Tuesday, July 9, 2019

In ten years the Ruling Class has learned precisely nothing

Well, they've learned to lose a lot in the era of Trump.  But the way they talk about people "beneath" them entering the corridors of power hasn't changed at all.  The focus on style rather than substance is quite striking in this post from ten years ago on Sarah Palin vs. the Ruling Class.  Just substitute the words "Donald Trump" for "Sarah Palin" and it's really astonishing how it describes what we still see today.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War


I apologize in advance, because this is going to be a rant. Actually two rants, about two related punks. If this isn't your thing, skip down the page. Otherwise, get the popcorn - these guys have put me in A Mood.

Punk #1 is Ted Diadiun of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Full disclosure: I was a paperboy for them, back a million years ago. Still doesn't keep me from recognizing an arrogant punk when I see one. King Kaufman lays out the situation, where Diadiun goes after Jeff Jarvis:
But why, representative of us readers, is it kind of unfortunate that Schultz gave Jarvis a lot of ink? Back to Diadiun: 
"... which I thought was kind of unfortunate because Connie's column is read by 25- or 30,000 people a month, which has to be many times more than this guy gets on his blog, and she gave him more publicity through that column than he would get on his own anytime."
Thirty thousand readers a month "has to be many times" what Jarvis gets on his blog? Wait, that sounds like one of those unsourced, unreported assumptions you might get from ... from ... A BLOGGER! Diadiun actually started to say "is," but than corrected himself and phrased it "has to be." That was an admission, however subconscious, that he didn't have any idea what he was talking about. He was guessing to make his point. 
So point one is that Mr. Diadiun has no idea what he's talking about. Point two is that he doesn't let this stop him from shooting off his piehole. But that's not the worst of it.

25,000 hits a month simply isn't very impressive, especially when you consider that those hits run off the branding established by the army of writers, editors, ad salesmen, and yes, paperboys that have built that paper. Kaufman compares that to Jeff Jarvis' traffic, which is several times greater without any branding other than Jarvis. Jarvis - all by himself - kicks the Plain Dealer's butt.

But that's not why Mr. Diadiun is a punk. He's about beat by my traffic. Dude, if a nowheresville blog like Borepatch is in the same ballpark as your paper, with all the branding and marketing of the paper's machine, you're a punk. A little humility would be in order.

Consider yourself punked. Your 15 minutes of fame will include the creation of a new category here - punks.

The second rant is like the first. Steve Chapman gives us the secret of Sarah Palin's staying power:
But it's really not hard to see why Palin inspires such devotion. And I do mean "see." She has one obvious thing going for her that [Harriett] Miers didn't: She's a babe, and she doesn't try to hide it.
Well, now. Let's look at what Mrs. Palin has done that might attract admiration, shall we?
  • Took on a famously corrupt political machine, and beat them at their own game.
  • Balanced family and a high-powered job.
  • Governed pragmatically, not ideologically.
  • Handled the most vicious public attacks that I've seen in 40 years of watching politics, with remarkable grace.
  • Didn't let herself get pulled into the Washington-Intellectual/Chattering-Class bubble world, but remained refreshingly normal.
Any of that appear in Chapman's article? Hello? Buehler?

Nope - she's babalicious:
Wayne: Cassandra. She's a fox. In French she would be called "la renarde" and she would be hunted with only her cunning to protect her.

Garth: She's a babe.

Wayne: She's a robo-babe. In Latin she would be called "babia majora".

Garth: If she were a president she would be Baberaham Lincoln. 


Sheesh. What is present in Chapman's article? Let's run down the checklist, shall we?
  • Blaming her for John McCain's miserable campaign? Check. ("For all her alleged star power, she did nothing to improve the GOP ticket's fortunes on Election Day.") 
  • Not part of the intellectual elite class? Check. ("She showed no gift for articulating conservative themes, beyond ridiculing liberals as overeducated, big-city elitists")
  • Mystification at why the rubes like her? Check ("When people remain ardent fans of Palin no matter how badly she performs, it's reasonable to wonder what they are thinking. But thinking has nothing to do with it.")
There's no nice way to say this: Chapman is an overeducated, big-city elitist. He recognizes someone who's not of his class, and will ignore all accomplishments, exagerate all failures, and descend into Middle School (SCHWIIIINNNGGG!!!) "humor", all to protect his class.

Dude, if you're so danged smart, explain why so many people think Mrs. Palin is pretty interesting. Go ahead, dazzle me.


Chapman, you've been punked. And your attempt at Middle School humor? It's been done better. Way better.

So much for thinking about subscribing to Reason.


Old NFO said...

Concur with both!

Beans said...

I didn't vote for McCain. I voted for the hope that he'd be elected and croak in office so Palin could take over. She was the only good thing about that whole campaign.

And the newsies treated her like filth.

And then McCain turned on her like a traitorous bastige, which only lent credence to the rumors of McCain being a traitorous bastige from his stay in Hanoi.

So, yeah, rant away at the newsies like Chapman. They need to be reminded that we remember... We don't forget...

Matt W said...

This is great! I hope we see a new "punked" posts occasionally!

Ken said...

I'm from Northeast Ohio, and while The Land is my favorite place on earth (Go Tribe! #RallyTogether :-D), I loathe the Pain Squealer. They cut home delivery to Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday a few years back. Not sure when, because I dropped 'em long before that.

For a while they sent 'round a sort of free digest thingy occasionally to show us what we were missing. Somehow the lead article always seemed to be about some soy-fueled hipster in Tremont with nine bicycles including a fixie that probably cost more than my car at the time, and how we were all a bunch of dumb Kowalskis out in the 'burbs for not being like Tremont Bike Guy.

I remember Diadiun. He tried to present as a rock-ribbed conservative, but came off as an eighth-grade bully.

HMS Defiant said...

I liked her far more than I did mccain and I could not bring myself to vote for that bastard. Voted for her though. I find it interesting that voters today see through the shallow and can see that Trump delivers what he promised. She would have too. I never figured out what mccain promised but I certainly didn't trust him to deliver it. Guy was a snake and a dirtbag.

Sardaukar said...

I suspect Chapman will be decorating a lamppost someday (after his trial of course).