Thee may have noticed, Mr. Bones, how little our prescriptive betters care for
the peasants-with-pitchforks shtyk. It is rather a happy coincidence that the first image the pet google turns up should feature the Rev. Luther. One can scarcely think of a Prescriptive Better in all the annals of Western Sieve who got burned worse by playing like a sorcerer's apprentice with ‘populism’.
Neocomradess Sh. G. Stolberg is bound to find the inventor (discoverer?) of Lutheranianity pretty crude himself, yet obviously if the hero had been so polished and refined as to qualify for a New York Times Company scribbler--had he been more like that sad wimp Melanchthon!--the idea of mucking about with populist matches would never have crossed his mind in the first place.
This neocomradess possesses such exquisite good taste herself that she declines to rebuke democracy and liberalism as tasteless. By her account what is wrong with them has to do with "The Art of Political Distraction." Those exact words come from an NYTC headline editor, but, for once in a way, they reflect the Stolbergite substance accurately enough. Still, let us hear straight from the horse's anatomy, at least a little smidgen of the scribble:
[S]omething else about the scene rang familiar: it was a sliver of news, seemingly a side issue, run amok. In the grand scheme of today’s taxpayer expenditures — $787 billion for economic recovery; another $700 billion to shore up shaky financial institutions; who knows how many more billions tomorrow — the A.I.G. bonuses amount to small change. But the small change became a big deal in an instant, dominating the talk shows and threatening to undermine Mr. Obama’s domestic agenda. (...) Mr. Obama is hardly the first American president to grapple with a distraction, a diversion — an outright red herring, some might call it — that grew bigger than itself.
Sh. G. Stolberg then continues ballistically along the trajectory implied by the last sentence: she is far more interested in how the neorégime of George XLI Bush was obstructed by distraction-mongers than by our current Troubles. Along with the general good-tastiness, the Big Management Party narrative emphasis makes clear that this is one neocomrade who will not be altogether heartbroken if "Mr. Obama’s domestic agenda" does get undermined. I take it the unum necessarium is that somebody shore up her portfolio; that done, who cares much about the rest of what Comrade POTUS has proposed?
Of course a frank admission along those lines would be almost as crude and indecorous as heftin’ a physical pitchfork. Nice people simply do not talk about (their own) money, for all that, if their money failed altogether, their niceness would probably go along for the ride--and depart sooner rather than later. Perhaps thee and I, Mr. Bones, might try to look at a copy of today's Times in the fishwrap version, so as to gauge the range of Neocomradess Sh. G. Stolberg even better by knowing what sort of advertisements appear in "The Week in Review" during the Crawford Crash Troubles. A priori I should not expect to find many products on display that we humble could afford even if thee or I craved them.
Sh. G. Stolberg seems to me to misplay her hand even after inventin’ the rules of the game herself. ‘Distraction’ was to be the theme of this pudding, yet somehow she never gets around to specifying what it is that ‘we’ are being distracted from. The closest she comes to settin’ out the general correlation of farces runs as follows:
Yet by week’s end, it was clear that the furor had exacted a price. As the House passed legislation imposing a 90 percent tax on bonuses after bailout, the White House ducked questions about whether Mr. Obama would sign such a bill. Mr. Geithner’s credibility was badly damaged, in part because of his shifting explanations of how he learned of the bonuses. Mr. Dodd suffered as well, for his role in writing legislation that, in the end, allowed the bonuses to be paid.
I daresay she joins a great many other Big Party neocomrades in hopin’ that the snatchback bill will be vetoed, or Th. Geithner von Hindenburg be dismissed, or Sen. Dodd clobbered in a primary -- and ideally all three! In the real world, hoverever, none of the above is particularly likely to eventuate.
Meanwhile, back on Planet Stolberg, it cannot be a pure accident that the neocomradess fails to imagine and mention any damage that might be done to even a single militant extremist Republican. It would not be goodtasty for Sh. G. Stolberg to expose her factional attitudes unmistakably in this kind of a performance, to do that would be almost as fort mauvais as discussin’ her personal finances or joinin' the Pitchfork People. Yet it is clear enough what one is up against here, Mr. Bones, is it not?