Neither our presidents nor our pundits should try to be hip. I still have not recovered from the chief executive’s slow-jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon. Now comes Monica Crowley’s critique of the Obama administration, which is so hip it hurts.
The administration has spent way too much of the taxpayers’ money, “resulting in costs mounting faster than Lindsay Lohan’s jail sentences.” The administration’s penchant for regulating the private sector is illustrated with an apt quote from Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s now former regulatory czar. But rather than leaving the guy to indict himself with his totalitarian-sounding words, Crowley adds: “Socialized medicine and free Ho-Hos for everyone! No wonder there’s no Cass without ‘ass.’ ”
There’s doggerel, too. It’s about Obamacare, and part of it goes like this: Obama spoke not a word, which was unusual for him, / Ready to sign a bill that will make health care more grim.
Crowley, a Fox News analyst with a nationally syndicated radio show, has done her homework. She offers lots of interesting facts here, but they come couched in the assumption that readers are already in her camp. So the facts aren’t there to persuade, but to serve as setups for one-liners.
She’ll be humming along with a policy-wonk sort of point and then, apparently worried about boring her audience, she’ll throw in a Dukes of Hazzard reference. Or some dig about “the kooks,” her ubiquitous term for people on the left. She’s not too picky about where on the left they might belong—the “kooks” here include everyone from Bernardine Dohrn of the Weather Underground to former vice president Walter Mondale.
This may be canny in marketing terms: Conservatives preaching to the choir do sell books. The hyperbole sounds familiar—not in content, but in tone. It’s as if she were trying to match the cocksureness of Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann, and those who write books about Rush Limbaugh being a “big fat idiot.”
“Obama and the kooks have kept unemployment at painfully high levels,” she writes. From the context, we are to understand that this is deliberate on their part. On foreign policy: “Obama was basically saying, ‘My only goal is to destroy American power and buck up our enemies.’ ” As it isn’t likely he was saying (or thinking) that, the meat of the discussion—that the Obama foreign policy has been chaotic and poorly defended—becomes something you’re no longer sure you trust.
I agree with Crowley that President Obama and his supporters “paint devil’s horns on the rich.” What she paints on Obama and his supporters, in return, are various anatomical indignities that can’t be printed in a family-friendly publication. So, few will pick up What the (Bleep) Just Happened? unless they share the author’s views; which is surely one reason for all the overstated arguments. And niche-market considerations aside, the stridency also seems to be there to prove something: that chicks can be mean and gross.
Here is one of each: Speaker John Boehner needs to start “kicking some liberal ass.” Elected Democrats, confronted with the Tea Party’s revolt against Obamacare, were cowering in fear, “wearing soiled Pampers with pacifiers in their mouths.”
Crowley finds the left’s take on international affairs to be naïve, given that “the world is a brutal Darwinian jungle.” No quarrels there—although applying this thought leads her to fault Obama’s actions on the world stage even in cases where he took time out from being a wimp and used military force. She writes that the late Muammar Qaddafi was too useful to American interests to be justifiably removed from power, displaying her Nixonian-realist side.
Beyond our shores lie terrifying dangers. Governmental waste, fraud, and abuse fester here at home. There is a need to kick you-know-what. Yet there is also hope. After over 300 pages of cynical quips, Nixonian realism, and declarations that “the romanticism of the Left is over,” Crowley switches to a soft focus. She concludes by taking a page from the liberal and progressive kooks, proclaiming herself a “happy warrior” who “believes in the inherent goodness of man.”
Can someone tell me what the (bleep) happened there?
Lauren Weiner was a speechwriter for Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.