Call Me Swamp Thing

Way back in the Clinton Administration, I had the opportunity to socialize with Chris Mathews at a small dinner function. It was one of those charity deals where they have some important person give a little speech and chit-chat with the attendees. This was before Mathews had his mental breakdown so he was good fun, despite being a Lefty. People forget that he was not great fan of the Clintons, even though he was always a loyal party man.

This was the mid-90’s and the Drudge Report had just gone up as a website. Americans were flocking to computer stores to buy modems so they could use that AOL disk they got in the mail. I forget what we were discussing, but at some point I got the impression that Mathews simply had no idea the internet existed. I made mention of something about on-line news and Mathews had this puzzled look, then said, “Oh, you mean that internet thing.” He was unaware of the biggest technological event since the steam engine.

It is a story I like to tell as way to illustrate that people in the national media don’t live in America like the rest of us. The old joke in DC was that the big media outfits sent their foreign correspondents to cover stories in Ohio. That’s an exaggeration, but our national media does live in bubble. They can, when they feel like it, do a good job telling the rest of us about the doings in politics, but otherwise they are baffled about what happens out among the Dirt People. You see that in this Megan McArdle column.

How can the Republican Party keep another Trump candidacy from derailing its future electoral chances? Forget messing around with the primary system. If Republicans want a party that can win, says Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post, the first thing they need to do is to “drain the right-wing media swamp.”

“It is, after all, the right-wing radio, TV and Internet fever swamps that have gotten them into this mess,” she writes, “that have led to massive misinformation, disinformation and cynicism among Republican voters. And draining those fever swamps is the only way to get them out of it.”

I could point out that Rampell is remarkably ungenerous in ignoring the many serious conservative journalists who spoke out early and often against Donald Trump, including an entire “Against Trump” issue of the National Review, the elder statesman of right-wing journalism. (The National Review also printed an editorial unequivocally stating that then-President-Elect Barack Obama was a natural-born U.S. citizen.) None of this had much effect on folks like Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, nor does it seem to have appreciably damaged Trump. It’s unclear how the Republican establishment critiquing Fox News and talk radio would be any more effective.

Note the pleading in there about how “serious conservative journalists” are anti-Trump. McArdle plays a libertarian on approved media sites. Libertarian in this context is the house broken type that Progressives will tolerate. These are the low-tax liberals, who are the first to answer the call when it comes time to make war on the crime-thinkers. In the current crisis, this manifests as obsequious rumpswabbery where the “libertarian” comes close to begging the loopy liberal woman for mercy.

Let me suggest a better strategy. Liberal journalists who want to drain the “fever swamps” should not be pointing the finger at Republican politicians. If they want to get people out of the swamp, they’ll have to make room in the castle.

The media is overwhelmingly liberal. It tends to mirror the left-to-center-left spectrum of the social class from which most journalists are drawn. That affects coverage, which right-wing readers pick up on.

Yes, liberal journalists, I’m saying that the media is biased, and I know you don’t see any evidence of that, because that’s how bias works: You don’t notice it when you share the bias. No, my loonier Republican readers, I am not confirming your belief that journalists deliberately slant their coverage to achieve political ends or even just to provoke you.

The not-so-subtle condescension here is what always gets me about these people. Instead of “right-wing readers” I suspect she wanted to write “slack-jawed yokels.” In case that’s not clear, she makes sure her Progressive friends all know that she thinks people like you are loony. Most of what passes for conservative or libertarian opinion in the media is really just moral signalling. In this case, McArdle wants her Progressive friends to remember she is not one of those disgusting Trump people.

Conservative media, in other words, became an ideological ghetto. And ghettos often develop pathologies. What’s remarkable is not that so much of the right-wing media is so vitriolic and prone to conspiracy-mongering; what’s remarkable is that so many of those outlets remain committed to careful reporting and debunking things like the Obama birth certificate nonsense, rather than simply pandering to their readers.

The defining feature of Official Conservatism™ and its retarded little brother, Reason Libertarianism, is a fear of being “ghettoized” which is the scare word for being left out of the Progressive party circuit. They fear that more than death. If the price of admission means mocking and ridiculing the people whose interests they claim to champion, that’s a price they are more than happy to pay.

I’m not blaming liberals for the rise of the conservative-media ghetto. “Blame” implies that someone made a decision to make this happen. The thing is, no one made any such decision. There was no secret plan.

There was certainly no liberal media conspiracy, just an iterative process controlled by no one: Being human, liberals naturally prefer the work of folks who agree with them, so those are the folks they tend to hire and promote.  As they became increasingly dominant in the media, the trend became self-reinforcing. Fewer conservatives wanted to enter the castle in the first place, and few were allowed to. Now the castle residents are peering into the swamp and wondering what the heck is going on out there.

I suspect she had to fight back tears writing those two graphs.

But whoever is to blame for the problem, yelling at the residents of the swamp to behave themselves is probably not going to fix it. What would fix the problem is if the folks in the castle made a concerted effort to open the doors and persuade some of the swamp-dwellers to move inside. Not just to move inside, but to help run the place, pushing back on liberal pieties and dubious claims with the same fervor that liberals push back on conservative ones.

Call me Swamp Thing.

One of the amusing aspects of these columns is that people like McArdle are just as clueless about life outside the bubble as her moonbat friends. She positions herself as soul sister number one, down with those loony Dirty People in the swamp, but she would break out in hives reading the sorts of things that are coming from the Dissident Right. The fundamentals of what is driving the rebellion against the elites is well outside the field of vision for people like McArdle. She does not know what she does not know.

69 thoughts on “Call Me Swamp Thing

  1. Castle-dwellers need to open the gates and ask some swamp people to move inside? Is she serious? (Of course not.) As to the castle “folks” who look over the ramparts and wonder what is in the swamps, what they should see, but are incapable with their blinders and screens, is Great Birnam wood, to high Dunsinane Hill, a-coming against them.

  2. For me it was Peggy Noonan at the WSJ, I used to read her column every weekend. Then Trump came around (and this was before I began to seriously think about him as a candidate) and she became shrill, more and more so as Trump refused to go away.
    By now, my disaffection with her and the WSJ is complete.

    • I was a Buchanan guy so the WSJ types were never my thing. I still read NR until the sacked Derb. I cancelled my sub at that point. I would still haunt the Corner to harass various writers, but the NeverTrump lunacy was just too much. I always knew guys like Sloppy Williamson were fakers, but they were tolerable until they went NeverTrump.

      These days, I stick to fringe hate thinkers.

  3. Reading McArdle is like watching Janet Reno “dance”, as she did in her short exploratory debut as a possible candidate.

  4. Human beings are tribal. It’s part of being human, not something to be opposed. We choose our friends and associates to the extent we can with people who share the same values and ideas. We join little tribes like bridge clubs, quilting groups, fans of a particular sports team, civic groups, churches or hunting and hiking, to form little tribes of people who agree with us, because we look for confirmation that we’re normal.

    I grew up rural, very rural, in the foothills of the Rockies. A close neighbor had a 3rd grade education, Most were ranchers or lumbering, or government like forest service, My family were college educated for generations. In the workplace, most of my associates grew up in a neighborhood of a city, with people just like themselves and were fascinated by stories of my childhood because they had never encountered someone rural at all. There are deep differences. Rural people may be less sophisticated, but are not apt to be into environmental groups, animal rights, vegetarians or big believers in the threat of global warming.

    Years ago, I remember a period when journalism schools were being criticized for encouraging students in their idea of journalism as a profession to change the world.

    • Interesting, and certainly true. Yet out of my little tribes there are always two or three people who tell me, ” thor, you ain’t right. “

  5. Excellent post…Indeed, many of my friends on the two coasts, at least the ones who are reasonably successful, seem totally unable to process the obvious and ongoing Globalist evisceration of the United States. It seems to just bounce off them, as does the obvious and vast corruption of the Clintons. Steven King may have written about this phenomenon.

  6. McArdle isn’t even libertarian with a small “L”. She doesn’t know the first thing about Austrian economics, and thinks in Macroeconomical Keynesian terms. The only reasonable description I could think of for her would be “professional hypocrite”.

    • She sounds just like the glam boys down at Reason magazine. I’m surprised she doesn’t write for them. More than likely she has aspirations.

  7. “She does not know what she does not know.”

    That’s one of the big points of being an elite: what you don’t know does not matter. It doesn’t even rise to the level of irrelevance – it’s barely above non-existence. Even if what the elite don’t know is lethal, it’s not lethal for them – it just kills the peasantry.

    How many of our elites have actually been touched by anything this century so far? Barbara Olsen, Adm. Wilson Flagg, and Gen. Timothy Maude (9/11); Christopher Stevens (Libya); Judge John Roll and Rep. Gabby Giffords (Tucson shooting, with only Roll dying). And none of these are really major lights, they’re pretty pedestrian elites.

  8. I always thought that Megan’s actual gig was explaining Econ 101 to Cloud People who majored in subjects containing the word ‘studies’. I often enjoyed her dry wit in so doing, most of which would have gone over the heads of her target audience. I don’t know why she strayed into going ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ on those of us in flyover land but the structure of both types of opinion pieces is similar, only the subject matter changes. No doubt she thinks she’s doing a similar service about us for her target audience.

    I can’t image why either she or Catherine Rampell of WaPo imagine their advice being taken but Megan may actually mean well for both us & the Cloud Folk. Rampell, OTOH clearly doesn’t mean well by us. But can she really imagine that we’re so stupid as to actually believe that she has our bests interest at heart_? More evidence of the autumn mists overhanging the dismal swamp these days.

    • I saw that and I’m skeptical. For starters, the FBI recovered the laptop in question, not NYPD. There simply no way for city cops to get a search warrant for Weiner without the world knowing about it. Not in NYC especially. So there’s that. Then there is the fact that Weiner’s lawyer would have called DOJ as soon as anyone from the city made inquiries. There’s no way his lawyer is dealing with the locals when Weiner has a lot of friend in DC.

      I think the Prince guy is either nuts or just a bullshitter who likes attention.

      • maybe, but wasn’t it the nypd who were handling the weiner underage sexting thing? that’s how they got the laptop. weiner may very well have not known what all was on it. the fact that the laptop was intact, after his being charged, speaks to the validity of those claims. won’t have long to wait 🙂

      • “There simply no way for city cops to get a search warrant for Weiner without the world knowing about it.”

        The world did know about it, it wasn’t a secret. Maybe you’ve got Weiner Scandal Fatigue and missed it. The NYPD investigated, secured the warrant, and seized the laptop. Once they discovered that the girl involved was in another state, the FBI got involved. NYPD quickly figured out what they had, and kept copies of everything they found because Comey had already demonstrated that the FBI couldn’t be trusted to do the right thing.

  9. Months ago many of us were already surmising how ugly the Clinton business would get (even without Weiner and the Lolita Express). The MSM were fitting us out for tin foil beanies (with propellers, I hope). Turns out we understated the depth of the Clinton criminality. Nevertheless, the MSM cannot wrap their minds around how venal, self-serving, criminal, and petty their “peers” behave.

    Reminds me of one of my parents’ neighbors growing up, a lifelong commie. I told him in the late 1990s about how the Venona transcripts had confirmed that Alger Hiss was a spy. He responded: “He could come on TV and admit it directly and I still wouldn’t believe him.”

  10. She does not know what she does not know.
    I love that line … it says much about the entire left as I see things.

  11. Meg’s funny sometimes, but her instincts are better than 99% of those retards, and within certain parameters she actually cares whether what she says is true or not. I knew her back in the day.

    Might drop her a line about this one. I’d have to log into Faceberg though. Last time we emailed she was still at the Atlantic.

  12. This is the classic feminized attitude. Matthews et al adopt it so they will be accepted in polite company. Beta male college students adopt it so they can get laid. Women themselves live and breathe this stuff because it is their path to a “better world”. The thought of actually physically fighting for what you believe in is so unthinkable to the female mind, that they will rhetorically argue with the most passionate words (and maybe throw a lamp or a glass of water at an unarmed and unsuspecting person in the room, if you are one particular odious specimen of the breed), as if the resolution of the verbal argument is the most important thing in the world. Because it is, in their world. They will seek to torpedo others behind their backs, but actual physical violence, done in a straightforward and honorable way? Never. Putin plays a game which they cannot comprehend. Trump plays their game in a ju-jitsu fashion which they cannot counter. They bring scolding words to a bar brawl.

  13. Once again, it’s all the fault of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. The “fever swamp”. If only they could obliterate the right-wing media, all the bad words would be silenced and nobody could give the violent morons on the right their marching orders.

    My mental image is of goodthinking conservatives like McArdle joining hands with the Left to “drain the swamp”. As they stand their among their pumps and blowtorches, gloating over their victory, behind them, unobserved, is a seething, increasingly stormy ocean with black clouds forming overhead. Just turn around, guys…

  14. Her analogy about the swamp and the castle is similar tô Mussolini’s Fascism, he wanted the Corporations working for the State (the castle), anything outside the State need to try to enter the State to be legitimate.

  15. McArdle’s article has a “let them eat cake” feel about it. BTW Z-man I must congratulate you on your word-smithing because “obsequious rumpswabbery” is a classic.

  16. On a personal note, I am dealing with the sort of thing the Cloud People avoid. State DNR requested removal of a dock at my riverfront property. We’ve been working on removal of our property there for several years. We’ve been in contact with the State Assistant AG, the city, Fish and Wildlife and our lawyer. DNR is slated to come out today to start removing anything left.

    We had people dismantling the pile driver, a hand built relic from the 70s. I was taking pictures for the attorney, when we had three police cars and the guy from code enforcement show up. They demanded we stop working. They were armed and wearing tactical vests. (And to be honest, they were not the fittest looking cops I’ve seen). They sent these people down to deal with an elderly couple (us, in our mid 60s). I am tired of being treated like a criminal by bureaucrats like these. Rich people do not get bothered, but the state is going after everyone without the resources for protracted legal battles. Even then, the judges will tie themselves in knots to do the states bidding.

    Mark my words, this behavior will be coming to your neighborhood soon, especially if Hillary wins. They cannot wait to be unleashed on the Dirt People. After many years in this state, I can’t wait to sell out and leave. We have so few states left where we have rights as citizens.

    • Rights don’t exist. They are an 18th century meme with little connection to reality. It is self-interest and will that drives everything. What you should be asking yourself, is why anyone who has already lived a life, such as yourself, would be willing to submit to rotten treatment by lowlifes. You are clearly NOT tired of being treated as a criminal by them, otherwise you would put an end to it.

      • I have some limitations in this. The property is actually my husband’s. He wanted to take the fight to DNR when they first started jacking him around. He believes in law and the courts. He has learned that property owners in this state truly have no rights. We’ve seen his files, through FOIA,, and we’ve first hand seen the county commissioners lie to our faces.

        I am not exactly sure how one “puts an end to it”. Do you think the average citizen will win a pissing match with a bureaucrat? We initially thought that we could hand this down to my stepson, who would be likely to outlive the current crop of bureaucrats, but he simply isn’t up to this fight. We are waiting to see what happens with the current election. The woman running for Commissioner of Public Lands is an Eco-Nazi that will likely try and meter every private well in the state. It will get worse if she is elected. Her opponent is well qualified and respected, but this is a very blue state.

        As for submitting, well, I have personally pissed off a State Assistant Attorney General. And we have managed to get in and remove almost everything there. If they’d planned to confiscate the land, I think we’ve prevented it. Not too bad for a couple of broke old geezers.

  17. This is why, when I’m dictator, I’m bringing back aristocracy. In ye olde days, dimwitted dilettantes like Matthews, McArdle, et al would be Duke and Duchess of Squinchley-upon-Bumfuck and they’d spend their days submitting memorials to the throne about how best to manage the peasantry, which the King would blithely ignore (think of how much trouble America would have been saved, had we simply anointed Bill and Hillary Lord and Lady Cornpone and let them practice droit de seigneur in Little Rock!). In a democracy, though, real power ends up in the hands of people who think Marx’s description of life in the Communist Utopia is a real thing: “In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.” Tell me that isn’t a perfect description of A) the Cloud People’s ideal day, and B) someone who should never, ever be allowed within 500 yards of real power.

    • Well, I am glad I am not one of those people. I have spent years perfecting the ability to criticize and can now speak with authority on the subject.

  18. I read Reason and cause trouble in the comments occasionally. The commentators are fun because they regularly skewer the contributors for their obvious signaling. Or, as it is often said, their desire to keep getting invited to all the good cocktail parties.

  19. Boy you got Matthews dead on. His large summer home is about a half mile down the beach from my small (and perpetually leased) one. So you run into him occasionally at the fish store, around town and at the Boys & Girls Club fundraiser. For a guy who comments so much on race, his only contact with other races seems to be the nice Jamaican ladies at Gliddens Seafood. Otherwise he just seems to bounce between the Chevy Chase and Nantucket bubbles and walks around with a oddly startled look on his face.

    Spent that last three days in a management meeting. New firm has a large midwest based subsidiary and a lot of us in the NY HQ are all new. There is now this ritual where the Midwest “swamp people” try to figure out your politics. (as an aside, these stupid “swamp people” are the ones making all the money for the company right now) So they throw out little signals to try and figure out if you are one of them. I let slip the first night, at the dinner table that all my family were originally Midwest farmers. You could almost see the tension go out. Then we had a great and frank discussion. The funny thing is these folks, who all make good livings and are astute business people, look at the Cloud People like they have lost their collective moral and financial minds. And their case is pretty strong. As one guy put it, “all the fuck-ups originate from around here” (meaning NY).

  20. Zman, I have to agree: the socialist/communists/progressives/liberals/progressives/social justice warriors or whatever they are calling themselves this week, are utterly clueless as to the sea-change taking place today. Their share-the-wealth program is coming to a rapid end and they do not see it. We are bankrupt and soon that fact will override all ideological views. It is going to be interesting how this plays out. Brace for impact.

    • My view is that the elite (aka cloud people) know that something’s happening ‘out there’ but they suspect it will fall on the heads of the yokels and peasants and not involve them. After all, they have the guns and authorities on their side (they argue) so the troubles can safely be kept outside the cocktail-party circuit. More than that, they believe that the revolting masses, should it come to that, will instinctively allow their obvious superiors to carry on attending parties and dressing up in expensive gowns. I mean, the elite have often in the splendid surroundings of their mansions behind barred gates raised a glass of bubbly to the ‘spirt’ of the ordinary man so surely the ordinary man knows how worthwhile it is to keep the status quo.

      Same thing with what Mr Z calls ‘the exploding muhammad’s’ who of course wouldn’t bring their brand of misogyny and terror and sharia right to the doors of the mansions but respectfully go no further. Many a muslim would bravely stand in a wall of solid appreciation to protect those cloud-people who say nice things about islam while drinking alcohol. Anyway, bullets cannot penetrate the armour of the lovely and righteous.

      But then… it might not turn out that way. While draining the swamp someone might find a lot of bodies with empty champagne glasses in hand, lying face down in the mud.

      • I remember getting into one of those “the authorities will take care of everything” at a cocktail fundraiser in NY several years ago. Right after the rise of the Tea Party and before the chaos of Sandy. The other party’s thesis was that law enforcement could take care of the right wing wackos. So asked “what do you call a guy that silently walks into his carefully scouted and selected deer stand and fills his tag with a 200 yard shot 10 minutes after the season open?” “A hunter?” “No, a sniper. You have several million of them in flyover country”

    • Good piece. People forget, the revolution comes as Hemingway characterized bankruptcy, “two ways, gradually then suddenly”.

      • The movement of people towards revolution is evolutionary though. Revolutions just appear to be sudden as in the first place those who revolt are disenfranchised and marginalized as small in number and inconsequential, even by those who end up doing the revolting. And those who would be revolted against, it is in their best interests to downplay, at least publicly resistance to them.
        Takes a lot for a civil society to get over that “hump”, but once they it does it can be an inexorable force.

      • Talk about swamp things and revolutions. This is not a good piece.

        Erik Prince: NYPD Ready to Make Arrests in Anthony Weiner Case

        It foretells of DOJ Stalinist tactics against the NYC Police Department in their efforts to build and prosecute a case against Wiener, Huma and the Clintons.
        I get the impression the rot runs so deep and involves so many people they will most likely do anything from being exposed. The NYC Cops are calling what they have uncovered, disgusting, beyond what anyone imagined. Veteran Cops are saying it is things so nasty it is hard for them to stomach.

  21. “rumpswabbery!” Wow, now that is classic!

    But hey, Call me Swamp Thing, Deplorable, or any other denigration … I am still a Rose in comparison to these piles of excrement.

    What is sad is for all their years on this planet, they have lost more than they have gained in knowledge of what is truly important about life, about honor, respect, and love for your self, family, and others. Instead of being real “leaders” these people have bought into a concept that their ilk can make themselves better than everyone else by pretending to be something they are not. They are legends in their own minds.

    The repercussions of the Clinton Crime Syndicate investigations will be wide ranging and people like McArdle will be shamed, or should be shamed into irrelevance. Of course, a new cadre of believers and con artists will inevitably rise but there-in lies the need for an effective Justice system that is always on watch. And our elected leaders are responsible for providing that protection against this kind of high level, white collar crime (what level is higher than white collar? There has to be one. Traitorous?)

    It has yet to be said but “My hat is off to the agents of the FBI who stood up for principle” and pushed for investigations, supported leaks, handed in resignations, whatever, forcing proper action to save a sinking ship. That many rats will drown in the aftermath is something to be left to the history books.

  22. Funny how things change. Four years ago I read McCardle regularly. But I ditched her soon after the 2012 election and Z’s piece is a good reminder why. She, like so many beltway conservatives (and outisde the Beltway cons like Rod Dreher), are so concerned with virtual signalling that their stuff is unreadable. She despises normies and she has to make that clear to her friends like Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, and her husband’s bosses at Reason magazine. And Conservative, Inc. wonders why the dirt people don’t believe a goddamn word they say. Unreal.

    • Upvote for you.

      I too stopped reading McCardle about the same time after realizing that she had nothing of interest to say, rather like the twin Davids (Frum and Brooks). She’s another token “conservative” to provide controlled opposition within the framework of the liberal media complex.

      The pattern is always the same: McCardle (or Frum or Brooks) write an article presenting a “conservative” view on a topic. In response, a small army of liberal journolists swamp the media battlespace with a coordinated counterattack detailing all the alleged fallacies in the original article and sucking all the oxygen out of the debate. By the time its over nobody even remembers the original article, and liberal orthodoxy prevails.

      These people have no idea what’s coming at them.

      • I would pay good money to see her face reading A Gentle Introduction to Unqualified Reservations.

  23. Zman my song for the final days of this election just change father figure to Tea party and girl to Trump:

    But every time it rains,
    You’re here in my head,
    Like the sun coming out–
    Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen.
    And I don’t know when,
    But just saying it could even make it happen.

    On top of the world,
    Looking over the edge,
    You could see them coming.
    You looked too small
    In their big, black car,
    To be a threat to the men in power.

    Kate Bush – Cloudbusting

  24. Ever try reading one of Mcardle’s “articles”? I did a couple of times and they are always bereft of even a crumb of interest. She is a talentless hack, like all of her ilk. And she has a horse face!

    • Yes there are unknown unknowns. Occasionally some smart person discovers one of them and then we have an unknown that is becomes known. We didn’t know about electricity at one time long ago … Then Ben Franklin discovered it with a kite. Who knew? We used to think the earth was flat, they someone sailed around the big orb and now we know it’s a ball in space. Wise up.

  25. Hi Z, you really did not leave us much to comment on as usual but let me give it a go. Megan will remain clueless even as the blade falls upon her scruffy neck. She is one who has no friends, a friend being one who would endanger themselves for you. You can take that to the bank.

  26. So much good stuff in this one. Let me start with a personal note. My son, unhappy with the two main choices, asked me about voting for Gary Johnson. I told him the Libertarians were just Democrats for low taxes and free pot (I think he like at least those parts of the platform).

    I also knew Chris a bit; he was always crazy, but not always a loon.

    The funny thing is that all these people came from somewhere, not DC or NY or SF. And yet, their program indoctrination seems to have erased whatever understanding of normal life they had before. Not only have they lost their memories, they have lost the ability to look in the mirror.

    • If only that were true. McArdle is from NYC and went to Riverdale Country Day School. (prepping at a “Day” School is a very reliable indicator for Cloud person-hood). Our current “thought-leaders” such as McArdle come from a very small and well-protected orbit.

      • I have all the Cloud-person credentials, but I’m 70 and it was different back in my time. I guess I’m a “class traitor” now, but happy to be one. My compromise with Cloud and Dirt has been to become something if a cordial hermit.

    • Matthews was your typical Holy Cross Mick for his generation. Liberal but also down to earth – like a typical machine politician in Boston. Years in DC destroyed all logic and judgement.

      • Also, the thrill going up his leg was first caused by proximity to the Kennedys, long before BHO reared his mocha-hued head. Matthews was at a CPAC meeting I attended in Memphis about 10 yrs ago, reporting from the lobby of the Peabody Hotel — the one with the ducks in the fountain. The “emcee” of that event was US
        Senator Bill Frist, from Nashville, who was then the Majority Leader. Remember him? Questions about his “predilections” were rising. After he left the Senate he dumped his wife Karen — she got big bucks!! OT, but can’t resist comparing this break-up to Al and Tipper Gore’s. Eegads, I’m now remembering that event more clearly: Sen John McCain was there, railing away, and also Horrible Speaker Dennis Hastert. I did not get a good feeling about him. Not a “friendly” guy. How the hell did he get elected dog-catcher? Anyway, I agree about Matthews being a “typical Holy Cross Mick”! I was surrounded by them growing up in NY. More Fordham than HC, but still know the type. The FBI used to be full of them, the CIA not so much.

      • Mathews grew up middle-class in suburban Philly. He went to a very nice prep school and then Holy Cross. It was in Mass that he worked up the Shanty Irish back story. He later refined it working for Tip O’Neil in the Reagan years.

        • My childhood experiences w/ them and other minorities who were not-really minorities (Italians, Jews) made my growing up years in the NY suburbs ver-r-r-y interesting! 50+ yrs later we grade schoolmates are all still the bestest of pals and carry the same political views we had back then, but appreciate each others’ ‘take’ on things;-) However, I will say this, that the Irish kids in groups back then, many families w/ 6+ kids, were the meanest!! One contemporary of mine on the swim team sneered “What are you?” meaning my religion. I told him “Episcopalian.” He said, “Do you even believe in God?” Today that would be a good question, but back in 1959, it showed how their parish schooling raised them up hating Protestants, but they were still huge social climbers and would defer to their social betters when necessary. Today the subject of all our misbegotten churches is moot, IMO.

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