Great Moments of the Pundoconsultocracy (Updated):
If you've never had the pleasure, you ought to read "1601", a little-known work by Mark Twain. In the story, William Shakespeare, Francis Bacon and others are before Queen Elizabeth at court, and someone farts. Each man there declaims about how the fart could not be his until, finally, Sir Walter Raleigh owns up to it by saying, "It was nothing--less than nothing, madam--I did it but to clear my nether throat; but had I come prepared, then had I delivered something worthy." It's pretty obvious why, when thinking about your mainstream pundits and your hack political consultants, the Rude Pundit cast his mind back to Twain's "who dealt it?" classic.
For instance, given a huge ass megaphone and the imprimatur New York Times respectability, Bill Kristol, he who, it should always be reminded, was Alan Keyes' campaign manager once upon a time, wrote a column that is the rhetorical equivalent of a dry turd. In essence, Kristol says, "[T]he fact is that the Republican establishment spent 2007 underestimating Mike Huckabee. If Huckabee does win the nomination, it would be amusing if Democrats made the same mistake in 2008." So, wait, wait, here. You mean conservative Bill Kristol wants the Republican to win. That's pretty much the entire goddamn thing: "Huckabee nice, me feeling comfortable with Huckabee, Obama bad, Clinton worse, ugh." Christ, Kristol even quotes Michelle Malkin. That's not even getting into his description of George Bush as "well-born" when he, as much as anyone, pimped this myth of W as regular guy. And thus the real reason Kristol was selected to write for the Times becomes obvious. David Brooks wanted someone to make him look smart.
Of course, Kristol, having been wrong about so very much in his life (going back to the aforementioned Alan Keyes campaign), has tons of company. Look at the man who destroyed Hillary Clinton, alleged marketing genius and Clinton adviser Mark Penn. In an awesome post at the Hillary Clinton blog this weekend, Penn asked where is the bounce in the polls for Barack Obama in New Hampshire after the Iowa caucuses. Aw, yeah, this badass motherfucker declared on Saturday, "New Hampshire voters are fiercely independent. They will make their own decisions about who to support." And, according to nearly every poll today, they decided on Barack Obama, by 10 points now, which, unless the Rude Pundit's unclear on the term, pretty much qualifies as a bounce. Like the ghost of Bob Shrum, Mark Penn keeps haunting the once-leading Democrat and until Hillary's willing to grab him by his balls and toss him into the streets and let Bill kick him out of the city, Clinton's gone, baby, gone.
Every once in a while, though, some pundit or other mea culpas, usually way too fucking late, as when members of the press looked into their "hearts" and decided they were just too hard and unfair with Al Gore. That happened in about 2004 or 2005. Yesterday, though, on Reliable Sources with Howard "Behold My Toupee of Integrity" Kurtz, Mark Halperin said, "I'm embarrassed about the way we treated Mike Huckabee. I include myself. I gave a speech in Arkansas several months ago, and I completely dismissed his chances when asked about him on his home turf. I'm embarrassed personally about that and I'm embarrassed for our profession. I'm also embarrassed at the way, as we talked about in the beginning of the show, the way we careen back and forth between inevitable and dead. You know, you talked about it in the context of Hillary Clinton. Look at the coverage of John McCain. People just want to write his obituary for no good reason, not look at his ideas, not look at the possibility of a comeback. It happens all the time in politics, and yet we careen back and forth. And again, I find it embarrassing that we do it." Wow. A goddamned bit of ethics. 'Course, Halperin probably is just trying to ensure himself access to the campaigns he dissed, but, still, a dissonantly honorable moment.
"1601" ends with discussions of sex, with talk of "cunts" and "pricks." In one tale, a young maiden avoids being deflowered by telling the man about to rape her, "'First, my lord, I prithee, take out thy holy tool and piss before me'; which doing, lo his member felle, and would not rise again." Ah, that our pundoconsultocracy would give in to such tricks.
Update: Remember: Bill Kristol is wrong about nearly everything, including who he quotes in his columns. The Rude Pundit thought that line sounded a little too non-batshit insane to be Michelle Malkin.