The Pod has an extremely high volume setting and is famous for his ability to displace vast amounts of water and reflect direct light from the top of his head.
See? You can play it too. It’s easy. The Pod will show you how. He was on Hannity & Colmes today talking about his new oeuvre on Hillary Clinton, and how when he calls her a bitch he only means it in the best possible way (Crooks & Liars has the clip):
HANNITY: It is a great admonition. It is a great warning, and I fully agree with you: They better not, to quote a phrase, "misunderestimate her." You say — you describe for example — you use the B-word to describe her.
PODHORETZ: I do, but I use the B-word to describe her and say that that is a virtue as the first woman presidential, you know, possibility.
HANNITY: Explain that, because you know what? A lot of people are going to get — look, I know you, and you’re a tell-it-like-it-is guy, but some people may misunderstand that.
PODHORETZ: OK, I’ll put it to you very simply: The first woman president has to be somebody who has qualities that will convey to people that she can stand up before [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Il, [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, Osama bin Laden, all the worst men in the world, that she can pull the trigger when she has to, that she can negotiate, that she can stand tough and stand tall. Therefore, the first woman president has to be somebody who has qualities that we commonly associate with being unfeminine. She’s got to be tough, she’s got to be steely, she’s got to be adversarial, and she’s got to be difficult.
COLMES: That’s pretty harsh language and pretty hateful language, I would think. And then you say — you call her flat and unwomanly. Why would you degrade another human being like this?
PODHORETZ: Hey, I’m saying she’s the first — she’s going to be the first woman president of the United States. I don’t think that’s very degrading.
I get it, Pod. So if I called you a chubby, bald little crap juggler who’d starve if it wasn’t for wingnut welfare and nepotism, it would be, like, a testament to your incredible sex appeal?
(I think the Pod’s cubicle might be a bit too close to Ramesh’s — Ramesh is now very upset that people like Andrew Sullivan think his book, entitled The Party of Death, might be about the Democratic Party — just because the book jacket says it is.)
I was reading this bit from Roll Call this morning on the big telecom companies who oppose internet neutrality and I was struck by much the same feeling as when listening to the Pod:
I don’t see where this is political," said BellSouth spokesman Bill McCloskey. "It just seems odd for the Democrats to take an anti-consumer position – to say the government should set rules to deny consumers choice."
I’ll leave it to someone much smarter than me to explain exactly how making all the internet sites that can’t pay AT&T vig load much slower than the megasites who can is tantamount to denying consumers a choice. But it’s a shining example of a phenomenon that I believe needs its own name: wingnut ideas that appropriate the language of the left because they know they should be ashamed and don’t want to take responsibility for what they’re saying.
We have the Bush’s Clear Skies Act (which turned back 30 years of pollution control) and Healthy Forest Initiative (which allowed clear-cutting trees). Then there was the positively Orwellian "peacekeeper missile." The list goes on. And on. And on.
The Pod doesn’t want to take responsibility on TV for calling Hillary a flat, unfeminine bitch because he knows he crossed the line. So now it’s a compliment, it means she’s tough, steely, full of resolve — good strong, feminist traits, right? Only it doesn’t. It means she’s a bitch. But it’s out there anyway. Damage done, clean getaway, eh Pod?
Maybe not so fast. I was casting around this morning for a good name for this particular bit of hypocrisy, and Adam Green of Moveon suggested " Progressive In Language, Except Conservative Right Aiming Principle" — otherwise known as PILECRAP.
They may bash the left but when they borrow our language they admit that our principles, our ideas, our values and beliefs — like peace, clean skies, healthy forests, strong women, consumer choice — are better than theirs.
And that’s no PILECRAP.