Another thing everyone should thank Joe Manchin for is the way his decision not to capitulate to pressure on the irresponsible “Build Back Better” bill has caused so many prominent Americans to unmask themselves as the jerks, liars and frauds thet are.
Take Paul Krugman...please! The ultra-biased and partisan Times pundit is supposedly a Nobel Prize-winning economist, yet his attack on Manchin’s “betrayal“—yes, a Democrat voting his conscience rather than meekly submitting to orders is a betrayal—is an embarrassing concoction of appeals to emotion, appeals to authority, and “everybody does it.” A high school paper columnist could have written the screed. “And studies show that policies to mitigate climate change will also yield major health benefits from cleaner air over the next decade,” Krugman writes. Yes, and other studies say they might, and still other studies doubt they can.
This economist also calls the multi-trillion dollar bill “Biden’s moderate spending plan,” though the CBO estimates that enacting this legislation would result in a net increase in the deficit of at least $367 billion over the 2022-2031 period, and that’s with increased taxes. He should be ashamed of himself for abusing his own perceived authority and his readers’ trust with such garbage, but we know my now that he’s shameless.
But my favorite self-indicting jerk is Bette Midler.
For me, she has finally fallen into the Bill Cosby Zone, reserved for artists of undeniable talent whose art I can no longer stomach because their private lives and conduct or their public utterances are so loathsome that cognitive dissonance just won’t let me tolerate them any more. (Also in that zone: Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, Woody Allen, and Kevin Spacey). Bristling with righteous fury at Manchin for not being willing to vote for a bill she has neither read no could understand if she did, Midler tweeted.
“What #JoeManchin, who represents a population smaller than Brooklyn, has done to the rest of America, who wants to move forward, not backward, like his state, is horrible. He sold us out. He wants us all to be just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out.”
Nice. Midler’s publicist and agent were obviously on the job, so she rapidly tweeted out an attempted apology, though her second tweet was almost as obnoxious as the first:
“I apologize to the good people of WVA for my last outburst. I’m just seeing red; #JoeManchin and his whole family are a criminal enterprise. Is he really the best WV has to offer its own citizens? Surely there’s someone there who has the state’s interests at heart, not his own!”
Uh-uh, sorry Bette, it doesn’t work like that. This is like Mel Gibson screaming anti-Semitic slurs while drunk, or Michael Richards repeatedly screaming “Nigger!” at black audience members who displeased him. Those ugly bigoted attitudes toward West Virginia and its residents wouldn’t come out of her mouth if that wasn’t how she felt about them. It was the kind of spontaneous reflex outburst celebrities try to wiggle out of by saying “That wasn’t me! I don’t really think that!,” what Ethics Alarms calls “The Pazuzu Excuse.”
What Midler’s “apology” means, and all it can mean, is “I’m really sorry that I let on that I think that.”
Just imagine how insulting it must be to be called ignorant by Bette Midler.
13 thoughts on “From The Signature Significance Files: “The Divine Miss M” Demonstrates When An Apology Is Too Late And Meaningless”
Bette Midler had a Freudian Slip.
Doesn’t Freudian theory hold there were no mistakes….
She said the quiet part loud.
Her whole screed shows her ignorance of our system of government. The fact that she would even compare the size of the population he represents as being relevant to the issue at hand is signature significance. This is exactly why the Founders gave each state two Senators – so that smaller states would have an equal voice – in the powerful Senate.
But she doesn’t want an equal voice given to those with whom she disagrees. She wants the dominant voice – her voice – to run rampant over those small provincial rednecks whose interests she is perfectly capable of articulating for them, along with her party, since they don’t know what’s good for them.
I don’t come from West Virginia and I’m insulted. How dare people like Bette decide what is in MY best interests. She would be perfectly fine with LA and NYC determining the outcome of every election and allowing her party to rule by decree.
Celebrities are kinda stupid, to paraphrase, I believe, Anthony Hopkins. Our country has always put people of dubious character and intelligence on pedestals because they sold enough dime novels, can put enough balls into a hoop or make a million dollars looking good for 90 minutes on camera. And they have the right to their opinions like any other American citizen. But we have got to stop giving those opinions any weight. Bette Midler’s opinion on this should not matter any more than my next door neighbor’s or your next door neighbor’s or anyone’s next door neighbor’s!
In fact, it should matter less because she’s clearly bigoted and can’t be trusted to not to spread ignorance of our system of government to the poorly-educated followers who doubtlessly retweet her without thinking.
Thank you A.M. – you wrote my response for me. I’m not from WV – in fact, I’m from Boston, MA – as blue an area as they come. But I now live in the middle of the country. I fully understand the importance of two senators per state, and the electoral college. I’d like Midler (of whom I have alway been a fan) to explain to me why a couple of apartment dwellers in L.A. should out-vote a North Dakota farmer who owns and cultivates 6,000 acres of wheat, or the cattle farmer, or the dairy farmer…. all while she sits there chowing down on a cheeseburger and a cold beer. I dare anyone to explain to me why.
(And my brother just corrected me. Apparently we know a family with 33,000 acres. Oy.)
A.M.: You accidentally left off the word “cat” after each time you wrote “neighbor’s”. Maybe Jack can edit for you.
Shh! Nobody tell Midler that Joe Manchin is the only Democrat politician in America who could win a Senate seat in West Virginia, which voted (by her lights, against their interests) for Donald Trump in the last election by 68.6%-29.7%. That’s a margin that makes even the Kentucky GOP green with envy.
So I’m not getting her apology, which has to be an 11 on the 10-point apology scale if you can even count it as one at all. Why not just own it? It isn’t as if she’s ever likely to go there, or collect any meaningful money from the state. At least that would’ve shown a tiny bit of integrity, loathsome as it would be.
All of those people (and more) seem to come from a place where they are blinded from realizing that there are actually another fifty members in the Senate.
I wonder whether The Devine Miss M knows West Virginia. my late father’s beloved home state, came into being as a result of the western counties of Virginia breaking away, (seceding from The Secession, as they say) from the other counties of Virginia upon the outbreak of the Civil War and siding with the North? New Yorkers, even adoptive New Yorkers (she was born in Hawaii to a couple from New Jersey), are the most provincial people in the country.
Puts me in mind of the oft misquoted statement by NY film critic, Pauline Kael: “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon.”
At least she seemed aware of her insularity.
And here we go again… the rural/urban divide argument. The people of Brooklyn are more important because they’re in a city and have culture, you know, why do we even have representation for useless idiotic West Virginia rural folk?
See a pattern yet?
At one time I enjoyed Bette Midler as an entertainer. I appreciated that she tried to keep the memory of Sophie Tucker alive in her performances. Her performances were vibrant and enthusiastic. However, like so many other celebrities she is deluded to think that voicing her opinion on something she has no basis to opine, is of relevance. My entertainment options are dwindling like everyone else.