Aug
27

Super Wingnut: Rich Lowry (Part II)




Posted at 16:33 by HTML Mencken

Richie Rich: The Class Warrior

richielowry.jpg

Wingnut pundits like Lowry always whine about ‘class-warfare,’ but it is they who are the class-warriors. Top-down class warfare — that is, for benefit of the rich. These Bizarro-World Robin Hoods have always been loyal servants of what Theodore Roosevelt called “the Wealthy Criminal Class,” which, in modern context, means the freewheeling reaches of Corporate America. The whole wingnut economic project is about rolling back America to the age of the Robber Barons, and thanks to the complicity of the press and various neoliberal pundits and politicans, the project has gone smashingly. Lowry has shown his support for (another TR phrase) the “malefactors of great wealth” in the following ways:

Lowry is a great hater of poor people. He argues that the overwhelming cause of poverty is poor peoples’ own indolence and promiscuity. Here’s Lowry via Pandagon:

Poverty in America is primarily a cultural phenomenon, driven by a shattered work ethic and sexual irresponsibility. Child poverty would be nearly obliterated if every household had one adult working full time and married parents.

And if you don’t agree with that assessment, well, then you’re just a fakey homo fag:

You can argue with the particulars of this program, but if you’re not talking abut how to increase work and marriage among the poor, well then, you’re not serious about addressing poverty. You’re just some guy with pretty hair saying pretty words because you like the way they sound.

That was the weirdest insult to end a column in recent memory. And awfully stupid, coming from Wind-Swept Rich.

lowryedit2.jpg

– like John Edwards!

According to Lowry, the stagnation of wages has had “little to do” with causing or exacerbating poverty. In fact, he argues, it’s workers’ greed for more wages and benefits that has sabotaged great companies from within. So of course raising the minimum wage is a “non-solution to a non-problem.” Lowry’s solution to poverty is the same as his solution to Katrina, and it’s a social conservative’s wet dream: Shotgun marriages:

Let me see if I understand what Lowry is saying. The problem is not that women are giving birth to kids too early. Oh no – that’s a good thing. The problem is that those they had sex with aren’t forced to marry the mother. So if we had shotgun marriages – poverty in America would be eliminated.

What a clever plan!

Ah yes… if only little Johnny had a father who flipped burgers and was married to Johnny’s mother who then could stay home with little Johnny. You think I’m being flippant? Lowry actually believes that a parent who works full time at minimum wage, which is $5.15 an hour nationally, isn’t poor because of the Earned Income Tax Credit and food stamps. According to Lowry, then, little Johnny has it made and is on his way to Harvard!

…A clever plan for me to poop on:

Even when there are jobs available, moreover, poor mothers often face tremendous barriers to getting and keeping them due to a lack of viable transportation from where they live to where they might work, to say nothing of the fact that someone’s got to take care of the kids while mom’s on the job. If conservatives were serious about putting America to work, they’d be trying to do something about this, too. Meanwhile, the various income supplements Lowry refers to as making work an effective anti-poverty tool — food stamps, refundable tax credits, etc. — are also stuff the right is against, as you’ll see, for example, if you look at the President’s plan to balance the budget by cutting housing vouchers.

Well, of course, Lowry is in the business of “damned if they do, damned if they don’t”:

On the one side, of course, we meet the objections from religious and social conservatives wary of working mothers and viewing daycare and other social services that might benefit working parents as an encroachment by the ‘nanny state.’ Thunders National Review editor Richard Lowry: “The mass entry of women into the workforce has acted to dissolve the family in general.”

(Lowry sneers back to the effect that Liberals hate marriage unless it’s for homosexuals.)

Lowry’s incoherent and hateful prescriptions for alleviating poverty are perhaps better understood when you consider that his general economic stupidity has been pointed out by people on the center- left, center, and right. But it’s a weaselly sort of dishonesty rather than garden-variety wingnut stupidity that causes Lowry to so often move the definitional goalposts, especially on matters pertaining to Social Security.

Seriously, what a wingnut jackass. Lowry was terribly excited at the prospect of ‘reforming’ Social Security:

Mr. Lowry: It’s been extraordinary the way the Social Security debates have played out. Very interesting things happened when Bush rolled out that plan. The first significant thing was that he was rolling it out at all. The second was that Gore went after it in the traditional way that Democrats have, total scare-mongering and demagogic attacks about throwing our seniors overboard. That attack just did not take at all and what Gore ended up doing was re-tooling his own Social Security plan to move it in the direction that Bush was going. The distinction now between the two plans is that Bush is taking part of the actual payroll tax to fund people’s private accounts, and Gore is leaving the payroll tax the way it is and giving people a private savings option outside the system. That’s why Gore says his plan is Social Security plus and Bush’s is Social Security minus. But the fact is that both parties now acknowledge that the rate of return is a disaster and that people can be taken care of better if they actually save and invest for themselves. That’s a huge change in the politics of our country.

And then four years later:

RICH LOWRY: Well, [Bush] hit on his two main points that we are going to hear a lot going forward: one, that the current system is unsustainable and will not be there in its current form for younger workers one way or the other. And two, personal accounts offer a more attractive option for younger workers than just maintaining the current system.

So Lowry was ready to help Dear Leader, even if he didn’t always keep up with the latest talking points. Lowry tried to spin Social Security privatization as a means to help minorities and to sock it to the wealthy. Talk about chutzpah: it doesn’t get any better than a right-wing hack using progressive-populist language to try to sell a privatization scheme whose sole purpose was to benefit Wall Street. But then, Lowry’s the kinda guy who thinks the AARP is a front for left-wing vultures, so he’s obviously capable of any sort of batshittery on the subject.

But the subject of seniors leads inexorably to the subject of health care. It is only because of the wealthy criminal class that America, alone among first world nations, does not have a reasonably fair health care system. So of course those other countries must be demonized:

[T]he welfare state sort of sap[s] people’s vitality

And the demonization goes double for those Americans who support the human right to health care:

[SiCKO]‘s not just an attack on the insurance industry, but on our way of life.

And:

The only reason to fantasize about Cuban health care is to stick a finger in the eye of the Yanquis. For the likes of Michael Moore, the true glory of Cuba is less its health care than the fact that it is an enemy of the United States. That’s why romanticizing Cuban medicine isn’t just folly, but itself qualifies as a kind of sickness.

And:

Michael Moore set out to make a movie attacking the American insurance industry and ended up attacking the American character.

[...]

Liberals agitate for more government programs knowing that they create their own self-perpetuating constituencies and chip away at our culture of self-reliance. For now, that culture is still robust, as American exceptionalism remains stubbornly exceptional.

If you really want sweeping French-style social-welfare programs and repressive tax rates, your only alternative is to, like the American expats Moore glorifies in his movie, move to France.

Lowry is such a corporate whore. Wal-Mart, oil companies, the vaccine industry — such virtuous entities must be defended against the evil Democrats. In fact, so evil are Democrats that they’d completely and remorselessly destroy the economy by doing such things as raising the minimum wage, increasing taxes on the wealthy, and starting to “take whacks at ‘free trade.’” And how’s this for self-pity:

[T]he media sort of treats, you know, conservatives who think a low tax environment is good for the economy as some sort of Neanderthals.

(No, Rich, they don’t — but they should.)

Lowry advised Democrats that if they were any less servile to corporate interests than he, it would amount to political suicide because it would alienate the allegedly gigantic investor class of folks who might have some money in 401(k)s and should therefore imagine themselves as peers to the Rockefellers. (The wingnut trope of “building an ownership class” is precisely designed toward inculcating this mentality, the theory being that if you let the peons split one percent of corporate stocks, they’ll quit supporting their own liberal interests and sign on to whatever Wall Street wants.)

RICH LOWRY: Let me go back to the Gore populism. I do think in the short-term it has helped him with his image but in the long-term I can’t believe it’s a winner for him because this kind of rhetoric runs directly counter to the most important demographic change in this country, which is the rise of mass investment. And most people in this country aren’t fearful and worried about powerful corporate interests. They own pieces of powerful corporate interests, whether they’re pharmaceuticals or whether they’re Microsoft or whatever. So I think in the long run, this is a loser message for Gore[.]

Well, remember, this is Rich Lowry. So then Enron, Adelphia, etc. “happened”. Ooops:

LOWRY: Well, a couple things here. One, you are right about the investors. And the fact is, Republicans, throughout most of 90′s, were touting the investor class as a great thing for them, and I think on the whole, it will be, but this is an instance where it really could come back and bite them. If investors feel sour, you know, in the fall of this year, it could be a real problem for Republicans.

Now, the campaign against Harvey Pitt, I think, is totally political grandstanding. I mean, the idea that Harvey Pitt has done something in the last 18 months that somehow secretly signaled to all business leaders that they can be criminals I think is totally ridiculous. And the fact is, the market has, to some extent, to be self-policing, because there are not enough regulators in the country to sit over the shoulders of every accountant in America.

(Damage control!) Please disperse. Nothing to see here! There is no quid-pro-quo, corporations do not buy politicians, blah blah blah:

RICH LOWRY, “NATIONAL REVIEW”: Yeah. Well, this will test the theory of whether we can have a political scandal without any real political wrong-doing. And the fact is, all reporters sort of these days work off the “All the President’s Men” model. It’s follow the money all the time.

So it’s sort of this knowing and simplistic and tiresome cynicism where if the president of the United States says, you know, I believe we need more energy supply and we need to subsidize energy sources and drill more, because that’s a good thing for the country, most reporters say, no, no, no — that’s not what he’s really up to. He’s been bought off.

KURTZ: So in the world according to Lowry, Enron and companies like it give millions of dollars to politicians not because they’re trying to buy anything like access, but because they’re just being nice to their ideological soul mates?

LOWRY: Well, Enron made a lot of bad investments, and soft money was probably one of them.

[...]

KURTZ: So you think — and in fact, just last Sunday Bob Schieffer and Cokie Roberts said the way that Bush should respond to this would be to come out aggressively for campaign finance reform. You think journalists are using the whole Enron debacle as an excuse to push their favorite pet issue?

LOWRY: Sure. It’s the most tired cliche in the business. You know, and the reason why governments listen to companies like Enron is because big corporations are important. Any administration that crafted…

KURTZ: But why do they give them all this money?

LOWRY: They think it gets access. It gets you a nickname. It gets you nice notes. It does get you into the meeting.

But the fact is, both administrations did things to help Enron, but both administrations did things that helped Enron that played to ideological type. The Clinton administration signed the Kyoto Treaty because their liberals. The Bush administration wanted to deregulate because they’re conservatives. There’s no scandal here.

[...]

KURTZ: Well, who in Washington has not gotten Enron money? I mean, you have the top administration officials, you have lots of members of Congress, you have all these consultants and academics…

TAPPER: And Arthur Andersen money, too.

KURTZ: Exactly. And so, you seem to be taking sort of a narrow view of this, Rich, in the sense that if President Bush and Dick Cheney…

LOWRY: I’m never narrow, Howard.

KURTZ: OK.

TAPPER: He’s very broad-minded.

KURTZ: If President Bush and Dick Cheney didn’t do something specific to help them stave off bankruptcy, then where is the political scandal — whereas the broad view, maybe journalists justifying the pursuit of the story, is about the relationship in which they would help Enron in many ways, not in any small part because of the campaign contributions.

LOWRY: Well, no one can point to specifically anything they got that they shouldn’t have gotten. And, you know, the fact is, Enron backed Chuck Schumer, the Democrat in the 1998 New York Senate race. Why? Because Chuck Schumer agreed with Enron on deregulation. Companies that support deregulation are going to give money to candidates who support deregulation. There’s nothing inherently corrupt about that…

And:

LOWRY: Yes, all journalists love that story of campaign finance reform, and it was because they’re all sort of beholden to the Bob Woodward view of the world, which is follow the money and money explains. Well the world’s much more complicated than that and politicians have a lot of different pressures on them rather than money including their own ideologies and temperaments. And you know I think there’s — I disagree with Paul, there’s been a lot of attention on the Cheney energy plan, but I would disagree with the characterization that somehow that energy plan must have been bought or it was just a creation of Enron.

You know Bush and Cheney, the whole idea of that energy plan was to create a greater supply of energy. So of course you’re going to talk to Enron. You’re also going to other big energy companies. There’s no scandal there.

But what’s really hilarious, considering the above, is when Lowry accuses Liberals and Democrats of being the real elitists, the real corporate whores, the true representatives of the wealthy and spoiled classes. Like when he wrote this:

Bizarrely, it is the Democrats who most strongly support a lax immigration system that acts as a subsidy to business interests eager to hire workers at the lowest wages possible and to upper-middle-class Americans who don’t want to pay too much to have someone mow their lawns.

And this. And don’t forget about Lowry rising in defence of poor persecuted working class Tom DeLay:

In addition to the alleged ethical infractions that have dogged him in the press recently, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has one overriding, unspoken sin — he’s déclassé. In this, he has some of the same broad characteristics as George W. Bush: Texas, conservatism, Christianity, lack of — ahem — verbal subtlety.

But it’s when Chickenhawk Lowry purports to speak in his pseudo-populist voice for the armed forces that he’s truly pathetic:

Now, whatever you say about his landing on the aircraft carrier, whether that was a political stunt, whether it was premature, you could see the very real connection between those guys and George Bush. And that`s because Bush is a “red state” American. When he goes on vacation, he doesn`t go out to Martha`s Vineyard to hang out with intellectuals and celebrities. He goes to clear brush on his ranch. And that`s the kind of thing folks in the military connect with more naturally than Bill Clinton.

And most pathetic of all:

During the Q&A, an audience member noted that the US military was aiming its recruiting efforts at low-income young Americans and noted this was not fair. (One faculty member later told me that the Connecticut National Guard was engaged in a very active recruiting effort at this state school but had not done so at more pricey schools in the area, such as Wesleyan and Brown, my alma mater. I wonder why.) Lowry dismissed the idea–popularized in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11–that the war in Iraq is mostly being fought by low-income Americans who have been driven into the military by a lack of other opportunities. Instead, Lowry said, a surge of “patriotism” had swept through young American adults after 9/11, compelling them to sign up to fight for their country and the noble cause of promoting freedom and democracy overseas. I asked him whether this surge of “patriotism” had flowed through the offices of National Review? Had it depopulated his staff? How many interns had it claimed? Lowry did not answer this question.


Macho Macho Editor

In October 2000, at a Cato Institute symposium on the presidential election, National Review Editor Rich Lowry spoke of a “war on masculinity” in America and asserted that Bush appealed to the voters because he exemplified an action-oriented, nonintellectual manly resolve.

That’s the robust, barrel-chested, alpha male Rich Lowry of the Bush Cult of Contrived Masculinity —

“Maybe we don’t want a presidential candidate who can pronounce Kostunica or recite the constituent parts of Yugoslavia,” wrote National Review Editor Richard Lowry.

[...]

Sometimes, especially at National Review, the animus against braininess has overlapped with a crusade for traditional manliness — the idea being that book learning is for wimps.

Appearing on the Fox News show On the Record to discuss a recently released documentary about Bush on the campaign trail, Lowry hailed him as “a more traditional, red-blooded guy” than Al Gore: “He’s tough. He’s manly….He’s not very reflective.” To Lowry, it turns out, even familiarity with “hip” pop culture products such as Sex and the City — a familiarity that Bush, in the documentary, appears to lack — denotes excessive intellectualism and elitism. “Bush probably knows more about NASCAR, which is more tuned into what most Americans care about, than any of these reporters writing about him,” he commented.

…And he means what he says (in what he no doubt imagines is a rugged baritone). So Al Franken challenged him to a fight. But Lowry declined, though he couldn’t ever quite own up to the truth that he is a weenie projecting his own neuroses on others:

Franken’s challenge, naturally, has a political point. He saw me on C-SPAN the other day giving a talk in which I decried the way liberals and feminists are promoting the feminization of America, and called for a defense of traditional notions of masculinity. Franken now thinks I should prove my own manliness by grappling with him in a garage.

This makes a certain amount of sense. If I had to choose a male representative of the feminization of America to punch, the former SNL comic, who has always vaguely reminded me of Richard Simmons, would do as well as any.

In the end, because Lowry was too chicken to follow through on his petty slanders, they settled for a debate at Spinsanity on the merits and demerits of each other’s books. Or as Franken put it:

[I]n summary: Rich said on C-SPAN that Democrats had sissified politics; I challenged him to a fight in my parking garage; he demurred like a little girl; I wrote about the incident honestly in my book; he wrote a column that gave his readers a totally misleading characterization of my book, which he later admitted he hadn’t read; I challenged Rich to another fight; he demurred again, but challenged me to a contest of ideas. So here we are.

Spinsanity basically called it a draw, but in their “serious” way neglected to opine on, much less condemn, Lowry’s original gender-based critique of Democrats (though they did bother to note Franken’s mockery of Lowry’s entirely evaporated machismo).

OK, so Lowry has bashed Democrats as being girly-faggy-pinko-appeasers. Franken busted him on this. They debated and in that debate Lowry wrote:

So outraged is he by her outrageous name-calling, Franken calls her, quite seriously, a “nutcase.” A spectacularly successful author, Ann Coulter is not crazy, although her argumentative brilliance can be tinged with intemperance.

This, coming from Lowry, is as rich and precious as unicorn sashimi. Lowry had clean-up duty to perform after one of Coulter’s more famous meltdowns: her call to “invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.” And what a sloppy clean-up job it was:

The column was obviously written with some degree of anger, rage, and grief and she probably went a little far on certain things but the essential point I think is accurate that the most drastic possible measures are called for.

But this pathetic bit of Lionel Hutz-esque advocacy got Lowry absolutely nowhere:

The column outraged the public, but conservatives, including National Review editor Richard Lowry, ascribed Coulter’s column to grief over the loss of a friend in the attacks. But the following week, Coulter was at it again: “Congress could pass a law tomorrow requiring that all aliens from Arabic countries leave….We should require passports to fly domestically. Passports can be forged, but they can also be checked with the home country in case of any suspicious-looking swarthy males.” This time Lowry spiked her column. Coulter responded by calling Lowry and his staff censorious “girly boys.” Lowry then dropped her as a contributing editor.

Was it merely Coulter’s ‘intemperance’ that caused her to attack Lowry’s masculinity as he has attacked that of Liberals? Who knows, but it’s nice to see wingnuts attack each other and it’s very nice to see the sticks they throw at Liberals suddenly morph into boomerangs. At any rate, Ramesh Ponnuru’s opinion on the Lowry-Coulter contretemps is worth noting:

To my knowledge, NR has never read Ann Coulter out of respectable conservatism; we merely stopped running her column after a public dispute about our editorial practices.

Well, sure. What I’m getting at is that Lowry must absorb such insults from a fellow wingnut because they are too precious for the movement to give up. Lowry has to forgive Coulter for being Coulter, because he’s basically a Coulter, too. Case in point is when Coulter called John Edwards a faggot, and Lowry was right there to defend her from cruel, unfair lefties. He might as well have been defending himself. And in a way, he was.

And the same goes for his taking it so easy on other writers under the NR masthead. I’ve already mentioned how Lowry publishes discredited Lysenkoists, but he also publishes serial liars, lying liars, statistically-illiterate nimrods, government-funded propagandists, and all-around jackasses (a list, by the way, that still doesn’t include even more pathetic excuses for pundits like JPod, Mark Levin, Doughy F. Pantload, and K-Lo). Some well-meaning people occasionally call on Lowry to exercise a bit of journalistic decency in his supervising editorial role, but why should he? He’d just be applying standards to them that he doesn’t apply to himself. Short of plagiarism and publicly criticizing NR editorial policy, wingnuts who work for Lowry’s rag are pretty much given carte blanche. Probably because it’s, somehow, the macho thing to do.


Richie The Geek: Political Prognostications You Can Bet On!

Remember what I said about Rich Lowry’s spectacular and hilarious capacity for massive wrongness? Yeah? Well, there’s a good formula for it. Dave Weigel — in the context of Lowry’s bold predictions of George Allen’s coming triumph

George Allen was supposed to be the man — kosher to both the anti-tax right and the Christian right, he was the subject of preseason, groundwork-laying paeans like Rich Lowry’s November 2005 profile in National Review, which came complete with a socialist-realist cover photo of Allen engaging in the leaderly (to conservatives) pastime of throwing a football.

— has devised something called “the Lowry Test”:

If Rich Lowry believes something will happen, it will, in fact, not happen.

No kidding:

Good Call Rich!

Rich Lowry, Editor of the National Review, 3PM:

BOLTON NOMINATION WILL PASS THE COMMITTEE 10-8 TODAY

AP, 5PM:

Committee Puts Bolton on Hold

And:

Fox News rattled on that after just taking the reigns of the House of Representatives, Pelosi — who had promised five day work weeks — was already feathering her nest and making things more comfortable by taking off Monday for football.

Fox didn’t stop there. They also had some talking heads on board, of whom National Review’s Rich Lowry was one, to further lampoon Speaker Pelosi for this take a day off slip.

Well, Fox owes Pelosi a prime time apology — and maybe a panel of experts on following to discuss why Fox uses the “Drudge Report” as a primary new source and didn’t run the traps on a story it was giving huge profile to — and on which it organized a panel of Pelosi-bashing pundits.

Drudge broke the story Sunday evening after seeing a House release noting that there would be “no business” on Monday. Then he let his imagination take over and started the attack on Pelosi and House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer.

But as Raw Story has reported, the request for the day off came from Republican Minority Leader John Boehner[.]

And the same for the ’06 elections (with some bonus gloating to better set up the inevitable pie-in-the-face moment). And for the James Fallows story. And for Box Turtle Ben Domenech:

“He really shows maturity beyond his years,” said Richard Lowry, editor of the National Review.

Lowry said he runs into a lot of George Will-wannabes trying to break into national journalism circles at a very young age, but “few of them can actually pull it off. [Domenech] just seems to be just a couple steps in front of everyone else.”

With such a history (and I haven’t even got to the best example yet) of boneheaded predictions, you might think that Lowry would be just a little hesitant to criticize others for theirs (which are of course relatively few and minor in comparison). But you’d be wrong:

OH, MAN, IS DEEP THROAT EVER PAT BUCHANAN!!! [Rich Lowry ]
Speaking of Josh Marshall, check out this amusing post from 2002.
Posted at 04:58 PM

Yeah, bwahahahaha, Rich. That kind of gloating just means that the Divine Baker will make extra sure that the Pies of Reckoning flying toward your face will be that much more custardy and creamy…


Next: “We’re Winning”


Previous Entry in Super Wingnut Series

52 Comments »

  1. Legalize said,

    August 27, 2007 at 16:58

    “For now, that culture is still robust, as American exceptionalism remains stubbornly exceptional.”

    …and other such non-sensical / idiotic platitudes…

    “If you really want sweeping French-style social-welfare programs and repressive tax rates, your only alternative is to, like the American expats Moore glorifies in his movie, move to France.”

    Translation: “if you hate America enough to get sick, go fuck yourself and move to Cuba.”

  2. Smiling Mortician said,

    August 27, 2007 at 17:03

    And in other news from the shining city on the hill, Abu G calls it quits without the nuisance of impeachment.

    “I have lived the American dream,” said Gonzales, the nation’s first Latino to hold the post. “Even my worst days as Attorney General have been better than my father’s best days.”

    I thought he came from a culture that honored one’s parents. Guess not.

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    August 27, 2007 at 17:05

    Nice profile once again, HTML.

  4. Gary Ruppert said,

    August 27, 2007 at 17:32

    As for Alberto Gonzalez. It’s sad that the liberal lynchmob drove him from office.

    But, I hope the President makes a recess appointment because we can’t afford to not have an Attorney General in such dire times as the War on Terror.

  5. palau said,

    August 27, 2007 at 17:35

    Ruppert for recess AG!

    Couldn’t be any worse…

  6. Righteous Bubba said,

    August 27, 2007 at 17:40

    I hope part two gets tacked on to the end of part one.

    Regardless, anyone who writes Lowry’s name, if even on a post-it note, should try to find a way to link it to these.

  7. Legalize said,

    August 27, 2007 at 17:44

    “Ruppert for recess AG!

    Couldn’t be any worse…”

    I don’t know. It seemed like even Gonzo could put together complete sentences from time to time.

  8. DocAmazing! said,

    August 27, 2007 at 17:51

    HTML, I stand in rapt awe at your sheer gnarliness.

  9. RubDMC said,

    August 27, 2007 at 18:15

    “…the liberal lynchmob drove him from office.”

    Yeah, you’d know a thing or two about lynching, wouldn’tcha?

    - – -

    As for this latest fine, fine installment – are ya needin’ more coin, HT? Say the word, and I’m clickin’ the PayPal.

    Fuck it, I’m clickin’ anyway – this is exactly the occasion for a teeny bit ‘o wealth transfer. I only wish it could be more.

  10. Gary Ruppert said,

    August 27, 2007 at 18:31

    Anyways, the fact of the matter is that the Democratic Party is on the verge of doom. For example, the Republicans doubled their percentage in the special election in the 37th district.

    As well, Republicans hold decisive leads in Presidential polling.

    If Republicans nominate a mainstream moderate like Rudy Giuliani, then they will win easily and take 40 seats in the House and 5 in the Senate.

    Rudy’s personal problems will have no effect on his candidacy. After all, Clinton cheated on his wife multiple times, raped a few women, burned an American flag during Vietnam, met with Soviet leaders in 1971, and had dozens of people killed. And that didn’t stop his candidacy.

  11. Righteous Bubba said,

    August 27, 2007 at 18:50

    Anyways, the fact of the

    It’s like Madame Tussaud’s House of Wax Garys.

  12. HTML Mencken said,

    August 27, 2007 at 18:51

    Hi everybody. I’m not around the computer much because I’ve had to deal with family. Also, my research on the next Super Wingnut Profile in the series has destroyed my house (I own a lot of books and they are very unorganized) so there’s that, too. Also, a bit of burnout from writing this Lowry thing. I know I owe a lot of e-mail replies which I will get to as soon as I can. I just want everyone to know that I didn’t take off to Vegas with the donations.

    Gavin is posted this and will post part III as well (at his discretion). I’ll be back to blogging normally by the end of the week.

  13. The Self-Loathing Multiculturalist said,

    August 27, 2007 at 18:53

    Just out of curiousity, is this Gary guy an actual troll, or just a lefty with great sense of sarcasm. Clarification for the new guy, please?

  14. Stephen Ockham said,

    August 27, 2007 at 19:00

    Thanks for another great post HTML.

    This detailed and focused examination of a specific wingnut provides great balance to the broad and quick utility of the Two-Minute Town Hall.

    It is nice to see all of ‘teh crazzeh’ laid out in one place, and to get a feel for the (multiple and internally inconsistant) wingnut worldview(s).

  15. mikey said,

    August 27, 2007 at 19:01

    Clinton cheated on his wife multiple times, raped a few women, burned an American flag during Vietnam, met with Soviet leaders in 1971, and had dozens of people killed. And that didn’t stop his candidacy.

    Ho hum. Seems to me that all just reinforces his qualifications for the presidency. Hell, I do more shit than that before lunch, on a good day.

    Maybe if bush had met some soviet leaders, ordered murders with impunity, burned many different examples of multi colored cloth and could REMEMBER the times he cheated and raped, he wouldn’t have been such a miserable failure. Guess we’ll never know, eh Gary?

    mikey

  16. Righteous Bubba said,

    August 27, 2007 at 19:01

    Clarification for the new guy, please?

    Gary was (and is, somewhere) an actual troll with a very distinctive writing style. Fake Garys are picking up the real Gary’s slack.

  17. D. Sidhe said,

    August 27, 2007 at 19:07

    [T]he welfare state sort of sap[s] people’s vitality

    You know, if there was one thing and one thing only I could make these assholes understand about poverty is how fucking bone-deep day-in-and-day-out everything-is-gray exhausting it is.

    It’s never having enough time to make dinner, never getting enough sleep, always worrying about bills and health, knowing your job is going to mean you need to retire early from disability but knowing it will also keep you working till you drop because you can’t afford to quit ever, getting up two hours early and getting home two hours late because of bus schedules, debts of gratitude you can’t begin to ever repay to any family members who agree to watch your kids while you work, dentists who the law now says can’t bill you over time because that makes them “lenders” subject to new regulation, six hours with the kid in the ER when the cough you couldn’t afford to see a doctor about turns into an inability to breathe, and then losing your job because that was unauthorized time off. It’s having to see a doctor to get a note when you stay home from work with the flu. It’s drug tests and nametags at work. It’s never saying anything about the safety violations or sexual harassment because you’ll get fired. It’s living out of a long term hotel because you can’t scrape together the money for a deposit on an apartment, and check cashing places and payday loans because there’s no bank within walking distance of your home–and now the check cashing places are suddenly lecturing you about “using payday loans responsibly” because hey, it’s either that or they adopt less usurious rates and they’re sure not going to do that. It’s not having time to vote and not having time to get the information you need to vote your interests anyway–but that’s okay, because you also can’t afford the ID that the new laws require, and even that’s okay because you know deep down that no one and nothing is ever going to change anything in your life anyway, at least not for the better.

    It’s a million other tiny things beside that combine to keep you hopeless and exhausted and in a constant panic to get things done and not thinking clearly, stuff that a guy like Rich couldn’t begin to imagine, and suddenly the assholes pop up with brilliant ideas about how hey, wouldn’t it be great if we were to take your automatic Social Security plan and make you find the time to do research and paperwork in the hopes of doing any better.

    And on top of all of that, it’s people like Rich convinced you’re lazy because you’re working two jobs and raising three kids. It’s shopping and knowing that everybody in the grocery store is judging you on what’s in your cart. It’s taking the kids to McDonald’s to eat off the dollar menu because you haven’t got a way to cook for them or to refrigerate food, and knowing everybody assumes you’re irresponsible and this is why you’re poor. It’s compete strangers explaining that you’re irresponsible for not having a car, for not taking the kids to the doctor when they first get sick, for not getting married again–as though you have time to date–, for not going back to school. It’s knowing that if you ever get the chance to sit down and watch TV for an hour, everybody in the country thinks you’re useless and lazy, and suggests that all the problems the country can’t fix are your fault for not being involved, or pretending that that hour every couple weeks is time you should be using productively to better yourself. An hour a week of American Idol is not going to improve your situation–but neither is an hour a week of community college, especially since that hour can easily be spent just *getting* there.

    The working poor–a phrase that still makes me spit–have enough shit to deal with that they shouldn’t have to put up with Rich’s sneering condescension and idiotic pretense that he has policy ideas that will make things better if they just work harder. They’ve got way too much to deal with to ever even have the time to laugh derisively at him for suggesting that it’s the welfare state, not poverty itself, that saps people’s vitality. And incidentally kills an awful lot of them, too.

    I trust when we get around to eating the rich, we can include the assholes who spew talking points designed to keep them rich, as well? Paris Hilton is a waste of precious resources. Rich Lowry is an insulting abuse of them.

  18. Gary's Brother said,

    August 27, 2007 at 19:11

    Oh, and anyways, the fact is, if anyone professes to be a relative of Gary Rupert, that person is probably not.

  19. D. Sidhe said,

    August 27, 2007 at 19:12

    Incidentally, I call fakegary, but on the off chance that’s really you:

    raped a few women

    Fucking *prove* it. Or accept that any woman who says you raped her means the rest of the world describes you as a rapist without benefit of trial for the rest of your life.

    As a woman who’s been raped and not attained justice through the courts, I am well aware that I have no right to ever see anyone but me and his other victims refer to him as a rapist. That standard should apply across the board, to politicians and high school boys, to conservative women and teenage girls. Unless you’d be interested in all the women you know handing you a list of all the men you now have to refer to as rapists, STFU.

  20. Johnny Coelacanth said,

    August 27, 2007 at 19:20

    “After all, Clinton cheated on his wife multiple times, raped a few women, burned an American flag during Vietnam, met with Soviet leaders in 1971, and had dozens of people killed.”

    You forgot to mention running half a trillion dollars of cocaine out of the Mena airport, shooting down Ron Brown’s airplane with a shoulder launched missile and the fact that he was seen in Dale Earnhardt’s car just minutes before that driver’s fatal crash.

  21. Dorothy said,

    August 27, 2007 at 19:29

    Rudy’s personal problems will have no effect on his candidacy.

    …because we all know he hates the brown people as much as we do!

    After all, Clinton cheated on his wife multiple times, raped a few women, burned an American flag during Vietnam, met with Soviet leaders in 1971, and had dozens of people killed.

    Hey, Gary, if you have any, you know, evidence for these crimes you accuse Clinton of, you really should contact the police. If not, you might want to learn the definitions of “allegedly”, “purportedly”, “supposedly”, “libel” and “defamation of character”.

    Here’s a hint: “alleged” does not mean “Obviously guilty regardless of available evidence” if the object is a Democrat and “clearly the victim of a partisan witchhunt” if the object is a Republican.

    (Probably fake Gary, I know, but…)

  22. RubDMC said,

    August 27, 2007 at 19:38

    D. Sidhe said: You know, if there was one thing and one thing only I could make these assholes understand about poverty is how fucking bone-deep day-in-and-day-out everything-is-gray exhausting it is.

    That was…magnificent, passionate, true. I have no proper adjectives. Thanks for saying it, even if the fuckwad Lowry/Rupperts et al won’t ever listen to, or understand, it.

  23. Gus said,

    August 27, 2007 at 19:41

    It’s always hard to tell if it’s the real Gary Ruppert. I usually assume it’s not really Gary if the phrase “the fact of the matter is” isn’t in there somewhere. Must be a verbal tic he picked up from the VP.

  24. dadanarchist said,

    August 27, 2007 at 20:01

    Excellent dissection, Mencken, but be careful.

    Delving this deep into the tepid, murky depths of NRO insanity may cause health problems.

    I know I feel dumber and slightly woozey just from having read Lowry’s gibberings.

    Be careful, we all rely on you to bring Teh Funny.

  25. Fishbone McGonigle said,

    August 27, 2007 at 20:07

    D. Sidhe @19:07 -

    That was masterful. The tragic part is, even with such vivid description, people like Lowry could never ever ever get it.

  26. Aaron said,

    August 27, 2007 at 20:11

    “You know, if there was one thing and one thing only I could make these assholes understand about poverty is how fucking bone-deep day-in-and-day-out everything-is-gray exhausting it is.” – D.Sidhe

    Well said. Very well said indeed.

  27. The Self-Loathing Multiculturalist said,

    August 27, 2007 at 20:11

    Many thanks for the clarification. I spent last night watching Mark Steyn on youtube and reading “Small Dead Animals”, (yes, it was a slow night) so it is always refreshing to see such a brilliant take-down of the whole reverse, class-warefare crap that passes for intellectual debate.

  28. mikey said,

    August 27, 2007 at 20:13

    Ahh, Sidhe. The poetry of pain. Grinding eloquence.

    Elegant and soul-searing description of real lives played out invisibly, without resource, devoid of hope.

    Thanks for saying it.

    No. Thanks for saying it well.

    This is a medium where voices like yours can be heard. I wonder who’s listening?

    mikey

  29. Robert Green said,

    August 27, 2007 at 20:22

    re: michael moore

    html, i think this is the weakest part of your argument/devastation.

    moore’s last two movies do in fact make one question what it means to be an american. sicko made me angry because it showed so well how fucked we all are by our current health care system, but it made me angrier because it reminded me how recidivist our faux individualistic happy talk really is. our essential american character, moore seems to be saying (or having proxies say) is pretty messed up. and i have a hard time disagreeing with him. that lowry noticed is not surprising–he’d notice such a thing even if it wasn’t there. but it is. and lowry’s point about moore using cuba the way he does is essentially accurate as well–here’s a country we vilify amidst our usual american exceptionalist chit-chattery–and moore goes there to drive his thesis home. it is a polemical way to make the statement moore wants to make–maximally so. and it ends the movie, which is concomitant with the importance moore puts on such an editorial move.

    since lowry is such a fucking putz in all that he does i understand the desire to put this into your piece, and since moore is an ur-unputz i get the need to defend him from such monkey-strosities. but still, lowry is right, albeit for the wrong reasons.

  30. Kathy said,

    August 27, 2007 at 20:32

    You must take a lot of draminine before reading this guy.

  31. Davis said,

    August 27, 2007 at 21:25

    Many years ago, Art Buchwald called William F. Buckley the “selfless defender of the rich.” After tax cuts, the preferred method is keeping wages low. That’s all they care about (well, plus raiding the Treasury though “privitization”).

  32. Gentlewoman said,

    August 27, 2007 at 22:30

    D. Sidhe, I know I’ve probably said this before, but it cannot be said too often:

    You fucking rock.

  33. Batocchio said,

    August 27, 2007 at 22:39

    Impressive, as was part I!

  34. John O said,

    August 28, 2007 at 0:11

    Epically superb.

    I hope to God, or Allah or someone, that this stuff gets forwarded to the Richster, so he can read a comprehensive and funny analysis of what a complete moron shrill hack he is.

    So that he knows at least some of us are on to his stupidity and almost statistically impossible wrongness.

  35. Rich Lowry, Moron, Part 2 « Beware The Man said,

    August 28, 2007 at 0:18

    [...] I posted my thoughts on Rich Lowry, completely insane partisan hack here, and Part 2 is just as good. [...]

  36. Miguel de Icaza said,

    August 28, 2007 at 0:40

    Great profile!

  37. Henry Holland said,

    August 28, 2007 at 0:45

    Reading all that swill from Rich Lowry, handsome though he is in that picture, makes me think of these lines from Radiohead:

    When I am King
    You will be first against the wall
    With your opinions
    Which are of no consequence at all

  38. AnneLaurie said,

    August 28, 2007 at 1:03

    HTML, another excellent and brillantly-argued profile! Considering all the links, it’s probably impossible to transfer the whole Lowry profile to paper “permanency”, but perhaps there’s a way to set up the completed file as a self-contained “blog” for googling purposes? Righteous Bubba is correct: Your most informative biography should come up whenever future researchers search for Lowry, even on a Post-it note.

    D. Sidhe, you are also fierce & brilliant, so I will only add that in a just society Richie Rich would — for his crimes against honesty — be sentenced to living as he has condemned others for living. Drop him at the long-term hotel with no ID, no resumes, no high-tech appliances, and the same stipend as is granted to released convicts in Lowry’s home state. Let him find a job, a home, and a place in the world without all the artificial ease the fortunes of birth & money have granted him. I suspect within 2 weeks he’ll run into traffic, naked and gibbering, in a suicide attempt. (It’ll only take 2 weeks because he’ll spend the first 10 days in a fugue of denial and projection.)

    But I think Mr. Lowry is actually fumbling his way towards a defense of the *very* traditional marriage — i.e., one where prosperous men of the correct political-social-religious class are permitted to buy extra wives on the open market. Since such secondary wives (concubines) will normally be very young, therefore undereducated, and probably of a lower social caste, they can be used to replace “illegal immigrants” as unpaid nannies, household servants, and landscapers. The extra dependant tax exemptions will provide a further incentive for prosperous men to buy concubines rather than hiring minimum-wage workers. In addition, siphoning the most desirable young women away from the lower economic castes will create a supply of angry, unmoored, young single males who (ask any anthropologist) will make excellent cannon fodder. It’s a win/win/win situation for everyone! — well, at least for everyone who Rich Lowry wants to know, and who in their (very) Right mind would care what the remaining 89% of the American public thought?

  39. mikey said,

    August 28, 2007 at 3:46

    Canon Fodder. Yep.

    Ok, in my war, THEY didn’t have much in the way of canon, but the concept applies.

    Here’s the funny thing. When you are a throwaway, when you are “expendable”, when you are not just “canon fodder”, but you bloody well know what you are, there’s a kind of pride. Young men thrown into violent conflict understand the roles. They know, not why they’re there, but why THEY’RE there. I hope that made sense.

    And there’s a fatalistic grin. A squaring of shoulders. A wisdom that you are there because those that sent you didn’t have the stones to come out and fight. So, oddly, you fight harder for them. It’s almost a perverted kind of love. You get your role, they get theirs, and more than most anything else (other than basic survival with most of your bits intact) you want to show them that they might be afraid, but you weren’t.

    They did it at Agincourt. They did it at San Juan Hill. They did it at Bull Run. They did it at the Somme. They did it at Betio, at Normandy, at the Chosin, at the Fishhook, at Faluja. Young men. Not stupid. Not fooled by the pretty stories of country and glory. Not sold by ancient heroes. Not enticed by shiny jewelry. They knew. They always knew. And they went anyway. Over the top, to die hard, lying on the battlefield, knowing they would bleed out before sunset, but KNOWING.

    They knew something the people that sent them could never know. Could never understand. They fought because it was their lot to fight. And they fought because the alternative was simply not acceptable.

    The people who start wars will never understand the people who fight them. But the people who fight the wars know more than you’ll ever know…

    mikey

  40. Pim's Ghost's Twilly Spree said,

    August 28, 2007 at 5:36

    Why do Conservatives ever even mention anything sexual being somewhere near the root of a problem? Why do Conservatives bring up sex at all when in the Op-Ed mode? And when it comes to poverty as well? The advice Lowry and others are missing with much of this is: bringing up sexual activity while on the right= lose/lose.

    Jeez, it’s just not that freakin hard. Um, to get, I mean. Oh hell.

  41. Gundamhead said,

    August 28, 2007 at 9:08

    Why the hell are they so obsessed with Bush clearing brush anyway? Y’know it’s really not that impressive.

  42. lobbey said,

    August 28, 2007 at 9:39

    Many thanks for the clarification. I spent last night watching Mark Steyn on youtube and reading “Small Dead Animals”, (yes, it was a slow night) so it is always refreshing to see such a brilliant take-down of the whole reverse, class-warefare crap that passes for intellectual debate.

    Man, you need a hobby, like watching paint dry, or something!

  43. Sadly, No! » Meow-Meowing The Flab-Catchers III: Revenge of the Sammich said,

    January 8, 2008 at 2:36

    [...] 8, Head Start. Now contrast Rich ‘School of Frum’ Lowry’s counter-proposal: shotgun marriages! Which allows the Wealthy Criminal Class to keep more of its money? Which allows the poor to keep [...]

  44. Sadly, No! » Super Wingnut: Rich Lowry (Part III) said,

    February 1, 2008 at 14:54

    [...] I, Part II] “We’re [...]

  45. Sadly, No! » Shorter Rich Lowry said,

    October 4, 2008 at 9:29

    [...] (and try not to think about at all). But then, neither did I think it was possible for Rich Lowry to be aroused by anything less than nuclear annihilation of Islamic cities, much less by anything [...]

  46. lcp said,

    September 26, 2009 at 0:41

    Ah, yes. You so clearly refuted Lowry’s basic premise. If society only made it easier to be an unemployed, unmarried, promiscuous single mom or dad, then we’d eliminate poverty. All these folks need is more free daycare, more welfare checks and more public transportation. Oh, and free health care. Sure, that’s the ticket.

    Glad you set ‘em straight on that.

    The bottom line is this: The general rule is that if you work hard and refrain from sexual irresponsibility, you will have a much better chance of staying out of poverty.

    Of course, there are exceptions. But an exception does not invalidate the rule. Unless you can prove that the exception is so large that it overwhelms the general rule. Which, in this case, it doesn’t. You could walk into any poor area in the country today and what you will find – IN GENERAL – is not hard-working, married families overwhelmed by health care costs (as implied in Padagon’s post). What you’ll find is underemployed, or unemployed, never-been-married single-moms and absent fathers. Oh, and rampant illiteracy, and a penchant for blaming everyone but themselves for their life’s problems.

  47. Substance McGravitas said,

    September 26, 2009 at 0:47

    lcp said,
    September 26, 2009 at 0:41 (kill)

    The above amounts to “I’m a dick” and makes neither an argument germane to the point nor a policy prescription.

  48. Drasties - Dutch on the World - World on the Dutch said,

    February 10, 2010 at 1:11

    [...] Sadly No’s HTML Mencken comprehensively chronicled Lowry’s extremism here and here.  The latter post contains not only his defense of Ann “not-an-extremist” Coulter [...]

  49. thedude said,

    February 10, 2010 at 7:19

    at mikey

    who said:
    And there’s a fatalistic grin. A squaring of shoulders. A wisdom that you are there because those that sent you didn’t have the stones to come out and fight. So, oddly, you fight harder for them. It’s almost a perverted kind of love. You get your role, they get theirs, and more than most anything else (other than basic survival with most of your bits intact) you want to show them that they might be afraid, but you weren’t.

    Why aren’t you a poet or a moviemaker or a writer, Mikey. Maybe you are but if you’re focused just on politics you’re wasting a voice of psychological insight.
    You’ve got a stronger take on the situation than the pro blogger what sent me here.

  50. thedude said,

    February 10, 2010 at 7:32

    I’m sorry, but d. sidhe, if you really believe, as you say, that poverty is:
    It’s taking the kids to McDonald’s to eat off the dollar menu because you haven’t got a way to cook for them or to refrigerate food, and knowing everybody assumes you’re irresponsible and this is why you’re poor.


    If you invest in high priced mcd’s food for your children instead of a refrigerator (those fries are expensive for how little you get!), you DESERVE to be poor. Get it? If you don’t have electricity, stick the f’n milk in a cool wet sack and drink it within 3 days, **** for brains. The world has enough truly starving people without refrigerators OR milk in war zones, we don’t need people who lack those things for lack of brains, making babies and america even stupider.

    In any case, what of all the lower class and middle class families that feed their kids mcd’s junk junk, AND have a refrigerator at home? Poo’ poo’ widdee bawbees ! Iz aw wichie wich’s fawt!

    I hope that D doesn’t stand for doctor.

  51. DICKERSON3870 said,

    February 13, 2010 at 6:15

    MALE TEABAGGER: “I might be an old codger, but I sho like Miss Sarah. She’s one good lookin’ gal! Those legs. That caboose. What a rack!”
    TRANSLATION: I’m not gay. Really, I’m not. Honest injun!

    ALSO CONSIDER: “Projecting through the Screen”, By Rich Lowry, 10/03/08
    A very wise TV executive once told me that the key to TV is projecting through the screen. It’s one of the keys to the success of, say, a Bill O’Reilly, who comes through the screen and grabs you by the throat. Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, “Hey, I think she just winked at me.” And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can’t be learned; it’s either something you have or you don’t, and man, she’s got it.
    SOURCE – http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NDYzMGFiNjQ0MWRjNmI0ZTlkYjgwZTExMjA3MWNiZTk=

  52. Rich Lowry’s brain said,

    December 23, 2010 at 13:35

    [...] Sadly No‘s HTML Mencken comprehensively chronicled Lowry’s extremism here and here.  The latter post contains not only his defense of Ann “not-an-extremist” Coulter [...]

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