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.