Last night, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) got cottonmouthed, wiped and licked his lips and finally interrupted his delivery of the GOP response to the State of the Union to bend over and drink some water. By now, you've read someone explaining why this proves Rubio is not presidential material. Or is. Whatever.
Last night, NBC news broke the story of an Obama Justice Department memo on extrajudicial assassination of American citizens that screams off the page with the self-delusion and pity of an abused child writing a fairytale. It is a story of calmly supervised adult violence buried under the story-time adventure of so many princes, swords nominally at their sides, who keep hitting and hitting, because they have to.
If you want a clear picture of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Benghazi testimony before Congress last week, skip the full ordeal on C-SPAN and watch the laborious spin attempt in the aftermath. It was a risible experience, born of incoherence and quickly metastasizing into cheap tropes of feminine wiles. Clinton could only have been more treacherous and deadly if she'd walked into the GOP's office and hired it for $25 per day, plus expenses, to find her missing brother.
The last time Barack Obama stepped up to an inaugural podium, the notion that we would spend four years with the Senate minority leader pledging not to pass a single item of legislation to help the president, the GOP House holding the American debt rating hostage, and countless party members whispering birther conspiracies and publicly sucking Donald Trump's feathered, blowdried asshole would have sounded like lunacy. Now it sounds like a Thursday.
This has been a fantastic week for media outrage, especially on Twitter. On Monday, a pro-Scientology ad in the Atlantic that was mocked up to faintly resemble an article generated hours of castigating tweets and countless op-eds. Then, last night, Deadspin broke the story of Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o and the girlfriend who doesn't exist.
If you wait long enough without any expectation of regular victories in politics, it's not surprising that you eventually go searching for them in narrative. Which makes it understandable that "liberals" on TV have used the 2012 election results to claim that the Tea Party is over. The lights have come on; some abstinence pledges have to be torn up, and everyone needs to go home.
I don't make New Year's resolutions. I surrender to every lazy, venial backsliding tendency lurking in my insufficient character. But they make sense for a lot of people. Not just in that that Dale Carnegie "winning friends and influencing people" way, but in the sense that they act as a bulwark against every inexorable, cruddy force surrounding us.
In a time older than dirt, before kids carried $500 worth of sext computers in their pockets, my mom always used to drop me off at the same place at the "snooty mall" when she did Christmas shopping. Big department stores would have a couch, grand piano and Christmas tree, and I'd sit with a book, waiting until she came back, listening to Christmas carols and the occasional wise-guy pianist playing something from Looney Tunes.
The Mayan apocalypse didn't kill us all, but I knew the apocalypse couldn't kill me. I've been through major earthquakes and hurricanes, Y2K, Hale-Bopp and MMMBop. In my lifetime, they've been printing doomsday prophecy the way vaporware tech companies printed stock in 1999. I wipe my ass with prophecy.
When you hear complaints about academic suppression on the blogosphere, they usually emerge from the political right. A right-wing professor attempting to promote academic diversity by giving a space for conservative ideas only risks being kept off the tenure track or fired by Dean Adolf Karlmarx, over at Surrender University of New Yellowcurs-Oneonta.
Christmas cards—if they possess any utility other than excuses for networking or sleeves for staged photos and obnoxious form-letters about little Allen's success on the soccer field and getting over his chronic butt cyst—act as a kind of benchmark. Buying a box and sending some out makes you feel like you've stepped into an adult world. You have an address book. You buy stamps in bulk. You now acknowledge calendar events days before they happen.
As we increasingly cluster in ideologically like-minded niches, our experiences with social media become more like highlight video. Some obnoxious buddy is saying BOOYA! about something on DailyKos, or someone else is demanding that we please trade the idiot president to another country for two prospects and cash.
If you're one of those Democrats who's been riding a huge schadenfreude high since November 6, you probably took news of South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint's retirement in the customary way. With the online equivalent of going "WHOOOOOOOO" out of a limousine's sunroof, after doing a shooter with one of those awesome names like "Sex Intercourse with Boobs Outside."
The wages of criticism on the internet is an uphill battle against endless counter-arguments made in bad faith. Bob Costas learned that on Sunday night. He responded to a gun-related murder-suicide with an appeal for gun control. Conservatives howled. You know who else liked gun control? Hitler. Gun control is bad, because anything Hitler favored is bad. Like freeways or crushing communism.
Barack Obama won a significant mandate, including swing states in the traditionally GOP-strong south. The Republicans have been handed a resounding defeat, sending pundits sniping at one another and assigning blame. The party's wise men have been exposed, and its fundamental demographics, economics and social politics have all been called into question.