This has been one of the more entertaining weeks in the history of politics. I probably should have live-blogged the whole thing because that’s the only way I could have kept up. Every time I thought I had something I could hook a post to it was immediately replaced by something I was sure was better, only to be replaced in turn by something else.
By way of example: Andrew Sullivan, who has been live-blogging, actually posted the difference in the 19.7 misery index from 1979 ( that’s inflation plus unemployment for those who may have forgotten as I had) and now (5.3) exactly as though the current number were real (the government has been fudging, i.e., manufacturing, happy thoughts about inflation since the eighties and the old unemployment hodge-podge, which has been tinkered with since the Kennedy years, has, of necessity, been put on steroids by the Obama administration…but you knew that).
I thought surely I couldn’t beat that and was all ready to post something about Sullivan being exemplary of the triple terrors of modern intellectual life:
1. The Brits (Christopher Hitchens and David Thomson being other prime examples) who recognized their own country was headed down the toilet a generation or two back and hightailed it to America in order to lecture us on how much better off we’d be if we were more like…them!
2. The Beltway crowd who have never had to personally deal with the economic effects of “the Reagan Revolution,” said revolution having made their own little bubble in the Wall-Street-to-D.C. corridor wealthy beyond belief at the expense of the entire world (and from whence both the Clintonian and Trumpian Final Solutions have now sprung full-blown).
3. The “intellectual” who changes his mind constantly and calls anyone who doesn’t manage to keep up with the latest twist a fascist.
What could beat that?
Well, I only had to wait an hour, so I’m going to get this in before the crick in my neck gets straightened out by the next head snap.
After Ted Cruz’s stupendous bit of political theater last night, he was the talk of the morning shows. Morning Joe‘s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski had one of Cruz’s fired-but-loyal lieutenants on to discuss whether Cruz’s unwillingness to let his followers drink of a Trump endorsement after he had led them to the very edge of the unholy water was “personal.”
Of course the lieutenant (I didn’t catch his name but it hardly matters, anyone of his class would have done as he did) denied this was any part of Cruz’s motivation. He insisted it was a matter of principle and Mika, who has, in the past, all but called Cruz an ax-murderer, jumped in to second his emotion.
Within a matter of minutes, Cruz was on all the major “news” channel, speaking to his Texas supporters (who lacerated him, incidentally) attempting to explain himself. When asked why he had broken his “my word is my bond” pledge to support the Republican nominee, Cruz said he wasn’t in the habit of supporting anyone who insulted his wife (Trump called her ugly) and his father (Trump suggested he might have hung out with Lee Harvey Oswald, which the press, still clinging to the Warren Commission after all these years, insisted was the same thing as accusing Cruz the Elder of plotting to kill JFK…the extent to which these people simply don’t keep up is often stupefying and the best explanation for how Trump has been able to so easily and consistently cut them off at the knees).
About two minutes after that, somebody on the set of Morning Joe, who had been monitoring the Cruz speech on another channel (after MSNBC cut away), told the Cruz lieutenant what Cruz had said.
Then somebody else on Morning Joe said…”Sounds kind of personal.”
Awkward silence. Sheepish smiles. Nods all around.
Let’s move on.
The one pure delight of this otherwise Sturm und Drang moment has been seeing the media gatekeepers and their a-hole buddies in the “consultant” class continually shocked by their own inability to craft, manage or even comprehend the new narratives.
Just because I sense Chaos coming (even if I can’t predict its form) doesn’t mean I’m looking forward to its arrival. Quite the opposite. That’s why I have to take the occasional smile where I can find it.
Got my head spinnin’ round?
Let’s keep it unsettling, shall we?