Saturday, April 28, 2012

Let's Just Call Him Camembert Heather

After the 2000 election I spent a good deal of time looking at the rhetoric of political sources, mostly along the lines of fallacious rhetoric for political ends. There weren't a great number of sources on the internet at the time, so I mostly looked at Supreme Court decisions. And, make no mistake, there's ample material there for those like my myself, who are entertained by fallacious rhetoric, specious reasoning, etc.

After the blogs started to get rolling, the right vs left of the blogosphere became an unending source of merriment. Again, for those who find the thin reeds of justification that you'll find in the political realm funny.
The 2004 election seemed to have galvanized things. In particular, the fallout of the Dan Rather/60 minutes piece solidified the right vs left blogosphere. While 9.11 brought to prominence blogs like Instapundit, 2004 brought us even worse things. I can't say enough how instapundit exemplifies how you can be crude on the internet without using curse words. That his current parking spot is on Michelle Malkin's blog, says a lot. But, as I say, the right-wing blogs that became better known in 2004 were the kind of bad that borders on hilarity. As I recall, John Hinderaker referred to himself as "butt-rocket" at the time. If you weren't there for the 2004 performance of powerline, it's like you missed the time that the musical Cats was performed by actual cats.

The left blogosphere grew up around the invasion of Iraq. The first blog I ever read was Tom Tomorrow's. He linked to Eschaton frequently which is how I became a reader there. During one of Duncan Black's summer vacations, he promoted a couple of his commenters to run the blog. One of them, corrente, became a separate blog.

In 2008 there was a presidential election. During that time various blogs became supporters of one presidential candidate or another. Debate became acrimonious at various sites, particularly over the Hillary/Obama divide. I was particularly taken by Sara Robinson's views on the race. And, I do mean race. Her view was that various groups coalesced, and eventually became polarized over the young, diverse urban audience that was attracted to Obama vs the slightly older, rural, and more homogeneous group that supported Clinton. Oh, did I mention gender? That figured in, too.

Long story, short: a blog that I used to follow, Corrente became Correntewire. An anti-Obama blog with a daily Obama-done-me-wrong message. I still follow Corrente/Correntewire, but now because they are so bad they are funny. While I like to use fancy words like fallacious rhetoric, MST3K gets it better: it's fun because it's so darn cheesy. Think of Correntewire as the blog vernon of the B-movies that MST3K liked to make fun of, and you'll pretty much get the genre.

So, that was all intro.

Today Lambert, or as I like to call him, Lambchop, says: If Obama calls Kenye West a "jackass," West is probably worth paying attention to. One of Lambert's commenter points out that his name is Kanye, not Kenye. At which point Lambert apologizes for reading too many right-wing blogs.

The reason I think this is funny is because Lambert gets upset over the idea that Hillary Clinton supporters were portrayed as racist. And, here, I would say the allegation is miscast. It's not exactly that Clinton supporters were racist. It's that they identified with an upper middle class white woman. More so than they did a slightly younger upper middle class black man. That's the tribal difference this boils down to. Now, when Lambert misspells Kanye as Kenye, he brings to mind the kind of association that an older generation has. They see a black American, while visualizing a Kenyan.

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