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February 12, 2007 - February 5, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007


Grammy Fun

The Dixie Chicks, from left, Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines,
and Sarah Jessica Parker, accepted the award for best album of all
time with uncharacteristically few political jibes. A class act.

POP. Every so often, we like to look in on the Grammies and try to solve the perennial mystery: why do they attract so much attention? They treat almost every major genre of music -- classical, jazz, rock, country, rap, Latin, world, et al -- as  afterthoughts and only get around to honoring the true giants of music after they're wheelchair-bound or dead. Last night, for example, they slipped in -- between endless nominations in various pop categories -- lifetime achievement awards for Maria Callas (30 years dead) and the Doors (Jim Morrison is 35 years dead). We haven't looked it up, but our bet would be that neither of these superstar acts got a Grammy when they were alive. Still, we enjoyed their unexpected duet performance of "Break on Through," unless that was a couple of other guys. Even if it was, we thought it rocked.



Once you accept that the Grammies are strictly about pop music, though, it's easy to sit back and gape at all the pretty-boy singers and half-dressed babes making love to their microphones. We got to see Justin Timberlake perform big numbers, twice, and we have to admit the tuxedo-with-huge-white-sneakers look is killer. Everywhere else you looked, there were nice big breasts barely contained by clingy fabric. There were some beautiful hips on display, too, from the monumental Michelangelo curves of Beyonce's lower half to the perpetual motion machine called Shakira, who probably precipitated some serious tremors along the San Andreas fault. If she didn't, Christina Aguilera did, with a performance so loud it must also have broken large amounts of glassware throughout Southern California. It was an unusual treat to hear the Dixie Chicks's pledge of allegiance to themselves, recited with enough woeful chirps to remind us of three crickets sad about getting stepped on in a redneck bar. Very moving. And did we mention Carrie Underwood? We hope so, because she's, well, mentionable. She's the American Idol, you know. Several of her dresses were quite pretty, but one looked like they had forgotten to sew on the bottom half of her skirt to cover up that slip. She's definitely getting the hang of the pop star thing, though. As is Al Gore. But he does need to check with Justin Timberlake about getting bigger sneakers.

On the other hand, the musical performances were exceptionally good. This year, they rounded up a bunch of old guys who know how to sing real songs and play real musical instruments -- The Police, Smoky Robinson, Nicole Richie's dad, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Stevie Wonder introduced three newcomers who also knew how to sing and play so they could be pretty much ignored in the big awards later on, which have everything to do with pop, meaning popular, which in this particular year means politically correct, and not much to do with anything else.

We can't remember all of them, but here are the most important award categories and winners:

Best Mumbled Audio Recording of an Anti-Semitic Book by an Author Who Was Once a Miserably Incompetent President. Jimmy Carter.

Best Attack on a Fox News Talk Show Host by a Haute-Couture Corporatist Rapper Who Lost a Big Endorsement Contract Because of That Bastard Bill O'Reilly. Ludacris.

Best Song Written by a Hired Songwriter for a Girl Band That's Really Really Pissed About Getting Criticized for Jeering at the President in Concerts Overseas. Dan Wilson.

Best Song Recorded by a a Girl Band That's Really Really Pissed About Getting Criticized for Jeering at the President in Concerts Overseas. The Dixie Chicks.

Best Country Album Containing a Song Recorded by a a Girl Band That's Really Really Pissed About Getting Criticized for Jeering at the President in Concerts Overseas. The Dixie Chicks.

Best Album of the Year Containing a Song Recorded by a a Girl Band That's Really Really Pissed About Getting Criticized for Jeering at the President in Concerts Overseas. The Dixie Chicks.

Best Album in the Entire History of Music Recorded by a a Girl Band That's Really Really Pissed About Getting Criticized for Jeering at the President in Concerts Overseas. The Dixie Chicks.

And did we mention Joan Baez? We hope not. Because she is absolutely, completely unmentionable. Although one of us thought her dress was okay. For a change.

UPDATE. Not surprisingly, La Malkin checked out the Grammies, too.

UPDATE 2. Courtesy of a tip from Wuzzadem, here's a truly hilarious video of the song the Dixie Chicks should have performed last night:



If you liked it, send some "get well soon" cheer to Wuzzadem. (Scroll down the left-hand column at his site for contact information.) He's laughing as usual, but we can be sure there's real pain involved.





Miracles and Resentments


AMERICA, LAND OF VICTIMS. I generally know when to let a subject go, but I also once accepted the advice that a comment worth responding to is a blog entry worth writing. So I decided to respond to this whole comment from a gentleman named Ray Swenson, who remains angry and embittered about my challenge to Mormons supporting Mitt Romney despite my non-satiric explanation of my motives. As I contemplated what he wrote, it seemed an excellent opportunity to specify what I have addressed only generally about the mistakes Mormon apologists are making. I haven't omitted any of Mr. Swanson's words. Here they are, in full, with my thoughts:

If you want to call Mitt Romney an untrustworthy idiot, you should come up with some specific data to support such an assertion. He was trustworthy and smart in turning around the 2002 Winter Olympics, making it successful in every way, including being profitable enough to provide permanent endowments to support the continued operation of the Olympic venues for the benefit of the people of Utah. He has proven trustoworthy and smart as governor fo [sic[ Massachusetts. He proved trustworthy and smart as the head of various businesses, rescuing companies that were going under and making them profitable employers of thousands of people.

Good opening salvo for an armored assault. But try stating this as a positive argument for Romney rather than as an aggrieved and reflexive attack on those who might be skeptical.

If it boils down to "Romney is Mormon, therefore he must be untrustworthy and dumb", even if you throw out such a statement simply to be provocative, it is nevertheless offensive and demonstrates carelessness not only about the feelings of millions of Americans...

There is no right in the Constitution not to be offended by what various people might say. I'm offended all the time by what leftist totalitarians say about the United States, what liberals say about conservatives, what hard-line feminists say about men, what black race-baiters say about white people, what atheists and Islamists say about Christians, what homosexuals say about heterosexuals, what Global Warming hysterics say about skeptics of the latest scientific permutation of original sin, and what "pro-choice" activists say about fetuses. I nevertheless accept that if those who disagree with me manage to hurt my feelings, they are committing no crime. With respect to my feelings, they are not even committing a sin. All too often, people use injured feelings as an excuse for not thinking. I have always been scornful of George Bernard Shaw's wisecrack that he would have had a higher opinion of Jesus Christ if, in the gospels, He had ever exhorted people to think. That is precisely the reason for the parables, which are not edicts but invitations to think. (Shaw was an 'arrogant twit' on this point.) Similarly, I invite you to think rather than emote like some irritated child.

...but also a total ignorance of how precisely such casual prejudice led to the murder of good Mormons, including Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, and the forced exile of thousands of people from their homes, first in Missouri and then in Illinois. Thinking that you can throw out such bigotry in the interest of your own entertainment places you in the camp of those who murdered Mormons at Hauns Mill, Missouri. It places you with the Mormon-haters who sent the US Army against Utah in 1857, and who confiscated all Church property and denied Mormons the right to vote and serve on juries in the 1880s.

No, it doesn't. There's a vast difference between provocative speech and murder. Casual prejudice doesn't come marching up to the door with a bucket of tar and feathers. It just says things you don't like and have no right -- moral or legal -- to suppress. If you disagree, then you shouldn't be backing a Republican candidate at all, but one of the presumptive juvenile tyrants at Berkeley who want to make unwelcome speech a hate crime and prosecute social heretics for what they think rather than what they do. Is that part of your faith? Do you really want to make me nervous about your religion? Keep going.

Your ignorant bigotry places you in the camp of those who cried out for the summary imprisonment without trial of 100,000 innocent American citizens of Japanese ancestry for three years during World War II. Your ignorant bigotry places you in the camp of the jihadists who call for the extermination of all Jews and the annihilation of Israel.

No, it doesn't. Making fun of people -- any people -- is not the same as seeking to deprive them of freedom or life. Indeed, it is the opposite. Jokes are the safety valve of civilized societies that keeps minor resentments from ballooning into fanatical hatreds. If I'm wrong, show me any single personal anecdote from Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, Baathist Iraq, Kim Jong Il's Korea, Castro's Cuba, or Khomeini's Iran comparable to this exchange between British parliamentary rivals Nancy Astor and Winston Churchill:

ASTOR. If you were my husband, I'd poison your coffee.
CHURCHILL. If you were my wife, I'd drink it.
  
People who actually work with Mormons know that they are at least as well educated as the general American populace, and that the more educated a Mormon is, the more dedicated he tends to be to his faith. They are trusted to be doctors and attorneys and professors and business leaders throughout America. They compete well in the academic environments of universities across America. For example, until recently a Mormon, Kim B. Clark, headed the Harvard Business School. Among the leading 15 Mormon leaders, several of them have PhDs and JDs and MDs, one is a nuclear engineer, and several have been presidents of colleges and universities and were respected in that capacity among their academic peers before assuming Church leadership positions.

Tedious name-dropping. And counter-productive. It tends to reinforce the widespread notion that Mormons have a hard time distinguishing between real goodness and more superficial attainments like success, wealth, authority, and status. If I were really being mean, I could invite you to reread this paragraph making the following substitutions: 1) for "Mormons," "National Socialists;" 2) for "American," "German;" 3) for "Harvard," "Heidelberg,"  4) for "America," "Germany;" 5) and for "faith" and "Church," "Party." Would it still sound like a perfect resume? Not that I'm asking.

If your reasoning is that anyone who believes something that is "impossible" is an idiot, then every atheist is in just that category, because their [sic] is simply no hint of any scientific explanation for how life started.

Every hypothesis comes down to a lot of hand-waving and simple blind faith that nature, unassisted, can create living cells--with DNA and their complex chemical machinery--out of random pieces of non-living matter. Richard Dawkins just skips that part and talks about Darwinian evolution, hoping you won't notice that he hasn't provided any explanation whatsoever for the generation of living cells, which have to exist already before evolution can work. The National Science Foundation web page on evolution blabs on about their [sic] being several alternate hypotheses, but it doesn't set them out nor admit that none of them rises beyond mere speculation and "imagine this". The simplest living cell is a factory that can reproduce itself. Mankind hasn't been able to build anything that capable, that can find raw materials in the environment, and obtain its own energy, and make multiple duplicates of itself, that contains not only the machinery but also the complete instructions for how to build and operate itself. Darwin lived in a time when spontaneous generation had not yet been disproven by Pasteur. We know far too much about chemistry and DNA to ignore the question of how cells came into being in the first place. Scientists who gloss over this unanswered question are ignorant or hypocritical or self-deceptive. Their confidence that someday science will figure it out is nothing but pure faith, not reason. Ergo, atheists believe in something that is simply, on known scientific principles, impossible.


They are therefore just as "dumb" as those who believe in things which are typically classified as "religious" in nature but miraculous, such as the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Sorry for reducing your brilliant argument against atheism and evolution to microfiche, but it's completely irrelevant here. (Instapunk has gotten into enough trouble with atheists and evolutionists in the past.) There's a more important point that most of the Mormon spokespeople in the comments have quite failed to perceive. Not all infinities are created equal. For example, the infinite set of rational numbers is larger than the infinite set of integers. In the same way, not all impossibilities improbabilities are created equal. It may seem improbable that a divine incarnation named Jesus Christ rose from the dead after being executed by the Roman governor of Judea, but we do not not have to further diminish this probability by questioning whether there was a Roman Empire, a captive state called Judea, a city called Jerusalem, a town called Bethlehem, a place called Nazareth, a sea called Galilee, a Greek language in which the gospels were written, a Latin language in which the memory and meaning of the improbable events were translated into doctrine and creed, or a process of recording scripture that did not involve the use of magical, disappearing technologies.

Strangely enough, some of the other Mormon debaters have even dared to frame the improbability of Christ's immaculate conception and resurrection as an implicit accusation against those who question the legitimacy of Mormonism. I can't think of a worse line of argument. A Mormon begins his series of improbable beliefs with an acceptance of all the New Testament improbabilities, then piles on top of them the improbabilities of the Book of Mormon -- a civilization, language, history, and technology for which there is no evidence of any kind.

No, this does not mean that you are wrong. It does not mean that you are crazy. It means that you constitute a tiny minority of the most populous and influential religion of all time. Skepticism, distrust, and even scorn from the limb out of which you grow as a twig are a natural condition of your existence. There is probably no other country in history in which  the people of your faith could have survived and prospered as they have here. Utah and the Mormon Tabernacle are a purely American miracle. Now you even aspire to the highest office of the nation that -- despite numerous bumps and scrapes did finally accept your right to exist -- and it is your choice how you respond. How do you choose? With a cynical presumption that no one else in the land believes as deeply in their faith as you believe in yours, which gives you the right to demand acquiescence, silence, and even obeisance in the face of what could be perceived as ludicrous heresies? With bilious resentment and contempt for those who still cling to the two-millennium-old taproot from which you and yours are but a century-and-a-half-old sprout? Or with the missionary enthusiasm and humility with which the first Christians set about sharing the spiritual joys of their faith with the ancient denizens of the culture whose laws and traditions gave them the chance to survive the lifespan of their original inspiration?

My oldest impression of Mormons was that they were missionaries, not bratty didacts. Fact is, I have cousins who are Mormons. And one close friend from college who was one of the few saintly people I have known. He had been raised by Mormons as a touchingly virtuous person, a bishop by rank, but he was also a troubled agnostic of his own faith. From what he shared with me of his knowledge and doubts, I did acquire a skeptic's view of Mormon scripture -- and an unsettling conviction that true goodness can be sired through paternity of dubious worth. (In fact, this is my only reason for believing in the existence of the "good" muslims who are supposedly on our side.) Call it bigotry, but I learned to expect extraordinary personal qualities from Mormons even as I continued to question the legitimacy of their faith. My conclusion is that your dudgeon, Mr. Swanson, is itself a Mormon heresy.

Only in America could a religious faith like this rise from nothing to the possibility of supreme elective office in a religious nation in fewer than 150 years. You're scarcely older than the Seventh Day Adventists and the Jehovah's witnesses. You've lost a few true believers along the way. But so have the Roman Catholics and the Protestants and the Christians who fought to free the slaves in the United States of America. Join the club. So quit your whining and griping and start using your faith and considerable intelligence to convince this unbelievably hospitable nation that you have something wonderful to offer.

Call me what you will. That's beside the point. You're competing for the highest office of the greatest, freest country in human history. It's time to prove you're more than yet another victim-in-waiting.




Sunday, February 11, 2007


Drawing Blood

Mosquito stings elephant, outraging many.

UPDATE. You are all most welcome for the preview I have given you of two issues that will be part of the 2008 presidential campaign. Since no one seems in the mood for humor, I'll explain these for everyone who finds it impossible to delve below the most superficial level of provocation for insight.

First, though, a couple of observations and assertions.

Dean Barnett has proven that he can be trusted. The most prudent response he could have chosen to my post was no response. That he attempted to address the questions I raised speaks very well of his integrity.

Even the angriest commenters here still did not stoop to the four-letter filth that is not just common but pervasive among leftwing blog folk. That their jibes were mostly wide of the mark was unfortunate, but it does highlight one of my reasons for posting what I did.

And what about all those irate Presbyterians? I mean, how could they get that furious just because I slammed John Calvin about as hard as I did the Mormons? Uh, what? You didn't notice any irate Presbyterians? Hmmmm. I wonder why.

For the record -- and as most regular readers of InstaPunk should readily have determined -- I don't hate Mormons. If Romney turns out to be the Republican nominee, I will probably support him. I don't think he's the best candidate available because he's a Massachusetts Republican on the wrong side of some key conservative issues. I also -- and separately -- don't believe he's electable, no matter how smart and rich he is. All you enraged Mormon commenters have just helped illustrate why.

InstaPunk makes fun of everyone. That's a big part of what we do here, and we're not going to stop doing it because we are not political players with some obligation to be politically correct. We romp up and down on the sidelines shouting catcalls and sticking out our tongues. Because we can. I don't recall receiving anything like the amount of grief you Mormons expressed when I was just as "borderline offensive" (Dean's words) about Richard Dawkins's atheist agenda a few weeks ago.

So here's the first point. Did all you Romney adherents and Mormons really think that the subject of Romney's religion wouldn't come up in the course of a campaign for the presidency? The most disturbing thing about the comments was how offended and surprised everyone seemed to be that anyone would bring up the subject. That is truly absurd. And is this how you're planning to persuade the electorate that it's not a problem?  By immediately resorting to ad-hominem attacks without bothering to look past the first incendiary remarks for more information about the person who offended you?  (Leaping to the conclusion that InstaPunk is a liberal and/or Jew hater and doing nothing to verify such assumptions before making a fool of yourself is really inexcusable if you're actually trying to help your cause, not just blowing off steam.)

Romney's religion is definitely going to be an issue in the campaign. If you want your man to win, the time to drag this looming iceberg into the open is now. The worst possible strategy is to ignore it until after Romney is nominated, because that's when the left will go to work on it, and if you thought I was unfair, you ain't seen nothing yet. We've just seen how unafraid the lefties are of using genuinely obscene ridicule against the Roman Catholic Church. They despise evangelical Christians even more than they do Catholics. You need to think long and hard about how unscrupulous they'll be about the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

Some facts everyone in the Romney camp needs to accept pronto. It is remarkably easy to make fun of Mormonism. You're going to see a lot of it, and I mean a ton. And it's not going to be as simple to handle for Romney as it was for Kennedy to handle his Catholicism. Nothing I read in the comments reassures me that you Romneyites understand this reality. I am especially concerned about the intimations I read that there are Mormons who are good Mormons even though they do not really believe all the harder to believe stuff!? Talk about your slippery slopes. Serious thought has to be given to how Romney advocates and the Mormon community generally should respond to the doubters. And there will be a great many doubters who are not "arrogant twits" or "bigots" or "haters," but mere conventional traditionalists who think that what and where a person comes from says a lot about who he is and what he will do in a pinch.

This brings me to the second issue -- the role and responsibilities of "players" like Hewitt and Barnett. Though he circled around the question quite a bit, Barnett never did quite draw a clear line between being a blogger and a semi-official advocate for a political candidate. In fact, his posture of taking offense at InstaPunk's Mormon abuse rather than recognize the size and danger of the iceberg does no service to his readers or his candidate. He wound up falling through the rift between blogger and campaign-worker. As a campaign worker he shouldn't have linked me at all. As a blogger, he should have remembered that satire is in InstaPunk's DNA and addressed the fact of a political problem that is best not wished away.

This is a significant issue of its own, irrespective of the Romney candidacy. In the 2008 election, the political world is going to reach into the blogosphere in new ways, drafting bloggers as political soldiers and thereby creating much confusion and potential conflict of interest. Last week's flap about John Edwards's blog girls is only the first of what will prove to be many controversies. What is the line between bloggers and campaign soldiers? What are the ethical questions that should be anticipated and thought through ahead of time? Specifically, what should bloggers-turned-campaign-workers tell their readers about what they will or will not do with their writings on behalf of a candidate? Or are we just supposed to read between the lines and guess how much is honest discourse and how much is pragmatic political spin?

Frankly, I'm not comfortable with that, and it seems to me that Dean Barnett is still grappling with the problem but has not quite come to grips with it yet.

For all of you who found it impossible to read this because you're so blinded by the conviction that I'm just a bigoted idiot, my condolences. Shooting off your six-guns at anyone who says unflattering things about Mormonism is naive at best and self-destructive at worst. Whether you know it or not, I've just done you a big favor. Get a grip.

And finally, to Dean: I know you'll sort your way through the ethical issues. That's why I picked on you rather than someone else.

UPDATE 2/12/07.  A more specific response from InstaPunk to a commenter who's still angry and bitter.




Friday, February 09, 2007


Corruption

"The only thing more inherently corrupt than a Yankee fan is a Red Sox fan."

                                                                                  -- St. Paul

PSAYINGS.5S.1-8. Truth is, Dean Barnett would do anything for the Red Sox. Dean's boss at Townhall.com is Hugh Hewitt. Hewitt likes Mitt Romney. Romney was governor of Massachusetts, home of the Red Sox. How surprising is it that Barnett posted this the other day?

To put Romney's on-line fundraising into perspective, consider that the notoriously web-savvy John Edwards raised only $746k and change on-line in the same time period.  And Romney raised his $1,.4 million on line without the help, guidance and leadership of two virtual gyno-warriors.  Amazing!

Sigh. Hewitt and Barnett  are both smart guys, but, well, really. Mormonism is the most absurd form of Christianity by, say, a million parsecs, and I, personally, am getting tired of American conservatives who believe the American people can be sold a bill of goods on the say-so of well connected (Look at me being influential!) bloggers.

I'll say what no one else will at this point: Mormons are untrustable idiots.

Christians are people who believe in the divinity of Christ. They are conspicuously NOT people who believe that Christ magically appeared to an ancient American nation with no archaeological or written record of any kind for the purpose of telling them how to make money by not drinking hot liquids.

The fact is, we're talking desperation. Republicans are going down in flames. It's almost impossible to find a real conservative who wants to run for office. So the king makers have decided to pretend that a cultist who has the money to finance his own campaign is a conservative. And they expect us to buy it because, hey, look at all the important people we interview. Besides, you know how Christian they are. Don't they remind you about that almost every day?

Hugh Hewitt is a self-professed Catholic-Presbyterian. (Time out for some punctuation exercises -- ? ! ! ?...) Actually, there are no appropriate punctuation marks for a Catholic-Presbyterian. Nothing that indicates a brakes-locked panic stop with a 180 degree twist.

I'm blowing the whistle on Hugh Hewitt. And Dean Barnett. I'm a Scot. Only a Scot can comprehend the total absurdity of the Catholic-Presbyterian oxymoron, and only a Scot can know for sure that John Calvin was, well, a typical half-smart engineer, afflicted with the arrogant certainty that logic will inevitably lead you to the most scientifically correct (i.e., stupid) theological conclusion anyone ever thought of:  that actually being a good person is irrelevant because salvation is only a lottery decided ahead of time by an insane god who cares nothing about works or worth. Of course, being French, Calvin didn't have enough of a sense of humor to pretend he got this idea from a magic crystal that disappeared after it calculated the meaning of life as an imaginary number.

That's the Presbyterian part. Personally, I prefer the Catholic part, which we see when Hugh Hewitt goes all papal on Democrats who don't understand the ultimate rationality (Stop it, Calvin. I mean it.) of the Inquisition.

All humor aside, we're seeing in the Hewitt-Barnett example an instance of what happens when sincere bloggers start to become politicians. Barnett is an intelligent, well-meaning man. So is Hugh Hewitt. But they've both been bitten by the power bug. They think they can play a role in who gets elected President of the United States in 2008. In their infinite wisdom, they've decided that should be Mitt Romney and that we will be taken in by their assurances based on the respect they earned for honesty before they became campaign functionaries. The sad fact is, we can't trust them anymore.

Sorry. Truth time. Mitt Romney will never be president. He's a Mormon. Therefore he's a loon, regardless of how blazingly intelligent you have to be to make a half billion dollars in this country. The American people aren't going to buy this particular pig in this particular poke.

I still like Dean and I still like Hugh. That's why I'm offering this extremely valuable bit of advice: Give up being political gurus and go back to being plain-speaking conservatives. The only possible outcome of your campaign efforts is ruin -- professional.  personal, and spiritual.

I'm not kidding, Dean. Especially about the Red Sox.

UPDATE. So. The hornet's nest has been stirred up. Good. Check out the comments section to see the Mormon defense at its finest. Mostly to the point and mostly absent the kind of invective I employed. Also, Dean Barnett has responded in his customary gentlemanly fashion, although he administers an old-fashioned spanking to yours truly. If all these arguments seem unnecessarily heavy, go to the always brilliant Wuzzadem for relief.  I will respond to the serious stuff tomorrow. There is method in the madness.

UPDATE 2/11/07. A response from InstaPunk.

UPDATE 2/12/07.  A more specific response from InstaPunk to a commenter who's still angry and bitter.




Thursday, February 08, 2007


Defending the Edwards Blog Queens
 


Amanda Marcotte & Melissa McEwan

RATIONAL INQUIRY. I've been busy on other matters, so I missed most of the flap about the two women John Edwards hired to do "outreach" to liberals in the blogosphere. Conservatives especially have been irate about several things: their seeming prejudice against Christians, particularly Catholics; their propensity for earthy Anglo-Saxon diction; the opportunity seized by the MSM to characterize them as typical of all bloggers; their belated attempts to sanitize the blogs they wrote before hiring on with the Edwards campaign; and, most recently, John Edwards's decision to keep them on staff because he believed their assurances they meant no insult to any race, sex, or religion.

What are the facts? Amanda Marcotte has a B.A. in English Literature from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. She wrote numerous posts for a blog titled Pandagon in which she repeatedly explained the impeccable logic and moral superiority of the liberal (i.e., tolerant) preference for secular reasonableness over the irrational and largely hostile prejudices of white, male, Christian, Republican varieties of the American populace.

Melissa McEwan studied cultural anthropology, sexuality, and gender at Loyola University, Chicago. She wrote her posts for a blog called Shakespeare's Sister and almost incredibly demonstrated the same level of proficiency shown by Amanda in persuading her readers of the greater appeal of liberal policies when they are examined in the specific context of conservative ignorance, fear, and reaction.

Yet despite these dazzling accomplishments, multiple otherwise clear-thinking conservatives have not only failed to defend them from the winds of political opportunism but have even presumed to make fun of them.

For this kind of unacceptable behavior I must specifically indict:

Michelle Malkin's HotAir video, in which she read entries out loud in what can only be called a jeering tone;

IowaHawk's inexcusable lampooning of the same and kindred entries in an unkind post called The Pandagon Papers;

and:

Little Green Footballs, who actually hunted down entries which had been deleted since the two joined the Edwards campaign.

For shame. Regular readers of InstaPunk will already have understood that these two remarkable ladies deserve praise rather than ridicule for persevering in their commentary despite being afflicted with New Tourette's Syndrome, which is running epidemic throughout the liberal universe and is by no means limited to the blogosphere. Here is what Dr. Tourette wrote of the ailment when he first identified it in 1884:

“In the midst of an interesting conversation, all of a sudden, without being able to prevent it, she interrupts what she is saying or what she is listening to with horrible screams and with words that are even more extraordinary than her screams. All of this contrasts deplorabl(y) with her distinguished manners and background. These words are, for the most part, offensive curse words and obscene saying(s). These are no less embarrassing for her than for those who have to listen, the expressions being so crude that an unfavorable opinion of the woman is almost inevitable.”

No surprise, I suppose, that it's the intolerant conservatives who so abysmally fail to understand what is obvious to all liberals about all who come to grief: THEY CAN'T HELP IT.

No less an icon than Dr. Samuel Johnson was afflicted with (old) Tourettes. As to the new strain, it's apparently even more pernicious and resistant to treatment than the old. So what good does it do to repeat and exaggerate their spontaneous explosions, to parody them in deadly bursts of satire, or to tear away the veils of modesty they apply after the fact to conceal the grossest acts of self-humiliation a normal person can conceive of?

I say, be done with the ridicule. Let us follow the worthy model of John Edwards in understanding their plight. God bless him. And good luck to these poor, pitiable, benighted liberals of the female persuasion. May God lend them aid and comfort in their hour of need, just as they have so often afforded aid and comfort to the enemies of our nation.

Amen.

UPDATE. Thankfully, the Anchoress knows what's what. She almost always does.




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