I know you must all be gripping the edges of your seats, shivering with anticipation. So without further ado, by popular vote, the winner of the most irrefutably stupid Joe Klein quote of all time is:
13. "People like me who favor this [NSA wiretapping] program don’t yet know enough about it yet. Those opposed to it know even less — and certainly less than I do."
The prize goes to SanGuevara who went dumpster diving into Klein’s ouevre and brought it forth for the benefit of us all. We owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude.
But this was only part of the glory. The Charles P. Pierce Award for Excellence in Klein Snark, chosen by Mr. Pierce himself, goes to Wesgpc for a comment on Klein Quote #6:
"I’m a so-called journalist
[irrefutable confirmation that he did write one thing containing an empirical fact]
who views his job as doing the legwork
[showing his great care and precision – he did not say headwork or investigation, did he?]
and then calling them as I see them.
[Credit him with brutal honesty. He specifically said "them." And how does he see them? Well the Democrats are old out-of-it chumps, losers, very "industrial age", and fun to use for some wordly-wise cynical cred, by beating up on them with stereotyped, canned, pre-cooked snark. Democrats are also earnest and frumpy, so clearly good target for calling hypocrites. The Republicans are kewl, very "information age" "with-it" innovative hipsters who are fun to hang with if you’ll play. He was careful not to say "call IT as I see it" because that would falsely imply that he was talking about, you know, out-of-it "industrial age" unhip things with old person smell, like facts and stuff.]
And I’m tired of civilians of the left and the right who, in their infinite wisdom, spew vituperative nonsense instead of asking substantive questions when they have the opportunity.
[I can’t figure this out at all, but it sounds like something, you know, real deep, so it must be profound and very hiply wise-ass and immensely knowing, in a knowing sort of way. So, points for style on the landing -he nailed it going to the radical center and hit the bulls-eye, not a jitter not a half step. What a dismount! The word "civilians" is genius, it implies some deep socio-philosophical subtext that we would hesitate to admit we do not get -almost worthy of the NRO]
As Charles says, "The Tim Daggett-ish ‘What a dismount!’ put it over the top." A superb effort.
But we are also awarding honorable mentions. One comment by Thesaurus Rex didn’t make it in under the wire last night but was definitely worthy of note nonetheless:
"Calling George Bush a minimalist is like calling a potted palm an environmentalist."
Another goes to Bullgoose, who maintains that the Klein Snark award deserves to go to Klein himself:
I vote for take-your-pick, and nominate the master, Joe Klein himself, to be the recipient of the first annual Charles P. Pierce award. No one is more deserving of the maiden Snarky than Joe. His work speaks against itself with an immediacy and authority that no third-person invective could ever hope to achieve. It stands on its own, as writing that is not merely bad, but blatantly, shockingly, grotesquely bad. Its inherent ugliness flies in your face like a handful of shit out of a baboon cage. And just as surely as it is unnecessary to crawl up a baboon’s ass with a suppository to be covered in baboon shit, it is unnecessary to probe deeply into Klein’s work in order extract analytical evidence that he is a bare-assed stupid, shit-slinging baboon. The evidence is clear the moment his work is put on display. Piss on it, if it makes you feel better, but you will only improve it by dilution. Dump on it to your heart’s content, but your most vicious shit only serves to sweeten the stink of Joe’s best. To give the Pierce prize to anyone other than the creator of this steaming pile would be as unfair as to honor the chumps at the cage for the shit on their faces, rather than the shit-slinging baboon with the unerring aim. Give Vogon Joe Klein his prize. Give it to him as undiluted and unsweetened by thoughtful commentary as he gave his dreck to us. Klein bows to no one in the domain of the Vogonsphere. We are unworthy.
Yet another goes to Dover Bitch, for her efforts to channel the altitudinally and follically challenged Klein over comment #3 and the anguish of Dick Cheney:
"I am an abysmal judge of character of epic proportions. I contracted mononucleosis from kissing my sister in seventh grade and missed the week when our English teacher taught the rest of my classmates the meaning of the word "irony." I never even considered, in the absence of such a word, the occurrence of hilariously incongruous events and statements. My conversations with combat veterans have made me an expert in the field of distinguishing between the trauma that comes from war and the agony of having to talk to Brit Hume."
And Bentley Stanforth III, for oh so many quotes, but who can forget:
This isn’t just wrong. It’s wrongness encased in incoherence and swathed in bullshit.
And then of course the memorable "Joke Line."
Thanks to everyone who took the time to participate, who waded through the swamp of Kleiniana, were willing to momentarily pollute their eyeballs such that we could drag Joe onto the shore and create some context and awareness of way he represents "Democrats" on a daily basis. Thanks also to Charles P. Pierce for officiating the snark contest. Both SanGuevara and Wesgpc will be taking home copies of the DVD of Action, so please send me your emails and I will send them off to you soon.
You are all great Americans.