happy for the couple. We wish them well.
But Mr. Sullivan is a propagandist on this issue -- he ceased being a mere advocate some time ago -- and we can't help wondering what he might be leaving out of his depiction of conventional, traditional domestic bliss.
So to Mr. Sullivan and like-minded folks--
Establish the fact
of de facto gay marriage first
as the general, near-universal pattern of gay relationships. Real marriage-- real long-term commitment -- entered into often for purposes of rearing children.
Once this fact is established, we will be eager to take up the cause of gay marriage. Gay marriage would then exist in reality; the law could, and should at that point, be changed to recognized these facts.
That's the way heterosexual marriage was established. Not by some flaky liberal judge inventing it during some drunken tribal council held in a cavern hot-tub.
Or don't you believe in equality?
Like Effin' Clockwork
Whatever else this president is, he is no believer in individuals' running their own lives without government regulation, control or aid. If you're a fiscal conservative or a social liberal, this was a speech that succeeded in making you take a second look at the Democrats. I sure am.
-- Andrew "Flip" Sullivan
At the tone, the Andrew Sullivan Flip Watch displays a time of
11:44 pm (three minutes closer to midnight)
Andrew Sullivan Flip Watch
We've been watching Andrew Sullivan with a narrowed eye for some time. The man doesn't precisely claim to be a conservative; and there's of course nothing at all wrong with being a highly-opinionated independent who doesn't fit well into either party.
But for a while we've had a nagging suspicion that Sullivan was a bit of a Trojan horse, a hoaxer. He just seems to be awfully liberal on all social issues. Not just gay marriage-- but legalizing Ecstacy. His politics seem to be focused nearly exclusively on the vindication of his own lifestyle choices.
Again, that makes him little different than most people, whose politics are almost entirely informed by naked self-interest. (And it doesn't make him any different from us here at Ace of Spades HQ-- we're big on self-interest. We're also keen on nudity.)
But... it's a bit of a problem to have someone identified
with the conservative right -- even when he's clearly not of the conservative right -- in constant peril of flipping to the other side.
We've had opportunists and hoaxers presume to speak for us before -- David Brock, Arianna Huffington -- only to make their all-too-predictable jump to the left, and receive the inevitable LoveFest from the liberal media.
Forewarned is forearmed.
Thus we inaugurate our Andrew Sullivan Flip Watch. We wanted to begin it yesterday, but we were having too much fun with Howlin' Howard Dean.
Tonight we must start it, for George W. Bush crossed Sullivan's own private Rubicon-- he expressed support (albeit somewhat conditional) for a constitutional amendment to outlaw judge-imposed gay marriage.
And so the clock begins ticking. Soon Mr. Sullivan will begin "evolving" away from Republicanism, conservatism, and Bushism, and towards a more "mature" politics, to wit, gung-ho support for either John Kerry, John Edwards, or Wesley Clark. He'll be feted as a major defector from rightist politics, hailed by the liberal press as a maverick and free-thinker.
We wish him well; we wish him Godspeed. But we won't be much surprised by this. It is all but inevitable; indeed, absent Bush becoming a sudden booster for gay marriage and Ecstacy, it always was inevitable.
The Andrew Sullivan Flip Watch works like that idiotic Doomsday Clock the Society of Concerned Liberal Scientists is forever fidgeting with. "Midnight" equals doomsday. In our case, a full-out Sullivan Come-to-Democratic-Jesus moment.
Based upon current conditions and indications -- i.e., Sullivan's latest snit -- we move the minute hand of the watch either closer to, or further from, midnight. The actual "minutes" of the watch don't translate to actual minutes or days or months or whatnot.
It's a gestalt
thing. ("Gestalt" is a German word we learned in college meaning "vague bullshit.")
We start the clock at... well, it's 11:41. We'll start it there.
At the tone, the Andrew Sullivan Flip Watch displays a time of
11:41 pm -- nineteen minutes to midnight
Beaten to the Smackdown
Looks like the Howard Dean/Pro Wrestler meme was already out there.
has been following Howlin' Howard Dean's career (eight wins, two losses, and one disqualification for introducing a "foreign object" into the ring in his match against The Ultimate Warrior) for some time now.
FoxNews' Mara Liason: Dean's outburst not necessarily proof that he's "mentally deranged"
Ms. Liason's probably right, bless her heart.
Still, as one's campaign moves towards the crucial New Hampshire primaries, one probably doesn't want the public debate centering on the question of whether or not one is provably "mentally deranged."
Howard Dean-- Not yet diagnosed as mentally incompetent
just doesn't work as a bumper-sticker.
The Quaylization of Dean
We just popped into a local hardware store for not more than three minutes.
On the KTU-style dance music station, the DJ was playing Howard Dean's "Yeeeeeiiiiiiiah" soundbite over a disco track.
"I just will never get tired of hearing that," the DJ enthused. "Welcome to the WWE's newest wrestler, Howard Dean!"
As we observed, a politician's credibility -- his gravitas, his viability, his seriousness -- is a fragile thing.
For millions and millions of Americans, their first introduction to Howard Dean is that pathos-inspiring cri de coeur
Millions of millions of Americans have just one word in mind when they think of Howard Dean: buffoon
. And, having no other data-points on him, that's the sum and entirety of their bio on the man.
When this sort of gaffe escapes the narrow confines of the newsjunkie world and bursts through into the popular consciousness -- on a dopey disco music radio station, for crying out loud -- you've been irreparably Quayled.
Margaret Cho's Blog
We just found out that Margaret Cho ("Who?") has a blog.
This is perhaps the saddest thing we've heard since, well, since Howard Dean's Yeeeeiiiiiiahhhhh yelp cost him the nomination.
We at Ace of Spades HQ aren't superstars. Yet. We're not legends of comedy. Yet. We're not beloved television personalities. Yet.
But we do have a blog.
And the sad thing is, so does Margaret Cho, who is supposedly a celebrity.
Let's compare our respective claims to fame.
Has a Blog? Ace of Spades, check; Margaret Cho ("Who?") check.
Has a television series: Ace of Spades, no; Margaret Cho, no.
Has any prospect of starring in a movie in the next five years: Ace of Spades, possibly
; Margaret Cho, not a chance.
Has "heat": Ace of Spades, in spades, baby; Margaret Cho, has about as much heat as John Oates' personal assistant.
It's pathetic. But just examining the objective evidence leads one to the inelecutable realization: The collective entity known as Ace of Spades
is actually a bigger celebrity than Margaret Cho.
How sad is that?
We Can't Help Ourselves
The right shouldn't have gloated about the once-impending nomination of Howard Dean.
We shouldn't have stuck his face on a magazine with the caption, PLEASE NOMINATE THIS MAN.
And we shouldn't be making a big deal about this Yeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiaaahhhhhhhhhh business. We should be busily suppressing the story, like the liberal media usually does with similar stories.
But we can't help ourselves.
Found on NRO, Howard Dean's nutjob speech recast as a sort of Eurotrance acid house thingee.
Morbidly-obese America-hater Michael Moore (R) ebraces party-swtiching flip-flopping fired General Wesley Clark (L). It is believed that Moore was frisking the fired General, searching his body for for concealed bear-claws.
"Don't hold out on me," the husky huckster is reported to have said. "I've got a nose for glazed sweetdough."
The disgraced general's security team wrestled Moore away moments later. Moore was dragged away, but only after having found one (1) bear-claw hidden on Clark's person.
"You've got my
vote," Moore said, as he swallowed the outsized pastry in one bite.
"The Way They... Surround a Story..."
A New York Times poll
shows that Bush's approval rating has slipped to 50%.
But... among what Americans?
A reader writes to
Andrew Sullivan (third item, currently)
and notes something odd:
In the most recent Gallup poll, the party ID was 37 percent GOP and 37 percent Democratic. In the AP/Ipsos poll, the party ID was 42 percent GOP and 45 percent Democratic. And in the CBS/NYT poll on Sunday, the party ID was 34 percent GOP and 47 percent Democratic.
And you thought that that Times's boast of "the way they... surround
a story" was just ad copy!
It should be noted that pollsters do not perfectly weight poll results based on assumed national party ID. Sometimes, pollsters might find that people really are suddenly identifying more with one party than the other.
Still-- a recent Gallup poll shows party ID at perfect parity, and yet the New York Times includes 40% more Democrats than Republicans in its sample? They might not have "surrounded" this story, but they sure did manage to surround Republicans with a sea of Democrats.
Yesterday's Washington Post-ABC poll
found Bush's support unchanged at 58%
Hey-- New York Times. Here's a naughty thought. Why not just see what Bush's numbers do when you simply refuse to poll Republicans at all?
34% is just chumping around, isn't it? Have the courage of your convictions and take it all the way down to zero point zero percent
Who cares what those goddamned racist Republican-leaners think, anyhow?
This is probably not news, but it's news to us
. We wondered if Gephardt would retire after this year; it seems to be the case that he had already announced it. We were just too busy writing D&D character sheets for the candidates to notice:
Gephardt has gone for political broke this time. He stepped aside as House Democratic leader last year and announced he would not seek reelection to the House this year.
"This is his last campaign," an aide said. "And it is over."
Found on Drudge.
Conspiracies, Real and Imagined
correspondent "WindyCity" has found a pair of interesting sites.
One automatically invents W. conspiracy theories for you.
The other documents the genuinely disturbing racial conspiracies of Democratic Candidate for President Reverend Al Sharpton.
Dick Gephardt: Selfless Liberal Soldier Jumps on Dean Grenade to Spare the Sqaud?
Actually, for all the buzz about Clark-as-stalking-horse, I think one of the legacies of Iowa 2004 will be that Gephardt and Dean turned out to be Trojan horses for Kerry and Edwards. That is, they brought the bodies and the resources and the logistics to bear, which drove up the turnout. But they couldn't then persuade those turned out to stay with them once they arrived out of the cold and into the school auditoria and community centers.
I mean, just look at Gephardt's numbers. Yeesh! Another week and Kucinich catches him. (Ok, maybe not, but you get my point.) Those 21 unions weren't worth an extra coffee break or a new dental plan. Nobody voted for him.
Aha, but at the same time none of his supporters then recast their support for Dean. The word is that Gephardt people, whenever not viable, told the Dean people to just "talk to the hand" when they tried to make an appeal. I saw this woman in Precinct 63 in Des Moines who, sitting in her chair at the Gephardt table, was literally and metaphorically unmoved by anything the Dean precinct captain had to say. Gephardt turned out to be the anti-Dean movement all by himself.
-- Blogger The Daily Kos
Certainly there is something to all that.
It can't have helped Dean that he and Gephardt were fighting so hard against each other. Once Gephardt's supporters were released, you have to think that the Dean camp was the last they'd consider joining.
Winners, Losers, & The Future: The Ace of Spades HQ Guide to the Iowa Results
What a difference ten days makes. Ten days ago, we here at Ace of Spades HQ were merely skeptical that the Democratic Party would nominate a certifiable batshit-crazy lunatic as its Presidential candidate.
Now that the Iowa returns are in, that possibility seems wishful thinking at best. (Although it remains possible
-- this is, after all, the Democrat Party we're talking about.)
First, the not-so-fun part. The Winners.
Big Winner: John Kerry, obviously. Left for dead ten days ago, John Kerry is now the slight favorite to win the nomination.
Pretty Big Winner: John Edwards-- obviously. Going nowhere fast for a full year, forced to re-declare his candidacy a second time (charm & candor points: He admitted on John Stewart that he was declaring a second time because "no one paid any attention the first time"), John Edwards is now a dark horse candidate to win the nomination. And if he doesn't win, he at least will be on everyone's short list for Veep.
Somewhat Big Winner: Bill Clinton. Back when they were all busy coalescing around and propping up Howard Dean, the liberal media attempted to cast Bill Clinton's antipathy to Dean as a mere power-struggle within the Democrat Party.
They had to accuse Bill Clinton of cynical political gamesmanship in order to brunt the seriousness of Clinton's not-so-private reservations about Dean. And they had to do that, of course, because between a liberal whose career is over and a liberal whose career is at its near zenith, they had to back the currently-running candidate over the old favorite.
But Clinton's play wasn't merely a cynical bit of political gamesmanship -- shocking though that notion might seem. It was motivated largely by the man's sound political judgments-- he knew what almost all of the country now knows, that is, Howard Dean is simply not a credible candidate for the office of the Presidency.
And nominating him would have been absolute disaster for the party.
So give the horndog his due-- he may play for the opposing team, but he made the right play for that team, and just might have spared them a humiliating debacle (at worst) and might have won them the Presidency (at best).
And now... the fun part. The Losers.
Big Loser: Need we even say it? No one is more disappointed than we that Howard Dean not only lost Iowa but also probably lost the entire nomination with his maniac-faced silly-spinning "we're so thrilled" speech-slash-screaming fit.
For a moment we thought we'd accidentally changed channels to WrestleMania 33. We thought we were watching Macho Man Randy Savage describe the Savage Suplex he was going to put the Undertaker in. But no, that was Howard Dean, screaming like an absolute lunatic.
We have to think that at some point during that steroid-rage tirade, Rowdy Roddy Piper himself thought, "Goodness, now that's
what I call over-the-top!"
All of our hopes for an easy coast to Bush's re-election went out the window with that claw-at-your-heart, rip-your-guts-out act of political self-immolation.
Yes, candidates can win the nomination while losing Iowa.
But they cannot make themselves into absolute figures of fun afterwards. They cannot tear down all of the respectability and gravitas they've been building up for the past year in one horrific second.
Liberals and Democrats were just starting to get their mind around the possibility that Dean could be
President. That is an amazingly important transformation-- the transformation that takes place in the public's mind, where they little by little begin to imagine a puny human being capable of actually leading the free world.
George Bush the Elder only got that respect after
he'd been in office for a number of months. (For us, we didn't see Bush as a real President until after the Panama Intervention.)
It took Clinton until the nominating-night of his convention to make people think of him as possibly Presidential.
Howard Dean was building to that, at least among Democrats of the more liberal stripe.
And in one awful moment, he set a match to it all.
No more than 25% of the most liberal, most goofy activists in the liberal wing of the Democrat Party will ever be able to see Howard Dean as a potential President again.
Barring an intense and unending three-way war for the anti-Dean vote -- an unlikely possibility; see below -- Dean no longer has any realistic chance to become the nominee.
Damn it all.
Pretty Big Loser: Dick Gephardt. We didn't mind Dick Gephardt all that much. He come from the blue-collar, traditionalist-liberal wing of the Party that we just can't find all that loathesome.
He's a serious guy, a good public servant. We don't think he would have been a good President, but we think he's a perfectly respectable human being, and we hope he'll be able to move past this defeat.
Given the man's apparent centeredness, we don't think that will be a big problem for Dick Gephardt.
Somewhat Big Loser: Wesley Clark. Yeahp, it's just about all over for America's favorite party-switching, flip-flopping fired General. Because Wesley Clark only makes sense as a candidate when John Kerry is not viable.
Given a choice between a Republican Veteran Candidate -- Clark -- and a viable Democratic
Veteran Candidate -- Kerry-- we think that Democrats will more than likely opt for the Democrat one.
Finally, the Future.
We made a very bad call early last week -- it had something to do with a "humiliating defeat" for John Kerry -- so we're quite hesitant to do any political forecasting again.
But literally millions
of devoted Ace of Spades HQ readers are on tenterhooks about where we think the race is heading. So, as a public interest, we offer these (tentative) observations.
1. Dean is Gone. Unless. Unless: Unless the Dean voters remain somehow impervious to the established fact of the man's dubious psychological stability, and
the three viable un-Dean alternatives (Kerry, Clark, and Edwards) remain so close in terms of support than Dean can eke out a small-percentage victory in a broken field in New Hampshire.
If Dean can manage that low-odds play, he suddenly becomes a slight favorite for the Democratic nomination again. The liberal media will not bother the public by showing them Dean's Red Hulk moment, and the public will forget shortly enough.
Of course, Bush will run that speech as an anti-Dean campaign ad, but that will come in September, and it won't bother Dean too much until then.
2. Kerry Rises to Parity with, or Beats, Clark. This is one we're really not terribly sure about. True, Kerry has Big Mo coming out of Iowa. On the other hand, New Hampshire's voters know Kerry well, as he's the senator from neighboring Massachusettes, and he's spent lots of time there.
We assume there must be some reason
New Hampshire voters soured so much on Kerry. We don't know if Kerry's momentum can change the minds of people who've known Juan "Kid Irish" Goldstein-Kerry for so long.
But Kerry rises, definitely. That means...
3. Clark Falls. Craters? No. Falls? Yes. Kerry's gain is Clark's loss, as explained above.
4. Edwards Rises. Duh. Edwards has long been the favorite among the smarter Democrats. Now he's got popular credibility to go along with that.
Now, while we think that it's most likely that Dean has irreparably damaged his candidacy, we cannot yet rule out the possibility that with Clark falling, Kerry and Edwards rising, and all three fighting amongst each other, Dean's core of support -- coming chiefly from mental patients and Phish roadies -- could stay firm and give him just barely enough to win 30% or so while his competitors win 20-25% each.
5. Will Dean Play Nice with the Other Children? This isn't a prediction; it's a question.
What will Dean do now that his party is beginning to spurn him?
Will he honor that promise made at the last debate to support the eventual nominee? That was an easy promise to make when everyone assumed the eventual nominee would be Dean.
Now that it most likely won't be: whither Dean? What happens to his supporters?
Does he spend the rest of his campaign cash in a death-or-glory blitz of negative ads against his rivals?
We don't know.
But hope does spring eternal.
So there are our predictions.
But remember: We said Kerry would go down to humiliating defeat in Iowa.
These predictions are worth just what you're paying for them.
UPDATE: John Ellis
agrees that Clark is a big loser tonight.
And you should listen to him.
He threw the election to Bush in 2000, after all. (Kidding!)
ANOTHER UPDATE: Fred Barnes
names another loser that missed our attention-- George W. Bush.
Sure, we said so ourselves obliquely, but we didn't quite get around to saying it directly.
So now we will say so: Barnes is right. Bush is hurt by this outcome.
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