Tasty Tidbits 8/3/11

  1. Hysteria or hypocrisy?
  2. Cornered in 2012.
  3. Who do you trust?
  4. Better the closet than the coliseum.
  5. Nice warm-up. Now it’s time for the Tea Party to get extreme.
  6. The Good Consumer.


The New York Times is the first to point fingers at conservative rhetoric when anyone not certifiably from the Left or Islam commits a notorious violent act, but their editorials and regular columns have been very strident, with lots of violent imagery and demonization, about the debt deal.

“Conservatives” like James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal, unfortunately, are playing the reverse mirror image game as the Liberals. Did Joe Biden compare Republicans to terrorists and hostage-takers? Bring the smelling salts! Joe Nocera at the NYT said something nasty? Ditto. I’m waiting for today’s case of the vapors over Maureen Dowd’s title today: “Washington Chain Saw Massacre.”

It’s heated rhetoric, to be sure, but we can’t tiptoe around just because there are a few unstable folks out there who have guns and no appreciation for hyperbole. The larger problem is that the hyperbole is seldom illuminating; it’s merely cathartic.

It’s also kind of interesting to see liberals, who have accused conservatives of being pathologically fearful of change (when the change is driven by non-negotiable demands from Democrat core constituencies, like the Human Rights Campaign), exhibiting pathological fear of change now that it’s driven by the Tea Party’s non-negotiable demands.


George Will thinks Obama has so wed himself to liberalism that he cannot run as anything else in 2012.

Obama’s presidency may last 17 or 65 more months, but it has been irreversibly neutered by two historic blunders made at its outset. It defined itself by health-care reform most Americans did not desire, rather than by economic recovery. And it allowed, even encouraged, self-indulgent liberal majorities in Congress to create a stimulus that confirmed conservatism’s portrayal of liberalism as an undisciplined agglomeration of parochial appetites. This sterile stimulus discredited stimulus as a policy.
Obama’s 2012 problem is that he dare not run as a liberal but cannot run from his liberalism. The left’s narrative for 2012 is that by not offering another stimulus, Washington is being dangerously frugal. This, even though his stimulus — including cash for clunkers, cash for caulkers, dollars for dishwashers (yes, there actually were money showers for home improvements and greener appliances), etc. — led downhill.

This strikes me as one of the most sober and perceptive columns in anticipation of 2012. Your mileage may vary.


Put not your trust in Princes, in sons of me in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to his earth. On that very day, his plans perish. The Lord will reign forever ….

1st Antiphon, Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Singing this every Sunday for 14 years is one of the reasons I’m not wracked with anxiety about governmental idiocy.


John at Notes from a Common Place Book is a sober, straight-up guy (i.e., we agree so much I’ve come to trust him when I lack personal knowledge). He says Texas Governor Rick Perry is a huckster and the upcoming prayer rally is … well, pretty darned dubious.

To ridicule this event exposes one to the charge that they are opposed to prayer. I am not, but I believe I am on firmer theological ground here when I suggest that it is better done in a closet than in a coliseum.

I agree on the “Prayerapalooza in Houston” and will trust him on the former.


Not all conservatives are happy even with the politics — never mind the economics — of the debt deal. At least one think it was a total rout and that conservatives are delusional for thinking they won. (HT Ann Althouse) In the same vein, Jack Hunter at the American Conservative blog calls on the Tea Party to get more radical, as they’re showing that the guys like Romney and Boehner aren’t really conservative.


A pseudo-hypnotic spoof of consumerism. I’ve seen it before and may have even linked it before, but it’s durable. And here’s a grating version with some pompous clown and some guy in a clerical collar and blond pompadour.

But seriously, folks: how often have you heard some official speak as if low “consumer confidence” was dragging down the economy?

So, “human resources”: go buy some snack foods.

And bon appetit!