Jay Nordlinger is a jackanapes

I read www.nationalreview.com quite often:

A. To know what the enemy is thinking;
B. To read the good writers on there, with whom I usually disagree, but sometimes do not (i.e., sometimes the columnists have a brain, a clue, and a point to make).

Jay Nordlinger isn’t one of those good writers. In fact, I usually just ignore his columns because they’re so poorly conceived.

But in this colum he trashes Bush’s debate performance. Fair enough. But then he says this, which almost made me puke with shame for the man:

This sounds perfectly like how Goebbels and other people irrationally dedicated to Hitler wrote. I can perceive it in no other way. Here we have the worst POTUS in the 20th or 21st centuries, probably in US history, who has launched a war that is dangerous, unprofitable, and unsuccessful (i.e., not even a cynic could love it); who has disgraced the US in the eyes of the world, to the point where one cannot, abroad, announce one’s citizenship without a twinge of nervousness; and managed the economy of our great land without about as much skill as his looter buddy Ken Lay.

And this fuckhead Nordlinger can honestly use the words “love” and “Mt. Rushmore” in connection with this illegitimately installed swine on two legs? Hired wrecker Greenspan coined the phrase “irrational exhuberence,” but this goes beyond that. “Irrational fascist flatulence” perhaps?

I used to think that Nordlinger was just a poor writer and an undistinguished rightie columnist. But now I think he belongs with Hannity, Rush, Ann, and other freaks in the Right-Wing Tooldom Hall of Fame. Sometimes slavish devotion and monumental stupidity really can allow one to transcend the pack.

Bonus slam: Jonah Goldberg is precisely 1/12 as clever and funny as he thinks he is.

Heheheh, that is so true.

Aeschines: This sounds perfectly like how Goebbels and other people irrationally dedicated to Hitler wrote. I can perceive it in no other way.

Hmm. What seemed to me like the obvious explanation is that Nordlinger had to make a complete and unmistakable reaffirmation of his loyalty, to compensate for having criticized Bush’s showing in the debate.

I don’t think it’s a “Nazi-esque” personal devotion; I think it’s just that a convention has emerged in certain right-wing pundit circles that you must not disparage the President. And Nordlinger really kicked over the traces in that column:

Considering that Nordlinger, by his own account, got lambasted by many readers for “disloyalty” just for criticizing Bush’s daughters, you can see how he would have to renew his loyalty oath very strongly and publicly for going negative to that extent on the Leader himself.

George W. Bush may have his defects, but he can’t compete with Jimmy Carter for “Worst President of the 20th/21st Century”. I like Carter as a human being, but he was a total disaster as President.

Kimtsu, I think you get the psychology here close to perfect, by why the emphasis on “love.” Isn’t that going a little beyond? Then again, in the world of right-wing loons, who knows?

But yeah, loyalty oath.

Mks57, I don’t agree. Who would be in the running? Taft, Hoover, Nixon, and Shrub.

But Carter? Carter inherited a disaster–an economy that sucked and political chaos from Watergate. I’ll grant that he didn’t do so great. Bush inherited peace and prosperity and has managed to flush both–not through inaction, not even through mere incompetence, but through both incompetence and poorly conceived actions (cutting taxes for the rich, Gulf War II, etc.). How did Carter do worse than that?

In the foreign policy area, Carter got Egypt and Israel to shake hands and generally did OK. I’ll grant that he didn’t handle the hostage crisis as well as he might have. In other areas, there seems to be a lack of excellence but also not too many great shames. I’m no expert on his administration, not even close, but I certainly don’t see the evidence for thinking him worse than the big incompetents of the century.

If you want to hear a complete moron, try Michael Savage. Mr. Rilch was listening to him last night (Og help me), and he was, of course, talking about Thursday’s debate. He (Savage) was displeased with both candidates because they disagreed about Iraq. According to him, they should “work together” to find a solution. Instead of arguing.

Me: “Did he just fall out of a tree?! What does he think a debate is? The candidates were selling themselves. Kerry was there to try to convince voters that he would be a better president than Bush is, and Bush was there to try to convince voters that he is a better president than Kerry would be. If they both agreed on everything, there’d be no need for us to choose one over the other.”

Mr. Rilch: “Want me to switch over to George Noory?”

Me. “Yes. Please.”

I really don’t think Savage has all his marbles.

Aeschines: *[But] why the emphasis on “love.” Isn’t that going a little beyond? *

Eh, I’m inclined to think it’s just that, as you point out, Nordlinger isn’t a very good writer. He isn’t stupid, but he often expresses himself clumsily, and I’m not sure he’d notice that “I love Bush” sounds like a somewhat startling and bizarre way of expressing “I unwaveringly support Bush”.

On the other hand, I don’t know the guy; for all I know he might have a passionate personal devotion to The Leader and gaze moist-eyed at The Leader’s photograph on his bedside table every night. I just happen to think not.

Heh heh. Benefit of the doubt, eh? :cool:


WTF is a jackanapes? Jackass+anchovy+ape+extraneous “s”?

It was originally a word for a pet performing ape and, by obvious extension, came to mean a person who was very foolish. The etymology is uncertain, but pretty damn interesting. The OED has this to say (they even suggest origins for that extraneous “s”!):