If I didn’t laugh, I’d have to cry

Via Becca at Not Quite Sure, Jon Stewart nailing people with their own words.

And Roger Simon on Why The Media Should Apologize.

I remember that around 9/11, people were saying that irony was going out of style.  But I don’t know how else we’re supposed to deal with this craziness.

Update:  Oh.  My.  God. I think I have to cry anyway.

7 Responses to “If I didn’t laugh, I’d have to cry”

  1. bj Says:

    The Stewart video is fabulous.
    I think the conservative defense might be that conservatives don’t think hypocrisy is all that important. There’s something actually substantive there, because I think we (as in “we liberal media elite”) believe in independent standards. We’ve seen a lot of us do soul-searching to figure out how we feel about things like Sarah Palin having young children. But if you go from the premise that A is right and good and B is bad and immoral, then you don’t need t have the same kind of independent standards. If A does it, it’s good, if B does it, its’ bad. That logic seems to drive foreign policy as well.
    It’s frustrating to me, but doesn’t seem to bother everyone.

  2. amy Says:

    Elizabeth, that’s not irony; that’s a refusal to distinguish between legitimate political questions (Palin’s lack of experience or any other political features that make her more interesting than, say, Truman; her creationism and radical anti-abortion stance) and all this baloney about her water breaking and her daughter’s pregnancy and her beauty-queen days.
    How to deal with it? Deal with it straight. Just keep on drilling. I can’t tell you how many stupid conversations I’ve had in the last months with furious Obama supporters as they go blasting away at women over 40 who noticed the lack of respect for Hillary’s supporters and the women’s issues she put on the table.
    “Those bleeding tampons aren’t happy unless Hillary gets elected!”
    “No, they’d be happy with any candidate who respected them.”
    “They’re just sexist! @#!!! That’s the only thing they look at, does the candidate have a vagina!”
    “No, actually a lot of them voted for Edwards/Biden/Richardson in the primary. They just want to be respected, and they see how deaf the Obama campaign is to what Hillary did.”
    [Here follows a list of threats and insults that sounds uncannily like the sort of thing so many women hear when they work up the nerve to leave miserable, lying, cheating husbands, ending with “Because they’re stupid Hillary fanatics!”]
    “No, it’s not about Hillary at all. It’s about respect.”
    “Well then WHAT DO THEY WANT??!!???”
    At which point you can have about two sentences worth of genuine conversation before their heads explode again.
    Frankly, Elizabeth, I think the media doesn’t get it, and won’t get it, because it’s made up largely of people who are at best nominal adults in a business where people haave a rabid terror of looking and sounding old, and where there’s tremendous institutional sexism. On the whole they aren’t responsible for anyone outside themselves — they don’t have children (or if they do, they leave most of the work to other people), their parents live far away — they have no idea what the work entails or what costs it carries. And they have no idea what it is to make a family while working, or what the cost is, 30 years down the line. Older, working mothers are still largely invisible to them, and really, they don’t want to know what these women have lived with. So sure, when they hear a genuine “WTF, what kind of sexist commentary is this about her amniotic fluid and her boots, for crying out loud,” it means nothing to them except “The GOP enemy is playing stupid games, so I should be stupid back na na na na na.”

  3. carosgram Says:

    Even though I am a McCain supporter, this is a great post! Thank you! This is one of the most intelligent, fact based arguments against the Republican ticket I have seen. It may not change my mind but it does make me think!

  4. urbanartiste Says:

    I have been trying to grapple with this election season in terms of gender issues and feminism. First I think the Republicans have just seized feminism from the dems. First they nominated Palin and second the dems and liberal media displayed such a high level of sexism at Hillary Clinton.
    One thing that is bothering me is that both the right and left were sexist towards Clinton and alot of people seem to be defending Palin. I don’t think the careful treatment of Palin has much to do with the sexism Hillary endured. I think it has more to do were image as a mother. There is a striking visual contrast between these two women. It seems to me that both political aisles seemed to feel it was okay to demolish the symbolic second wave feminist so evident in Hillary Clinton. Palin represents an accepted iconic American woman. Someday in retrospect I wonder if we will view this election as a struggle between the images of women and what is truly a feministic icon.
    As a democrat is saddens me that it appears the Republicans are going to make a big change in women’s lives and I am not speaking of abortion. The fact that Palin is a working mother of five with a husband who does alot of the child-rearing could send ripples into corporate America. Maybe not tomorrow, but the days after. I only wish they would change policy to truly improve the lives of families in light of this new acceptance of a working mother.

  5. amy Says:

    “I only wish they would change policy to truly improve the lives of families in light of this new acceptance of a working mother.”
    I’ve been thinking about this comment over the last few days, and about how surprised Dems are when they find people on the lower edges of the working class to be Republicans. The Dems tend to be very sure these people are misguided, undereducated, and all around tragic cases shooting themselves in the foot by not joining their true liberal allies.
    I admire Sarah Palin because wishing for policy change is precisely the reaction she didn’t have. She didn’t sigh and wish for legislation or social acceptance; despite lack of brilliance, family money, and lasting success on the beauty-queen circuit, she had a family and became the governor while remaining, quite visibly, a mom of four, recently five, and soon-to-be grandma. She found herself a guy decent enough to take turns kneeing own career, and it looks to me like they do nicely moneywise, too.
    I don’t have time to sigh and wait for legislation. And frankly, I’m pretty well convinced at this point that whatever legislation came down from our gorgeous combo of social workers and legislators would put another obstacle course in my way. How? By making all kinds of assumptions about what I need (and don’t need), and about what my kid needs (and doesn’t need) that have absolutely nothing to do with how we live — and imposing those assumptions from a position of power. The assumptions are based on Christian pity, from the left, and on the right, the idea that my daughter and I are, respectively, neglected and irresponsible. I want no part of either. I’d much rather be ignored, left to make my own friends and manage.
    Nor do I want to pay for the collection of ratholes the left likes to fund. I have experience with ratholes that’s up-close and personal, and I want no more to do with them, ever. If more generous and/or naive people want to throw their own money into them, that’s their business, but I’d thank them not to throw mine along with it.
    I spend about 8 hours a day doing mom-related work, support my family, and have a successful career on the side that doesn’t pay, but which is my own and makes me very happy. So please don’t give me more work in the form of higher taxes, higher local crime, social services which attract more underclass migration, and lousier schools. And don’t tell me that I’m in for some kind of tax bonanza under Democrats, either. Under Democrats, I’ve seen my property taxes rise till they’re a good 15% or so of my gross household income. All terribly well-meant, I’m sure. I see that tonight we’ve elected a new school-board member, also from social services, who wants to stream medical services through the schools. Terrific. I see another school bond in the near future. “It’s just $55 a year if your home’s valued at $200,000, the price of a gallon of milk a week.” Sure, on top of all the other gallons of milk for various social projects, most of which are of the rathole variety. Meanwhile, I still have to buy _actual milk_.
    If you shed the graft-n-corruption part of the GOP, the mad-with-imperial-power-neocon part of the GOP, and the Jesus-freak part of the GOP, I think what you’re left with are three presumptions I find very healthy indeed: you’ll work your ass off as long as you’re able (and find it worthwhile if you use your head); there are no guarantees; and it will harm you, in the end, to make pets of runts, because most of them ain’t Wilbur, and runt farms are not sustainable.
    I filled out a new voter-registration form today, changing my name; I also marked “no party” instead of “Democrat”. Well, that was mealy-mouthed of me; I think I’d better go back and mark another one “Republican”. I guess 40 really is the new 30.

  6. urbanartiste Says:

    The legislation I am talking about is better social security benefits for parents that choose caring for a child at home, more progressive family leave policies in the workplace that include caring for sick and dying family members and, (I know alot of people are against this) daycare available like during WW2.
    Let’s be real here. How does Sara Palin do it? Her husband is one reason and second, she has an extremely supportive extended family. This is not every parent’s situation – at all. The attitude that if she can do it everyone can is unrealistic. How many seniors are still working and their children can not rely on them for family support? A person either has the salary to hire someone to care for a child, extended family helps out or a mother has to stay home regardless of the financial consequences.
    I read in the newspaper this morning the spending budget for the federal government. If you want to cut back taxes then you cut medicare, social security, medicaid, military. This will hit seniors strikingly and the only people I see picking up the care and cost will be women, whether it be taking on a job or staying home. If you have stats on men leaving jobs to care for children or elderly parents regardless of financial impact I would love to read them.
    I was under the impression that alot of these programs are to the benefit of all society. Personally, I think programs are fine if they are run efficiently and without corruption; there in lies the problem.

  7. amy Says:

    Medicare and Soc Sec are the only European-social-welfare-state programs we have, and unfortunately, thanks to the demographics and changes in lifespan, it’s unaffordable and unsustainable. If we shift retirement age to something akin to what it was during the Johnson admin, and we’ll have solved part of the problem, but we still have the few-workers/many-retirees problem. As it is, Medicare reimbursements are so low that it can cost doctors money to treat Medicare patients, and the result is they sometimes close their practices to new ones. Not because they don’t want to treat them, but because they can’t afford to.
    Medicaid is for the impoverished and permanently disabled, and you don’t want it. Walk into a doctor’s office or a hospital with a Medicaid card, and you can expect problems and poor treatment. Reimbursements to docs and hospitals are low there too.
    The problem with welfare programs is neither inefficiency nor corruption. The problem is that they’re advocated for and administered by people who make their careers on a culture of permanent brokenness. I say that from personal experience with them, not from some sort of adoption of conservative rhetoric, and you will hear the very same criticisms from any formerly poor or disabled adults who knew they needed a temporary hand, but were busy getting themselves out of trouble ASAP. Social services are not about helping people climb into, or stay in, a middle class. Their primary interest is in advocacy for the permanently broken, and I find in social services an active resentment for anyone who is _not_ broken and not dedicated to the aid of the broken regardless of cost. After dealing with social services, I am much less unfriendly towards Hayek and Ayn Rand, except for Rand’s execrable prose.
    Sarah Palin found a way. Nobody bestowed a good husband upon her. She found herself a guy willing to make that kind of sacrifice, and apparently she considered what kind of support network she has, and what kind of income she could generate, before having five kids. Me, I screwed up. I married a nut, despite clues that he might be a nut, and now I’m paying. Big. Do I expect anyone to compensate me for having screwed up? Of course not. (Full disclosure: They do. As a lowish-income parent of one, I get IRS-distributed welfare of around $3K a year; there’s a gift from state taxpayers, too. If I decide not to take it, some kindly Revenue person recalculates my taxes and sends it anyway.) But I would very much appreciate it if well-meaning liberals would stand out of my way while I make up for it — in _my_ fashion, and by my lights. Certainly not by theirs.

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