Saturday, October 10, 2009

Translating Kinsella #2

For the benefit of the spin impaired and the Kinsella challenged, I thought I might provide another installment of translating Kinsella. The tortured and defiled word of the moment is "brilliant", a word used by Kinsella to describe Paul Martin's cheap shot at the Conservatives. You see, in Kinsellaland "brilliant" means predictably partisan, shallow analysis, and a word to be bandied about when trying desperately to survive an unthinkably abysmal couple of weeks. This isn't, however, about piling on; rather about counterspinning. So here we go in the week that was Kinsella's "musings" (remember back when the blog was named Kinsella's "musings" as if reflection not deflection were the impetus for the writing).

The week begins with textbook disavowal, under the guise of Kinsella's media rules: "When the National Post editorial board says you are making political mistakes, it means you aren't, at all. Keep doing what you are doing." Deny, deny, deny in the hope that it is a lie.

Then, having been outdone at manipulating the Canadian public by Stephen Harper, Kinsella must have been beside himself. That gratuitous photo-op could have been "Michael's", and the Liberals not the Conservatives could be flirting with a majority. In referring to Harper as "reviled Conservative Prime Minister", what is he saying about Ignatieff, whose approval ratings have steadily declined and are well below Harper's?

To be honest, what really made me take notice this past week was Kinsella's shameless deployment of a true working class hero of the Left, Pete Seeger, singing "Michael, row the boat ashore". While in keeping with contemporary Liberal ideology's penchant for saying, promising, and doing whatever it takes to win, it still seems a little hypocritical to reach that far Left for inspiration. Secondly, the song itself is a kind of "we shall overcome" anthem, referencing the archangel Michael, field commander of the Army of God. So Warren needed his batteries recharged, we can all appreciate that. I just hope he didn't identify with the role of the Liberal archangel in the service of the Liberal Cause. Or worse, that he didn't see "Michael", Ignatieff that is, as the archangel.

The rest of Kinsella's week is essentially consumed with flailing attacks on Harper, ending the week finally on a much less abrasive, almost conciliatory tone. One might think Ignatieff is about to set sail in an different direction. Seems as though Ignatieff is tired of being "framed" by the Conservatives. Apparently we're about to see a more cooperative and congenial Ignatieff. It's almost as though Ignatieff might have come around to the realization that the political pursuit of "the common good" is not necessarily equatable with repeating old cards about Conservatives, nor the self-evident entitlement of the Liberals to govern. Apparently, you have to bring some ideas to the table. Perhaps rather than a coronation in Vancouver, the federal Liberals could have discussed, I don't know, policy. Anyway, I suspect that since Ignatieff is seemingly about to adopt Jack Layton's position, we might see less bravado and fewer chickens up on Kinsella's site.

BTW, to appease Mr. Kinsella's newfound interest in economics, I would humbly send him over to The Progressive Economics Forum should he want to experience a real discussion on economics, and yes, sometimes punctuated with real brilliant insight.


janfromthebruce said...

Another thought, re: progressive economic forum, is that it never gets much "recommend post" on the progressive aggregator.
One would think that in this forum, that it would lots of hits and upgrades but does not.
What I infer from that is that the lib bloggers aren't that progressive and/or prefer the cheap shots, seeing those as their way to winning.
And their poll numbers reflect their artificial and shallow thought on economic policy.
Perhaps I am being uncharitable but alas it has puzzled me for a long time.
good post.

Blogging Horse said...

Free advice for Kinsella:

Live by the chicken, die by the chicken.

Way to overplay a crappy hand held by a party barely kept together by duct tape and pathetic nostalgia, Chainsaw.

Jymn Parrett said...

You're missing the point. Screw the Kinsellas of the world. The Libs need a leader. They haven't had one since Chretien. He pissed off the Cons and the country loved that. Iggy's just a mild diversion while the Cons systematically take over the country and while we whine about the pundits.

janfromthebruce said...

Jymn - I'm actually fine with the lib leader - that's the libs problem and has nothing to do with the NDP.
What we need it for Canadians to vote for the authentic progressive party - NDP - instead of the fake liberal rotting model.

Ti-Guy said...

I wonder if Jan actually read the post?

I skimmed. You're wasting your time "deconstructing" throwaway hype from a career hack.

All I'll say is that the average working class person would be entirely mystified by this post. And this how the leftist elite have been communicating for decades.

How's that working out?

Derrida said...

"Deconsctructing" and counterspinning are not at all the same. To begin with deconstruction pertains, in my view to a particular way of doing philosophy. While as a method, a kind of discursive aikido, where the opponent's own instability and force is used to destabilize him/her, it may have applicability elsewhere, I think deconstruction belongs primarily in the arena of philosophy.

As far as your point that I'm dealing with throwaway hype from a career hack, you're absolutely right. Problem is, this hack probably has the most internet traffic of any Liberal, this hack is a Liberal strategist, and this hack is symptomatic of all that I see wrong with Liberal ideologues of today: middling intelligence, arrogance, disingenuousness, sense of entitlement, lack of self-reflexivity, willingness to engage in gutter and puerile politics, and on and on. There is a whole new generation of young Liberal hacks all too willing to follow in this vein. So while, you may be a thinking Liberal committed to intellectual honesty and all that good stuff, you should know you are the exception not the rule. Wish there were more of you so that I could engage at a more substantive level.

Liberals want to win at any cost. Unfortunately for LPC, it has made some blunders, hasn't presented a unified face to Canadians, and most notably it propped up Harper long enough to allow Canadians to see that Harper is not the devil, and that Conservative and Liberal governments are really pretty much the same.

Ti-Guy said...

"Deconsctructing" and counterspinning are not at all the same.

Like I said, I skimmed. When you went off on the Archangel Michael, I became unavoidably confused.

If you were actually interested in progressive economics, you'd have focused on and critiqued the interview with Paul Martin that the hack Kinsella was referring to. There were a few glaring weaknesses in Martin's discourse, particularly with respect to his belief that the flow of capital around the Globe can be regulated and controlled.

He's dreaming in Technicolor on that point. Additional regulation, if it's the type we're familiar with, will just make the system more complex, mystifying and easier to game.