Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Is Ann Althouse Channeling Rummy?

Ann Althouse.

(If you don't recognize the name, count yourself among the blessed, for you are yet without stain. "Right-click" and then "Back" your screen if you desire to retain your (relative) virginity. For the rest, proceed at your own risk. Ed.)

Althouse is, or at least has become, via the blogosphere, a 'celebrity' law professor, at the University of Wisconsin, who has displayed a disturbing propensity to utter complete embarrassments, to fly totally off the handle at the slightest of rhetorical provocations, to erupt into tirades of vitriolic, self-pitying criticisms of her antagonists, and otherwise raise doubts in public fora as to her qualifications to profess law or anything else. Often a (large, blonde) target of the "erudite" left-blogosphere, she is known for conducting "virtual vendetti," on-line crusades (not unlike those waged periodically by Amy Alkon against those who offend her strangely malleable principles) against critics she deems 'offensive.' Once (self?) regarded as a left-moderate, la Althouse has migrated further and further to the Dark Side, possibly motivated by the heapings of scorn and derision upon her 'blogging' laid there by those who (with some justification, imho) regard her--or at least the avatar she inhabits in this domain--as an idiot.

One of the crew of "erudite" lefties, Sadly, No!, recently caught Althouse in a feat of such superior syllogysmic sophistry and logical and linguistic legerdemain as to qualify as truly Rumsfeldian. In a debate blog post, she asserted unequivocally that Obama was wearing an earpiece. As evidence, she posted a screen capture of Obama in profile, where the lighting on the stage reflected inside Obama's ear. It was that reflection in which AA (is she a pretty notorious toper?) declared she detected an illicit electronic appurtenance; possibly her confusion was amplified by a halo-effect from a light behind Obama, the illumination of which might at a quick glance appear to be a wire.

Or not.

In any case she has subsquently reversed herself, after consulting around the blogg-sphere and being reassured that nothing nefarious was in-train from Obama. Retroactively, she claims herself vindicated in her speculation by the well-remembered news-worthiness of the suspicious, boxy lump in Bush's coat in 2004, and Palin's apparently autonomic replies, as if she'd had a button pushed by some remote operator...

The upshot of all of this is a piece of prose without equal anywhere outside Donald Rumsfeld's memoir for mendacious circularity:
You know, just because the thing I saw wasn’t there doesn’t mean there wasn’t something there that I didn’t see.

No comments: