Here’s a free laugh, from Bob Somerby. Today’s example of Baby Boomer ressentiment? It’s the always stupid and always wrong Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen. You have to laugh about Somerby’s analysis, to keep back the tears you’d otherwise shed on behalf of Cohen’s depraved view of his professional responsibility. (By the way, that’s a photo of Somerby, not Cohen. I googled a photo of Richard Cohen, and decided that I didn’t want his smelly old coot mug on my blog. Somerby is devilishly handsome, no?)
Cohen’s Sermon on the Mount today: “It is hard to think of anyone who has worked longer or sacrificed more for the presidency [than Hillary Clinton]. She is indomitable, steadfast, gutsy and all those other things we know — smart, for instance. She also can be, in private and sometimes in public, charming and awfully good company.” And yet, despite these sterling qualifications, “she has gone too far.” She makes Richard Cohen uncomfortable with her competence and ambition, so for trivial reasons–her comments on the muslim rumor on 60 Minutes, and her Bosnia sniper story–Cohen decrees that she must never be President. Close your eyes and imagine a male pol being held to the same standard.
Well, it’s certainly not happening in Cohen’s disturbed and tiny little mind. He admits that McCain and Obama lie too–Cohen writes that McCain has “fudged and ducked and swallowed the truth on occasion — about the acceptability of the Confederate flag, for instance — but always, I think, for understandable although not necessarily admirable reasons.” Always for understandable reasons, like propping up the flag of racist nationalism. And Obama? “[H]e, too, can do the F’s — fudge, fib or forget. I don’t believe him on the Second Amendment — and he says one thing on NAFTA in Ohio and a campaign adviser whispers another to Canada by way of reassurance.” Lying about policy is A-OK in Cohen’s book, because “these are minor matters, the ‘You look beautiful tonight, dear’ fibs of marriage that have their functional equivalent in politics. They are necessary. They lubricate life itself.” Lying about policy and pandering to racism? That’s just politics. Misremembering something that happened 12 years ago? She must be stopped.
Somerby’s command of recent history schools the historians (and Historianns). I especially like the way the Howler suggests that Cohen’s (and John McCain’s) objectification of subordinate young women (and trashing of accomplished, uncompliant women like Naomi Wolf) is somehow connected to his discomfort with Clinton as a presidential candidate. Watch out, Bob–you’re going to get branded as The Daily Feminazi if you keep commiting thought crimes like that!