Rightbloggers on Father's Day, Guns, Knives, and Unloved Commuters
[Editor's note: After penning the popular "The Official Village Voice Election-Season Guide to the Right-Wing Blogosphere," Roy Edroso has made dissecting those blogs into a weekly feature that appears here every Monday. ]
SILLY SEASON: RIGHTBLOGGERS ON FATHER'S DAY, GUNS, KNIVES, AND UNLOVED COMMUTERS
There was real news last week, like the Supreme Court decision on Guantanamo detainees — or, if you're a rightblogger, "The Day America Died" from a "naked, arrogant power grab of wartime, war-fighting power by the liberal wing of the Supreme Court... to prevent Congress and the president from protecting you and me!" with the approval of B. Hussein Obama ("Obama Sides With Radical Islamists").
But who cares? It's hot outside, the Conventions are months away, and rightbloggers are much more fun when they're sweating the small stuff. So let us open the floor to fatherhood, frivolous political rhetoric, and assorted ridiculous crap.
National Review celebrated Father's Day by interviewing Kathleen Parker. The author of Save The Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care saluted American Dads by reminding them of their horrible oppression by women.
While men "created the big-idea documents that ultimately resulted in women's suffrage and equality under the law," Parker explained, women "demonstrated their gratitude by reaching the summit and basically pulling the ladder up behind them. 'See ya, guys. You're on your own now. Oh, and we're taking the kids.'" Further reasons to celebrate: "Seriously, guys are now expected to be as good as women at everything. It's not enough to bring home the bacon. A real man has to also be able to whip up a soufflé, know where to get the best pedicure, and be able to identify a Manolo." (Whew! Do we still have to take out the garbage?)
To repair this situation, Parker advised readers to "let men be men" — but not let men look at porn. "Men don't want to be saved from porn, I'm pretty sure," admitted Parker, "But then alcoholics don't want to be saved from alcohol..." No clear remedy was offered (read the book, I guess), but Parker looked fondly back at a time when women "kept our knees together." Those of you who got a tie instead, count your blessings.
Elsewhere at National Review, Susan Konig bade us give thanks that the men in our lives are not famously unfaithful Democratic politicians. (Her ultimate hero of the Day, "a truly great Father," was a celibate priest.) Parker reemerged at NatRev's The Corner to complain that Random House was insufficiently promoting her book, and that "Father's Day boasts the highest number of collects calls of any other day in the year. Moms, if you let your kids call their dads, don't make them call collect" — leading Lisa Schiffren to chide, "let's not go overboard on weeping for non-custodial fathers."
Well, who can blame them — even Obama was a bit of a scold on Father's Day. But that was a late entry (quick rightwing reax: "Talk is Cheap"). Rightbloggers had more time to consider Obama's The Untouchables reference in regard to the Presidential race ("If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun").
Some thought Obama insufficiently butch to use guy-movie quotes. "Barack bowls like a girl," said The Strata-Sphere, "yet he wants to pretend that somehow he is equal to a man who fought in Vietnam and risked his life for his country." "Note to Obama, you shouldn't speak of things you know nothing about," said Wake Up America. "He was in Philadelphia," said Riehl World View. "If he actually knew anything about the streets there, he would have said Uzi versus Sat Night Special." (Riehl World View previously advised that "if Obama has a 'not Black enough' problem," he should listen to Otis Redding, but that was before Fox News told us about Obama's "terrorist fist jab" and "baby mama," presumably giving him all the street cred he'll need for one campaign.)
Flopping Aces had a more general problem with figurative speech. "Does it strike readers as somewhat odd," the Aces asked, "that the Dems who screech at the very mention of the word gun would be backing a candidate who threatens to use one in a fight?" Don't tell them that Obama has proposed to "Help Americans Grab a Hold of and Climb the Job Ladder," or we may get a post on the limited utility of hardware supplies in employment policy.
Uncorrelated did grasp the metaphor, but hoped Obama's race would cause it to backfire: "A black man threatening to put a cap in a white man doesn't appear to be an image Obama would want to promulgate. No need for the GOP to make him look scary — this will do the trick."
Indeed, some used KnifeGunGate as a jumping-off point for a topic new to us: the seething cauldron of rage that is Barack Obama.
"Obama has tried to justify his anger as a reaction to what he learned to see as the pervasive racism of American society," claimed The Astute Bloggers. "The humble, self-effacing mask that Obama wears conceals a very different personality. And as he thinks he is getting closer to the Presidency, the ego rush will eventually generate enough psychical energy to overwhelm the mask... It won't be pretty." Strangely, there was no tie-in to the new Hulk movie.
Unwilling to wait for that psychical energy to achieve lift-off force, David Limbaugh endeavored to expose Obama's "thinly veiled truculence." Obama "has intimidated John McCain into bringing the proverbial knife to a gunfight," wrote Limbaugh, "while he's arming himself with rhetorical grenades and rocket launchers." Among his examples of Obama's heavy artillery: "There are many words to describe John McCain's attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush's policies but change is not one of them." And: "You know, John McCain has proposed a series of debates, and I'm looking forward to having them. But when it comes to Social Security, he might want to finish the debate with himself first." It's a wonder they let Obama on prime time, where impressionable children can watch.
But let us be fair. Obama's barely-restrained desire to shoot McCain was only one talking point among many. At National Review's Campaign Spot, Jim Geraghty found a new class of citizens whom Obama has slandered: commuters. Geraghty focused on a quote from an Obama friend to the effect that the future candidate found the prospect of becoming another Manhattan office drone "scary." "But there's a fine line between rejecting that life," said Geraghty, "and looking down at that life." Thereafter flowed a rhapsody to the boys on the Metro-North:
"The world needs these people — who get up every morning, go to work to do jobs with no glamor and little or no prestige, wages modest or worse, and whose names never appear in the newspaper. These folks receive a round of applause when they dance at their wedding, and at their retirement party, and that's about it."
Well, Sheena Easton did sing them a song. But is that enough to make up for decades of Hollywood and Broadway putdowns, and Mad magazine parodies? How can Obama be so insensitive? Suddenly switching to first person plural, Geraghty bore more deeply into his vein of resentment: "We can't all be touted as secular messiahs, surrounded by adoring throngs. Very few us get crowds chanting our name on a regular basis. Scarlett Johansson doesn't e-mail us, and Jennifer Lopez doesn't visit our offices."
In the unlikely event that Obama needs to shore up his support among college-educated cubicle workers in the usually Democratic Tri-State Area, maybe he can just send a dozen roses, or a celebrity, to their spokesman, Jim Geraghty. Or maybe he needn't bother. Contrary to the impression rightbloggers try to convey, symbolism only goes so far, and Silly Season won't last forever.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.