Did David Sirota’s Devoted Readers Just Figure Out His Idiocy?

April 1, 2009

It’s difficult not to return to my favorite subject, simply because he keeps providing me more fodder. I’ve long contended that David Sirota is, in fact, an idiot. A man who doesn’t come close to understanding the intricacies of issues – nor does he try to. Truth means nothing to Sirota, unless it fits into his pre-existing “populist” frame. Compare him to a guy like Matthew Yglesias who, agree with or not, actually does research and likes to know what he’s talking about before he writes about it. Sirota is shoot-first and never actually ask questions later – and his fire is almost always aimed at his favorite villain: Barack Obama.

For example, yesterday he pimped his own appearance on Rachel Maddow’s show and proceeded to draw an equivalency between Obama’s policies and those of Ronald Reagan (yes, really) and went on to decry, predictably, how Obama was mean to automakers but nice to Wall Street baddies. By the way, to Maddow’s credit, she’s pointed out that many financial execs were pushed out before receiving government funds as well, a point Sirota ignored, of course. Sirota jumped the shark ages ago at DailyKos, where at least 50% of commenters on his diaries figured out his shtick and called him on it (which is one reason he no longer engages in discussions in the comments, prompting the invention of the term “Shit and Run Diary”).

But he still has his core group of fans who are determined to despise Obama and anything that doesn’t fit into the faux-anger frame. To the fanatical Open Left fans, things like pragmatism, actual governing which involves compromise and seeing the larger strategic political landscape, all smack of evil corporatism. Everything Obama does is something to be outraged by, to grab the pitchforks and the storm the castle walls (or in their cases, grab their keyboards and say things like, and I’m not kidding, “impeach Obama!”). But did even this audience, so determined to despise Obama at all costs, finally figure out how fake Sirota’s “populism” is? If they did, it happened in this Sirota post which set a new bar for pure, unadulterated idiocy. Here’s what he wrote about Obama budget director Peter Orszag, and I quote:

How does a budget director who claims to be a deficit hawk in an administration that insists it wants to get rid of government waste nonetheless get driven around in a government car with a taxpayer-paid driver?

Yes, that’s right, David Sirota dedicated an entire post to expressing outrage that the WH budget director, with perhaps the busiest job in town, gets driven around on the taxpayer dime. To the barricades!!!!!! Or not.

But Sirota’s core audience finally may have awoken. Almost every comment to this post expressed disbelief that Sirota would write a post on this. Some samples:

Orzag seems to travel around DC a lot — maybe this way he can be on his phone or reviewing budget papers all the time, rather than spend 2-3 hours per day driving or taking the metro.

He should lay off his secretary too, if he still has one, and if there’s a deputy budget director or assistant budget director they should get the axe. In fact, let’s chop out the entire office of budget director! Then we’ll really show ’em who’s got images and appearances under control! We don’t need a real budget anyway, just something budget-ish.

This Orszag guy should be doing the real work that real workers do when they really work. He should be carrying heavy boxes around his office, raking leaves in the White House front yard, and taking out his own recycling. Someone ought to get a drill press and install it on his desk, and make him spend an hour a day with a hard hat and ear/eye protection on, getting his photo taken while drilling holes in sheet metal without any help from anyone. And shouldn’t he be helping Michelle dig holes in the organic garden?

The American people, despite the Drudge-like insistence, are not that facile and idiotic. The fact that Peter Orzag has a car and driver says NOTHING about this administrations policies and to make it seem like the appearance of this would is stupid beyond belief.

This is remarkably trivial. Wow, just wow. I can’t imagine any one actually caring about this.

Tipping point or turning point for Sirota? I doubt it. As long as he keeps getting his name out there and people like Maddow keep legitimizing his shoddy work, he’ll continue. But please, let there now, finally, be no doubt: David Sirota has no integrity. He is incapable of real analysis or thoughtful reporting. He is a bomb-thrower, and his target is the Obama administration, pure and simple. How else could you write a column focused on the fact that the budget director has a car and driver? I guess Sirota cares so much about working people he wants the federal government to lay as many of them off as possible.

He’ll keep on going, but this post was the nail in the coffin amongst anyone who thought that Sirota’s work deserved anything other than mockery.


One Response to “Did David Sirota’s Devoted Readers Just Figure Out His Idiocy?”

  1. Peter Fisk Says:

    I have to agree. Sirota is giving progressives a bad name, and I for one don’t want to be associated with his work. He’s like the mirror image of Bill Kristol, except that Sirota looks better on TV and is (shamelessly) much better at self-promotion. I’ve been trying to give him the benefit of the doubt for a long time, trying to pretend that his writings aren’t laughably lacking in substance, logic, and facts (and in basic writing ability, for that matter). But I’ve finally decided that we progressives really need to start stepping up and acknowledging that this emperor has no clothes.

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