Sunday, July 7, 2013

Distinguished col of the week

Jennifer Rubin. No, a different one, in Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987).
The front-runners for worst columnist in a national newspaper are pretty well-known by now. Thomas P. Friedman, better known as Thomas L. Friedman, the Mystax Doctissimus, is busy explaining Egypt to the Egyptians. Ross Douthat, the Apostolic Nuncio to 42nd Street, laments that both parties are too progressive on health care in the US—i.e., both want to destroy it and kill us all. David Brooks, as observed, has fallen into deep Charles Murray Land, with its mutt mobs and lack of mental equipment. Margaret Noonan lurks, of course, on the other side of a paywall I have sworn not to cross.

A dark horse at the Washington Post, however, Jennifer Rubin, is looking very strong, nominating Wisconsin governor Scott Walker as "distinguished pol of the [jump]
week". One of her special talents is driving copy editors into pernicious catatonia (to be fair, Brooks does this once in a while too), as when she writes,
He slayed the Big Labor beast in surviving a recall and has pushed through education and health-care reforms.
"Slayed"?? And should it be by surviving a recall or while surviving it that he slew the beast? (And if you found yourself wondering, "pushed what through education and... Oh, I get it," so did I.)
This week he backed a path to citizenship (although not necessarily the Senate bill itself) and signed an abortion bill requiring and a physician with admitting privileges at nearby hospital.
"Requiring and"?? Won't you have another object with your verb, dear? Or lose the conjunction. And give your nearby hospital an article please, preferably indefinite; you wouldn't want it overflowing into the world of mass nouns (swampland, chaos), even if you were Governor Walker.
A matter-of-fact written release announcing the signing of this and other legislation read, “This bill improves a woman’s ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future. Women have a choice as to the ultrasound they receive. Pregnancies that are the result of a sexual assault or incest are excluded from this legislation.”
"Matter-of-fact"?? (Or grammatically correct matter-of-factly?) What exactly is the factuality behind asserting that the bill "improves a woman's ability to make an informed choice"? What information does an obligatory ultrasound provide that she needs? How does it protect her physical and mental health? Why do rape and incest victims need less information? How is ability to make a choice improved by eliminating two possible choices (the clinics the bill will close)? How many different kinds of ultrasound are available (Dana Loesch wants to know: those transvaginal probes get her all excited!)?
The real thing. Image by the Artist Formerly Known as Princess Sparkle Pony, now going by Peteykins.
The fact is that it's all about emotion: the hope of inducing in women the emotion of not wanting an abortion. The ultrasound is not to inform her but to make her feel guilty. The rape and incest exceptions show that the "life" argument is specious fraud, not even decent theology. The repetition of the word "choice" twice in two adjacent sentences is to make the bill sound "moderate" (i.e., moderately abusive) when it's in fact extreme.
His style is low-key, but he’s shown he can woo the base and those seeking a more expansive GOP. Whether or not he runs in 2016 (or is picked as a vice president)...
Oh, that's where the article went. Hello, a? Stop screwing with the vice presidency, you're needed back in paragraph 3.  As to whether the base is going to jump at his support for amnesty for immigrants ("although not necessarily the Senate bill itself") and whether the immigrants are going to rejoice at the opportunity to see more of Wisconsin as they drive around the state looking for an ultrasound and D&C that protects their physical and mental health—well, we'll see.
...he’s shown Republicans how to push through a center-right agenda and win elections outside of a deep red bastion.
Incidentally the whole column is a pathetic 400 words. I wonder if she submitted it in Comic Sans to make it look longer? And she had to use "push through" twice?

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