Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Only the loathsome, Part I

By A.J. Liebling
Content Deconstructor

Very recently we had a little fun with the estimable (in his mind at least) New York Times columnist David Brooks.   We made up a silly award, took a few shots at his latest column and basically goofed around.  That was the appropriate response we thought to his somewhat lukewarm take on the recent electoral unpleasantness.

But for those of you who like their bullshit served up sizzling hot and with a snarl, you couldn't do much better than Maureen Dowd's latest effort on Sunday, in which she channeled the rage of her real or imagined Trump-lovin' brother, “Kevin.” After over a year of responding to vile drivel from entitled white men with dumb yuks, we broke our funny bone on this one.

Despite the lack of opportunities for cheap laughs, it is critical to analyze the contents of this screed essentially line-by-line so that we can begin to understand the revolting stew of bigotry, entitlement, and ignorance that motivates what Mo chooses to call her “affluent, educated suburbanite” scumbag of a brother assuming he in fact exists.  It's almost as important to note that not one of the factual claims in “Kevin”'s “column” proves to line up with reality.

Goggles, nose clips, boots, and latex gloves on, we dig in.  “Kevin” starts with a man who brought dignity, honor, a social conscience, and a keen intelligence to the White House, despite his Kenyan birth:
The election was a complete repudiation of Barack Obama: his fantasy world of political correctness, the politicization of the Justice Department and the I.R.S., an out-of-control E.P.A., his neutering of the military, his nonsupport of the police and his fixation on things like transgender bathrooms. 
Claim 1: how can an over 2 million vote margin for the Democratic candidate be described as a repudiation, much less a complete one?  Of course, it can't, but it is important for “Kevin”'s worldview to be premised on the false notion that he and his bro the tangerine-faced grifting President-elect represent the majority.  In this case, though, you'd really have to call “Kevin”'s  majority silent, because something that doesn't exist can't make any noise.

Kevin Dowd looks more like his sister every day
But we haven't even gotten to the end of the first line yet.  Claim 2 is that President Obama, an astute observer and consummate pragmatist, lives in a “fantasy world” of political correctness.  By this “Kevin” must mean that President Obama's unceasing efforts to ameliorate America's great racial divide is a pointless fantasy, because entitled white racists like him and his candidate will forever malign persons of color, women, those with alternative gender preferences or identifications, the disabled, and anyone else who doesn't resemble Liz Lemon's old boyfriend.  Is such a hope a fantasy?  No, a fantasy is the claim that Barack Obama was born anywhere else than Honolulu, Hawaii or that his religion is anything but Christianity.  Who lived in that fantasy world, “Kevin?”

OK we've finished the first line. Let's turn to “Kevin”'s reference to politicizing the Justice Department.  He doesn't cite any examples of such nefarious activity during the Obama Administration.  So let's give him a few.  President Karl Rove's successful effort to purge U.S. Attorneys because they refused to bring dubious voting fraud cases against Democrats is politicizing the Justice Department.  Thinking that the President decides who is prosecuted is politicizing bigly.  Obama doesn't think like that; “Kevin”'s man-child does.

Indeed at this point we're suspicious that we're not getting an argument here as much as a wilted word salad of different reactionary and white supremacist talking points.  The politicization of the IRS?   The Republicans have worked hard to peddle that story to the credulous (like “Kevin”), when in fact all they ever had was the effort by career, not political, IRS officials to make sense of a poorly-drafted statute that does in fact distinguish political from other activity.  Some “scandal.”

That brings us to line three.  The EPA is out of control because why exactly?  No doubt “Kevin” believes conveniently that global warming is a liberal conspiracy, not a threat to our (and his) children.  Perhaps he thinks that Lower Manhattan flooded for the first time in history because of, insert whatever cheap shot “Kevin” would throw at New York here.  But New Yorkers, who have spent billions of dollars cleaning up the mess left by Superstorm Sandy, know well the threat of rising sea levels from melting ice caps.  If it really was a liberal conspiracy, why would liberals engineer an event that requires the closing of the L tunnel for two years?  How are they supposed to get to Williamsburg?  “Kevin” probably doesn't care, but a lot of Clinton voters do.

And if the EPA is really throttling our economy (which is the full false talking point), why has the economy grown for 70 months, and at an annual rate of 3.2% in the past quarter?

The next claim – “neutering” the armed forces – is another rubbish GOP talking point.  It's most notable for demonstrating what “Kevin” really fears: that women, Negroes, immigrants and other undesirables will cut off his withered old nuts and we don't know redistribute them?  In any event, Obama's military had enough testosterone to dispatch Osama bin Laden to the bottom of the sea, unleash drones at terrorists over half the world, overthrow Qaddafi (maybe not a great idea but hardly an example of armed impotence), while fielding 420,000 GI's, 182,000 Marines, a 282-ship Navy, and 317,000 Air People.  This piddling force cost only $585,000,000,000 last year.

Speaking of what “Kevin” really fears, let's go to the next talking point, by which “Kevin” means that President Obama does not uncritically support police massacres of black people, especially unarmed ones.  Do you think that the police, alone among government agencies, should be immune from criticism?  If you do, you're white!  Wrong, too.  Again, what “Kevin” really mourns here are the lost days when the police could treat minorities and other undesirables with impunity, whether stopping and frisking them because they brandished a pack of Skittles or drilling them with bullets because they were armed with cell phones.  Of course, the President's statements are replete with praise of law enforcement, but any suggestion that the 5-0 might need to control its tendencies, now available on video, to mistreat minorities constitutes an unbearable threat to “Kevin” and his buddies.

We're almost done with Part I of “Kevin”'s rant.  And now another of “Kevin”'s fears generates another whopper.  Did I miss the 20-minute section of Obama's State of the Union Address when he embraced the cause of transgender bathroom access?  Wasn't it in fact loathsome state bigots who turned a non-issue – the right of people to use the bathroom consistent with their sexual identity – into a controversy?  Didn't the Obama Administration act only in response to such brazen violations of basic human rights?  This one we honestly don't understand: what is “Kevin” so terrified about?  If someone dresses, acts, and identifies as a man, which bathroom should he use?

Presumably “Kevin” agrees with loathsome Ted Cruz's suggestion that transgender individuals simply hold it until they get home.  We'll end Part I with a constructive suggestion: any trans person denied bathroom access by bigoted state laws should take a dump on “Kevin”'s azaleas.

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