Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Company We Keep

Fake libertarian Megan McArdle is now quoting Glenn Beck, taking his word as gospel and dredging up self-righteous indignation just like every other Fox-News-watching tea-bagger. It seems that extended proximity to P. Suderman, boy astro-turfer, is moving her closer and closer to her true ideology--a closet conservative who wouldn't be caught dead in public with honest conservatives.

Outside the sheltering arms of The Atlantic a might struggle is raging, as the core conservatives--devout, ignorant and stubborn--fight the intellectual conservatives for control over their party. The conservative leadership and media have dragged the Republicans so far right in the hunt for votes that the intellectuals have been utterly left behind. They are unnecessary now, replaced by the likes of Jonah Goldberg and Andy McCarthy, who have long ago abandoned reality for self-flattering lies and endless complaints of victimization. The next group of Republican leaders will be Palins and other show ponies such as the idiot sons of rich and powerful Republicans. The intellectuals will have to satisfy themselves with becoming libertarians and developing policies based on Robert Heinlein adventure stories.

McArdle managed to whip herself up into a pretty little state of agitation over nothing.
I thought that this must be some kind of grotesque conservative exaggeration, but no, White House Communications Director Anita Dunn really did tell a graduating high school class to emulate Mao Tse-Tung's bold and imaginative attitude during his takeover of China. Most of us look at the tens of millions who died and maybe think twice about trying to imitate the late Chairman, but hey, think different!

Oh, Megan. Didn't your $38,000-a-year prep school teach you about checking sources when you wrote an English paper? Even if we accept the word of Glenn "The Crying Game" Beck, we need to at least read the entire quote. Here, let's get a liberal to do the thinking for you. David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars:
Glenn Beck continued his jihad against White House Communications Director Anita Dunn yesterday on his Fox News program, focusing his rage on remarks she made earlier this year at a D.C.-area high-school graduation ceremony. Here's what he played of her remarks:
"[T]wo of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Tse-Tung and Mother Teresa, not often coupled with each other, but the two people that I turn to most ..."

Not content to do it once, he ran the same snippet again, exactly like that. Twice he described Dunn as saying that Mao was one of the philosophers "she turns to most".

In other words, by running the quote thus, he's making it clear that Dunn admires Mao as one of her favorite political philosophers that she turns to most.

He ran this truncated quote, incidentally, in response to Dunn's earlier explanation for the remarks:
"The Mao quote is one I picked up from the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater from something I read in the late 1980s, so I hope I don't get my progressive friends mad at me," Dunn told CNN.

As for Beck's criticism: "The use of the phrase 'favorite political philosophers' was intended as irony, but clearly the effort fell flat -- at least with a certain Fox commentator whose sense of irony may be missing."

Beck thought that by playing the truncated quote, he could prove that Dunn's characterization didn't add up -- after all, she said Mao was someone she "turned to most"!

Except, of course, that wasn't what she said. You have to hear the rest of the sentence after Beck clips it off.

Here's the full original quote, which you can see at the original full video:
"The third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers: Mao Tse-tung and Mother Theresa -- not often coupled with each other, but the two people I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point which is 'you're going to make choices; you're going to challenge; you're going to say why not; you're going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before."

In other words, she found their words handy to make a universal and fairly banal point about being true to one's self. That's all. No Mao-worship.

You also can hear laughter from the audience when Dunn couples Mao and Mother Teresa, so at least it's clear that some in the audience got the joke. Glenn Beck didn't.

Most of all, he doesn't get that crude and hamhanded dishonesty like this only proves Anita Dunn's point, in spades.

Poor McArdle didn't get the point either. We could blame Glenn Becks's dishonesty, but it wasn't very bright of McArdle to trust him in the first place.


clever pseudonym said...

She thought the fuss over Dunn's remarks was "some kind of grotesque conservative exaggeration," so she sought out Glenn Beck as a source to see for herself? Right. No chance of grotesque conservative exaggeration there.

Downpuppy said...

"Intellectual conservatives" left the building a long, long time ago. The battle now is between the grifters & the marks.

Since most of the marks think they're grifters, it gets a little confusing. So they ramp up the hate, ramp up the noise & keep the circus rolling.

satch said...

Downpuppy: Too true. In this case, Megan is the grifter, and "The Atlantic" is the mark.

jp said...

Her $38,000 a year prep school didn't teach her about adverbs, either. That's "Think differentLY," you idiot.

Of all the sinecured bad writers out there (and I'm including Goldberg), she and K-Lo are the worst.

satch said...

Still, after actually watching the Anita Dunn video, I do think her Mao reference was pretty lame, but probably nothing more sinister than an attempt to wake up any kids who might have been snoozing through her speech. As in: "Huh? Wha? She said wha? Mao? Rilly?"

Anonymous said...

"it wasn't very bright of McArdle to..."

That's a phrase with a shelf-life. You probably already have done this, but if you haven't, it'd probably be easy to set up as a macro.

Mr. Wonderful said...


She may have been referencing the old Apple ads, and their slogan "Think different."

Kathy said...

Besides, most of Mao's litle jems wer stolen from Confucius:

..."His ideas about the importance of practical moral values, collected by his disciples in the Analects, formed the basis of the philosophy known as Confucianism."

Remember the fortune cookie comments?
Confucius say: " "

I think Political Correctness put an end to them.

Downpuppy said...

I'm still looking for a genuine Sum Dum Goy (the Master) fortune cookie.

Batocchio said...

Downpuppy, that first comment is spot on, and a post in itself.

It's ironic that McMegan, so apt to whine about being misunderstood and taken out of context, is so eager to do that to someone else here. But, as noted in a previous thread, her shtick is that she is never to be held responsible for anything she says or does - and research, fact-checking, basic logic and reality itself are for the lower classes.

Batocchio said...

Oh, if you missed it: How to Write Your Own Megan McArdle Piece.