I can’t remember the first time I ever heard the phrase “a piece of work” used disparagingly about a person with kooky beliefs or habits, but I do remember thinking it was both hilarious and incredibly apt. It’s a perfect phrase. You can call someone weird, but weird covers everything from Carrot Top to Son of Sam. “Piece of work” gets right to the point. You can’t say it without rolling your eyes or shaking your head or both.
The phrase is fresh on my mind today because this morning I discovered a blogger named Reason McLucus on the Des Moines Register site, and man, this guy is a piece of work.
According to his bio, Reason is 62 years old, a resident of Kansas, a Vietnam veteran, and “a mathematician who looks at how social and physical systems work.” He doesn’t claim that being a mathematician helps him understand how social and physical systems work—he just likes to look.
He does, however, say, that he has 100 hours of graduate study beyond his M.A. in American history. With those sorts of academic credentials going for him, one might think Reason could deliver a cogent analysis of the campaign landscape on the eve of the Democratic Convention.
One would be wrong.
The subtitle of Reason’s blog is “Fighting ignorance with knowledge and logic,” neither of which are evident in today’s post, called “Another Bush Administration.” Here’s Reason, coming right out of the blocks:
Democrats have been claiming that a John McCain administration would be a third Bush administration. However, it’s the Democrats who are offering the ticket that more closely resembles the Bush administration.
Say again? Two of the most liberal members of the Senate are more like Bush-Cheney than McCain and whomever? In his 100 hours of doctorate-level study, has Reason discovered some hidden nuance linking these four men, some insight we ordinary folks would have missed?
Uh, no, he has not. According to Mr McLucus:
Democrats will offer an inexperienced young presidential candidate with an older experienced vice president to tell him what to do—at least that is how the Democrats claim the Bush administration has functioned.
Well, substitute “dimwitted” for “inexperienced” and “morally bankrupt” for “older experienced,” and that’s pretty much how the Bush administration has been functioning for almost eight years now.
Reason goes on to say that Biden is actually more qualified to be president than Obama, which might or might not be true and isn’t really relevant, considering the primaries were over several weeks ago. He goes on to note:
Biden is a bad choice for Barack Obama’s running mate because Biden’s presence on the ticket will highlight Obama’s inexperience.
If Obama is as inexperienced in foreign policy as his detractors claim, then choosing a VP candidate who has foreign-policy experience should be reassuring, right? Not according to Reason, who uses his mighty powers of logic to claim that Biden’s experience only draws attention to Obama’s lack thereof. By Reason’s dubious reasoning, Obama should have selected a running mate with no experience whatsoever—because then nobody would notice.
Biden’s past comments about Obama’s inexperience could also hurt Obama’s chances of winning. Republicans certainly will be using those comments to discredit Obama.
Ah yes, six months ago, Joe Biden said something to the effect that Obama didn’t have the experience to be president. What was the context? Hmmm—oh yes, I remember now: Biden was running for president at the time. Apparently, Reason isn’t aware that primary candidates sometimes say things to make voters want to vote for them instead of the others. He’s right about one thing: Republicans will undoubtedly try to use this scrap of nothing to try to discredit Obama. As the Swift Boat weasels proved, there’s a whole mess of registered voters who’ll believe any damn thing you tell them.
Reason, don’t worry, buddy. Obama is well aware of Biden’s comment during the primaries. If he held any grudges, he wouldn’t have chosen Biden as his running mate.
Obama has been claiming he wants to bring change to Washington. His choice of a career Senator as his running mate indicates he is attempting to convince older voters that “Change” is just a buzz word to con young voters into supporting him.
This might be the dumbest paragraph in the piece, which makes it one of the dumbest of all time. I’d love to hear Reason use knowledge and logic to explain why Obama would want to convince older voters that he’s trying to con young voters into supporting him. The sentence makes no sense. Then again, neither does the idea that being a career Senator disqualifies one from trying to change things in Washington. See if you can figure this one out, Reason: What Obama and the rest of us want to change is the corrupt, immoral, un-American policies of the current resident of the White House.
Obama has no real intention of really changing anything in Washington.
Thank you, Amazing Kreskin. Your psychic abilities are every bit as sensible as your political insights.
I’ve browsed around a little bit in the rest of Reason’s posts, and to his credit, he comes out strongly against parents leaving their children in hot cars. But when it comes to talking politics, he’s truly a piece of work.