Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This Week in Rudeness - Incivility Resurges After Temporary Setback

It's been a week of bad manners all around. First, there was the White House Super Bowl pre-party, in which Bill O'Reilly achieved the dubious distinction of being the first interviewer in history to prevent a sitting president from uttering a complete sentence. MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell ran a few segments counting the interruptions, which totalled more than 70. I kept waiting for President Obama to be the first president in history to tell an interviewer to STFU. Didn't happen. The man is made of stone.

Then those most famous gate-crashers of all, the Salahis, managed to worm their way into a Super Bowl party hosted by the Dallas Cowboys' owner. They were discreetly escorted out by security, but not before they managed to memorialize their presence via a tweet complete with photo. The party rocked for several minutes before they were caught.

Not to be outdone, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch showed up uninvited to a Tea Party bash in D.C. last night to schmooze with Michele Bachmann, fresh from her secret Hawaian getaway where she worked hard for her freezing Minnesota constituents. Hatch, according to Talking Points Memo, "is presumably just the kind of Republican the tea party would like to take out in 2012."

Taking a page from the Salahi playbook, Hatch insisted he was invited, while Tea Party Express Director Levi Russell said he wasn't. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle: a Hatch staffer called a Tea Party staffer and finagled an unofficial, underhanded invite in lieu of an engraved invitation. Hatch was likely remembering the fate of his Utah cohort, Bob Bennett, at the hands of the Tea Party last fall and figured if he can't beat 'em, he might as well join 'em. Kind of a variation on the Tea Party tail wagging the establishment GOP dog theme. Establishment guy Hatch is running in circles, frantically biting at his own mangey tail.

The week is only halfway through, so I'll be adding to this post as needed. Suggestions and tips on various items of rudeness, mean-girliness and further evidence that the New Era of Civility is ending as quickly as it began are always welcome.


Anonymous said...

Mean-girliness at its peak of high school evil:
President Obama snubbing the very protestors he'd exhorted to fight for democracy in his "Cairo Speech" (registered trademark) in favor of the better-looking, wealthier, and just plain cooler football team member Suleiman.
Karen Garcia once announced on the comments page of the Times that Obama is "a monumental fraud." i heartily embrace the fierce criticism of politicians, if not their confused followers. With the death toll in Egypt at 297, I believe protesting Egyptians can also claim Garcia's line.
When Kristof, Cohen AND Friedman are saying the admin is missing its mark, we can believe it. I call it "Cynicism You Can Believe In" but that's unfair to Diogenes.
eva c.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you mention the O'Reilly interview. I marvelled at his rudeness - not only in the interuptions but as I remember it, he frequently dismissed what Obama was saying before it was even out of his mouth. I haven't seen anything about this on the web. I guess it is because of all the other s**t that is out there. Have you seen what they're coming up with abortion?

Haley Simon