Friday, August 08, 2008


I'm sorry I haven't addressed Skimble's retirement from blogging, or his angry farewell post.

I have ceased to care about McStupid's Britney video and Obama's acting presidency. Or the New Yorker cover. Or Cindy McCain's 20 painkillers a day. Or the endless hand-wringing about the fucking narrative.

The 24/7 minutiae of yet another artificial campaign horserace cannot captivate me. The big story is this: The Democrats have failed to hold the existing administration accountable for its flagrant and abundant crimes against Americans and Iraqis and Afghanis and all humanity. History will not be kind to Nancy and Harry, thanks to their perfect ineffectuality. History will also judge the present crop of American citizens as unbearably privileged and hopelessly idiotic for sitting complacently watching CNN while the oily machinery behind this administration waltzed off with the contents of the US Treasury and whatever coin it found in the pockets of the American working class....

I agree that ordinary Americans regularly embrace politicians who make no secret of the fact that their intention is to aggrandize other Americans, those who aren't at all ordinary. I fault the public for letting itself be duped again and again by the fake-average poses these politicians strike as they line the pockets of the rich.

Where I differ with Skimble is that I blame those phony "regular-guy" Republicans for doing the duping, and blame Republicans for their Borg-like blockage of the agenda Democrats were elected to carry out in 2006, more than I blame the Democrats. In the Senate, for instance, Harry Reid doesn't have the power to repeal the laws of math and make 50 equal 67, and that's what he needed to be able to do over the past year and a half.

I don't blame Skimble for being sick of the narrative. It's sane to be sick of it. If I focus on it, and focus on the press that spoons it out to us, it's because the narrative is largely the reason the public falls for the bunkum year after year. Our elite journalists, terrified of being called "liberal," allay their anxieties by telling us that opposition to the war is a radical minority position and that John McCain is a universally beloved maverick and that Bush's aircraft-carrier landing gave a unified country a patriotic thrill. And on and on and on back through recent history.

We assess blame somewhat differently, and I keep at this, but I think Skimble has a point and, where we disagree, he may well have it right while I have it wrong.

Whatever the case, I hope something happens in the future that he finds a pleasant surprise -- and I hope he gets back to blogging someday, at his blog and, once in a while, maybe here, too.

You'll be missed, Skimble.

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