A lot of movie moment refs here, even an ad.
I understand: what I am venting about here, if solved, might put me out of the column business that has made me so rich and famous… sarcasm noted. So I suppose the major takeaway here might be a mea culpa. When I write one of these ‘smack down’-style editions am I merely mimicking the very prose I criticize?
So how close with our rhetoric, how absent of true content will we get, to becoming an Idiocracy? How much closer to everyone trying to outdo the flame throwing talents of Supreme Beef?
To say I enjoyed Everything Trump Touches Dies by Rick Wilson: long time Republican strategist and a Never Trumper, would be like saying I enjoy Don Rickles-like politics. Don was very talented at what he did, I’ve just never was a fan of gratuitous insult humor, except a roast or two, at best. And a good roast requires the roast-ie be in on the joke and able to roast back.
I understand I am in the minority here: not the first time. And perhaps that’s part of my point. Today’s society is moving towards being too much of an Idiocracy version of Don Rickles for my taste.
Rick Wilson might be a great person to be the object of a roast, even better as a roaster. Rick has mastered clever insult politics as well as Rickles mastered comedic insult. Comparing his words to the pathetic invective of our Insult-in Chief, Trump is the 6th grade bully held back 5X, Rick would be the great orator…if insult humor and politics could be defined as “great.” I understand. Too often I do it too. It’s hard when sometimes politics makes the worst behavior in the WWE seem almost genteel.
Yes, it’s fun, but… later.
I admit he makes me uncomfortable, only because I also have to admit I see too much of him in my own political prose. I can, and have, written more thoughtful, thought provoking, prose. It’s just so bloody easy, and fun, to wallow in the slop so much of national discourse wallows in.
Perhaps one of the more interesting, and annoying, chapters comes early in the book: That’s Why You Got Trump. It’s all about how bad the left is at politics, and he’s spot on with many (not all) of his acerbic critiques. But, hey, Ricky baby? What actually left me annoyed is you telling me one… more… time! …how I’m going to be annoyed, mad and so royally pissed (Crown me, Ricki Wil-cardo!) that I wouldn’t want to… hear? …what you typed. Your truth telling, your suppositions, your observations are NOT annoying. Your constantly telling me I was going to be was. But keep doing it. I’ll keep dreaming I’m a rhetorical proctologist with sharp razor blade-words between my fingers. “Bend over, Rick.”
The ad hominems, his invective, really aren’t all his fault. His version of Don Rickles is not some political roaster roasting under the lights of an empty stage. There are a hell of a lot of us up on this stage! There has always been hyperbolic nastiness in politics, especially these days. We’re no longer discussing issues, we’re yelling, insulting, talking over, interrupting just to make sure well made points are seldom heard.
Rick’s book, unfortunately like my own musings, will inevitably sink to the bottom… like most books. This WWE insult fight, in the end, appeals to the same type of true believer crowd. Those who thrive on it, live for it, behave like the audience in Idiocracy that mock Not Sure’s reasoned defense of himself along with Beef Supreme. Then… out shoots flame!!!
I predict unless he goes away, becomes a convict, humiliated, and gets another term, Wilson’s book will be the $1 special, my columns forgotten, while the Insult-in-Chief’s pathetic attempts will be worshiped as if they’re golden calves. They are turds floating in the toilet. Yet they seem to be so much more to his rabid base’s…. taste.
Are both of us helping to turn America into one big Idiotville, ruled by King you know who? Maybe we are, Rick, maybe we are.
Having pushed forward some of the nastiest right wing campaigns in recent history, Mr. Wilson rightfully points out that Democrats SUCK at politics. No new news. Some of his framing the Dems/the left comments were spot on: too many of us think the same candidates, the same talking points, the same approach to policies and issues, will work in Kansas (Hey, I just picked a state: pick another if you prefer.) as in California. It may take a more anti-Choice candidate to win in Montana or Bama’, but for God’s sake why should we offend Bernie progressives? (Bernie himself, I’m sure, has far more common sense.) Hillary may have worked in the more elite NYC burbs, like Westchester, but some mealy mouth ‘moderate’ too willing to compromise away gay rights in Provincetown? Or pro-corporate influence candidate in Progress-i-stan? Not so much. Not so much.
We simply don’t seem to get we have to hang together, maybe even hold our overly offended noses, when playing the game in different states/parts of the country. The long game is more important than immediate gratification of progressive purists or fundamentalistic, robot-like protocol focused moderates. And because we don’t pre-plan, pre-strategize, well (or at all) too often we are left election time like a woman burning on the stake screaming in pain, “But I am NOT a witch!!!”
Too late, roasted ducky, too late.
Sometimes it’s better to have someone marginally (at best) IN your camp than not.
Sometimes it’s better to have that aggressive progressive.
It’s our job to work together: despite differences, to figure that out. You know, like ALEC and other rightie organizations?
Despite being a Never Trumper, Mr. Wilson, you have helped create the shisen golem that is Donald Trump more than most, due to a history of setting standards that appeal more to those watching Beef Supreme than chuckling at Bill Maher barbs. That was not your intent. But both of us have helped drag America down this path, you having had success at that far beyond any I’ll ever see.
I disliked your book so much I may buy a copy, admittedly and especially if and when it’s racked on cheapo shelf. I want it as a reference book to the times, or how, win or lose, the s**tstorm to follow was helped along. Trump loses hell will follow. His followers won’t stop, nor will he. You think the eventual rage that built over the years on the right over Nixon resignation had consequences? To quote Al Jolson, “You ain’t seen NOTHIN yet.”
Sidebar: you know if you Google “You ain’t seen nothing yet?” …you have to sift through a long list of Bachman-Turner links? This how completely historical flash in the pan pop culture masks the classics. A few years from now we’ll be sifting through something else to get to BTO OR Al Jolson. Be aware: it may also be how Trump-isms may become the norm in politics. Trump may lose in 2020, but a horrible path has been forged, and things that NEVER should have been acceptable accepted.
Where are all the rightward cries about this we heard in the 90s with Bill Clinton? Shh! “Doesn’t matter, as long as it serves OUR cause.”
Yes, it does.
Yes, it does.
Yes, it does.
Spoiler alert: the last chapters almost make up for the stream of gratuitous, admittedly well framed, insults and name calling. Problem is, Mr. Wilson, you’re not Beef Supreme in this scenario. You would be if intellect and smarts mattered more than they do these days. Increasingly: not so much. In today’s society he who has been given the biggest, most powerful, podium, and the most worshipers: that’s NOT hyperbole, sets the standard… and they tend to drag society voters down with them to even lower level. Only those ALLOWED to vote, or have their vote counted, matter. In these days that’s an increasingly crucial demographic, no matter how it’s been sabotaged. Once lowered on the national stage social discourse almost never floats back up. How far we have fallen: Lincoln, Douglas, Roosevelt, Ike, Kennedy, Reagan… W? …TRUMP??? Seems we accelerate to light speed the further down we fall.
What level of Chinese Hell have we sunk to now? I thought they only had 18.
Re: the storm…
You might scoff, Mr. Wilson, and maybe it’s a very remote possibility. But I fear, like in Demolition Man, this kind of rhetoric coupled with the smashing of what brings us representative governance, “with a ‘little’ help from his friends,” may leave us with an order of Beef Supreme. The only thing on the menu for us non-Trump-ettes will be flame broiled us.
Creepy orange-ish version of ‘the King’ ref noted. Almost as creepy as the possibility; and he whose wet dreams consist of being King.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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