“It’s hard,” writes Thomas Harris somewhere of Starling and Lecter, “to accept that someone can understand you without wishing you well.” Life’s too slippery for books, Clarice; anger appears as lust, lupus presents as hives.
I wrote something in July about political grifters, left and right: an argument (over-compressed, over-allusive) that their adept way with words — their subtle deployment, and indeed understanding, of the elaborate shibboleths of the tribe — is by no means necessarily the conclusive tell for their motivation. The heart of a good con is that you’re hearing what you very much want to hear: the conman may or may not at some level also believe it himself (and please to note: they are by no means all men). The sentence “I love you” is not on its own proof that the speaker loves you (this powerful argument is Seth’s, by the way). Karl Rove and the Super-PAC American Crossroads; the people who built ORCA for Romney… what did these projects seem to say but “I love you” to those whose money they took, in such eye-wateringly large amounts?
This species of con is BY NO MEANS restricted to the moneyed right: though I think the equivalent on the left perhaps feeds more on moral-intellectual authority and celebrity and glamour than actual cash. (Though some of them do like cash.)
Quick unedited notes the morning after (on just 4 hrs sleep)
1: the road-testing of the citizens united decision has not developed entirely to the 1%’s advantage
2: TRUMPBOT SMASH *trumpbot falls over on face in puddle of someone else’s vomit*
3: no one ever got rich betting against the continued stupidity of the US pundit class, but — and usually like emerson I am pro creative-transformative intuition and against the soulless bead-counting technocrat where’er he be — but Team Silver has surely helped ding the the current pundit-layer’s crappy jalopy, in a way that a mere unpredicted shock dem win would not have done
4: ratfuck report (relevant internal repug warfare): Continue reading “none dare call it skewed”
Which is likely to depress me more: a Guardian debate between a scientist and a philosopher, or a Crooked Timber thread on Westerns and John Hughes?
(Truly you can hunt for them yourselves and please keep the answers from me…)
His politics is what he does. What he says — his “line” — is merely how he gets his hand on someone’s wallet, or up someone’s skirt. Ideologues and intellectuals — left, right, centre, other — are often (actually not so) strangely boneheaded about this. They’ve invested so much in mastering specific verbal arguments, big technical shibboleth words and metrics, that they can’t bear to cede how very much easier they are to play as a result.