Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I agree with Chait's largely negative assessment of Helen Thomas, but it serves if nothing else as a reminder of the supremacy of emotion to reason when it comes to politics. On paper, Thomas's record is underwhelming. But she gave voice to the anger that a lot of liberals felt during the Bush years, so some elements of the left identified with her. On the other hand, a lot of conservatives identified her as the tip of the liberal media's crusade against Bush. Thomas's work was not terribly influential, but she was important to a lot of people because of what she represented--and, really, how she chose to present herself. And, ultimately, when you look at the polarizing political figures of the past decade--Newsom, Bush, and Dean for starters--this is largely the case for them as well, despite all of them having records that otherwise would not have endeared them to their followers.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.