I had no idea who V. Part is, except that I recognize her name from some of the posts on James Wolcott’s VF blog.

She’s a ballet dancer, as it turns out (sorry, Mr. W., I stop reading when you get to the arts, generally speaking) and since I’m out here in fly-over country, and was raised in pretty rural quarters, ballet holds slightly less interest to me than soccer. (Sarah Palin and the GOP make me confused about my Ameri-uality. Always figured I qualified.)

I appreciate the art and skill in both, very much in fact, but neither captures my heart.

So, because of this post, I wandered over and watched the charming and lovely Veronika Part on the Letterman show, and I can see why Mr. Wolcott is (hilariously, self-awarely, artistically) smitten. Veronika was quite charming, indeed, and it was fun to watch Dave sense the need for a gentle touch.

Just a lovely little blog post. I’m now a V. Part fan.

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…on one Erick Erickson of the prominent conservative blog, Red State.

I remain in a years-long state of awestruck wonder at some of my favorite bloggers’ ability to wander around in the dungeons of Greater Wingnuttia, but FSM bless them for it. I’m convinced the open, free dialogue is a net positive in the long run. I just have no ability or desire to do it myself. For me, probing the depths of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and downright stupidity requires resolve of spectacular proportions, a good soldier’s willingness to sacrifice for me.

So, Erick, a blogger of many readers (which is a big part of my horror at reading them, they have Audience), posts this gem. I think it is about the GOP’s current identity crisis and chronic purging of anyone who deviates from the Truth, but I’ll leave that for you to decide.

Fortunately, some real whiz-kids of fortitude and humor have powers that far exceed my own. All of these gave me great joy.

The ever-funny Thers takes his shot, and closes with a typically hilarious flourish.

The geniuses at Sadly, No! have a slightly different take, a little more inside-baseball, but one that I also found wonderfully amusing, since I’m all “inside” and everything.

Atrios, as is his wont, posts a perfectly pithy link to Roy over at aliculblog, who throws in some bonus wingnutilosophy from the ever-sane Ace ‘O Spades as frosting on a very funny cake of a post.

Need something more urbane, more, if I may, classy (no offense to the previous mentions) to satisfy your needs for ridicule? Always read Wolcott. To be fair to Erick, Wolcott doesn’t even mention him, but instead takes the high road and effortlessly and seamlessly the low road by linking respected Wingnut publications and some serious blogging psychosis (Can’t someone figure out a way to harness the energy created by Buckley and Goldwater spinning in their graves? Energy problem: Solved!), being the great writer that Mr. Wolcott is.

It’s never comfortable to watch slow death in progress. I’m pretty sure there will always be a “far right” on the political spectrum, but I’m positive it isn’t going to be afraid of Ivy League educated Puerto Ricans (“Mexicans,” in the current intellectual genius incarnation of the Right), gay people, or people of a different faith in a time not too far off.

Indeed, it seems self-evident that the process has already started, and the far right is in various stages of denial and grief. I don’t imagine most of the folks in the GOP base will ever get to acceptance, at least until they are Raptured up to the Sky for their Great Exit Interview with Jesus, and are shown the light when Jesus or a surrogate tells them torture isn’t cool.

I mistrust unfettered power. “Beware The Man” and all. I have some traditionally conservative principles, like not starting wars of choice on false pretenses, fiscal responsibility, and the government leaving me the fuck alone when it comes to clearly personal decisions that have little-to-no bearing on the public good.

Maybe one day I’ll see a conservative consistently adhere to these principles. My grandfather was one.

He’s dead. And it was slow, and uncomfortable.

Ridicule is a very underrated form of political discourse.

Wolcott, fun and funny and really smart, as usual.

John Cole, seemingly a bit pissed off today, FSM bless his converted Republican soul. At least John can be comforted that said soul is not rotting, unlike so many of his former brethren.

For a change of pace, another entry in the Who Could’ve Predicted? category, and some laughs, the latest in the Dept. of Oops from Maggie Gallagher and her genius NOMs, courtesy the wonderful and brilliant TBogg. I can’t believe Ms. California accepted welfare to make her boobies more pageant worthy, nor can I believe she’s such a family values supporter she had to skank out in some photos, which for the record, I don’t think she’s a skank for the photos, but she sure will blow someone (metaphorically, of course) for some publicity, which is sorta skanky. IMHO.

There is one overriding benefit to the digital age, underestimated, and that is our ability to expose hypocrisy when it rears its ugly head. I don’t care who you are, or what you believe, being an American and all. But I sure do expect you to be consistent about whatever it is.

Count me as cautiously optimistic, assuming The Man doesn’t regulate the intertoobz.

I believe the Dems are a bit ahead of the GOP on the curve of intellectual and moral consistency.

Except, ubiquitously, when it comes to their money.

Wolcott serves up a plate of gem on the subject of our calcified, cheerleading, rich person pundocracy class.

Several people have pointed out newly-minted NY Times op-ed page replacement of William “Never Met a War I Didn’t Like Or Had to Fight In” Kristol, admittedly an incredibly high bar to clear, Ross Douthat’s fabulous young man recollection of an encounter he had with a college gal.

One successful foray ended on the guest bed of a high school friend’s parents, with a girl who resembled a chunkier Reese Witherspoon drunkenly masticating my neck and cheeks. It had taken some time to reach this point–“Do most Harvard guys take so long to get what they want?” she had asked, pushing her tongue into my mouth. I wasn’t sure what to say, but then I wasn’t sure this was what I wanted. My throat was dry from too much vodka, and her breasts, spilling out of pink pajamas, threatened my ability to. I was supposed to be excited, but I was bored and somewhat disgusted with myself, with her, with the whole business… and then whatever residual enthusiasm I felt for the venture dissipated, with shocking speed, as she nibbled at my ear and whispered–“You know, I’m on the pill…”

Now it is certain that I cannot speak for Ross, nor anyone else with any authority, our particular and often peculiar predilections being essentially infinite in their uniqueness, but I just have to add one thing, being a 50 year old guy who can now bone around corners due to the lack of *ahem* oak I once carried with me with youthful vigor, and that is this: When I was Ross’ age at the time (early-mid 20’s?), in that situation, rational or not, knowing I would regret it or not, “liking” her or not, hearing, “You know, I’m on the pill…” would’ve pretty much sealed the deal and now would be nothing but a very fond memory.

As in, mad dogs and AK-47’s admonishing my youthful desires and warning me of the consequences would have only given me pause, and I mean REALLY short pause.

A bunch of great takes from far better writers:

TBogg.

James Wolcott.

IOZ.

It’s hard (no pun intended) for me not to feel sorry for Mrs. Douthat reading that priceless little gem. Kudos are in order for Ross’ ability to control his base instincts.

Update: Not that there is anything wrong with being gay!

My great flaw as a blogger is taking too many things for obvious granted. There is absolutely no way in the world I could care less about Ross’ sexual desires…I assume they’re just as unique as everyone else’s.

A wizard of writing, and a blogger of extremely well-earned repute.

I mean, seriously.

It’s all a bit bizarro-like this piece of personal embarrassment from war-loving, never fighting, professional psycho Michael Goldfarb. Money quote:

The fight against Islamic radicals always seems to come around to whether or not they can, in fact, be deterred, because it’s not clear that they are rational, at least not like us. But to wipe out a man’s entire family, it’s hard to imagine that doesn’t give his colleagues at least a moment’s pause. Perhaps it will make the leadership of Hamas rethink the wisdom of sparking an open confrontation with Israel under the current conditions. Or maybe not, and the only way to stop Hamas is to eliminate its capacity for violence entirely. Or Israeli leaders can just try to find a diplomatic solution — as a majority of Democrats apparently favor. It worked so well with the last cease fire.”

Goldfarb is right, in a way. For me, it would take at least “a moment’s pause” to decide my otherwise peaceful nature and non-violent ways were just plain fucking stupid, and I would start trying to figure out how to extract revenge on the people who killed my loved ones.

When you’re a chickenhawk neocon, this thought is outside your paradigm.

Actual e-mail exchange with GOP-leaning old pal at work, who knows I hate her and wouldn’t vote for her and McCain with a gun held to my head. “Pull the trigger,” I’d say.

I’ll turn it upside down for easier reading:

Him to me.

Subject:

All I could think of last night is “I wonder what kind of underwear she is wearing?”

My reply:

Subject: RE:

Me, too. The voice got a little too Fargo for me, but she’s one fine lookin’ woman from a brunette-guy’s perspective.

I was also pleasantly distracted by my desire to gently brush the hair away from her eyes, and as often as she winked at me, it was impossible to conclude anything other than “she wants me.”

Him to me.

Subject: RE:

LOL. On further review, I suspect she wasn’t wearing any underwear for you!

Hard to believe that I would flip off a Cub’s game to watch a VP debate, but I did. I hate the Cubs.

My reply:

Subject: RE:

Yeah, no kidding. Way to protect the home field. It isn’t like they can’t win 3 in a row, but I’m not going to even pay attention until Game 5. Too depressing. And knowing them, they’ll GET to Game 5, and THEN lose it, which will just p*ss me off doubly.

I think she had some sort of leg hose-ish covering on. They had a couple of camera angles from in back, and trust me, I was HD-looking.

I suppose they could’ve just been part of a nice garter-set…

All in fun, of course, and my pal regularly tortures me when I bring up how pathetic the Republican ticket is by saying things like, “Yeah, but she’s cute!” (He’s a wonderful guy for an MBA. And his family is beautiful.)

The point of all this? The punchline? Rich Lowry, editor of the very serious and very important conservative rag, National Review:

A very wise TV executive once told me that the key to TV is projecting through the screen. It’s one of the keys to the success of, say, a Bill O’Reilly, who comes through the screen and grabs you by the throat. Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, “Hey, I think she just winked at me.” And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America”

I mean, c’mon. He was just joking like my friend and me, right? Right? Please? Anyone?

Thanks to Attaturk. One handed typing, indeed.

Update: I don’t “hate her,” except as a VP candidate. In fact, I suspect I would find plenty of personal things to like about her. I could smell her libertarian instincts when she horrified the base with her, “Some of my best friends are lesbians!” line.

Update 2: Wolcott has a typically funny, smart take on the same phenomenon.