Breaking news from Tom Tomorrow's ticker: Muslims are scary!
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This just in: Muslims are scary!
by TOM TOMORROW
Remember how I pointed out the other day -- in a post called "Which came first, the dim viewers or the dim bulbs?" -- that it was only in Digby's hilarious recounting of an MSNBC colloquium on the economy, featuring three unimaginably dim bulbs, that the episode was in any way humorous? Digby confirmed this, you'll recall by saying of this conversation, which NBC's Chief Political Dim Bulb Chuck Todd was passing off as "eye-opening"" "It was eye-opening all right. In the same way that watching a car wreck is eye-opening."
I'm inclined to think that this ability to make something truly appalling genuinely funny is a mark of genius. It struck me, for example, that when people complained about the Kramer character on Seinfeld being merely ripped off from the real-life Kenny Kramer, they missed a crucial distinction: Where the real Kramer was probably one of the unfunniest people on the planet, and very likely an ongoing nightmare for the people unlucky enough to have him in their lives, the TV Kramer was sublimely hilarious.
I suppose it's an obvious observation to point out that among the numerous strains of genius that come together in Tom Tomorrow's work, this is the one that makes that work so indispensable. And right now, on the subject of this nexus between hate and feat that, in combination with the muck of the economic meltdown, has swept the country and seems at present to be defining the reality of the 2010 and possibly 2012 elections, a grain of humor is often the only way I can bear it.
As it happens, for the last week I've been on the periphery of a heated discussion among some pretty smart people of the extent to which we whining malcontents of the Far Left are responsible for the political woes of the Obama administration and Democrats nationally. Given such an odious discussion topic (I trust I don't have to spell out where we here at DWT stand on this subject, but for the benefit of new visitors, let me just say that we generally blame the political woes of the Obama administration and the Democrats in trouble on the Obama administration and the Democrats in trouble), there have been surprisingly thoughtful, rational contributions -- all, of course, from people who also blame the political woes of the Obama administration et al. on the Obama administration et al.
Could we have anyone more poorly equipped to cope with the craziness overtaking the land than the clowns and rogues of the Obama administration and the Democratic leadership? As poorly equipped as they are to deal with the economic crisis that seems to have legitimized the New Craziness, which is now threatening to take down people who don't deserve it -- people like Russ Feingold and Barbara Boxer. It's a foregone conclusion, of course, that the electoral rout, when it comes, will be blamed by the gutless, brainless worms of the sievelike Obama administration (so much for its vaunted hatred for leaks) on those crazy Far Left malcontents in an endless stream of leaks to the Village media. Hmm, I do notice that the more the administration apologists scream at us, the more unapologetically Ioathing I feel toward that pack of creepy, cretinous right-wing doodyheads.
As for the New Craziness, I'm also thinking more these days that it differs only in degree from the ongoing Old Craziness, and that craziness is probably the norm rather than the exception in American civics. Indeed, if you looked at American history this way, I'm thinking you could make a case that the craziness of the Teabaggers and the assorted other parties to this New Craziness isn't even different in degree from all sorts of other sieges of intense craziness that have been more the norm than the exception. Maybe we need to do some rethinking of the way we teach and learn our history.
Meanwhile, thank goodness for both Digby and Tom Tomorrow.