Today’s opining on the public discourse.
I’ve been in training all afternoon, so I haven’t had much chance to burn up my eyeballs with teh stoopid. But America’s Cons were obliging enough to make sure I had plenty of it to choose from.
The raving right’s been attacking Judge Sonia Sotomayor from every angle they can think of. But you know their case is truly pathetic when they’re reduced to this:
One of the low points in the right’s criticism of Obama during the presidential campaign came in October, when some conservatives started complaining about the Democrat’s pronunciation of “Pakistan,” with a soft “a.”
The National Review’s Mark Stein complained at the time that Obama prefers the “exotic pronunciation.” He added, “[O]ne thing I like about Sarah Palin is the way she says ‘Eye-raq’.” The National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez posted an email that argued, “[N]o one in flyover country says Pock-i-stahn. It’s annoying.”
Keeping this spirit alive, the National Review’s Mark Krikorian argued that the proper pronunciation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s name doesn’t work for him, and he’d like to see other join him in rejecting it. Krikorian started this yesterday…
So, are we supposed to use the Spanish pronunciation, so-toe-my-OR, or the natural English pronunciation, SO-tuh-my-er, like Niedermeyer?
…and expanded on this today.
Deferring to people’s own pronunciation of their names should obviously be our first inclination, but there ought to be limits. Putting the emphasis on the final syllable of Sotomayor is unnatural in English (which is why the president stopped doing it after the first time at his press conference) … and insisting on an unnatural pronunciation is something we shouldn’t be giving in to. […]
ZOMG, American civilization will end if we’re forced to pronounce people’s names correctly!!1!!11!
Pretty potent stuff, that. But I’m afraid it’s all for naught. You see, Judge Sotomayor saved baseball:
As you know, I’m a huge baseball fan, and even Major League Baseball is saying that Sonia Sotomayor ended the strike that almost destroyed the game under the idiot, Bud Selig.
It was Sotomayor’s ruling that forced Major League Baseball players and owners to resume the national pastime in 1995 after a 234-day player strike wiped out the final six weeks of the regular season and the entire postseason in 1994.
That’s it. It’s over. There’s no way they can get around that, no matter what arguments they invent. She could rape kittens while eating baby kabobs, and still, she’s in. She’s on the court. The woman saved baseball. That’s about equivalent to saving Mom and apple pie.
So, right, put a fucking sock in it.
Anti-gay marriage frothers are having a harder time than usual staying coherent. Here’s the latest example of white-hot stupidity:
Last night, C-SPAN aired the lasted segment of Students & Leaders series, with Rep. John Culberson (R-TX). Addressing a group of D.C. students, he repeatedly emphasized the need for less government interference in Americans’ lives. “I’m very focused on eliminating — shutting down as much of the federal government’s functions as I can,” Culberson said, while espousing state and local control.
However, when a student asked Culberson about state control over gay marriage, Culberson rapidly descended into incoherence. He began by declaring, “It’s up to the states.” But by the end of his rambling answer, he tried to explain why the federal government “cannot permit” a state like Vermont to make its own rules. All this while repeating that people’s “privacy is fundamental”:
CULBERSON: Well under the 10th amendment, the states have a first responsibility for providing for public safety, public health, public morality. All issues that just affect the people within that state. It’s up to the states. And you either follow the constitution or you don’t. […]
Federal law cannot permit — if one state, Vermont, wants to do that, you can’t let that cross state lines. You’ve got to let — frankly, a lot of these issues have got to be left up to the states. But the federal government cannot permit for example — The federal government has a legitimate role in interstate commerce. And that’s where the federal government comes in. I think the federal government can’t recognize — shouldn’t recognize it, it’s just a bad idea. And uh — But fundamentally, the right of privacy’s fundamental. I’m not interested — what people do at home’s their own business.
So, federal law should stay the hell out of people’s private lives and let the states decide what’s what, but because of interstate commerce, it can tell states and couples who can and cannot get married? Am I parsing this right? Is anything that incoherent even parsable?
The idea of gays getting married really does reduce these people to the worst kind of babbling morons, doesn’t it just?
Speaking of things reducing people to the level of babbling moron…
Rep. Paul Broun, R-GA, was on Fox and Friends yesterday touting his proposal to have Congress officially designate 2010 “The Year of the Bible”, and he had an interesting rationale for it:
Broun: Well, it’s all about freedom, actually. The Bible was the basis of our laws, it was the basis of the Constitution of the United States, the Declaration of Independence — the Bible was the founding source.Hmmmmm. Well, some of us have heard otherwise, but OK, whatever.
You may remember Rep. Broun. Last November he won lots of friends on both sides of the aisle and in the White House when he warned that Obama was preparing a Hitler-like dicta
torship with his civilian-youth-corps proposal: “That’s exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did … When he’s proposing to have a national security force that’s answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he’s showing me signs of being Marxist.”
My best friend likes to tell me that certain people have prayed and thumped their Bibles so hard they’ve melted their melons. I believe Rep. Broun is a perfect Exhibit A.
If the level of pathetic on the right keeps increasing at this exponential rate, we’ll soon run out of room for it in this finite universe of ours.