Monday, September 8, 2008

Say What?

Leonard Pitts, Jr., on the gobbledygook sent forth from St. Paul.

“We need change, all right. Change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington. We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington — throw out the big-government liberals.” — Mitt Romney, Sept. 3, 2008

And then the gorilla run knee socks paint porno on the Cadillac. But school laughed and didn’t we sing hats?


Maybe you wonder what the preceding gobbledygook means. I would ask which gobbledygook you mean: mine or Mitt Romney’s? If he’s allowed to spew nonsense and people act as if he’s spoken intelligently, why can’t I? If he gets to behave as if words no longer have objective meaning, why can’t I?

I mean, baffle grab on the freak flake. Really.

And again, ahem.

If you’re a regular here, you’ve heard me rant from time to time about intellectual dishonesty. By this, I mean more than just your garden variety lie. No, to be intellectually dishonest means to argue that which you know to be untrue and to substitute ideology for intellect to the degree that you’ll do violence to language and logic rather than cross the party line.

Yes, we’re all intellectually dishonest on occasion. But no one does it like Republican conservatives. They are to intellectual dishonesty what Michael Jordan was to basketball or the Temptations to harmony: the avatar, the exemplar, the paradigm. They have elevated it beyond hypocrisy and political expedience. They have made it…art. Which returns us to the astonishing thing Mitt Romney said while addressing the party faithful in St. Paul. You want to walk around it the way you would Michelangelo’s David, admiring the elegance of the workmanship. You hesitate to touch it, much less pull it apart. To do so seems almost an act of desecration.

Unfortunately, some of us are too plodding and earthbound, too blind to the seductions of art, too stubbornly wedded to some vestigial notion that intellectual honesty matters, to walk past a steaming pile of bovine excreta without calling it a steaming pile of bovine excreta.

So excuse me, beg pardon, so sorry, but I have to ask: what liberal Washington is he talking about? The federal government has three branches. The legislative, i.e., Congress, was under conservative control from 1995 until 2007. The judicial, i.e., the Supreme Court, consists of nine justices, seven of whom were nominated by conservative presidents. The executive, i.e., the president, is George W. Bush. Enough said.

Washington is already what Romney wants to make it. Our current state of affairs, love it or loathe it, is indisputably a product of conservative governance. I wish that mattered more than it does.