Thursday, April 24, 2008

Slouching away from Bethlehem

What can you do but laugh?

I realize this isn't a foreign policy gaffe of the same proportions as Goolsbee-gate or sniper-gate. But as a native of New Zealand, I feel obliged to draw your attention to an incident in which Hillary Clinton may have gravely insulted this small but very important nation. Asked by Newsweek (seemingly apropos of nothing), if she "had any good jokes," Clinton offered:

"Here's a good one. Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand: her opponents have observed that in the event of a nuclear war, the two things that will emerge from the rubble are the cockroaches and Helen Clark. [Laughs]"

Setting Hillary's sense of humor aside for a moment (the joke doesn't get funnier even if you happen to know something about New Zealand politics), Helen Clark is the current prime minister of New Zealand.

The diplomatic ramifications of this become even more dire when you consider that New Zealanders have been somewhat skeptical about Hillary Clinton ever since she met Sir Edmund Hillary, the first mountaineer to climb Everest, and mentioned that she had been named after him. It was later pointed out that Sir Edmund climbed Mt Everest six years after Hillary Clinton was born.

This is what happens when all the cool kids of the blogosphere get together and decide to create their own reality: the less cool kids, desperate to join the club, make fools of themselves. This particular bit of stupidity seems to be too far over the top for even the most gone of the Obamamaniacs to take seriously, but a lot of the stuff they do take seriously isn't much better. The left blogosphere has, I suspect, reached its peak. Not in terms of reach, but in terms of its ability to positively influence the discourse with thoughtful, dispassionate, analysis. It's just a shouting, deranged mob now, and an increase in its numbers isn't going to make it less deranged. I'm sure when the primary is over some sanity will return, but I think anyone would be hard pressed to look at the recent performance of Marshall, Yglesias et al and decide it's any worse than what the MSM has been doing. If you can't count on them on a crucial thing like this primary, you can't count on them at all.