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The Joy of HuffPo
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, January 12, 2008

HuffPo has become a must read for me. Why? Because there in all its glory you can see the vacuous reasoning of the left proudly displayed. And it is a must read because its value is contained in articles by lefties that would never, ever be accepted by the editor of a newspaper for the op-ed page. In other words, you get to see beneath - well beneath - the veneer.

For instance, yesterday I pointed to a piece by Lawrence O'Donnell in which he called John Edwards a loser. No one but HuffPo is going to run something like that. And you remember the "scholarly" 5 piece series some English professor was doing in which he proclaimed the military was the largest user of fuel (and contained egregious mistakes in calculations, assumptions and facts) and thus contributor to greenhouse gases? That series lasted for all of two of the scheduled five proving that even HuffPo has minimal standards.

But back to the O'Donnell piece. Jane Smiley has taken O'Donnell to task and begins her criticism by saying:
When I read Lawrence O'Donnell's post calling John Edwards a "loser" and threatening a lifetime of infamy if he doesn't get out of the race, I immediately went to O'Donnell's bio to see his party affiliation. I was sure it would say "R" — but it didn't. It didn't say anything.
Ms. Smiley, unable to find that factoid in the bio stopped her research abruptly. Google, it would seem, is something foreign to her. Of course had she availed herself of the search engine, she could have saved herself further embarrassment:
However, I am fairly sure in my own mind that Karl Rove paid him to write that post.
Ms. Smiley may have thought that to be a biting bit of sarcasm which nailed O'Donnell to the wall, except O'Donnell actually made a name for himself by naming Karl Rove as the primary source in the Valerie Plame affair. Yeesh.

I mean, if you are a Dem, there's plenty to pick apart in the O'Donnell rant, but starting out like this? Not so good.

Then, as she starts to make some half-way salient points about the Democratic candidates, she can't help herself and has to throw this in:
If you believe that there was no Diebold factor in New Hampshire (something that I think requires further investigation but will not get it, I am sure) ...
By the time you get there, you're either laughing so hard you can't stop or you've thrown your hands in the air and have moved on to another post. And, if you decide to see who Ms. Smiley is, you find another article in which she sings the praises of the NY Times, but says she's canceled her subscription because the paper hired Bill Kristol.

Finally we're treated to her version of the standard boilerplate Rovian scheming - which O'Donnell must be a part of since only a closet "R" would call John Edwards a loser - in which the armies of darkness are busily engaged in sabotaging the Democratic primaries. And given that foregone conclusion, Smiley puts a smiley face on the whole affair by saying:
But I thank him for one thing — he persuaded me to send a nice fat donation to John Edwards.
Nothing like tossing a little money down the old rat hole, but hey, I don't mind since the Edwards campaign is going nowhere, and like the Kos strategy in Michigan, if it helps keep Edwards in the race a little longer and promotes further bickering and fighting among those on the left, it works for me.

But you should stop by HuffPo occasionally. You just can't find this sort of mutton-headed silliness in newspapers.
 
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In addition to being a Pulitzer-prize winning novelist, Jane Smiley is a Fulbright scholar and a professor. One would like to think such a highly credentialed American would be capable of clearer thinking and better research, but alas no. When it comes to politics Prof. Smiley is unhinged. After the Democrats’ loss in 2004 she published one of the ripest attacks on all Americans who failed to agree with her superior knowledge. In her view, any American who voted Republican is either immoral, greedy, or ignorant.
I say forget introspection. It’s time to be honest about our antagonists. My predecessors in this conversation are thoughtful men, and I honor their ideas, but let’s try something else. I grew up in Missouri and most of my family voted for Bush,* so I am going to be the one to say it: The election results reflect the decision of the right wing to cultivate and exploit ignorance in the citizenry. I suppose the good news is that 55 million Americans have evaded the ignorance-inducing machine. But 58 million have not. (Well, almost 58 million—my relatives are not ignorant, they are just greedy and full of classic Republican feelings of superiority.)...

The reason the Democrats have lost five of the last seven presidential elections is simple: A generation ago, the big capitalists, who have no morals, as we know, decided to make use of the religious right in their class war against the middle class and against the regulations that were protecting those whom they considered to be their rightful prey—workers and consumers.

Why Americans Hate Democrats—A Dialogue: The unteachable ignorance of the red states.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Oh, and don’t forget the "bloodlust." Of course, if Ms Smiley were really worried about physical harm, say like she could expect for drawing a few Mohammed cartoons, then she would probably write fewer screeds like these.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
liberals are not some monolithic presence anyone can take some small example and present the mainstream like so. should the westburo church and rush be representive of the entire right wing?
 
Written By: SLNTAX
URL: http://
Why? Because there in all its glory you can see the vacuous reasoning of the left proudly displayed.
that, and Erb just gets boring after a while
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
SLNTAX — I don’t think liberals are a monolithic presence. (For that matter, I consider myself a liberal in the classic sense.) However, the left-progressive side, which I think is a better term for Smiley et al, does strike me overall as a good deal more immoderate these days than the right-conservative side.

As the saying goes, conservatives think liberals are wrong; liberals think conservatives are evil. I really don’t hear much of the sort of ad hominem ranting Smiley does here from conservatives. And Smiley is not atypical. From Daily Kos commenters on up to liberal congressmen ("get their heads blown off for Bush’s amusement"), you can find this stuff. I wish it were otherwise.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
The reason the Democrats have lost five of the last seven presidential elections is simple: A generation ago, the big capitalists, who have no morals, as we know, decided to make use of the religious right in their class war against the middle class and against the regulations that were protecting those whom they considered to be their rightful prey—workers and consumers.
Does the entire religious right consist of Dobson and Robertson now that Falwell died?

What class does she think most of the religious right belongs to?

Does she think that income showers down onto the religious right like manna?

Does she think that all their stuff just grows up out of the floor of their houses when they pray for it?
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
However, I am fairly sure in my own mind that Karl Rove paid him to write that post.
Slightly off topic, but I hope the good folks at QandO don’t mind if I take the opportunity to point out: Rove.......STILL not indicted.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"In addition to being a Pulitzer-prize winning novelist, Jane Smiley is a Fulbright scholar and a professor."

Gee, it sounds like she is almost as unimpeachably well qualified as Juan Cole. A professor AND a Fulbright scholar. To quote Christopher Walken, "Wowee!".

"my relatives are not ignorant, they are just greedy and full of classic Republican feelings of superiority"

Man, I just love the irony in that statement.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I’ve had the misfortunate of meeting Jane Smiley. She’s an idiot and one of the most inconsiderate, arrogant jerks I’ve ever met.
 
Written By: Troy Camplin
URL: http://www.zatavu.blogspot.com
You just can’t find this sort of mutton-headed silliness in newspapers.
Oh, I beg to differ.
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://

 
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