Oh, what might have been... It all seemed so close. Hillary and
Segolene as the first two popularly elected female Presidents on earth.
even noodling out the best way of paraphrasing the first sentences of
Charles Dickens's masterpiece
about another great revolutionary era.
It was the best of times, it was the
worst of times,
it was the age of [leftwing] wisdom, it was the age of [rightwing]
it was the epoch of belief [in Allah], it was the epoch of incredulity
it was the season of Light [in the blue states], it was the season of
Darkness [in the red states],
it was the spring of hope [in Iran], it was the winter of despair [in
we had everything before us [because the liberals were finally in
charge], we had nothing before us [because of the looming apocalypse of
Global Warming], we some of us were all going direct to [Suicide-Bomber]
some of us were all
going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the
present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its
being received, for good or for evil ungood, in the
superlative degree of comparison only.
There was a king with a
large jaw and a queen with a plain face on the throne of England America; there
was a king with a large
jaw and a queen with a fair face on the throne of France...
The saddest part is that the Royal queen who should have ascended the
throne of France was betrayed by the very peeps who once knitted
ruthlessly through the execution of the tyrannical aristocracy patriarchy
over two centuries ago -- the women.
Socialist Segolene Royal failed to win
over a majority of women voters in France's presidential election and
may have paid a price for focusing too much on her gender at the
expense of promoting her policies.
Only 48 percent of women voted for Royal, according to an Ipsos poll
conducted on election day on Sunday, while 52 percent supported
rightist rival and overall winner Nicolas Sarkozy.
like Madame DeFarge cheering on the Scarlet Pimpernel. Ugh.
It seems like a double catastrophe. If this can happen in France, where
bold women are regarded as magical, mystical, beautiful and wise, why
wouldn't it happen likewise in America, where bold women are regarded
as scheming, grating, opportunistic harridans in pantsuits, who
ruthlessly carpetbag their way to senate seats on the strength of
having married the nation's most popular lecher? Is the great dream in
danger of being dashed altogether?
Have the women of France and the U.S. been hurled all the way back to
the tragically oppressive fifties and sixties in a single blow?
Perhaps not. Segolene hasn't lost all
her powers just because she didn't capture one particular seat of
power. She's still a mighty attractive woman.
The chapeau needs some retooling,
Moreover, she's already demonstrated
that she's still got the magical, mystical mojo on her side. She hadn't
even lost yet when she started predicting
what would happen if the French made the mistake of choosing Sarkozy
over the divine right of woman.
France risks violence and brutality if
right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy wins Sunday's presidential election, his
Socialist opponent Segolene Royal said on Friday.
On the last day of official campaigning, opinion polls showed Sarkozy
enjoyed a commanding lead over Royal, who accused the former interior
minister of lying and polarizing France.
"Choosing Nicolas Sarkozy would be a dangerous choice," Royal told RTL
"It is my responsibility today to alert people to the risk of (his)
candidature with regards to the violence and brutality that would be
unleashed in the country (if he won)," she said.
Pressed on whether there would actually be violence, Royal said: "I
think so, I think so," referring specifically to France's volatile
suburbs hit by widespread rioting in 2005.
Was she right? Of
course. Aren't women always right about what the dumber, more
violent sex is likely to do? Especially when they've had the chance to
drop some sharp hints about what they expect their admirers to do... or
no more blue bikini shots.
French riot police fired tear gas and
water cannon at youths lobbing bottles and stones in central Paris to
protest the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president on Sunday.
A number of similar incidents involving thousands of anti-Sarkozy
protesters were reported in the suburbs.
Police said at least four police officers and one civilian were injured
in the Place de la Bastille confrontation in central Paris, but did not
say whether arrests were made...
There were anti-Sarkozy demonstrations in cities across France on
Sunday night, with minor scuffles between police and protestors
reported in Lille in the north, Toulouse in the southwest, Lyon in the
southeast and Nancy and Metz in the east.
The Paris suburbs, where the riots began before quickly spreading
across France, were mostly quiet by Sunday night after Sarkozy's
But police reported that youths had burned several dozen vehicles.
In the Mediterranean port of Marseille, police dispersed around 300
protestors with tear gas.
The crowd, hiding behind a barricade of burning garbage cans, taunted
police for several hours before dispersing.
Vie en Rose
Un Ouragan de Toi
In short, Segolene can say, quite
honestly, "Je ne regrette rien." We recommend the immediate launch of
her singing career,
modeled after that of the immortal Edith Piaf, dedicated to endless
delineation of the tragedies that will befall everyone in France if the
continues to pursue policies that are pro-capitalist,
pro-law-and-order, pro-western-civilization, and pro-American
(well, you know, it's
She can dress in black, mount the stage in near-total darkness, and
sing hauntingly of the miseries caused by working more than 35 hours a
week in jobs from which you can be gratuitously fired for laziness or
incompetence. She can reduce everyone to tears with songs about how
annihilating it is to get arrested for burning cars every night when
any decent person would recognize how virtuous arson is if you live in
a country where they don't give you your own
chateau unless you speak the native language and bathe twice a month.
You know. She can break their hearts. Relentlessly and mercilessly.
Until everyone feels so guilty and despairing they give in to whatever
she wants. That is the primal power of the superior sex,
isn't it? We
feel supremely confident Segolene Royal can manage it. There's nothing
wrong with being a Little Sparrow for a while if you can use the
wounded bird routine to metamorphose into the eagle of Napoleon. N'est-ce pas? Mais oui.
And, Hillary, don't be an ass. Just this once. Take notes every step of
the way. Sego may not be the sharpest pencil in the box, but she's got
the woman thing down cold. Just look at her campaign workers reacting
to her defeat.
Sacre bleu. Tout le monde est merde.
If you can generate that degree of existential despair in your gofers,
you'll win in a walk.
Friday, May 04, 2007
The Gay Thing
"The" Gay Guy, Oscar Wilde
just got off the phone with my sort-of-stepdaughter Monica, the
beautiful blonde motorhead
who is presently majoring in art history at
one of New Jersey's better state universities. I'd called to ask her
about this, a blog
post written by a young woman who is clearly agonizing about the
complications of trying to date straight men while hanging out with gay
guys she describes as 'best friends.' I figured Monica would be able to
tell me about life in the new world that's been created by the unending
celebration of all things gay by the MSM. I wanted her insight about
the kind of women who prefer to associate with gay men and therefore
face the same kind of emotional ordeal described by "petitedov." What
Monica told me will come as a complete shock to Andrew Sullivan, though
not, I expect, to other old geezers like myself.
Monica said the only place she had ever seen women who favored the
company of gay guys was in the movies. Despite majoring in art history,
she'd encountered only one openly gay guy in any of her classes. She
expressed the opinion that the gay lifestyle we've all been hearing so
much about seemed to her a fiction created by the mass media. Then she
changed the subject. She was finishing up her take-home final on
Esthetics, and she told me she'd marry her professor if he wasn't
already spoken for. Apparently, his ears stick out in an interesting
way you'd have to be Monica to appreciate.
Rather than think about Professor Jughead's ears, I found myself
thinking about the whole gay thing. Is it possible we've been sold a
bill of goods by the Andrew Sullivans of the world? Yes. In fact, I'm
pretty sure we have been. So here's a point of view you don't hear that
much about. If you're gay, it's going to be kind of a bummer, but
sometimes that's the way life is. You'll get over it. Eventually.
I went to an all-boys prep school, back in the notorious sixties. There
were close to 500 students enrolled at any given time. We read the prep
school novels, of course, but it always came as a surprise how many of
them had some sort of homosexual theme. The truth of our daily lives
was starkly different. Of the 500 who shared the same prison,
approximately 497 spent all their waking, and sleeping, hours thinking
about having sex with females. The other three were known by name and,
quite cruelly, by incredibly specific anecdote. They were bullied,
derided, laughed at -- I'm not boasting, just reporting -- and
sometimes viciously persecuted.
These days, they call it homophobia and attribute it to some strain of
sexual insecurity widely interpreted as an endorsement of the
naturalness, and pervasiveness, of homosexual desires. In my
recollections, that's just so much horseshit. Maybe 10 or 20 of the 500
were what we'd all recognize as homophobic today. They went out of
their way to make life miserable for the 'queers.' But everybody else
was largely indifferent, not hostile but provokable. What they didn't
want was being asked to imagine what homosexuals did with each other in
private. Stay away from that subject -- the one that engendered
irrational disgust -- and they were perfectly willing to pretend there
was nothing fatally different about the three odd ones in the student
body. The mundane truth of the matter is that while teenage boys are in
many ways indistinguishable from animals (don't ask about room hygiene,
for example), they're also mostly decent human beings who prefer to
live and let live.
That's why my own personal response to the gay rights agenda has been
to remain mostly silent. College was a good deal bigger than my prep
school, so I came to know gay guys who were uncloseted and perversely
proud of their difference from the rest of us. I developed one rule in
response. Gay friends were fine one-on-one. Just don't go to gay
parties. When they sense they're in the majority, or at critical mass,
their personalities change. They become sibilant, aggressive, imitation
females, predatory sissies. The friend you thought you knew becomes a
cartoonish stranger, prancing and strutting and lisping like the
world's worst caricature of Oscar Wilde.
It's not that such scenes are threatening. They're not. What they are
is boring. To see a bunch of men turn into a bunch of undesirable women
is an oxymoron -- a disgusting bore. Oscar Wilde would have been a
delight to meet. He was in all probability the wittiest man who ever
lived. But put a bunch of gay guys together and all you get is the gay
equivalent of an Elvis convention -- a hundred low-grade Tom, Dick, and
Harry versions of the long dead and defiled original.
I forget which brilliant essayist it was who pointed out the irony of
the word 'gay' as a label for homosexuals. If you've ever been to one
of their parties you know they're not gay at all. They're not
spontaneously joyful and larkish. Their hilarity and thuddingly
relentless wittiness are forced things, determined, staged, and almost
hysterical reactions to what is evidently a fervid self-hatred.
I'd like for them to be free of all that. Hence the silence. But the
current lionization of homosexuality as an 'alternate lifestyle' forces
me to speak up. This is not a lifestyle you'd wish on your worst enemy.
Combine the native promiscuity of the human male with sexual quarry
consisting of -- TA DA -- other human males, and you have just created
a recipe for fatal unintended consequences. Yes, men are brilliantly
creative and ambitious. That's exactly why they need women to keep them
from running off the rails into premature self-immolation.
Child-bearing issues aside, no 'gay' culture could build a civilization
before it perished of sensual and self-hating excess.
It's been said that the Marx Brothers became geniuses because of the
Hays office, which forced them to be brilliant rather than blue. The
unexpurgated Marx Brothers would be mostly boring today -- not
pornographic enough for our jaded tastes and not nearly witty enough to
rival the divine Oscar. Sad to say, the same principle can be applied to
today's gay culture. They're pitifully desperate for attention, and
validation, and approval, but in insisting -- as they do -- that we
imagine in vivid detail what they do behind once closed doors, they are
insisting that we abandon our native, thoughtless toleration in favor
of the pure disgust -- and, yes, boredom -- most people feel for
a kind of sexuality exhibited by no more than 2 percent of the
population. For 98 percent of us, sexual excitement lies in the
otherness of our partners, not the sameness. Yet it's part of the
peculiar blindness of homosexuals that they're convinced all of us
secretly lust after body parts we can all see simply by peering into
our own underwear. Does it get any more boring than that? The
tantalizing wonder of the Kama Sutra reducced to, well, masturbation in
a mirror. Homosexuals are the ulitmate narrow-minded clerks of erotica.
No wonder they're less than 2 percent of the population.
It's an incredibly tiny minority. And right now, they're overplaying
their hand. All that talk about Brokeback
Mountain as a breakthrough production was a joke. There's a
whole channel, LOGO, devoted to homosexual movies. Guess what? They're
broadcasting 24/7. Gay producers, gay directors, gay actors, gay
screenplays. Every day. All day. Is there a Jewish channel? No. But a
gay channel is somehow an ACLU-granted right. Gays and their outraged
claims make them more visible than Jews (also 2 percent of the U.S.
population) in an age when most of the world wants Jews to die
and homosexuals to redecorate their apartments. The creative
presumptions of homosexuals have made them over-represented in the
entertainment fare we routinely receive. What they simply cannot
understand is that the increasingly explicit dramas they force upon us
are counterproductive. The worst thing they can possibly do is rub our
noses in the unpleasant oxymoron they refuse to recognize -- that we
can tolerate them only as long they don't force our submerged disgust
to the surface and make of our benign boredom an actual event to be
Oscar Wilde is dead. He wasn't boring. The rest of you are. Really.
God's honest tuth. If you don't believe me, ask Monica.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Robespierre was invulnerable, too,
until he wasn't.
TEETH REDUX. If Americans-In-Denial, Inc.(make up your own
acronym), could stop thinking about Global Warming for a second and
focus on the Islamists who want to cut their heads off, they might
actually discover what they don't think is there -- a way to defeat
these medieval barbarians and have a good time doing it, too.
Yesterday, Drudge linked an item
he probably considered a wry distraction from the truly momentous
events of the day, like the $120 billion Reid-Pelosi non-aggression
pact with al qaeda, but it was an item we should all pay very close
attention to. Fortunately for American attention spans, it was
accompanied by a picture.
Here's the gist:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
has been accused of indecency after he publicly embraced and kissed on
the hand an elderly woman who used to be his schoolteacher.
At a ceremony on Tuesday ahead of Iranian teachers' day, Mr Ahmadinejad
was photographed and filmed by state media stooping to kiss the woman's
hand and then clasping her arms in an embrace.
The ultra-conservative Hezbollah newspaper, which is not related to the
group in Lebanon of the same name, criticised him on the front page.
"The Muslim Iranian people have no recollection of such acts contrary
to sharia law during Islamic rule [since the 1979 revolution]," it said.
"This type of indecency progressively has grave consequences, like
violating religious and sacred values."
No, Ahdumjihad is not going
to be deposed because he kissed the hand of an aged woman. But we have
been given a glimpse of the Achilles heel shared by all true believers
-- the penchant for schism based on ideological hair-splitting.
Members of the U.S. Congress have been responsible for battling muslim
terrorism for more than five years now, and most of them still have no
idea what the difference might be between Sunni and Shia flavors of
Islam. The boldest of them -- bold in rhetorical terms only, needless
to say -- call for an Islamic Reformation to vitiate the blood lust
they'd find alarming if they really believed there was a terrorist
threat associated with jihadists who keep proclaiming their desire to
kill every Christian and Jew on earth. What they've missed in all their
years of not reading up on the religion of peace is that the
Reformation they yearn for is already ancient history. The Sunni and
Shia denominations of Islam represent a schism more profound than the
one between Lutherans and Roman Catholics. And the Wahhabi spin-off of
the Sunnis is even more psychotic than the Calvinist nonsense that
spawned Oliver Cromwell and the Presbyterians. This is important
information. Information we could use to our advantage if we weren't so
damned superior to the whole idea of religion in the first place.
How so? The entire western propaganda effort to "win hearts and minds"
in the Islamic world is misdirected. We waste time and money trying to
convince them we mean them no harm and have much to offer if they'll
just play nice. All that's accomplished by such appeals to absent
logic is cementing their focus on us
as the common enemy that prevents the inevitable ideological
cannibalism from occurring. The correct mission for western propaganda
is to ignore the west altogether, forget Judaism and Christianity, and
inflame the existing conflicts among the most devout of muslims. Goad
them to become even more extreme in their definitions of what it means
to be true to the message of the Prophet. The CIA doesn't need savvy
political operatives; it needs demonically shrewd theologians who can
catalyze the explosion of Islam into hundreds of fanatical splinter
denominations. Then we can stand aside and watch as they tear
themselves to pieces in an orgy of religiosity.
I know you lefties are scratching your heads. Unless you actually
believe in God, it's impossible to understand what people can do, for
good and ill, in the name of God. You think all the religious talk is
merely code for their frustration with western economic and military
oppression. You're wrong. But I won't debate that with you today.
Instead, I'll give you an analogy you can understand. Politics.
Politics like yours, in fact. Idealistic, utopian, so ultra-rational as
to make ideas into weapons of mass destruction. Think Marx, Lenin, and
Trotsky. Intellectuals so brilliant and cerebral that the only right
answer becomes an icepick in the ear.
Better yet, think French. Think of the Directorate under Robespierre in
the French Revolution. Think of the rage you feel when you turn on one
of your own who has compromised one of your most sacred ideological
principles. Think Lieberman. What you were prepared to do to him is
precisely what landed Robespierre in the jaws of the Guillotine. He was
a true believer so true that he inevitably became a target for those
who envied his power and therefore came to view his power as a proof of
hypocrisy, of blasphemy. Ultimately, there was no test of egalitarian
humility Robespierre could pass. It cost him his head.
That's the opportunity we're describing for the Islamic revolutionaries
and their utopian vision of sharia. The imams try to remain anonymous
in order to reinforce a fake image of humility. But they are not
humble. With every edict and decree they make themselves rivals of
Muhammed himself. And every theological disagreement they have with
each other is a crack into which we can drive wedges.
The more power Ahdumjihad accumulates, the bigger a target he becomes
for the imams of every conceivable Islamic sect. Eventually he, too,
will have his climactic confrontation with an icepick or a steel blade.
Like Robespierre, his political power is synonymous with a continual
threat to his own life.
Our mission is to exacerbate that threat. And to wield an ideological
hammer that will shatter the adolescent cult called Islam into a
million dysfunctional pieces.
Remember and savor this scene,
with Ahdumjihad in mind:
Robespierre's turn had come at last. By
fawning upon the people he had become their idol, and this will happen
to any man who declaims against the rich, causing the people to hope
for a division of the spoils. Through the populace, he ruled the
Jacobin Club; through the Jacobin Club, the Convention and
through the Convention, France. He dictated decrees and directed
the administration. Nothing was done except by his orders or with his
approval. His caprices were flattered, and his very manias were
praised. The tribunal beheaded those he designated without
investigation. His power seemed too terrible to his accomplices as it
did to his victims. A number had been sacrificed already and others
feared the same fate. They banded together to pull down the idol they
themselves had set up.
[The committee of general security] ordered that he [Robespierre] be
taken to the prison of the Conciergerie. His trial was short. On the
following day he was guillotined, together with Saint-Just, Couthon,
and his other accomplices. It was quite a distance from the Palais de
Justice to the scaffold, and the immensity of the long Rue Saint-Honore
had to be traversed. Along the whole course, the people pursued
Robespierre with hoots and maledictions. He had been given a
conspicuous place in the tumbril, his face half covered by a dirty,
bloodstained cloth which enveloped his jaw. It may be said that this
man, who had brought so much anguish to others, suffered during these
twenty-four hours all the pain and agony that a mortal can experience.
The death mask of AhdumjihadRobespierre,
But, excuse me. There is no
threat from Islamic terrorists. I forgot. Forgive me.
. We were doing our best to stay current back in 2000 when we
penned this Who's Who
entry for America's leading female slob:
TV talk show host.
Didn't she used to have a sitcom, where she was fat and loud and
obnoxious to everybody? Well, now she does it on her talk show, except
she's only fat and loud and obnoxious to people who are part of the
vast right wing conspiracy°,
because there are so many people out there who need the kind of
you can only get from a turd
in a pantsuit.
But now we're completely flummoxed. All this talk of replacing Rosabud
on "The View" with, uh°, Rosabud?
Actually, we know who should get the gig. You
see? Perfect. If the U.S. weren't so sexist, that is. He'd have
ever so much more gravitas
than Rosabud. Gravitas is
measured in avoirdupois,
isn't it? Cannes
you spell avoirdupois?
. Let me get
this straight. The most elite rhetorical society of the United Kingdom,
the Oxford Union, actually put forward this proposition for debate:
"This House regrets the founding of The United States of America."
The National Review's Jonah
Goldberg led the opposition, and his argument is detailed here in
all its witty details. I like Jonah Goldberg. He's smart, well read,
funny, unpretentious, irreverent, and acute. The transcript of his
debate performance only confirms all these impressions.
BUT. He participated. He participated
in this ridiculous charade.
I'm not saying he didn't make salient arguments. At one point he said:
(O)n the off chance that there are some
in the room who do not get the joke, or -- worse -- that someone here
isn't kidding, let me make a few brief points.
First, there is no objection my honorable opponents could make to the
existence of America that could not be made about the existence of
Great Britain herself.
At least two of these men reject the Enlightenment. And I'm not talking
about the French one. But the good one from Scotland. (When it comes to
Enlightenments, as Michael Meyers says in So I Married an Ax Murderer --
"if it's not Scottish, it's crap.")
Excellent. He should have sat down after that. But he didn't. He
continued to participate. He
clearly fails to understand the underlying philosophy of Scottish
enlightenment, which is this: Reason with those who can be
reasonable; ignore everyone else until they can't be ignored any
longer, then kill them.
Here's the argument that never had to be made to a bunch of sodomite
twits at the world's most effete university:
Mickey Mantle had a father -- a cruel,
controlling SOB who wanted to redeem his lost youth by having a
superstar son. Mickey Mantle was great. No one remembers his father.
The proposition put forward by the Oxford Union is akin to a lawsuit by
Mantle Senior arguing that Mickey should never have been born because
the son so eclipsed the father. Such a lawsuit would be dismissed by
every court in the U.S. and the U.K. Yes, there was a time when the
father had guts and smarts, but that time is long gone (l-o-o-o-o-ng
gone), and the mere fact that he is bringing suit against his own son
proves it beyond doubt. He's nothing but a failed has-been seeking
second-hand celebrity for feats he only wishes he could have
accomplished himself. Case closed.
I can forgive Jonah because it's always fun to be the American in the
most British of assemblies. There's no other setting -- apart from
visiting France or Germany -- that so swells the chest with a pride
that gleams from sea to shining sea. It's doubly rewarding to
experience this feeling in black tie, with champagne at the ready,
amidst the sepulchral vaults housing Britain's liveliest and deadest
BUT. Jonah shouldn't have
participated. He knows it. We console him for his entirely
. Yes, New Jersey governor Jon Corzine had a setback,
becoming the third straight holder of that office to suffer a broken
leg more or less in the line of duty. But he's back in the saddle
again, as The New York Times
PRINCETON, N.J., April 30 — Gov. Jon S.
Corzine apologized to New Jersey residents on Monday as he left the
hospital 18 days after a devastating traffic accident in which he was
not wearing a seat belt and was being driven at more than 91 miles per
hour on the Garden State Parkway.
“I set a very bad example,” said a contrite Mr. Corzine, who broke his
left femur, his sternum and 11 ribs in the accident, speaking from a
wheelchair just outside Cooper University Hospital in Camden. His voice
breaking with emotion, he added: “I hope the state will forgive me. I
will work very hard to set the right kind of example.”
It's true. There's actually a pretty long list of the ways he let the
people of his state down. First, there's no excuse for the speed. At
that time of the year, on the lower end of the Garden State Parkway,
the right vehicle should be able to cruise well over 100 mph with no
sweat. I've done it at 120 mph+ myself. But was it the right vehicle?
No. Black mark number two. Even a heavy SUV should be able to handle a
complex swerving maneuver on that road surface provided it has VR-rated
tires, Koni shock absorbers, and metallic brakes. Clearly the
governor's ride was not so equipped. Worse than all this, he got
There are only two ways to get caught on the Garden State Expressway.
The state police, who go all para-military on you in their designer
uniforms when they nail you, can hide on their secret trails in the
pines that line the highway and pounce if your vehicle isn't forewarned
by state-of-the-art radar-laser detector systems. Obviously, this
wasn't Corzine's downfall because he had the state police doing his
speeding for him. He got nabbed the second and more humiliating way, by
ricocheting off everything in sight after the vehicle went out of
control and wrecked. Shameful. A disgrace to every motorhead in the
Fortunately, though, it appears that some of the right steps are being
taken. According to the Times:
After the brief comments, Mr. Corzine
was helped into a black... van, with tinted windows, that he bought and had specially modified...
and left the hospital in a six-car caravan about 1:45 p.m. His vehicle
followed a black state police Crown Victoria, and was followed by a
Chevrolet Suburban — like the one he was riding in at the time of the
crash — a Mercedes station wagon, and two other cars.
The governor’s motorcade moved with the flow of traffic on Interstate
295, at some points sustaining speeds up to 70 miles per hour several
minutes at a time, according to the speedometer of a vehicle traveling
alongside; posted limits were 55 and 65.
This is progress. No doubt, he'll be cruising in triple digits again
after the crash trauma wears off. In the meantime, it's a good sign
that he's not so gun-shy as to bend over for the dumb-as-rocks double-nickel.
The new "van," mentioned in the NYT article is also a huge improvement
over its predecessor. It features abundant armor
plate and the aftermarket shocks, tires, and brakes recommended above,
as well as a 16-cylinder, 64-valve, 1,001 HP engine specially procured
from Bugatti. (It's also a hybrid,
just to keep things green.) This should enable the governor to get down
the highway at a more respectable speed. It also has custom running
lights (see graphic above) designed to notify slower drivers in front
to get the hell out of the way of the state's chief executive when he's
bearing down on them. Helpful warning stickers are prominently placed
on the back of the vehicle to warn away drivers who might be trying to
make a race of it, unaware that the quarry they're chasing is being
driven by a NJ state trooper:
Inside, the governor will be able to belt himself into a
high-performance wheelchair specially manufactured for him by Harley
Davidson, so that he can make serious tracks even after he disembarks
from the van:
Obviously, the long-term solution is for the Guv to start driving
himself again. No self-respecting speed demon wants to leave all the
driving to someone else, and it's just not honorable to duck the
biggest risks by hiding behind trooper chauffeurs. But he says he's
learned his lesson, and we're prepared to believe him. A man in his
position can't possibly be ignorant of the values embodied in his
state's anthem. (Or proposed anthem anyway. Once upon a time. Before
the nanny state mentality descended like a ton of wet blankets.) The
words should be burned into his soul, as they are with so many other
sons [and daughters; sorry, Monica] of the Garden State, and as he contemplates his responsibilities
at the governor's mansion, Drumthwackett, he should be repeating -- or
singing -- these lyrics, which have a uniquely new and personal meaning
in his life:
Beyond the palace hemi-powered drones
scream down the boulevard
The girls comb their hair in rearview mirrors
And the boys try to look so hard
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
I wanna die with you wendy on the streets tonight
In an everlasting kiss
The highways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
Everybodys out on the run tonight but theres no place left to hide
Together wendy well live with the sadness
Ill love you with all the madness in my soul
Someday girl I dont know when were gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go and well walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us baby we were born to run
Well, maybe not the 'tramps' part. That would be the previous guv.
He's got nothing to apologize for, I suppose, but it is time at last
for him to stop playing at being the wise elder statesman delivering
truth from on high. He's a spent force and anyone reading him should
bear that in mind. Today's column is a good example. It's called The Waning of the GOP.
He begins by accepting at face value George Tenet's whiny
attempts to cover his massively exposed rear end for the CIA's failures
during two presidential administrations:
George Tenet, former head of the CIA,
has just published a book which seems to demonstrate that there was one
part ignorance, one part bullheadedness, in the high-level discussions
before war became policy. Mr. Tenet at least appears to demonstrate
that there was nothing in the nature of a genuine debate on the
Aver, yes. Demonstrate? Hardly. He has already been refuted on some of
his factual statements, and his self-pitying presentation of "his side"
on 60 Minutes last night
seemed more like the hysterical imprecations of a divorcee than a
correction of the record by a former head of one of the most ruthless
government agencies in the world. The CIA's job is to provide
information and perhaps advice, but there's no guarantee they will be
invited to all the meetings. In Clinton's day, they weren't invited to any meetings. But perhaps Mr.
Buckley is more amenable to the sobs of sleighted bureaucrats than he
was in his salad days. Also, seemingly, more susceptible to scare-mongering by a man whose
list of unanticipated catastrophes would be enough to transform any ex-spook
into a carpet-chewing paranoid:
A measure of George Tenet’s respect for
the reach and malevolence of the enemy is his statement that he is
puzzled that Al Qaeda has not, since 2001, sent out “suicide bombers to
cause chaos in a half dozen American shopping malls on any given day.”
By way of prophecy, he writes that there is one thing he feels in his
gut, which is that “Al Qaeda is here and waiting.”
Yep, if there's a gut we've all learned to trust, it's George Tenet's.
Buckley seems to. It fills him with despair.
But beyond affirming executive
supremacy in matters of war, what is George Bush going to do? It is
simply untrue that we are making decisive progress in Iraq. The
indicators rise and fall from day to day, week to week, month to month.
Has he been spending his weekends sailing with John Murtha and Harry
Reid? He's certainly caught the bug of redefining words in convenient
ways, as they do. For Murtha and company, 'terrorists' are
'insurgents,' 'professional soldiers' are 'kids,' and 'surrender' will
be called 'redeployment.' In fact, Buckley has gone them one
better. Where they have redefined the War in Iraq as 'civil war,' he
has rejiggered it as a 'disease':
When the Romans were challenged by
Christianity, Rome fell. The generation of Christians moved by their
faith overwhelmed the regimented reserves of the Roman state. It was
four years ago that Mr. Cheney first observed that there was a real
fear that each fallen terrorist leads to the materialization of another
terrorist. What can a “surge,” of the kind we are now relying upon, do
to cope with endemic disease? The parallel even comes to mind of the
eventual collapse of Prohibition, because there wasn’t any way the
government could neutralize the appetite for alcohol, or the
resourcefulness of the freeman in acquiring it.
A colorful turn of phrase it most certainly is. And maybe at Buckley's
age, there's no real downside to imbibing a stew of mixed metaphors
conflating Roman Catholic history with viral biology, Prohibition, and
Greek mythology for the purpose of going gentle into that good night.
But it doesn't do the rest of us a damn bit of good.
He's a bit off his head. He seems chiefly worried, as his title
suggests, about the fate of the Republican Party:
General Petraeus is a wonderfully
commanding figure. But if the enemy is in the nature of a disease, he
cannot win against it. Students of politics ask then the derivative
question: How can the Republican party, headed by a president
determined on a war he can’t see an end to, attract the support of a
majority of the voters?..
The general makes it a point to steer away from the political
implications of the struggle, but this cannot be done in the wider
arena. There are grounds for wondering whether the Republican party
will survive this dilemma.
If Buckley believes, as he at least implies, that Islamist terrorism is
a genuine threat, then he also knows there is no alternative to
defeating it. If we don't, it doesn't matter a rat's ass whether
there's still a Grand Old Party or not. When New York City is
flattened by a hydrogen bomb, the blast will take out the Yale Club
too. But that probably won't be the headline.
I can understand that he may be more taken in than most conservative
diehards by the false but popular notion that time is running out. It's
not. We have all the time that may be required to stabilize Iraq and
drive al qaeda out of that country. (No matter how bad things get, we
could always execrcise the option of finally getting serious with
Syria, Iran, and their accomplices...) What is running out is our resolve to
invest the resources and the ingenuity required to persevere until our
goals are achieved. The disease comparison is particularly odious. Any
student of history -- such as Buckley is -- knows that those who fought
Hitler's armies, or Napoleon's, must have regarded them as a
multiplying plague, along the lines of Cheney's implicit Hydra
reference. Every time you kill one, you face more.
But if you kill enough of them, they eventually lose heart and subside
or surrender. And, yes, I know, it won't always be as easy asit is right now(!) to confront our
terrorist enemies on an actual battlefield. So their resemblance to a
hydra that grows two new heads for each one you hack off can seem more
accurate and ominous. But there's another myth that applies, if you
want to play semantic and semiotic games. It's the story of Cadmus
and the dragon's teeth:
In Greek myth, dragon's teeth feature
prominently in the legends of the Phoenician prince Cadmus and Jason's
quest for the Golden Fleece. In each case, the dragon's teeth, once
planted, would grow into fully armed warriors...
Cadmus, bringer of literacy and civilization, killed the sacred dragon
that guarded the spring of Ares. The goddess Athena told him to sow the
teeth, from which sprang a group of ferocious warriors called the
spartoi. He threw a precious jewel into the midst of the warriors, who
turned on each other in an attempt to seize the stone for themselves.
The five survivors joined with Cadmus to found the city of Thebes.
The west -- against all its own most delf-destructive efforts -- still
possesses the brightest jewel of all, the personal, political and
economic freedom to build a civilization fifteen centuries more
comfortable and rewarding than the teeth will ever find in that
suffocating dragon's mouth. The jewel is so dazzling that the only way
it can fail to divide and conquer the fanatics in the long run is if we
decide to throw it tiredly or
Buckley knows that, and he should go on reminding those who need the
reminding, not fretting circles around a transitory state of disarray
he has seen several times before -- after the surprise defeat of Dewey,
the crushing defeat of Goldwater, and the ignominious resignation of
Nixon, to name just three. Those are the times you have to stand up and
fight like hell. The alternative is a disaster I guarantee he knows
word for word:
Things fall apart; the centre cannot
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity...
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Buckley can fall apart if he wants, but we can't afford to.
Despite Buckley's endorsement of Tenet's mea non culpa, I'm not the only one
who was singularly unimpressed -- no, make that offended to the core --
by his sliming of the administration that forgave his many sins. Glenn Reynolds
linked to almost-as-nasty posts by Roger
L. Simon and Christopher
Hitchens (h/t Malkin, too). But mine from Thursday
was first, funnier, and farther reaching.