The Other McCain

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

In the Future, Everyone Will Be a GOP Political Strategist for 15 Minutes

Posted on | September 6, 2011 | 31 Comments

That Warhol-esque prophecy is inspired by Meredith Jessup’s post about Sarah Palin yesterday at The Blaze:

There’s no doubt that Palin has become a political rock star/powerhouse, but conservatives recognize that the best place for her to make a difference is using her voice as an advocate, not a politician.

This is where I play the “I’ve got ties older than you, kid” card against Jessup, who was still pooping in Pampers when I began my journalism career in 1986. What is it with these know-it-all kids nowadays, huh?

Nothing against Jessup personally, you understand, but rather to reiterate my long-held view that it is a major symptom of the decline of Western Civilization when 20-somethings consider themselves qualified to lecture their elders on How It Ought to Be.

Perhaps others are less sensible of the insulting disrespect involved in being lectured in this manner by callow youth. Perhaps there are some conservatives who are amused by the impudent precocity whereby a kid four years out of college (yeah, I checked) presumes to tell the former governor of Alaska what “the best place for her” is. And even dares do so ex cathedra, as though authorized to speak on behalf of conservatives!

Part of what’s going on here, of course, is the democratizing effect of the Internet, where everyone with a WiFi connection imagines himself the Second Coming of Bill Buckley.

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” and in the blogosphere, nobody is supposed to care about seniority or credentials. All onlne opinions are created equal, and we are expected to pretend it doesn’t matter whether the person offering a political opinion is the chairman of the Republican National Committee or a sales clerk at Old Navy.

That is only part of what’s going on here, however. The other part is the rancid aftermath of the Sixties “youth movement,” when Jerry Rubin declared that kids shouldn’t trust anyone over 30. More than four decades later, that once-radical attitude of automatic disrespect toward one’s elders has diffused itself throughout society so that we find it even among young Republicans who don’t think twice before telling Sarah Palin what her “place” should be.

Younger readers will have to forgive my excursion into grizzled curmudgeon mode. When I was 27 years old, I was earning $250 a week as a small-town sports editor and wouldn’t have dreamed of telling a high-school football coach who he should start at tailback or what play he should call on third down.

But that was before All Gore invented the Internet, back in the Dark Ages when precocious geniuses were exceedingly rare, and few of them were paid to lecture their foolish elders for a living. Nowadays it seems these brilliant young lecturers are everywhere, and us old folks must learn to respect their superior wisdom.


31 Responses to “In the Future, Everyone Will Be a GOP Political Strategist for 15 Minutes”

  1. Anonymous
    September 6th, 2011 @ 11:01 pm

    If I have to take a turn as GOP strategist, I got Tuesday evenings free in October.  But I charge $5K a minute.

    Stacy, I agree, and I even distrust the bona fides of any “Conservative” who says things like “she isn’t running” or “Cain couldn’t win” or “Perry isn’t Conservative,” or “Bachmann is only a stalking horse.”  It pretty much proves they’ve either never witnessed an actual primary process, or never payed attention to it before.

  2. Young And Dumb And Full Of Piss And Vinegar « That Mr. G Guy's Blog
    September 6th, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

    […] In the Future, Everyone Will Be a GOP Political Strategist for 15 Minutes. […]

  3. rosalie
    September 6th, 2011 @ 11:05 pm

    Meredith Jessup isn’t very original either.  We’ve all heard/read that before. 

  4. Anonymous
    September 6th, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

    That’s what I would have said if only I could afford to hire a $5K per minute consultant.

    The “stalking horse” theories are particularly annoying. 

    A logical conundrum: if all the horses are stalking each other, who is the front runner stalking?   

  5. Anonymous
    September 6th, 2011 @ 11:21 pm

    Horses eat grasses and grains, why did they learn to stalk?

  6. Anonymous
    September 6th, 2011 @ 11:22 pm

    This might cheer you up stacy. (Picked from ACE).

  7. McGehee
    September 6th, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

    A stalking horse doesn’t stalk. A stalking horse is stalked.

    Just like you’ve never seen somebody’s favorite fishing hole fishing.

  8. Anonymous
    September 7th, 2011 @ 12:03 am

    You’re right, I should have known that. I plead confusion as a result of my days as a degenerate gambler.

    In horse racing, a stalking horse is a stablemate who’s inserted into a race, with maybe not a great chance of winning, but who can be sent to the front of the pack to harrass, tire out the front runner(s). Theoretically, this is supposed to help a late charging “closer” from the same stable.

    Apparently, in politics, though, the term is derived from 16th c. England, when a stalking horse was used to conceal a hunter, who would hide behind the horse, get close to the prey, then strike on foot.  

  9. Anonymous
    September 7th, 2011 @ 12:06 am

    Nice video. I’m a big fan of Justified on FX.

  10. CalMark
    September 7th, 2011 @ 12:34 am

    RSM is right.  This has been going on for a long time, though. These young people are drunk on the self-esteem with which our culture pumps them up, and the self-absorbed wisdom this begets. 

    As a 36-year-old engineer, I was once lectured by a 23-year-old foreigner about “engineering judgment.”  At the time, I had been reviewing his work and catching major errors.  It was OK though, because he was considered a brilliant superstar, even though nobody understood a word he said or wrote.

    In my late 20s, I was a Navy junior officer in charge of a large group of very young sailors.  Senior officers told us junior officers that these were spectacularly intelligent and talented young persons who had to be handled very carefully.  They:  a) automatically deserved deep respect and humble deference from their officers; b) owed (junior) officers nothing–not even respect for rank. 

    This wasn’t listening to sound ideas from below.  It was subordination to young, in many cases ignorant, near-children.  And it was POLICY.  I once heard a 2-star admiral say so, in so many words.

    Our generation will never get its due.  We had to be respectful to grown-ups,” anyone in their early 20s and up.  Today, kids and young adults can say whatever they want to us; we have to “earn” respect, by attaining some secret and (apparently) impossible parameters.


  11. Anonymous
    September 7th, 2011 @ 12:57 am

    It’s only the sneaky ones, that like a little meat with their grains.

  12. Anonymous
    September 7th, 2011 @ 1:03 am

    I know what you mean.  People throw those phrases out to sound like they know something you couldn’t possibly know. Ergo, they are smarter than you.  Something leftists, apparently, can just declare, rather than wait to have independently confirmed.

    If making-stuff-up were a sign of intelligence, then maybe they really are smart.

  13. Anonymous
    September 7th, 2011 @ 1:07 am

    There’s a thread up on that over at therightscoop.

    Cain could use some love, there.

  14. Anonymous
    September 7th, 2011 @ 2:11 am

    That was very educational.
    Let me see if I’ve got this right, horses don’t actually stalk but people use them to enable their stalking. So a politician who’s called a “Stalking Horse” is actually just a sneaky equestrian.

  15. Dave
    September 7th, 2011 @ 3:27 am

    Or a horses’ ass.

  16. Denverwindowwashing
    September 7th, 2011 @ 3:55 am

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

    Ann Coulter said the same thing as MJ, essentially, and Ingraham agreed.

    Ace just linked the video.

  17. Adjoran
    September 7th, 2011 @ 4:44 am

    OT BREAKING:  Shake-up in the Bachmann camp as Ed Rollins and his top deputy quit.  Disagreements over the role and manner of security may have been an issue.  No more details yet.

    I don’t like the attitude of these kids today, either, but I wasn’t so different, in retrospect.  You never understand how important real world experience is until you get it.

    Probably just a coincidence that the example chosen is one who disagrees with TOMOMAPOOT (The Other McCain Official Management And Publisher Opinion On Topic).  Never mind that the poor child is now probably scarred for life, and may leave the profession and yes, perhaps the internet itself, in disgrace, to cloister herself in a dark and lonely room, with only the sounds of her soft sobbing rifting the silent space from whence she will never seek her bliss again.

    Or, if “Meredith” is a guy, we should just go over there and beat him up (like nobody thought of THAT before – poor kid probably never made homeroom with his lunch money intact).

  18. Anonymous
    September 7th, 2011 @ 4:53 am

    Saw a clip (at RCP I think) yesterday of him talking to AC, he mentioned having a stroke about a year and a half ago and said he just couldn’t put in the long days required anymore.

  19. Thomas Knapp
    September 7th, 2011 @ 8:32 am

    “[I]t is a major symptom of the decline of Western Civilization when 20-somethings consider themselves qualified to lecture their elders on How It Ought to Be.”

    When was it not ever so?

  20. Matt Lewis
    September 7th, 2011 @ 9:44 am

    RSM, you forgot to tell her to get off your lawn!

    Seriously, though, overly broad generalizations make me cringe.  If she had said something more like, “some conservatives think that…” it would sound more like reporting, and would actually be correct.

    Cue the paranoid Palin supporters who think I’m trying to submarine her candidacy in the pay of Big Perry or something…

  21. Anonymous
    September 7th, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

    Matt, I can’t believe you would actually try to submarine Palin’s candidacy in the pay . . . . Oh, that was sarcasm.  Never mind.

  22. Bob Belvedere
    September 7th, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

    Not only do you get solid gonzo reporting and deep insights on life here at TOM, but you learn a thing or two — thanks gentlemen [term used very loosely].

  23. Bob Belvedere
    September 7th, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

    Even the name columnists do it because they have to churn out so many words on a schedule.  I don’t read half the columns by people I respect, like Victor Davis Hanson and Jonah Goldberg, because of this fact — to fill up columns, they often repeat the same things we’ve heard many times before.  This is why I like the freedom of blogging for free: I can write about what I want, if I want to.

  24. ThePaganTemple
    September 7th, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    I don’t see what the big deal is. Anybody can offer advice. If its good, the person who it is offered to should consider it graciously and be thankful they got it. If its not good advice, that would probably be self-evident. Why bring the person’s age into it? Its true that years of experience tend to install wisdom. On the other hand, I’ve known a lot of jackasses in their sixties I wouldn’t trust to tell me the right time, let alone with advice.

  25. Bob Belvedere
    September 7th, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

    Goddamn eloquent that second paragraph, Adj.

  26. Anonymous
    September 7th, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    “overly broad generalizations make me cringe”

    I think you meant, “Some overly broad generalizations make me cringe.”

  27. Anonymous
    September 7th, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

    When was it not ever so?

    Perhaps, Tom. But it’s gotten worse.

  28. McGehee
    September 7th, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

    Especially since I got out of my 20s. Damnedest coincidence.

  29. rosalie
    September 7th, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

    I guess I just didn’t like what she wrote. 

  30. Datechguy's Blog » Blog Archive » Will She or Won’t She?
    September 9th, 2011 @ 9:01 am

    […] people as young as Meridith Jessup jumped in Robert Stacy McCain has this to say: This is where I play the “I’ve got ties older than you, […]

  31. Anonymous
    September 10th, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    No that is not a stalking horse that is a “RABBIT”. A horse who stalks run right off the front runner and pounces in the stretch leaving the front runner in the dust. I have handicapped too many horse races to not be aware of that fact.

    Bachmann is a corrupt sellout. She screwed the Tea Party and should be called out for the despicable traitor that she is. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see the fool she made out of herself when she decided to run for Conservative Conference Chair during the new congress. That’s when Romney knew her ego was too big and his Wall Street money could co-opt the Tea Party vote.
    Sorry I work in the financial markets. Wall Street wants and needs Cap and Trade to be passed. Their boy Obama didn’t deliver last time. This time they are banking on Romney. They feel they are in a win/win situation with either Romney or Obama to get  Cap and Trade passed. Wall Street has not suffered at all after the taxpayers bailed them out. Now that mortgaged backed securities is dead they need another cash cow. It’s Cap and Trade. Goldman relocated the head of their Carbon Trading desk from London to NYC and has just been sitting on go.
    It’s time for middle class America to flippin’ wake the hell up and see the big picture. Large hedge funds have too much invested in carbon trading to back down. They could care less about the little guy. They mean to be paid off for their investment. Wall Street knew the Tea Party was a huge threat to their getting Cap and Trade passed and they knew they had to buy out somebody. They pounced on Tea Party favorite Bachmann. She was perfect to offer the VP spot to so that the Tea Party would vote for Mittwit. All Bachmann had to do was win Iowa and take out Palin. They decided to capitalize on her fortune of being born in Iowa to give her some cred.
    We can either continue to keep our heads in the sand or root  out the corruption. To me a sellout like Backmann is worse than a true enemy. She deserves to be run out of town on a rail tarred and feathered. Bachmann took all of the little people’s money when Pelosi put a target on her back. This is how she repays us, using Romney’s Wall Street money to finance her campaign.
    Et tu Brute?