Thursday, September 20, 2007

Michael Kinsley's look at "umbrage"

In what has to be one of the most entertaining political pieces I've read in some time, comes How Dare You. Kinsley makes some thought provoking and chuckle worthy points:
Goodness gracious. oh, my paws and whiskers. Some of the meanest, most ornery hombres around are suddenly feeling faint. Notorious tough guys are swooning with the vapors. The biggest beasts in the barnyard are all aflutter over something they read in the New York Times. It's that ad from MoveOn.org — the one that calls General David Petraeus, the head of U.S. forces in Iraq, general betray us. All across the radio spectrum, right-wing shock jocks are themselves shocked. How could anybody say such a thing? It's horrifying. It's outrageous. It's disgraceful. It's just beyond the pale ... It's ... oh, my heavens ... say, is it a bit stuffy in here? ... I think I'm going to ... Could I have a glass of ... oh, dear [thud].

Welcome to the wonderful world of umbrage, the new language of American politics. You would not have thought that the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly would be so sensitive. Sticks and stones and so on. Yet they all seem to have taken one look at that ad and fainted dead away. And when they came round, they demanded — as if with one voice (or at least as if with one list of talking points) — that every Democratic presidential candidate must "condemn" this shocking, shocking document.

I agree 100% with the belief that way too much was made of this ad, and there has been a huge amount of umbrage floating around that takes away from the real issues. In this incident the Republicans definitely are winners in the umbrage department, Kinsley is the winner in the creativity zone...

2 comments:

echo said...

I don't think enough was made of the outrageous ad. And I don't think Michael Kinsley is "creative." He reminds me of a fellow who upon dishing and dishing must finally "take" it and cops to a childish method of deflecting the truth. The truth is that there have been instances of Democrats outcrying the behavior of conservative outfits making similar accusations against their guy with even more vitriol and disdain than what talkers like Rush and Bill had to say. If the proverbial shoe had been on the other foot, you can guarantee there would be a Senate Panel Investigation and the perpetrators of the ad would be pursued until they had been destroyed.

Secondly, supporters of Pertraeus feel more than UMBRAGE at this ad. Umbrage is when you get your feelings hurt by something; you're piqued by a seeming insult. The ad perpetrated a lie about an honorable man, and God Bless everyone who spoke up because lies are to be detested and condemned, which is exactly how the reponse of Americans has gone. If you aren't speaking out against the moveon.org ad, then you silently approve of it (Barrack Obama). Even worse, if you actually vote in support of the traitorous group, you add one more reason to the list of many why you are not fit to be the President of this country (Hillary Clinton).

Lisa Renee said...

I found the use of language creative and was funy mainly because I do believe there is too much umbrage on both sides. I prefer to use the term "selective outrage" but it exists. All too often media both leaning to the left and leaning to the right want us to be "outraged" about something when the reality is most times it's not based on facts.

Even the believed to be liberal leaning Washington Post gave the "Betray Us" ad a failing score when it came to fact checking.

The real issues becomes not discussed as the side issues such as this ad, or the vote to condemn this ad remove the substance from the real discussion. Which is, how do we leave Iraq with any semblance of an improved outcome. As long as they are bickering over side issues, the real issues don't get touched.