The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Daily Beast Writer Claims Obama Is a Victim of Washington’s ‘Pundit Class’

Posted on | July 1, 2011 | 29 Comments

Whenever someone I never heard of before makes a preposterous claim, my first question is, “Who is this person?”

Michelle Goldberg is a senior contributing writer for The Daily Beast/Newsweek. She is the author of The New York Times bestseller Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism and The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the Future of the World, winner of the 2008 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award and the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize. Goldberg’s work has appeared in Glamour, Rolling Stone, The Nation, New York magazine, The Guardian (UK) and The New Republic.

So she’s a “senior contributing writer” for media grand dame Tina Brown, a feminist with paranoid fantasies about Christian fundamentalists taking away her sacred Right to Choose, and an award-winning author who has written for a half-dozen other liberal outlets. Now that we know who she is, then, here’s her preposterous claim:

Here’s why Mark Halperin is a disgrace. It’s not because he used a mild obscenity to describe our president on Morning Joe, disrespectful as that was. Rather, it was the circumstances of the slur. Right now, the Republican Party is threatening to blow up the world economy unless Democrats agree to savage cuts in spending while refusing any of the revenue increases that all serious economists say are necessary to actually address the national debt. Obama, whose greatest fault in office has been a misplaced faith in the GOP’s capacity for reasonableness, went on television and chided the party for this stance. Apparently, this struck Halperin as unreasonable. His response embodies all that’s rotten and shallow about D.C.’s pundit class, which fetishizes bipartisanship even as it only demands it of one political party.

As Jonah Goldberg says, this is not a parody — an elite liberal journalist from Manhattan denouncing the “pundit class” as if she were a grassroots  populist outsider, you see.

Of course, there is no factual basis to her claim that Obama has been guilty of “a misplaced faith in the GOP’s capacity for reasonableness.” Remember that when Obama was elected, Nancy Pelosi had a seemingly permanent Democrat majority in the House of Representatives, while Harry Reid’s Democrat majority in the Senate was just a seat or two away from the 60 votes needed to crush any Republican opposition.

For the first two years, then, Obama had exactly two words for Republicans, and the second word was “you.”

Michelle Goldberg’s bizarre rant is helpful if only as an insight into the paranoid minds of liberal True Believers, who live in a dystopian nightmare world of their own imagining where even Time magazine writers are conspiring with Republicans to “blow up the world economy.”

(Hat-tip: Ace of Spades.)

UPDATE: Tim Graham at Newsbusters points out that Michelle Goldberg appeared on “progressive” Pacifica Radio this week to warn of the evil menace that is Michele Bachmann:

You know, she came out of the big fundamentalist—or the big evangelical upsurge of the 1970s; like many evangelicals, including Pat Robertson, was initially enamored of Jimmy Carter, who was the first modern born-again candidate. Like the movement as a whole, she shifted abruptly to the right in the run-up to Reagan’s election.
And she often talks about, in her speeches, what she calls a “Christian worldview,” which is a really important concept, I think, for people to understand, not just Michele Bachmann, but much of the modern right. It essentially holds that Christianity, or at least their version of Christianity, is a total ideology. It has all the answers, not just to theological questions, but to historical questions, scientific questions, economic questions. And so, you know, what I’ve tried to get across in writing and speaking about Michelle Bachmann is that she’s not stupid, you know? And she’s not Sarah Palin, in that she doesn’t—she’s articulate. She’s, I think, a little bit faster on her feet. She’s just incredibly steeped in a body of knowledge, that is not—she’s incredibly steeped in a corpus of facts that aren’t true facts. She’s incredibly steeped in the alternate reality of the movement that I called “Christian nationalism” in my first book.

Yeah. Gotta worry about “Christian nationalism,” because that’s the real danger. Don’t be distracted by anything trivial, like an administration that’s added $5 trillion to the nation debt in the past two years.

Also, while it’s OK for Michelle Goldberg to demonize Bachmann with spooky warnings that a “Christian worldview . . . is a total ideology,” no fair pointing out that Goldberg’s own left-wing secular feminism is also “a total ideology.”

UPDATE II: Donald Douglas at American Power:

I own a copy of Goldberg’s book, The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World. I read the first few chapters but had to put it down because I was getting nauseous at the literal campaign of death Goldberg advocates.

Hard-core pro-abortion fanatics are rare. Most people who are pro-choice are conscious that they are on the side of evil, but view abortion as a necessary evil — a bad thing that must be tolerated. It’s very rare to find someone who is emphatically in favor of abortion, and such people tend to be a special kind of crazy.

Michelle Goldberg is probably outraged that most abortion clinics will be closed Monday for the 4th of July.


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