Tuesday, January 25, 2005

And the Moore Award goes to...

I have a feeling it's going to be a long four years for Australian columnist Mike Carlton. His most recent column, titled "The Emperor of Vulgarity", tries to scathe George Bush but ends up being so absurd, it's hilarious.
To wit:

George Bush's second inaugural extravaganza was every bit as repugnant as I had expected, a vulgar orgy of triumphalism probably unmatched since Napoleon crowned himself emperor of the French in Notre Dame in 1804.
The little Corsican corporal had a few decent victories to his escutcheon. Lodi, Marengo, that sort of thing. Not so this strutting Texan mountebank, with his chimpanzee smirk and his born-again banalities delivered in that constipated syntax that sounds the way cold cheeseburgers look, and his grinning plastic wife, and his scheming junta of neo-con spivs, shamans, flatterers and armchair warmongers, and his sinuous evasions and his brazen lies, and his sleight of hand theft from the American poor, and his rape of the environment, and his lethal conviction that the world must submit to his Pax Americana or be bombed into charcoal.

Shortly after this wild-eyed tirade, Carlton calls Bush "the dumbest and nastiest president since the scandalous Warren Harding died in 1923." He then rips into two Pentagon undersecretaries, calling them "a mad-eyed Zionist" and a "three-star bigot", respectively.
I recognize Carlton's audience is Australian, not American, but this kind of vitriol transcends borders. Does this kind of commentary do anything but allow Bush supporters a good chuckle at the raging frustration of their opponents?

(Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan -- surely this column will be a frontrunner for his "Moore Award" all year. For the uninitiated, Sullivan comes up with awards to showcase the most ridiculous polemicist thinking on the web. The Moore Award, formerly the Sontag Award, recognizes absurdity in "moral equivalence in the war on terror - after Michael Moore, who once compared the Jihadist and Baathist thugs in Iraq to the Minutemen.")


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