Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Conservative Nutjobs: Why They're Totally Right About Everything

Conservatives really don't give a shit what they say. They've got a point to make and the specific words really don't matter to them. That's how they rationalize all their nonsense attacks against us. They don't really, truly believe we're traitors who hate America. They're just trying to stress the point that our policies aren't the best and are merely speaking emphatically...or, at least I hope that's the case.

That's also why my resident neo-con stalker Donald Douglas feels that it's acceptable to describe me as a "nihilist". He doesn't actually think that all of the connotations of that word apply to me. It's just that he really likes the word and has found some definition that makes it slightly appropriate, assuming you twisted all of my objective realism into nonsense and gobbledygook. While he used the definition "denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth" in his defense of using that term endlessly, the word more typically refers to anarchist-types who think life is pointless and that it's ok to destroy things. And while neither definition accurately describes me, the second is far more absurd.

Yet, the reason he likes the word is because of all the negative connotations of it, none of which he really means. Sure, there are more accurate words he can use to smear me as a subjective post-modernist (such as, Subjective Post-Modernist), but he prefers nihilist because it sounds worse; even if it misstates his true meaning. He also likes to use names like "Dr. Bionihilistwordsmithian" and "Dr. Biomcnastywordsmithiannihilist." And no, I don't really know what that's all about either, though I did once order a McNasty Sandwich and seriously regretted it afterwards.

Selling Books

And so it's no big surprise to see that the author of A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win doesn't really believe that Obama can't win and now regrets the title. In fact, he believes that Obama "can definitely win." But the reason he regrets it isn't because it's an incorrect title, but merely because he's now being asked to explain it and can't.

He said that it was an "afterthought," but let me tell you, I clearly put more thought into the titles of my blogposts and I try to knock out at least one of these a day. The idea that some dude would go through all the effort to write a book and get it published, just to have a stupid title that completely misstates his opinion is entirely inexcusable. And let's face it, the title he picked is much sexier to conservatives than "Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can Definitely Win." That's what this was all about.

And of course, I think this is the same trouble Jonah Goldberg got in with his Liberal Fascism book. He came up with a snappy title that his publisher liked, and was then stuck actually having to figure out how to write the damn thing. The fact that he came out with such a lame argument wasn't necessarily reflective of his intellectual integrity or lack thereof, but merely that his publisher liked the title even if he couldn't support it.

And the real problem here is that conservative publishers don't want well thought-out books with interesting new conclusions. They want red meat to throw to the base and want all the same conclusions that William F. Buckley & Co. settled on many decades ago. And so Goldberg was stuck arguing that his book didn't say what we all knew it said and that the title didn't mean what we all knew it meant, because his publishers didn't want the book he wanted to write. They wanted red meat that attacked liberals using a smear that more accurately describes conservatives.

Similarly, this Obama book would certainly not have fit that definition if the titled admitted that the guy thought Obama could win. These publishers know they've got a winning recipe and don't want anyone rocking the boat with new ideas. If it was good enough for Richard Nixon, by god, it's good enough for us.

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