Gaffe, a word that temporarily came to be associated with political misstatements, has returned to its origins as a social faux pas, such as saying something at a dinner party that everyone knows to be true, but that know mustn't be said out loud.
Did Obama skip presidential intelligence briefings on the most serious national security threats for a week before September 11? Did the Benghazi consulate lack basic security in a city where Islamist militias were running rampant and attacks on foreign diplomats had already taken place? Was the entire situation a result of an illegal war fought by Obama under false pretenses that armed Islamist militias and set them loose to persecute Libyan Sufis and seize half of Mali? Did Obama sleep through the beginning of the largest wave of attacks on America during his term while partying in Vegas?
Such inconvenient truths can only be met by accusing their teller of committing the
horrible gaffe of politicizing the formerly apolitical and bipartisan arena of unilateral wars and the violence arising from them-- an area that the Democrats decided was off-limits ever since they stopped criticizing such wars and began fighting them four years ago.
Has the Israeli-Palestinian peace process dragged on for twenty years without a single gleam of hope? The official position is that the Israelis, who brought in Arafat from the cold, gave him a state and pleaded with him to make a deal, are to blame. The inconvenient truth is that Arafat and his cronies never stopped the terror because it was the only thing they knew how to do and it was the only reason that anyone gave them the time of day. And the inconvenient truth is another gaffe.
In a state of national and international disaster, the worst possible gaffe is telling the truth about the state of affairs we are in. These gaffes disturb the party-goers signing up to work for non-profits and watching cheerful reports about the Arab Spring and the economic recovery while the ship sinks around them. And the party men and women react to it with the outraged demeanor of spoiled children.
A gaffe occurs when Mitt Romney talks about a real problem. It's the real part, more than anything else, that is the problem. Reality has no place in the hysterical media feed from an imaginary world as unreal as anything that Communist apparatchiks or Nazi propagandists were broadcasting to their people in the dying days of their regimes.
Consume enough media and you come to understand that the people manufacturing it are not only hacks, they're clueless hacks, who like their master in the White House, have absolutely no idea how to solve any of the country's problems and no interest whatsoever in even bothering to try. They are mechanical men marching to an ideological beat and have no more interest in reality than do the denizens of a mental ward.
Los Angeles bans plastic bags to save the planet based on the appeal of a sitcom actress. New York's Attorney General decriminalizes drugs while cracking down on prescription drug abuse with a statewide database. His rationale for this is that heroin is abused by poor minorities while painkillers are abused by rich white people. The Alabama ACLU sues the penal system for not allowing HIV inmates to work in the prison kitchen.
The left has long ago passed the point where they can be parodied. Any lunatic thing that you can imagine, they have already done or are planning to do. And compared to them the Soviet Union looks like a picture of credible management since its commissars reined in much of the insanity early on and at least made the occasional effort at applying their ideology to actual problems.
Our version of the Soviet Union is a ceaseless application of ideology whose only purpose is its application. There is no purpose to any of the three pieces of insanity listed above except the grad school exercise of a senseless ideological program chasing its own tail. Unlike the Soviet Union, there is no goal beyond the application of increasingly stifling programs of ideological conformity. There is no purpose except for the smug left to get even smugger at the expense of everyone else.
Men and women who are this ruined as policymakers, journalists and human beings are in no shape for an encounter with reality. When you're crusading to ban plastic bags and include Islamist killers in the progressive camp, when your goal is to fight a truly progressive war on drugs and defend the rights of prisoners to unwillingly contract HIV from their servers, then reality is a foreign enemy to be fought tooth and nail.
The consensus of the last four years has been that we won't discuss reality and in exchange we lose all our legal rights. It's not exactly a great bargain, but the media which brokered it on our behalf, has done its best to dress it up as well as it can. Our economy is on its last legs, our national security is shot and the only reason we're still running is that the country still has reserves of wealth that haven't been plundered and the dregs of a counter-terror policy that carried over to these four years.
Mentioning any of this is another gaffe, another cold blast of reality blowing through rooms heated to Hawaiian standard temperatures. And the people in those rooms are as threatened by reality gaffes as schizophrenics are by the gnawing sense that the world outside is a very different place than the one in their skulls. And they react to it in the same way, with fear, hate and barely restrained violence.
It's not just Muslims who react with hysterical violence when the power of their delusion is undermined by an outside world that cares nothing for the status of a 7th Century pedophile warlord, not any different than his ilk cluttering up Afghanistan today. The left's response to anything that lowers the status of their prophet, stops just short of torching fried chicken places, especially if those places are also against gay marriage.
The streams of reporters gritting their teeth at the sight of Romney, a man whom like McCain they would have had no objection to if not for his temerity in insulting the Prophet Ibn Hussein,don't quite explode into violence. Instead they angrily denounce the faux pas all of that talk about real world economics and foreign policy is. Gaffes are what they call that kind of talk. And no one at a party likes a gaffe.
During the Bush years, the media complained that the party circuit had died. It's come roaring back in the age of Obama and no one is willing to give it up. The media is an extension of the party, not just the cocktail parties, but the party behind the party, the one that believes in revolution for the sake of revolution, and that turned a grunt community organizer into a senator and then the man on top.
All that power and madness crammed into ballrooms, chocking on canapes, stumbling past endless rows of champagne bottles through mirrored rooms, dim lighting and sweating waiters is not ready for a meeting with reality. And when that stiff refugee from the fifties corners them and starts talking about economics, about foreign policy, they push him away and cry, "Gaffe, Gaffe."
The gaffe is that the same people who are running the country into the ground are also showing up every night on the news and every day on the sites to lie through their teeth about it. The difference between liberal media and liberal politicians has become a technical formality that mostly has to do with who signs their checks. The gaffe is that no one is allowed to remind the sweating throngs of the government-media complex m that while they party, the arrow has moved closer to midnight.
In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. But that's a myth. In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is a walking hate crime. In the kingdom of the blind, sight is a crime and mentioning what you see is a gaffe. In a kingdom where the king doesn't know how much he owes and doesn't want to know, mentioning the amount is a gaffe. Showing the king and his advisers up as fools and knaves is an even bigger gaffe. And when the king decides to parade around in his invisible clothes-- mentioning that he's naked is the biggest gaffe of them all.