By Bob Cesca: For the first time in a year or two, I read a George Will column yesterday.
Whenever the topic of “very serious” conservatives comes up in conversation, the same three names are always tossed around: David Brooks, David Frum and, naturally, George Will. In spite of his incendiary record, which is barely concealed behind his bow-tie, baseball metaphors and rigid old-school demeanor, he’s supposed to be one of the conservatives with whom we could have a reasonable conversation about politics and national affairs.
When I last plowed through a George Will piece, he had fabricated evidence against the existence of the climate crisis as well as the massive scientific consensus on the issue. He never quite retracted those statements and, to this day, he stands by his unforgivable myopia and even went so far as to say on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, “How do we explain the heat? One word: summer… We’re having some hot weather. Get over it.”
Get over it?
Sorry, but I can’t have a reasonable conversation about the climate crisis with a guy who thinks “Summer” was to blame for the record-pulverizing temperatures experienced throughout the Northern Hemisphere this year. The only reasonable position is to acknowledge the incontrovertible scientific evidence in support of the crisis. From there, we can reasonably disagree about how best to ameliorate it. But when one side of this chit-chat is referencing actual and broad scientific agreement and the other side is harrumphing and essentially using a monthly calendar as a point of “fact,” this is not a reasonable disagreement. George Will is full of shitola and we’d be wasting our time conversing with someone who’s so glued to his archaic ideological dogma that he refuses to accept reality.
George Will, like the other fire-eaters, is all about rah-rah ideological team-ism. In other words, certain players in the ballgame are terrified to admit that their team is wrong or has lost the ballgame, especially regarding a topic as historically and catastrophically massive as the global climate crisis. So they’re sticking to their nearsighted and wholly backwards group-think because the alternative is to admit their team is on the wrong side of arguably the biggest issue of our time. Very Serious George Will included.
So, back to what I read yesterday.
George Will appears to be lining up with all of the other conservatives who are in complete and utter denial about the polls and the trajectory of the presidential campaign.
His column began, predictably enough, with a baseball story and I thought for sure he was going to connect Mitt Romney to a baseball game from the 1950s somehow. He explained a particular baseball maxim known as “stay within yourself.” In this case, advice for Romney to just be himself. But then Will continued by writing that politics isn’t baseball, it’s football and time is running out for Romney. So he mixed a specific baseball maxim with a football game metaphor — but just as he started down that road, he shifted gears into a rant about the allegedly crappy economy and how it’s all President Obama’s fault.
As such, Will believed the president ought to be losing this thing.
Specifically, he listed several B-list economic indicators like durable goods orders, disposable income and a 0.4 percent adjustment in GDP. He also noted the struggles of automakers Tesla Motors and Fisker.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, George! Now that’s some serious hardball there! Easy now.
Frankly, I’ve never even heard of Fisker, but I’m sure if I was aware of what Fisker was up to, I’d learn why it’s Obama’s fault.
But the economy wasn’t Will’s point either. The fact is, once again, Mitt Romney is losing to Barack Obama in spite of, you know, Fisker (??) and durable goods orders. So how can this be?
Will’s answer: President Obama is African American. And guilty white people are uncomfortable with firing an African American.
We’ve finally arrived at the point of Will’s column. But wait! There’s always room for more baseball. Will reflexively slipped into another story, clearly to remind us that it’s a George Will column we’re reading and not a Pat Buchanan screed. Will spun another sporting yarn about a time when white people had no trouble firing African American Frank Robinson from his job as manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1977.
Yes. That’s right. George Will preemptively disproved his own theory — that white people are incapable of firing black people.
And yet it’s all encapsulated within a column theorizing that Obama is only winning (for now) because he’s an African American and whites are just so terribly shy about screwing black people. Yep, white people have always been timid about totally shafting blacks, haven’t they?
Much like the rest of the ignorant doofs who are willfully trapped inside the right-wing epistemic bubble, Will would rather it all come down to post-racial bias — to a form of national affirmative action — instead of admitting that the economy and the state of the Union has significantly improved from the apocalyptic disaster Obama inherited from Will’s Reaganomics teammates: two wars, a $1.2 trillion deficit grown from a record surplus, a terrifying economic collapse, etc. With a few exceptions, the nightmare has been successfully mitigated by President Obama in spite of unprecedented congressional Republican filibusters, obstructionism, conspiracy-driven agitprop and ludicrous whisper campaigns. Toss into the lineup an awkward, waffling, politically retarded Republican presidential candidate and there’s your poll numbers, Mr. Will. Instead of accepting the realistic, empirical explanation for why Obama is ahead, which would include owning responsibility for the historically awful economic calamity the president was handed on day one, Will would rather make an egregiously racial assumption — a point that he himself disproved in the exact same column like an idiot — as a means of feeding conservative denial while testing out his dog-whistling skills.
One final note about white people. Romney is currently leading among white voters, 55-38. You know, because whites are so afraid to vote against an African American president.
Tell me again how George Will is serious and reasonable.