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Friday, June 26, 2009

The Party of Human Perfection

"Won't someone please think of the children!" Helen Lovejoy cried, as the residents of Springfield filled the streets chanting, "We're here! We're Queer! We don't want anymore bears!"

If you have no idea what I'm referring to, then you either don't get your recommended daily allowance of TV or you're not from one of the bazillion countries where The Simpsons is in syndication.

I was reminded of the pastor's wife when I read a post by Michelle Malkin, where she weeps for the dead Sanford children in their little Dickensian coffins, struck stone cold dead by the behavior of their father.

I don’t find anything funny about the Sanford affair. It’s the mom in me thinking about four handsome boys on Father’s Day weekend abandoned by their stupid, selfish father, who was busy tanning with his mistress in Argentina. Heart-breaking. Yes. Nauseating. Yes. Maddening. Yes. Funny? No.

Cruel derision crude humor are to be expected of the Left.

She then goes on to prove that her outrage is non-partisan by attacking government-hating right wing loon Grover Norquist for telling a joke -- "It does indicate that men who oppose federal spending at the local level are irresistible to women." At least, it's a joke in theory.

But Grover Norquist you horrible, horrible man! Noted comedic genius Shelly Malkin has declared this whole situation not funny. Think of the children. Weep. If you have a scourge for self-flagellation, you might give that a shot. Think of the four handsome boys, think of the children.

Shelly wrote a previous post where she declared S. Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who admitted to an affair with a Argentine woman, a "bastard." In that post, she also begs us to think of the children -- although she manages to get a dig in at Michelle Obama. I guess we shouldn't think of her children.

Rush Limbaugh has a different reaction. He doesn't want us to think of anyone's children, he wants us to think about Barack Obama. Mostly because this is all the president's fault.

"This is almost like, 'I don't give a damn, the country's going to Hell in a handbasket, I just want out of here,'" Limbaugh said on his show yesterday. "He had just tried to fight the stimulus money coming to South Carolina. He didn't want any part of it. He lost the battle. He said, 'What the Hell. I mean, I'm -- the federal government's taking over -- what the Hell, I want to enjoy life.'"

"The point is," he added, "there are a lot of people whose spirit is just -- they're fed up, saying to Hell with it, I don't even want to fight this anymore, I just want to get away from it." Shame on you Barack Obama. They warned us that he'd destroy families. Why didn't we listen?

But the prize for trying to spin the Sanford story away from "another Republican in another scandal" goes to the religious right organization Family Research Council, who first listed Sanford as a featured speaker at their 2009 Values Voter Summit, then pulled him from their website.

FRC schedule
Click for fullsized image

"Mark who?" And, no, I don't know what the asterisks mean -- maybe those speakers use steroids.

And a lot of right wingers are sure to cite this blogpost from Newsweek's Katie Connelly:

Mark Sanford's unexpected and emotional revelation of an affair yesterday has caused much hand-wringing about the future of a seemingly scandal-plagued GOP. Critics are quick to point out that the party espousing "family" values seems to be having some difficulty getting its representatives to live accordingly. But here at the Gaggle, our memories are a little longer. We recall the days, not so long ago, when it seemed as though Democrats were the ones having trouble keeping their pants on. So we tasked our wonderful intern Aku Ammah-Tagoe to tally up who's been doing what to whom since the Wayne Hays scandal of 1976...

Turns out that Democrats get freaky just as often as Republicans -- since '76, Republicans have been caught up in 26 sex scandals to Democrats' 27. Who knows how many were doing weird stuff that never came out (or is yet to come out)? It's probably safe to assume we can add a few numbers to both tallies.

The spin will be that the "liberal media" makes a bigger deal out of Republican sex scandals than those of Democrats. And, to a certain extent, that's probably true. But the reason isn't that the media hate Republicans -- if that were the case, Charles Krauthammer and Bill Kristol would be sleeping under overpasses, rather than collecting money for being reliably wrong in the punditry industry. The story isn't that Democrats are just as bad as Republicans, but that Republicans are just as bad as Democrats. In short, the story is hypocrisy, not sex. Sorry, Michelle Malkin, but the sex part is just what makes it funny.

If we listen to the GOP line, Democrats are the decadent Romans who'll bring this republic down. Immoral and without shame, dems embrace abortion and gays and sex ed and people from weird heathen religions. They'll destroy the American family with their Homosexual Menace and their feminism. They trample the Bible in a mad rush to "follow their bliss," which is self-help code for a me-centric descent into self-indulgence. Democrats are evil, we're told, because they have no "moral compass." They are the Godless party -- Ann Coulter even wrote a book about it.

So what's to explain that, in matters of morality, the Republicans' history is virtually identical to the Democrats'? Could it be that the uber-moral GOP Supermen are just as human as everyone else and that they just hold everyone to an impossible standard? Could it be that, in trying to portray any glimmer of human imperfection as a definitive Democratic trait, they inevitably get hit in their own rhetorical drivebys? And isn't it just remotely possible that people who set themselves up as the pinnacle of human perfection are just begging to be torn down when they're exposed as imperfect?

Of course, when they're exposed as what they pretend they aren't -- human -- they're also shown to be ridiculous. And the human response to the ridiculous is ridicule -- that's why we call it that. That ridicule is justified because, Helen Lovejoy-Malkin, it's really funny and we're only human.

Some of us are just more human than we pretend to be.


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1 comment:

TheOtherOne said...

Um, so Malkin thinks maybe this could be funny if Sanford's kids were uglier?