In the early days of this blog, I had a tradition of ridiculing Ross Douthat, NYTimes‘s most useless columnist, every Monday. In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, Douthat has come up with a response so idiotic that I decided to restore the good ole Douthat-bashing times and use this hapless journalist’s column for my translation series. In the series, I explain what people are really saying with their dishonest articles and blog posts.
Here is how Douthat begins his piece titled “Bloomberg, LaPierre and the Void”:
FOR a week after the Newtown shooting, the conversation was dominated by the self-righteous certainties of the American center-left.
Translation: “I’m a completely cynical individual who believes that everybody is motivated to live, breathe, write, speak, and emote by the desire of money and fame. I’m too intellectually limited to realize that this is nothing but my projection of my own driving forces. This is why I believe it’s appropriate to address a tragedy with whining about getting less chances to be in the spotlight that others. The only person who should be spouting self-righteous certainties is me. Me, me, me.”
In print and on the airwaves, the chorus was nearly universal: the only possible response to Adam Lanza’s rampage was an immediate crusade for gun control, the necessary firearm restrictions were all self-evident, and anyone who doubted their efficacy had the blood of children on his hands.
Translation: “I’m so used to yelling “baby murderers!” every five seconds as part of my anti-choice crusade that I have convinced myself that everybody else uses the death of children as a rhetorical device as easily as I do. For immoral people like myself, the only possibility of being at peace with ourselves is by believing that everybody is as rotten as we are.”
The leading gun control chorister was Michael Bloomberg, and this was fitting, because on a range of issues New York’s mayor has become the de facto spokesman for the self-consciously centrist liberalism of the Acela Corridor elite.
Translation: “All of my fake concern about fetuses, however, only serves to mask my profound indifference towards children. Of course, sometimes the mask slips off, and everybody gets to see that airing some minor grievances against somebody who has nothing whatsoever to do with the tragedy I claim to be addressing is a lot more important to me than discussing the dead children. Remember, I’m a proud anti-choice woman-hater. This means that I’m congenitally incapable of caring two straws about children.”
The entire Obama era has been shaped by this conflict, and not for the good. On issue after issue, debate after debate, there is a near-unified establishment view of what the government should do, and then a furious right-wing reaction to this consensus that offers no real policy alternative at all.
Translation: “Finally, I can drop the pretense of talking about these boring dead kids and discuss what really bothers me. Namely, how come the wonderful me-me-me has ended up wrong on absolutely everything I ever predicted in my columns for years and have become a laughing stock with my moanings about the “libertine Sex and the City,” my gushings over the huge social value of tabloid journalism, and insistence that community service is a great substitute for sex. Since I’m too infantile to take responsibility for anything, I make a solemn oath to blame Obama for everything that upsets me in life for as long as I shall live, amen.”
What’s missing, meanwhile, are real alternatives — not only conservative, but left-wing as well. On national security, the left has essentially disappeared, sitting on its hands while President Obama embraces powers every bit as imperial as those his predecessor claimed.
Translation: “In the aftermath of the last presidential election, it has become painfully obvious that my political party is in a deep crisis. As a profoundly dishonest and immature person, however, I cannot recognize this. Instead, I choose to pretend that the winners are suffering from the same kind of crisis. This will allow me and my peers to avoid taking stock of our mistakes and changing our agenda in order to make our party more relevant.”