Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I almost feel sorry for curmudgeonly conservative columnist Paul Mulshine. His employer, The Star-Ledger, is on a slow slide toward extinction. His old school journalist coworkers from the opinion pages accepted buyouts. He's been forced to become the very thing he hates - a blogger. The most vociferous critics of his blog aren't the liberals he's been pissing on for decades, but rather the hordes of anonymous morons raised up & empowered by the right wing media begat during the presidency of Ronald Reagan; angry white men attracted to Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Malkin, & Coulter like gnats to doggy doo. Limbaugh moved into the empty shell formerly inhabited by Top 40 AM radio. His style is that of an obnoxious, bigoted jock unencumbered by music or the old FCC Fairness Doctrine.

Paul is acceptable to that bitter demographic as long as he's attacking Socialist Democrats , urban schools, affordable housing, & the EPA. But when he turns his attention to neoconservative foreign policy & Republican Big Stupid Guvmint, he becomes their target. Then he has to explain to them why he is a "real conservative" & his blathering critics are not. They are, he says, followers of Trotskyites.

I say they're Republicans. It's too nifty a trick to blame Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld on Think Tank ex-Commies (though there's some truth in it), thereby turning 99% of the American electorate into dupes of the Left.

Paul issues dire warnings about the collapse of print reporting. (I wonder how much of Associated Press profits are derived from internet deals like the one with Yahoo?) Paul himself is a columnist, not a reporter. The Ledger pays him a salary & gas allowance, gives hm a desk, computer, & a phone. Paul finds topics, does some research, talks to a few people - ancient screwball Phyllis Schlafly is a favorite source, maybe he drives someplace for a looksee, confirming whatever opinion he already held when he chose the topic. I'm not aware of a single column where he confesses that his investigation has resulted in a change of mind. Paul has always been a blogger type.

Paul & I do share some views. We both think Max Weinberg isn't a very good drummer. We also agree on what ought to be conservatism, but not on what was conservatism. While Paul's beloved Ronald Reagan talked a good game, the guys who brought us Bush II were running the plays from the White House basement. Reagan was the proto-Bush.

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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