Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Conventional Wisdom Losers of the Year

[Editors' Note: It's almost 2016, and not a minute too soon.  All of the hacks are on vacation, so they've turned over their pages and sites to their wretched interns, with instructions to come up with some lame-o year in review content, preferably in clickbait-list form.  The Spy is proud to contribute our own list to this annual tradition.]

By: Diane the Unpaid Intern to David Bloviator, Political Editor

Conventional Wisdom has had a rough year, with virtually all of its memes and confidently asserted predictions exploding, like a Jeff Bezos rocket, on the launch pad.  It took us literally minutes to sift through hundreds of disastrous utterances to come up with this list of Conventional Wisdom Losers of 2015.  Don't worry – if your empty generalization didn't make the list this year, we're sure you'll have better luck in 2016, especially if you pontificate for The Washington Post, Politico or MSNBC.

1.  Hillary is doomed by her e-mail scandal.  Or Benghazi. Or something.  All year long, the Hillary Hellhounds confidently predicted that her e-mail "scandal" would be her doom.  First, it was asserted that her actions were criminal.  Then they were violations of vital national security regulations.  Then when it turned out that none of the above was true, they were held to be signs that she was "paranoid."  (Politico was still pushing this non-story as recently as yesterday.)  Thought experiment: imagine you're Hillary Clinton.  You are worried that your political adversaries want to destroy you and your husband and you respond by protecting your personal information.  Paranoia?  Here on Planet Earth, we'd call it prudence.

2.  You can't attack John McCain/Fox News/the Union-Leader and get away with it.  Smear  immigrants as murderers and rapists?  No problem with the Republican base.  But supposedly the campaign of Trumpo the Clown was doomed the minute he unleashed his fourth-rate insult comedy on John McCain the War Hero, Megan Kelly of Fox News, and the fact-free Manchester Union-Leader.  But nobody told the GOP mouth-breathers.  They still love the act.  And why not?  It's the best show in the Republican Party since the Carson Granaries of the Gods revival meeting folded its tents and went back to selling snake oil.

3.  Bernie Sanders, extremist.  He's a Senator with decades in office who thinks that government and society should not be run by the rich and powerful for their exclusive benefit.  This according to Conventional Wisdom makes him an unelectable madman.  According to anyone who knows any history, it kinda makes him the Brooklyn version of Teddy Roosevelt, who is not generally thought to be a member of the Comintern.   By contrast, the sages continue to weigh the electoral chances of a gang of goons who want to hand over trillions in unpaid tax cuts to the richest 1%, force 13-year-old girls to bear their rapists' children, and camp out with their machine guns around the coal stove while the East Coast slips under the sea.  These are known to Conventional Wisdom as "mainstream Republicans."  (See #4 infra).

4.  The Unstoppable Jeb Bush.  It would be generous to call the Bush family a political version of the Kardashians, although their lack of genuine achievement, appeal, and inability to generate a coherent sentence are certainly suggestive parallels.  But the Kardashians never hurt anyone, other than the intelligence of the viewing public.  Contrast that with the record of death, devastation, wreckage, and Clarence Thomas bequeathed to us by the grandees of Kennebunkport.  Unnoticed by Conventional Wisdom (and unlike the Kardashians), though, the Bushes can no longer draw the suckers.  Remember Jeb Bush, the experienced conservative with tons of dough?  He was supposedly the smart one.  Now he's whining about taking the primary away from New Hampshire if they don't do what the peons are supposed to do, which is vote for a Bush.  That'll work great.

5.  Bombs Away.  When terrorists strike, voters turn to the Republicans, according to Conventional Wisdom.  Why?  Because Republicans are stronger on national security.  Who says so?  Republicans!  And they can prove it, with innovations like targeted carpet bombing (kinda like a married bachelor).  Also according to Conventional Wisdom, the party whose President sent Osama bin Laden to the bottom of the Indian Ocean and is currently waging between four and five wars in the Middle East (depending on who's counting) is weak and pathetic because it was not able to wipe out ISIS by halftime.  The Kenyan Socialist President won't even punch Putin in the face, or twist King Hussein's arm to get actual living people to fight our wars (possibly because said arm would come off in Obama's hand).

6.  Yes King Coal.  The Conventional Wisdom has long deprecated the looming catastrophe of global warming, both as a matter of fact and as a political issue.  As a matter of fact, the problem is real and indisputable regardless of what poor addled George Will thinks or what coverage the Koch Brothers buy; as a matter of politics, it's a major issue among the electorate.  You'd never know it from headlines like this one from Politico:

Over 60% of those pooled think that global warming is a serious threat?  Wow.  Of course, since some other poll a couple of years ago put the number slightly higher that must mean Conventional Wisdom can safely ignore the crisis.  And it's so cozy around the anthracite fire at energy lobby boondoggles, uh, conferences in Aspen!  Nothing to see here people, although if you're planing to drive around Miami, better keep the windows rolled up.

(Bonus Journalism Tip for Beginners!  Rewrite headline: “Large Majorities Continue to Regard Global Warming as a Serious Threat.")

We could go on to the Honorably Mentioned, like the Conventional Wisdom's disregard for the continuing massacre of blacks by white police, the perversion of the American electoral system by Republican money and John Roberts '76's contempt for basic principles of Constitutional jurisprudence, the continuing immiseration of formerly middle-class workers, the violence and threats against women seeking their Constitutionally-protected right to health care, or the gruesome violations of law and morality taking place every day at Guantanamo, but David said I could leave by noon if I posted something, so 'bye!

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