31 August 2009

Calling Out Right Wing Hypocrites ...

Since I was just speaking of Glen Greenwald in another context, it seems appropriate to note his incisive post on how pervasive blatant rich-white privilege has become among right wingers.
"They should convene a panel for the next Meet the Press with Jenna Bush Hager, Luke Russert, Liz Cheney, Megan McCain and Jonah Goldberg, and they should have Chris Wallace moderate it. They can all bash affirmative action and talk about how vitally important it is that the U.S. remain a Great Meritocracy because it's really unfair for anything other than merit to determine position and employment. They can interview Lisa Murkowski, Evan Bayh, Jeb Bush, Bob Casey, Mark Pryor, Jay Rockefeller, Dan Lipinksi, and Harold Ford, Jr. about personal responsibility and the virtues of self-sufficiency. Bill Kristol, Tucker Carlson and John Podhoretz can provide moving commentary on how America is so special because all that matters is merit, not who you know or where you come from. There's a virtually endless list of politically well-placed guests equally qualified to talk on such matters.

About this latest hiring by NBC, Atrios observed: "if only the Villager values of nepotism and torture could be combined somehow." The American Prospect's Adam Serwer quickly noted that they already have been: "Liz Cheney." Liz Cheney is really the perfect face of Washington's political culture, a perfect manifestation of all the rotting diseases that define it and a pure expression of what our country has become and the reasons for its virtual ruin. She should really be on every political TV show all day every day. It's almost as though things can't really be expressed thoroughly without including her. Jenna Bush as a new NBC "reporter" on The Today Show -- at a time when every media outlet is firing and laying off real reporters -- is a very nice addition though.

UPDATE: Just to underscore a very important, related point: all of the above-listed people are examples of America's Great Meritocracy, having achieved what they have solely on the basis of their talent, skill and hard work -- The American Way. By contrast, Sonia Sotomayor -- who grew up in a Puerto Rican family in Bronx housing projects; whose father had a third-grade education, did not speak English and died when she was 9; whose mother worked as a telephone operator and a nurse; and who then became valedictorian of her high school, summa cum laude at Princeton, a graduate of Yale Law School, and ultimately a Supreme Court Justice -- is someone who had a whole litany of unfair advantages handed to her and is the poster child for un-American, merit-less advancement.

I just want to make sure that's clear"
So, actually the relation between this and my earlier post is not so disjointed. Yesterday, just before I read about Jenna's new gig, I had asked my friend Susan what the hell the truly dim Liz Cheney had done - beyond inheriting bad genes - to become a welcome guest on various Sunday morning talking heads shows. The woman is an apologist for the far right and nothing else. It is hard to believe that she could actually come up with any of the talking points she spouts.

The problem with Greenwald's piece is that it will be wholly lost on the folks he mentions. After all, they see nothing wrong with nepotism so long as it works for them. Indeed, not long ago Adam Bellow (former editor at Free Press, now editor at Doubleday and son of Saul Bellow who surely had nothing to do with the lad's entree into the publishing world) produced a manifesto for the whole lot entitled - you guessed it - In Praise of Nepotism! Irony and sarcasm like Greenwald's are lost on the shameless. And as a good ideologue, Bellow seems to rest content with his effort to establish a "natural history" of nepotism. Even if Bellow were successful in defending this claim, which I doubt (I've not read the book; life is too short), there are all sorts of putatively "natural" impulses that we try to put behind us. That, in part, is why we teach kids to have moral responses like shame when they do things that are contemptible.

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Blogger Stan B. said...

Shame? The only shame comes from not having the silver spoon.

31 August, 2009 23:13  

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