Wednesday, April 2, 2008

T.W.M. and the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy

Captain Ahab of the U.S.S. Teacher Wordsmith Madman has finished up his work criticizing Barack Obama's landmark speech A More Perfect Union in a Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 and Vol. 4.

The blogger's overarching themes are as follows:

1) Any attempt to discuss Rev. Wright within the context of what he was saying, where he was saying it, the history of black churches or the history of black people in America was deceitful trickery. What the voters need are more simple, declarative statements on complex issues.

2) The Rev. Wright is so nuclear, so hateful, so irredeemably ghastly that condemning his statements and expressing disagreement is not strong enough; Obama must leave his church and cast the totality of the church community and what it means to him overboard.

3) Telling the story of his grandmother in order to illustrate that racist thinking is not only wrong, but also utterly commonplace and familiar to all Americans -- something to deal with and think through beyond holier-than-thou condemnations -- was out of bounds.

4) The speech was not written as well as it could have been.

A similar train of thought can be found in some local mainstream media:

Obama's indoctrination (Ralph Reiland, Trib)
Rhapsodizing Obama's race speech (L. Brent Bozell III, Trib)
Uprooting the new racism
(Pat Buchanan, Trib)
Deepening Democrat dilemma (Robert Novak, Trib)

Now is as good a time as any to report that Chad Hermann, critically acclaimed author of Teacher Wordsmith Madman and scourge of letter-writers everywhere, is currently employed on the reelection campaign of Republican congressman Tim Murphy of the South Hills.

Press official Meghan Jones-Rolla confirms to the Comet that "[they] got the band back together" from the Mark DeSantis campaign -- comprising Hermann, Jones-Rolla, and Republican strategist Mike DeVanney, among others.

CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION 9/28: Mr. Hermann informs us that he merely performed "three months worth of consulting work for Murphy", which is distinct from employment with the campaign itself. Also, that he's presently a Democrat. The Comet regrets the situation.

RELATED: The Busman's Holiday, So Happy Together Pt. 2


  1. As a resident of the 18 Congressional district I find it unfortunate that my former team members on the DeSantis campaign, which was a campaign of good against the forces of evil, are now backing a Bush - Cheney Republican like Tim Murphy. Ever want to know how people close to Murphy feel about him? Ask the folks who have worked for him. Typical responses have been be "He's an @sshole" or "He's an arrogant _______ " fill in the blank.

    Tim Murphy does not represent his constituents in Washington. Murphy is a big business Republican. Check out the special interests who bankrolled his last campaign and then cross reference that with his votes on energy and environmental legislation.

    ZERO percent ratings by the League of Conservation Voters and CAF. Other ratings and votes for Murphy can be found here.

    * Rated 0% by the CAF, indicating opposition to energy independence. (Dec 2006)

    * Rated 0% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes. (Dec 2003)

    Also, here is a
    "">clip of Tavis Smiley on Jeremiah Wright and Pat Buchanan.

  2. My cousin worked for Murphy when he was in the state Senate. He has nothing good to say about him. He said the low point was when he was asked to grab the then Senator's powder compact to eliminate the shine from the forehead prior to going on the Senate floor.

  3. Bram,

    Thanks for the report. For those of us who read the blogs but are outside the political process, it is nice to find out where people are coming from. Checking sources and such, this entry is dangerously close to reporting :-P.

  4. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt Schultz that you are engaging in deliberate hyperbole when you describe last year's mayoral election as a battle between good and evil.

    Perhaps it should not come as a shock that actual, bona fide Republicans were backing the Republican candidate for mayor. (Of course, I backed him too.) And perhaps it should be surprising that many Democrats couldn't bring themselves to vote for him.

  5. Interesting conspiracy. I can't wait to see what develops.

  6. Jonathan, I actually must disagree. Last year's mayoral election, more than a contest between two particular candidates, actually was a battle between good and evil. I know some people instinctively eschew Manichaeism, but every once in a while things work out in such a way.

  7. Once again let me say that such rhetoric helps no one's cause -- save for your opponents.

  8. Well, I personally never used that as rhetoric during the campaign -- but since the subject came up, facts are facts.

    One side stood for little but streamlining the process of extracting money and resources from the people and from the land and facilitating it towards already powerful interests and personal friends. The other side stood for little besides taking a stand against the excesses of the former, and did so basically on principle, with little hope of success, in order to make a statement for quaint virtues like ethics and transparency. What do you call that?

  9. Look, we are sparing over semantics. But I think that when most people hear the word "evil", they don't think you are refering to acts that are merely immoral and corrupt. (Merely, in this case, is a relative term.) Yes, evil is both those things, but it rises to an entirely different dimension. The more people think you are exaggerating your opponents' flaws, the less likely they are to take you seriously. So, no, I don't think Luke Ravenstahl is evil. There are a whole range of other ephithets that I could use to describe him -- none flattering.

  10. "So, no, I don't think Luke Ravenstahl is evil." LOL, agreed, I don't either. This may in fact be only a semantic difference....