Saturday, November 01, 2008

And the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Page Devolves into Shameless Nonsense, Courtesy of Fouad Ajami

Actually, I can't say that I've consistently read and rated the pieces that have appeared on the Wall Street Journal's opinion pages, but as a fairly regular reader it does seem to me that they are becoming less thoughtful and more ridiculous as 11/4 draws near. A current and most egregious example of this trend being Fouad Ajami's Obama and the Politics of Crowds.

There is nothing more distasteful to me that the use of blatantly disingenuous arguments designed to manipulate the stupid. And this crap is a textbook example of the craft.

Here's how it begins:

"There is something odd -- and dare I say novel -- in American politics about the crowds that have been greeting Barack Obama on his campaign trail. Hitherto, crowds have not been a prominent feature of American politics. We associate them with the temper of Third World societies. We think of places like Argentina and Egypt and Iran, of multitudes brought together by their zeal for a Peron or a Nasser or a Khomeini."

First, really? Obama rallies remind 'us' of Peron, Nasser and Khomeni? Don't waste any time making your piece read like an Onion-esque farce, eh, Fouad?. I guess if you're going to shovel bullshit, don't half step. I'm sure if somehow a McCain / Palin rally actually attracted more than 400 wackos and old folks enticed by the free lemonade you would make the same connection to Khomeni. No doubt, because you have no agenda in writing this piece other than academic examination, I'm sure.

Second, who is "we"? Is there a mouse in your pocket, Fouad? Or are you just using the first person plural as a way to provide faux validation for any latent conspiracy theories swimming around the twisted minds of suggestible swing staters?

He wraps up with more of the same:

"In recent days, those vast Obama crowds, though, have recalled for me the politics of charisma that wrecked Arab and Muslim societies."

Hey, Rupert, why not just print "Obama is an Arab that no one can trust!" cut the rest of Ajami's drivel and use the space for more expensive watch ads appealing to douchebags who measure their self-worth in the number of fancy accessories they own? Really would have been about the same effect and put another $5,000 - $10,000 in the coffers.

This garbage from Ajami is worse than thinly veiled fear mongering. It appeals to people's worst instincts. I don't know why I expect WSJ to stay out of the sty where Ann Coulter and others spew and defecate on themselves with hateful and juvenile use of references like "B. Hussein Obama".

I suppose I no longer should have those expectations of WSJ. Perhaps this is the Murdoch effect that was widely feared. Maybe I'm just late to this realization.

Murdoch should be embarrassed, WSJ's editors should be embarrassed and Ajami, if I thought he was capable of shame, should be embarrassed. This is a most amateurish hack job in the mold of C-tier legal firms who deploy the strategy of 'let's have the our token African American attorney prosecute the African American defendant to defuse any potential claims of racism in this case'. The implicit message to Carl Q. Applebottom in Lafayette, Indiana (or Erie, Pa ... or Jacksonville, FL) is, "Hey, it's okay to play the Arab mob mentality card while indicting 'Obamamania', because look, the guy who wrote this is also an Arab." And all you racist-leaning non-Arabs can therefore feel comforted in your bigotry by the fact that even Arabs, like our man Fouad here, don't trust Obama.