Jim Delmont’s “Critic @ Large” column in the Omaha City Weekly is always entertaining, but this week’s is particularly great. (Sadly, I couldn’t find it online, so you’ll need to pick up a copy of the OCW — with a great Beatles Rock Band cover story — to read it.)
Delmont’s work typically combines a beautiful mix of smugness and paranoia — I imagine someone in a velvet smoking jacket furiously typing while taking an occasional peek through the blinds. But his latest column, “Obama, Palin and the Future” is such a random grab-bag of conservative anger, it’s as if Delmont was worried that the nutty concerns in his fridge were nearing their expiration date and decided to toss all of them into one beautiful meal. A few tasty samples:
• It’s September 2009 and he’s still complaining about the coverage of the 2008 election and how the media completely neglected to point out Barack Obama’s inexperience, as if that wasn’t constantly referenced from approximately November 2007 through November 2008 as first Hillary Clinton and then John McCain made it a central campaign theme.
• He then launches into this sweaty-palmed McCarthesque rant about how liberals are taking over the media, colleges, high schools and now even libraries, “whose national meetings are veritable jamborees for the Democratic Party.”
• Liberals, according to Delmont, don’t believe in freedom of speech. Apparently, he says, they’re going to try to shut down Fox News and talk radio.
• He talks about how Obama tried to “sneak through a 1,000-page government health care grab,” which cracked me up. I love how conservative critics can’t decide whether to bash Obama for trying to force his health care reforms onto people or bash him for refusing to show any leadership whatsoever (one of Chuck Grassley’s favorite themes). But beyond that, he’s presumably referring to the House’s HR 3200, which is more than 1,000 pages long, as opposed to the Senate HELP committee’s bill, which is closer to 600 — neither of which were written by the White House. And I’m not sure whether the Obama he’s referring to is the same Obama who keeps holding speeches and town halls about reform while pushing for a bipartisan agreement to a degree that has frustrated liberals and progressives … somebody doesn’t know how to be very sneaky!
He says Obama wanted it passed in two weeks so that it could go unread by those voting on it. I read it a few months ago. I wonder if Delmont has read it yet.
• He refers to Obama’s healthcare goals as a “suffocating one-size-fits-all Canadian prescription.” Do you think he knows what Canada’s healthcare system is actually like, or does he just know that some Canadians speak French?
• I loved this line: “[Obama] shows every evidence of wanting to be the Maximum Leader of a one-party state, a la Cuba or Venezuela.”
• For good measure, he tosses in a line about Democrats’ “hopeless addiction to endless government growth and spending,” completely oblivious to the past 25 years.
Reading these columns, it’s hard to tell whether Delmont is an utterly clueless buffoon or a shameless liar. Either way, it’s clear the poor guy’s message is dependent on a hopelessly ignorant audience, which is extra funny considering how half of the column is devoted to the failings of a lazy, easily manipulated media.