Sunday, December 05, 2010

Exception to the Drool

Been meaning to touch on this gem for a while, but busy week, blah blah blah, you know the drill. Besides, if this is an article, you know it's a slow news week in Bullshit City.

Anyhoo, let us cut the proverbial crap -- for each and every one of the turd-bruglars mentioned trumpeting about "American exceptionalism", it is a vastly different concept than what most sentient beings assume. The phrase actually used to connote, get this, a certain level of exceptionalism, that even beyond the blood-soaked history of slavery and genocide, there was a common desire to achieve and excel. This, along with serendipitous geography and the sort of gregarious aggression that stupefies Europeans, translated into progress over the last century.

But the exceptionalists have something more sinister, less achievement-oriented in mind. What they really mean is the divinely-ordained right to push inconvenient others around, to dictate the tempo of regional and global activity, to drive the world's bus even as the country itself devolves into an obese corporate despotism with banana-republic levels of income disparity. To such people it makes infinitely more sense to spend $3 trillion to depose and kill Saddam Hussein, displace or kill 10% of the Iraqi population, and leave the country a violent Iranian satrapy, than to spend even one-tenth of that trying to make sure that the public education system actually produces thinking, reasoning people.

They'll throw out some pseudo-populist red meat about those darned bankers, but rest assured not a one of 'em would turn down a fat donation from Lloyd Blankfein or whichever Armani-coated homunculus. But they do get an inordinate amount of mileage from the one-o'-yew pose.

This cheap anti-intellectual posturing always gets traction when one of them (you know which one) misspeaks, then is apoplectic at the prospect of it getting reported. This is the downside of having the cowed corporate media report every blessed thing to fall out yer piehole, dearie -- they regurgitate the fuck-ups as well.

The takeaway from that particular non-story is not whether Palin knows the difference between North Korea and South Korea, anymore than anyone seriously believes that Obama thinks there are 57 states. People misspeak. It happens. (Of course, the responses of each when people make fun of them for it is telling; Obama never says shit, while Palin instantly gets defensive and has a holy hissy-fit that someone is not completely deferential to her.)

Palin probably understands which Korea is which in the context of American interests; that is, she knows which one is designated as "our friend". That's not necessarily an insult; for all his rhetorical furbelows and oratorical vamping, Obama has so far demonstrated precious little real acumen for foreign policy detail. Aside from his stance thus far on Iran, one would be hard-pressed to delineate substantial differences from what he's doing, and what his predecessors or opponents would have done.

If we accept for the sake of argument that Obama does not have over Palin -- aside from proprietary information granted the office -- any substantial advantage in profound knowledge regarding the Korean peninsula, we then have to keep in mind their respective approaches. That is, a leader who does not possess deep insight on a particular subject surrounds himself with people who do. And that is the big difference -- where Obama will at least in good faith try to find someone temperamentally inclined to defuse volatile situations with unstable despots, Palin would pick John Bolton.

This is of a piece with her "commentary" as such, on pretty much any given subject, the predisposition to escalate virtually any conversation with obnoxious guff and mendacious flapdoodle. People who are looking for a problem can invariably create one if need be, the better to rally her legion of angry, ignorant, gibbering morons to the most tendentious arguments.

In the past, I might have been self-righteously offended at yet another god-bothering dickhole overtly insinuating that the religious, despite at least two thousand years of bloody proof to the contrary, are inherently more moral than non-believers, whether or not they practice what they preach, whether or not they know what they're yapping about, simply by virtue of belief. But really, it would be like leaving my dog in the house, and getting angry when she shits on the rug. The dog is doing the only thing it knows how to do; the fault is mine for not kicking the stupid fucker out before I left.

So it is here. The only question is whether we (whoever "we" may be in this case, perhaps folks with IQs above 90) still have the energy to rub their noses in it when they soil the rug.

1 comment:

Downpuppy said...

Difference on Iran?

Talking like they're Satan & doing business has been pretty bipartisan for 30 years.

Iranian & American. It works for the rulers on both sides.