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Yes, Broder wets himself over Bloomberg

As predictable and predicted, Broder's lost bladder control, now that there's a chance that Bloomberg might enter the 2008 race.

Anything, anything but a Democrat. If the Republicans can't, than Vanity08 must. You know, I almost hope Hillary's our nominee, so Broder's forced to sniff her panties for eight long years. And I wouldn't mind Broder acting the straight-out partisan shill like Brooks or Safire if he didn't pose as the above-it-all and very serious Wise Man: The Dean of Beltway journalism.

Dean Floater: The gaseous turd that just keeps circling the bowl, refusing to go down.

Once again, Broder makes Sunday Fun Day:

[Bloomberg] now looks more and more as if he will have a chance. In what appears to have been a carefully orchestrated series of events, Bloomberg dominated the political news last week.

No, Bloomberg didn't. Bloomberg dominated the vacant space between Broder's ears. The guy who did dominate the political news was Shooter, the Vice Presidential Entity, and that's why WaPo's running a four-part series on him this week.

First, he turned up on the cover of Time magazine along with Schwarzenegger. A flattering article suggested that the two men embodied the pragmatic, problem-solving approach that Washington conspicuously lacks in these final dispiriting months of the Bush presidency.

Sweet Jeebus. We've got a Vice Presidential Entity who thinks he's a fourth branch of government and wants to go to war with Iran, and a Presidential Entity who's rewriting the laws with signing statements and getting obeyed by the Christianist sleeper cells down in the bureaucracy. We aren't living in a Constitutional system anymore, and Broder wants to talk about pragmatism?

Maybe, of course, if the Republicans weren't "blocking" everything...

(Oh, and nice spin on "months." Yeah, let's minimize the potential for perceived damage from the malAdministration's scorched earth policies during its forced retreat. Do the math, Dave. The Thousand Year Bush Regime--it seems like that, anyhow--ends in January 2009. Months?)

And if Dean Floater does want to talk about pragmatism, why doesn't he write one of his much-beloved policy columns on single-payer, universal health care, like the rest of the civilized world has? Because some DFH made a movie out it, is that why?

One final idiocy:

More than that, there is a palpable hunger among the public for someone who will attack the problems facing the country -- the war in Iraq, immigration, energy, health care -- and not worry about the politics.

Uh, Dave? In a democracy, "politics" is how you attack the problems facing the country.

Or are you waiting for a man on a white horse?

Take the package, Dave! It's painful to watch you!

UPDATE Broder really does need to take the package, because the partisan shilling is becoming way too transparent. (Although I guess that passes for "balance" in the mind of the WaPo editorial board: An outright Republican operative like Gerson, and a not-entirely transparent Republican advocate in Broder). Broder presents as a Centrist, but let's look at the record: Remember the column back in February on the Bush bounce? Remember the hit piece on Harry Reid that turned out to be, er, counterfactual? Remember the bizarre, voyeuristic columns on the Clinton's sex life?

Take the package, Dave! Take the package!

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

It doesn't even take the Amber Spyglass that makes invisible things clear to the eye to see that Broder's life is an (apparently unrequited) search for a blowjob. Oh, and magic.

He dismisses Bloomberg himself in the first paragraph and then barely mentions him as a person again. Wisely, he goes straight to Bloomberg's Rove, who he identifies as such right out in front of God and everybody:

I talked the next day to Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey, the man who had steered the billionaire communications-company mogul to victory in city campaigns, I got a rather different story.

The Thing Which Must Not Be Named these days is that nobody remotely qualified for elective office can actually be elected in a media age. So those who wish power must find a suitable figurehead, install them in the office desired, and then run things while the sockpuppet does the visible and ceremonial shit which is boring anyway.

But then we skirt into Ickyland....

Sheekey cited to me the statistics of voter registrations in California, where "decline-to-state" independents are the fastest-growing segment of the electorate. It was evident that he was closely monitoring political developments far from New York and that his tongue was hanging out in eagerness to test his political prowess in a national race.

Yes, yes I know what a metaphor is, and a joke, josh and jest as well. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and a tongue is just a tongue. I repeat, ick.

But you nailed it above, Lambert. Broder's "centrism" and "parties are messy and dirty and mean and they should just go away and Men of Pure Principle and Good Intentions should just get on with ruling as good daddies should" is an infantile longing for a world where magic works. It is deeply undemocratic and unrepublican both, in the small-letter meaning of those words.

I saw a quote someplace the other day...ah, here it is--Toronto Star wouldn't ya know, such matters being a little deep for American media. But it's an interview with Gore Vidal, who has many of the same impulses but knows he does, which is as rare as a fish who takes note of the taste of water. It's short, but the operative parts I think are here:

MICHAEL ADAMS: Is the United States of America a democracy?

VIDAL: No. The United States is not a democracy, nor was it ever intended to be. This is where the schools have got it all wrong and where the media daily gets it wrong.

The one thing they feared the most was tyranny, another King George the Third or a dictator, another Cromwell.

Many of us are descended from Cromwell's men. That's how we became to be such vicious Protestants. Well, if you want to see any of the founders, read the federalist papers. Any one of them looks like he's near apoplexy, he's about to have a stroke when he's talking about the people. They hate the people. They want the people out of government. Their idea of bad government is Pericles in Athens. And that's just, you know, forbidden country for our founders. They were Republicans, and they wanted a republic based on Rome, secretly based on slavery and based on imperial progress elsewhere in the world.

Jefferson (Thomas) hated the notion of parties. (So did Jefferson Davis for that matter.) It took some time but he (TJ that is) actually got his way for awhile: if you ever get a chance to pick up a copy (and you should: they're cheap and amazingly information-dense) of the Political Parties in America poster you can see it better, but their pic is clear enough you can see that long, long stretch of yellow labeled "Democratic-Republican Party", intertwined with the (white, so unfortunately harder to see) stripe labeled "Federal Party." This was the time the books call the "Era of Good Feelings" when political ickiness was at a minimum supposedly.

Of course you get about a third of the way through the century (this poster covers from the Founding through the 19th century) and all hell breaks loose, the Whigs get started and then partisan snakes are writhing all over the chart. Like I said, very cool piece of paper for a lousy $30.

Which is my very roundabout way of backing up what Lambert says above: parties are the way We The People, or at least We The Grownups, organize to get things done. Yes Mr. Broder, we often yell and argue and curse and pound on the table, and then we go out and meet with our opponents. When we meet with our opponents we often smile through clenched teeth and think longingly of negotiations as conducted by Han Solo in the bar on Tattooine. The resulting decisions are often compromises, and don't work perfectly, and don't lead to Happily Ever After, and usually after awhile the compromises have to be negotiated again and it's just enough to make one stomp one's little feet and pout.

Sorry, Mr. Broder, the Imperius Curse does not in fact work in real life. You can't wave a wand and make people do what you want. Grow the fuck up and get your oral sex the way the rest of us do, charm or persuasion or love or diamond bracelets, I don't care. But stop expecting them from the minions of the powerful. It's undignified if nothing else, and you get drool stains on your tie.