The Weekly Tendown Dec 4-10 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dear Internet:

I'm not around.

I do bring gifts, however.  That's a celebrity skiing event from, let's say CBS, last weekend.  On the left, Terrell Owens.  On the right, Robert Kennedy, Jr.  As prophecy foretold.

This is Tendown 105.  104 is here.

1. The Essay You Give to The Republican In Your Life
It's former Bush speechwriter and professional conservative David Frum.

Conservatives have been driven to these fevered anxieties as much by their own trauma as by external events. In the aughts, Republicans held more power for longer than at any time since the twenties, yet the result was the weakest and least broadly shared economic expansion since World War II, followed by an economic crash and prolonged slump. Along the way, the GOP suffered two severe election defeats in 2006 and 2008. Imagine yourself a rank-and-file Republican in 2009: If you have not lost your job or your home, your savings have been sliced and your children cannot find work. Your retirement prospects have dimmed. Most of all, your neighbors blame you for all that has gone wrong in the country. There’s one thing you know for sure: None of this is your fault! And when the new president fails to deliver rapid recovery, he can be designated the target for everyone’s accumulated disappointment and rage. In the midst of economic wreckage, what relief to thrust all blame upon Barack Obama as the wrecker-in-chief.

The Bush years cannot be repudiated, but the memory of them can be discarded to make way for a new and more radical ideology, assembled from bits of the old GOP platform that were once sublimated by the party elites but now roam the land freely: ultralibertarianism, crank monetary theories, populist fury, and paranoid visions of a Democratic Party controlled by ACORN and the New Black Panthers. For the past three years, the media have praised the enthusiasm and energy the tea party has brought to the GOP. Yet it’s telling that that movement has failed time and again to produce even a remotely credible candidate for president. Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich: The list of tea-party candidates reads like the early history of the U.S. space program, a series of humiliating fizzles and explosions that never achieved liftoff. A political movement that never took governing seriously was exploited by a succession of political entrepreneurs uninterested in governing but all too interested in merchandising. Much as viewers tune in to American Idol to laugh at the inept, borderline dysfunctional early auditions, these tea-party champions provide a ghoulish type of news entertainment each time they reveal that they know nothing about public affairs and have never attempted to learn. But Cain’s gaffe on Libya or Perry’s brain freeze on the Department of Energy are not only indicators of bad leadership. They are indicators of a crisis of followership. The tea party never demanded knowledge or concern for governance, and so of course it never got them. 

2. How the Right Wing Machine attacks the Occupy Movement.
The five part series is here.

3. Obama Joins the 99%
Obama went to Kansas this week.  And got it right.

4. Here's Bob Reich's Analysis.

5. What's the Net Worth of the Six Walmart Heirs?
As much as the bottom 30% of Americans combined.

6. Hey, Hoops is Coming Back
But the season's already been simulated.  The finals are here.

7. I Lost the Bet
I did not believe there would be any way for Bravo to incorporate the suicide of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills husband Russell into the happiness of the Andy Cohen post show clubhouse, that it would need to be segregated from the rest of the programming and create a discord that would be breached; you can't normalize suicide enough to make it just part of the show.

I was wrong.

8. Who Should be Playing LSU in the Title Game?
The USC Trojans

9. The Pitcher the Giants Should Sign Today
Edwin Jackson

10. Thanks.

My kitten was a good friend for many, many years.

That's all for this time.  I'll see you next time.  If there is a next time.

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