Why is it that so many literary folks, who have fine judgment when it comes to books, are raving lunatics when they write about politics?
Today’s exhibit is Paul Constant, books editor for the Seattle alt weekly The Stranger. His name is an almost (excuse the pun) constant presence on Real Clear Books. But then he turns to writing about politics, and his IQ plummets like a rock.
In his feature write-up of the Republican and Democratic conventions, Constant begins by complaining about all the stuff that went wrong on his travels. This morphs into complaints about Republicans and then to some disturbingly violent fantasies and then back to complaints. I’ve highlighted some choice bits:
Maybe it was all the negativity of the Republican National Convention [that caused his troubles]. I’m talking about negativity both from the Republican speakers onstage — at times, it felt like the secret meeting of a virulently anti-American organization on the eve of their attempted coup — and from inside me. There were brief, fleeting moments (like when I’d hear someone sputtering about our Muslim president or feminazis) when I wished violence to befall all of us, when I wanted a torrent of switchblades to fall from the sky and reduce us all to slick red ribbons, or a pack of feral, blood-red Dobermans to spring from beneath the sidewalks and drag us all, screaming, back below the hot, sticky tar. You simply can’t hate at that temperature and intensity for too long without the hate taking some sort of external form, like a festering boil or a cut that never heals or every inanimate object within your reach devolving into useless plugs of ugly gray-black plastic that no landfill will ever be able to fully digest.