Joe Klein Knows What’s Really Important: THE TONE

Jeb Bush, the new seriousness! 

Bush’s speech wasn’t exactly a barn burner. His delivery was rushed and unconvincing, though he was more at ease during the question period. He was criticized for a lack of specificity. But Bush offered something far more important than specificity. He offered a sense of his political style and temperament, which in itself presents a grownup and civil alternative to the Giuliani-style pestilence that has plagued the Republic for the past 25 years.

Are you kidding me? I mean it, are you kidding? Joke Line (who in case you needed reminding is a truly horrible human being) is employed as a national journalist for reasons passing all understanding, and he’s saying here that the facts don’t matter.

“A sense of his political style and temperament” is MORE IMPORTANT than specifics of policy. For a politician. A political journalist just said that “specificity” is not important.

Most of them think that, but he flat-out said it. And remains employed at a major news magazine.


This is only the start of the staggering amount of dishonest horseshit in this column:

Bush makes no false, egregious claims, on issues foreign or domestic. He resists the partisan hyperbole that has coarsened our politics.


But that didn’t “coarsen” our politics, that piece of monstrous cruelty. Oh, no. Everyone raised their pinkies properly while ripping apart a family’s personal tragedy. It wasn’t partisan or mean or anything rude like that.

He is worried about middle-class economic stagnation, about the inability of the working poor to rise–his PAC is called Right to Rise.

If it’s in the name of the PAC, it must be true!

Again, the way Bush talks about governmental sclerosis is the important thing. It’s no surprise he’s in favor of the Keystone pipeline and hydraulic fracking–he’s invested in fracking–but listen to this: “Washington shouldn’t try to regulate hydraulic fracking out of business,” he told the auto dealers. “It should be done reasonably and thoughtfully to protect the natural environment.” There is no call to blow up the Environmental Protection Agency or ignore science.

It’s the way he talks about it. He doesn’t talk about blowing up the EPA! He wants to blow up the actual environment. This is so, so much better.

Even if you disagree with him, his civility demands respect.

We must give Jeb Bush a cookie for being polite and adhering to the rules of basic courtesy. Remember, the style matters so much more than the specifics.

This man is a fucking professional political journalist. He gets paid to not give a shit this hard.


11 thoughts on “Joe Klein Knows What’s Really Important: THE TONE

  1. I remember that Joke Line is a horrible human being…but it’s still worth mentioning!

  2. This, about a man who was deeply complicit in the outright theft of a national election involving his fucking brother….

    This, about a man who sought out just about every available evangelical crackpot in the region and installed them in Florida’s government.

    This, about a man with a long, long history as an enabler of the Cuban mafia, as both bagman and co-conspirator.

    This, about a man whose family motto is probably “public service for private gain.”

    What’s most important is his “reasonableness?” He’s “worried” about “middle-class economic stagnation?”

    Give me a fuckin’ break. Puh-leeze.

  3. so, who are the gnewz gonna force on amerika to prevent the left + change? they seem to have woken up from their dreams of preznit palin.

  4. I expect Joe Klein’s view into Jeb Bush’s soul is fully as accurate as George W. Bush’s view into Vladimir Putin’s soul.

  5. C’mon, your credibility is straining here — you didn’t really have a subscription to Time.

  6. Stopped reading Time years ago, when I realized that the way they worded the bylines meant that the people “reporting” were NOT the people “writing the story”.

  7. Expect the next issue of Time to include the following:

    A column in the last issue was falsely attributed to Joe Klein. It was actually written by Peggy Noonan. We apologize for the error.

  8. Bush’s speech wasn’t exactly a barn burner. His delivery was rushed and unconvincing . . . But Bush offered something far more important than specificity. He offered a sense of his political style and temperament . . .
    So, Bush’s political style and temperament is rushed and unconvincing. And that’s what makes him a strong candidate and a potentially great president. Go it.

  9. I’d consider instead that Joke Line has pretty much accepted that the Republicans will not tell the truth about what they think or intend to do (e.g. Scott Walker), so there’s nothing left to report on other than tone.

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