Monday, March 20, 2006

Garrison Keillor: Another Fat Cat Celeb Speaks Out

In a column published March 18th in The Oregonian [Why doesn't The Oregonian have a link like the Chicago Tribune does? But that's an issue for another blog post.], Garrison Keillor joins the band of Fat Cat Celebs who wittily discuss politics. He begins it like he does his monologues on Prairie Home Companion:

Spring arrived in New York last week for previews, a sunny day with chill in the air, but you could smell mud, and with a little imagination you could sort of smell grass. I put on a gray jacket, instead of black, and went to the opera and saw Verdi's "Luisa Miller," a republican opera in which love is crushed by the perfidiousness of government. A helpful lesson for these times. I am referring to the Current Occupant.

What struck me first was his disconnect with most Americans. Most Americans do not have the luxury of putting on a gray jacket, instead of black, and paying, oh, $140 per ticket and casually strolling into The Metropolitan Opera. Even those who like opera.

But, of course, disconnect is not the same as lack of insight. So, let's move on.

Second paragraph:

The Republican Revolution has gone the way of all flesh. It took over Congress and the White House, horns blew, church bells rang, sailors kissed each other and what happened? The Republicans led us into a reckless foreign war and steered the economy toward receivership and wielded power as if there were no rules. . . .

What's interesting is that is a pretty exact summary of criticism of Franklin Roosevelt. He went after Germany when Germany wasn't a real threat to the US--and in 20/20 hindsight Japan wasn't either. Japan didn't want to subjugate the US. It just wanted to control power in Asia--it's sphere of influence.

Balanced budget? Afraid not. How about heavy rationing and turning the economy into a militaristic one?

As to "no rules" wielding of power, not only did FDR intern Japanese Americans (which the Current Occupant has not done), but had every sailor, soldier and airman's mail read and censored, not to mention listening into conversations here and there.

The criticism could also apply to that other "republican opera" president, Abraham Lincoln. Only difference was that Lincoln led the country into a reckless "civil" war instead of a reckless "foreign" war. Economy not so great under Lincoln either. As to wielding "no rules" power, how about suspending the writ of habeas corpus.

Does Keillor know any US history?

And then there are the gratuitous cuts and jabs Keillor makes. Second to the last paragraph:

Harriet Miers was fully qualified one day and gone the next. Social Security was going to be overhauled to give us the Ownership Society, and then the stock market went in the toilet and Republicans got nervous, and suddenly it was Never Mind and on to the next new thing.

Where does one begin?

As to Harriet Miers, this humble blog spoke in her defense a number of times. Funny, I don't remember even a whimper on the issue from Garrison Keillor, let a lone a real defense.

How about Social Security reform or the Ownership Society? Can't remember Keillor beating the drum on those either.

It's interesting (one might say hypocritical) to bash someone for not carrying out a policy or action that you did not support.

As to the stock market going "in the toilet" in 2005, has Keillor ever looked at a chart of historical stock market averages, for , say, 2000 to 2005, let alone a chart of averages that gives a real historical perspective? The Dow average in 2005 was only bested two or three years in the last 70 years. Hardly "in the toilet". Does Keillor do any research before he makes statements?

When you couple Keillor's life disconnect to average Americans with his abysmal ignorance of history and economics, you get the perfect profile of a Fat Cat Celeb who, without doing any research, thinks he has something worthwhile to say just because he's rich and famous.


Mike's America said...

I USED to be a big fan of public radio, but I never listened to Lake Wobegone or ever bought powdermilk biscuits.

There must have been uranium dust in the baking soda.

Keillor is a washed up no talent has been (forgive the redundance).

terrance said...


The truly unfortunate thing is that he writes rants like this based not on research or insight but on political anger. He believed, for example, whoever told him that social security reform didn't pass because of a drastic stock market down turn in 2005. He did no research and wasn't even informed by his own investments in 2005.

He gets away with making political rants that masquerade as comment for the same reason that a dancing dog draws attention. Not that the dance is any good, but it's interesting to see a dog do it.

Thanks for the comment.