No Foolin', Red Ryder!

That was what my dad once exclaimed when we were on vacation, stuck in the middle on nowhere in a torrential downpour--the four of us, miserable and impatient, cramped in a maroon station wagon with rain dumping on us so heavily that the windshield wipers couldn't keep up, so we couldn't go anywhere. We had the radio tuned to a local radio station, whose weatherman helpfully informed listeners: "It’s raining today!" My dad exclaimed, exasperatedly, in return, "No foolin', Red Ryder!" He was totally irritated, like the rest of us, but I couldn’t help it and barked out a sharp guffaw, then repeated the phrase for my own amusement. Soon, all four of us were ending ourselves with fits of giggles--and "No foolin', Red Ryder" became a mainstay of the family lexicon.

The Green Knight is calling "No foolin', Red Ryder" on Margaret Carlson, who had the mind-numbing temerity to suggest, without a hint of irony, "Maybe Americans prefer to have a beer and burger with the charming frat boy to the student who always does his homework. But is that a wise basis for choosing a president?"


[C]ongratulations on finally realizing something that even a dull kindergartener could figure out: No, the "beer and a burger," "seems like a regular guy" test is not a good way to pick a President. This is so obvious it shouldn't even have to be stated -- even though the press has been yammering about this incorrect and irrelevant "regular guy" thing for the past five years. Which just shows how dumb the press can be.
I don't know about all of you, but I'm getting really annoyed by these sudden conversions lately, in which people who used to be either great supporters of Bush or else just enablers for him have finally come around to seeing what the rest of us have seen since Campaign 2000: that Bush has no qualifications or talent for his job. …The self-congratulatory tone of the new converts is just infuriating.
Agreed. Of course, they have to sound self-congratulatory in order to give the guise of legitimacy to the ridiculous notion that Bush being an unmitigated failure was something no one could have possibly predicted. Just like no one could have predicted 9/11. It's not just that they're loathe to admit that we were right; they're using the appearance of this being some kind of eureka-moment as a means of rejecting responsibility for enabling the failure. It's not that they were wrong--oh, heavens no. It's just that no one could have guessed before 5 years of proof that a dimwit wouldn't make a better president than a smart guy.

And for cripes' sake--it's not as if the dimwit and the smart guy had precisely the same credentials, other than their studiousness and (debatable) levels of likeability. Gore had a lifetime of public service, including the vice presidency, under his belt. The most relevant experience on Bush's résumé was the mostly-ceremonial governorship of Texas. The only thing that thwarts an accurate description of his rise to the presidency as his being plucked from obscurity is his famous family name. Let's be real: His pre-presidential qualifications are so pathetic it's like he won the jackpot on a game show called "President for Two Terms."

And so now we all sit, 300 million of us, in a stranded maroon station wagon with a torrent pissing down and the collection of yokel weathermen who pass for our national press telling us "It's raining today!" Well, no foolin', Red Ryder.

(The Green Knight; crossposted at Shakespeare's Sister.)
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