November 20, 2009 - November 13, 2009
. Here's the latest from one of the leading
liberal arbiters of race relations in the United States, Salon Magazine:
Well, it goes on like that. Yeah, I know. it's not racist when black
people say it or write it. What about the rest of us? Are white males
allowed to drool over and write odes about the gigantic ass of the
First Lady of the United States? I doubt it. Frankly, I don't think
anyone who presumes to be a respectable opinionmaker should be writing this way. Not
even Peggy Noonan or Ann Coulter ever wrote an essay about what nice
tits Laura Bush has. The operative rule is decorum. Or is this article
a signal that decorum is one of those rotten old conservative values
that will be discarded in the brave new world of African-American "rule"?
Probably not. I think it's rather a kind of trap. The anointed ones are allowed to talk this way, but woe betide those who are seduced into following their lead. Any white man who slobbers over the First Lady's butt the way Erin Aubry Kaplan does will instantly be condemned as a white trash slavemaster straight out of a William Faulkner novel. It will be seen as a kind of rape. We're supposed to admire the great First Butt, mind, but strictly in silence. And if any of us should happen to think the First Butt is a mite too big, then we will be tarred as racists.
Yes, we've entered the age of butt politics. Snoop Dogg and Kanye West will probably write million-selling raps about the celestial booty of Michelle Obama. If Toby Keith writes a song about it, he'll wind up in a holding cell in whatever comes to replace Guantanamo. It's part of the change we were promised. Did we mention that not all change is good change?
I think we did.
This isn't a post designed to share insights. It's the exact opposite.
I simply cannot imagine how serving as Secretary of State is going to
advance Hillary's career in any way. If any of you do, please let me
I can sort of see why Obama might offer it to her, though I'd regard it as a bad decision on his part unless he's desperately looking for cover on the likelihood that he's going to stay in Iraq despite his many promises to pull the plug. But he can't entirely escape the blame he'll receive from the far left if his policy turns out to be Bush Lite, and if he lets Hillary become the punching bag for it, he'll just look weak.
And what's in it for her? She'll have to give up her only ever elective office, so it's not likely she'd be signing up for just a year or two. Which means she'd be subjecting herself to a terrifying gauntlet of opportunities to look bad -- Iranian nuclear weapons; more disasters in Israel, possibly unthinkable ones; a ticking time bomb in Pakistan that will probably explode into chaos while bin Laden continues to elude capture; ongoing humiliations for the U.S. at the U.N.; double-dealing from the European Union, which is bound to go on no matter how much they profess to love Obama; futile negotiations with Saudi Arabia about everything, complicated by Bill's problematic financial ties to rich Arabs; the mounting threat to European peace from Russia; and the possibility of further terroristic attacks by Islamofascists in a legal and military environment considerably diluted from the national security first policy of the Bush administration. Even her occasional past hawkishness on such issues wouldn't net her much in an administration committed to talking first, second, and third before any firm response can be attempted.
Consider: if she stayed in the Senate, she'd always have the freedom to express reservations about administration policy on this, that, and the other foreigh policy crisis. As a member of the administration, she'd be a hostage to Obama's inexperience and naivete, the well demonstrated capability of the U.S. State Department to come to "own" every Secretary of State since Dean Rusk, and the unquestionable treachery of every government in the world which thinks it has something to gain at U.S. expense; i.e, all of them.
In fact, the only reason I can conceive of for Hillary entertaining such a personally disastrous appointment is, uh, patriotism. Did I just say that? But no other explanation makes any sense at all. The only one that computes is that she's thinking, "However bad the Obamessiah turns out to be, at least I'll be there to provide the only toughness, common sense, and pro-American determination to be found in this administration."
Feel free to explain where I'm wrong about this. I have no objections whatever to Hillary proving herself a patriot. It's just that I don't believe I'm seeing the whole picture somehow. Please remedy my blindness if you can.
P.S. Well, there is one horrendously Machiavellian reason I can think of, but it's such a slim chance I don't even want to mention it. So I won't. Your assignment still stands. If one of you mentions what I'm thinking about, I'll come clean. I promise.
. I think it's a fair question. Heaven knows they've hung
"vision thing" on every Republican presidential candidate since Ronald
Reagan left office. Needless to say, they've all been found wanting in
this regard, and even conservatives have gnashed their teeth about
their leaders' inability to describe the elusive, oh-so-necessary
'Vision' that should animate voters' desire to work for a Republican
president. Which is the clearest symptom of just how dumb conservatives
have gotten, with special emphasis on the intellectual wing which is so
anxious to tell the rest of us how thick-headed we are in the
contemporary political context.
[Excuse me. Time out for a completely private and personal tantrum about all the pseudo-intellectuals who are trying to destroy the conservative movement in the name of saving it through their superior intellectual command of governance. God damn them all to hell.]
Where was I? Oh. Vision. Not the job of a conservative, not even Reagan. As he was at pains to point out to Americans who weren't so infatuated with their own brilliance as to misunderstand everything he ever said. Vision is not the job of brainy columnists for the New York Times, the Washington Post, or even National Review. It's the job of the American people. That's the reason for the amazingly simple agenda of American conservatives: limit government to the handful of things only government can do, like defending national security, guarding the borders, negotiating treaties that benefit the American people, passing and enforcing laws that keep people from hurting each other and government from interfering in the people's right to life and pursuit of happiness.
In short, conservatism is about confining government to the smallest possible impact on the lives, ambitions, and values of the people it serves. Indeed, the foremost role of government in the conservative model is to prevent government from having a 'Vision.' That would be an infringement of the people's right to live their own lives in a state of liberty, autonomy, and individual aspiration. If our government has reached the state where professional conservative bureaucrats feel the need for elite, highly specialized professionals to define the conservative 'Vision' for the rest of us, the battle has already been lost. What remains is picking the flavor of the authoritarian regime they intend to impose on the ignorant, contemptible masses.
The Democrats labor under no such constraint. It has always been their position -- since FDR at any rate -- that the people are helpless, stupid victims of life and require strong, interventionist policies to keep them from screwing up their own prospects for relative (and I do mean relative) contentment. They want to be in charge. They want us to let them decide what equality means, what justice means in domestic and international affairs, what rights people have and should have vis a vis government's ability to reallocate resources from individuals to the authorities, however conceived, and they insist that we trust them to rectify every injustice claimed by every group which can organize itself into a bloc of resentful malcontents with a lobbyist presence in Washington.
Which means that the 'Vision thing' isn't a Republican or conservative problem; it's an absolute requirement for the liberal ideologues who insist they can make our lives better by letting them have more control over our lives. So what constitutes a better life in the liberal worldview? Do you have any idea? I don't.
All we've heard from Obama is the need for "change." How much change? When will things have changed enough? Do you know? Have they said? No. They haven't. We know they want more government. But when will the government be big enough to suit them? Will they ever say, "At last. The government is now big enough. No more." There's no way to answer that question because they define their policies, always, by their opposition to Republican 'laissez-faire' immorality. What are they for?
Will they be content when all incomes are equal? When no one anywhere believes in God? When everyone in every nation on earth can break all the immigration laws of the United States and roost in our cities with full medical care and complete immunity from deportation on any grounds ever? Will they be happy when everyone is subject to the same incredibly expensive government-financed healthcare that has turned into a people-killing but equal rationing system in the U.K., Canada, France, and other EU nations? Will they feel us all ennobled by a mandatory unionization of all businesses, large and small, such that all small businesses die and all big businesses are too big to fail and thus become part of the government as institutional parts of an egalitarian welfare system? Does their sense of social justice extend to include every victim in the entire world, meaning that our progressive impoverishment as a nation in favor of benighted, failed countries in other parts of the world actually accords with their sense of morality, which they cannot justify in any sort of religious terms, given their secular atheism, but only to their ideological preference for punishing their own country and its citizens in the name of racial, ethnic grievances we should all accommodate based on their superior sense of political right and wrong?
How many generations back must we look to correct the sins of ancestors nobody remembers anymore, and will there ever be a day when there is no political original sin associated with being born white, or male, or of European or Celtic ancestry rather than African, Native American, hispanic, meso-American, muslim, or whoever else is endlessly owed because some crime was committed against their ancestors by our ancestors?
Will their disgust with the most effective economic system ever devised finally end when every blue-collar worker works for a union that can paralyze the economy with a single publicly recorded vote, or will it continue until every last man, jack, and boy works for the government itself and every job is paid on the basis of comparable worth, reparations owed, and affirmative action compensation for ever receding future worth?
They don't tell us where their "Vison' ends. They don't describe for us the world we will live in when all their mandates and judgments have been levied. They don't tell us what role they see even for the human race after their ferocious judgment of civilization itself has resulted in the repeal of technology in favor of snail darters, polar bears, and homosexual vegans.
Don't they owe us their 'Vision'?
I think they do. And I'll also add a footnote. The presumably missing conservative 'Vision' isn't really missing at all. It just doesn't look like a Vision because it's a romance. Conservatives believe in the beauty and pathos of individual lives, struggles against the odds, triumph in the face of daunting obstacles. These are the things which make life beautiful, exciting, inspirational, passionate, and fulfilling. Oddly enough, Hollywood agrees. For every lockstep liberal actor, there is a movie which has made that actor famous in which the plot celebrates the courage and idealism of a protagonist who refused to join the safety of the herd and instead took every conceivable risk to accomplish something brave, improbable, and important. The empty souls who play those parts in costumes and makeup are the liberals in the body politic. The movies themselves, the stories, the great romances which intensify our experience of life are the conservative vision that's supposed to be missing in action.
To put the case in brute simplicity. If you're a liberal, you probably prefer the political stylings of Viggo Mortensen to the character of Aragorn in Lord of the Rings. You're welcome to Viggo. A symbol of social justice. Is that Vision? Ha.
What will the liberal national anthem be when they have accomplished their social and legislative goals?
Thanks to Laura Beth for that glimpse of Paradise.
The fabric of reality has been disrupted,
violated. If the United States of America can elect Barack Obama as
president, we are either living in the Twilight Zone or we are being
given proof that reality itself is not what we think it is. There's
plenty of precedent for questioning the reality of the reality we're
told about. Here's the latest in a long line: a guy who argues quite
seriously that we're all living in a video game:
I'd add a few other points to his argument. If we're experiencing
simulations, some of them at least are experiments designed to see if
we can recognize that that's what they are. Everybody who's
experiencing this particular simulation has already experienced at
least three impossible anomalies given the understanding we're supposed
to share of human history.
Yes. You are. You're in the same simulation with us, and we aways
survive. It's always the others who feel the worst effects, the
violence, the disease, the poverty, the genocide. We're going to be
okay. Just don't lose your head. Keep looking in every nook and
cranny for all the weapons, supplies, and rejuvenating good stuff it's
going to take to enable us to survive to the next level.
It's a game. It's not real. And we know what we're looking for. A simulation that wants us to go along with the loss of individual identity in favor of bureaucratic groupthink is also going to have software that doesn't quite work. Because it was written by groupthink cartoon dudes.
Don't you notice that it's all dumber and slower than it should be somehow? The DailyKos is a major political influence? The New York Times and the Washington Post are really written by intelligent professional journalists? Andrew Sullivan is conscious? Maureen Dowd is an example of an intelligent woman? Chris Matthews is a journalist? Keith Olbermann is a high school graduate? Please. Please! Cease being alarmed. These are all symptoms of effed up gaming software. We're living in an indescribably bizarre video game experiment, programmed by morons. Look for the Microsoft moments in everyday life. And don't forget them
when you see them. That's how you survive the Obamatrix.
See you on the other side. After the reset.
I just can't believe it's going to go down the way
talking about it. I know I'm a dinosaur. I was there at a tiny
back-country racetrack for one of the first ever showdowns between the
legendary Corvette and the mysterious new predator called the Cobra.
The venue was too small for both of them. The corners were too tight,
the straightaways too short. Neither of the competitors was wearing the
kind of shiny paint shown above. The headlights were masked with exes
of black tape, and the bodies were dull with the sweatsuit primer of
gym-rat sluggers who don't care how they look. They both carried too
much power into the turns, their rears swinging like wild left hooks,
but the longest straight went right in front of the stands, and it was
awe-inspiring to see the Cobra run down and pass the Corvette with a
burst of hungry, guttural acceleration that was brand new to an
audience used to thrumming Austin Healeys and singing
This was low, snarling, teeth gnashing horsepower unleashed. The
Americans had entered the
sports car wars, and there was blood in their eye.
But that's the way it's always been. America is competition. Coke versus Pepsi. McDonald's versus Burger King. Chevy versus Ford. Mopar against all. Competition is bred into our bones. Texas versus Oklahoma on the gridiron. Boston University versus Michigan at hockey. Harvard versus Yale at football and presidents. Walmart versus K-Mart. Exxon versus Mobil. (And, yes, we understand that sometimes losers die or get pwned.) The Celtics versus the Lakers. Democrats versus Republicans. Apple versus Microsoft. East coast versus west coast. The Yankees versus absolutely everybody else in every city and state. It's all the American Way.
They say it's shutting down, that America is closing the door on capitalism. Don't you believe it. This is still America. Here's the truth of it.
Millions of American mothers let ther sons play football. It's a game in which injuries aren't just likely but inevitable. Knees, shoulders, heads. And the risks go well beyond that to include boos, derision, defeat, humiliation, and personal failure. Mothers fear ruined knees. Their sons fear the safety of the bench. Why do they do it? Why do the mothers offer up their sons? Why do the sons volunteer in such staggering numbers? The squeamish ones who really believe that we all want to be protected from every bad eventuality in life should abandon their worship of grim statistics and look at the everyday statistics. Every high school in the United States refutes their conviction that life is supposed to be safe. In America, safety can't hold a candle to cheers.
Why do conservative intellectuals struggle so with the difficulties they perceive in communicating the economic tradeoffs between risk and reward? Because they're just plain ignorant themselves. The American people understand the relationship between risk and reward perfectly well. They live it every day. Their son is a linebacker or a quarterback -- or an X-Games skateboarder, a drag racer, a motocross competitor, a junior bull rider, a Golden Gloves boxer -- and they know that the quest for victory can exact a terrible price. They do not demand an end to risk. Only that the rules be fair and equitably enforced. No matter how many pictures we see on the network news of people with their hands out, that is not the American Way. We have not become a nation of whining soccer moms who want all games to end in ties and no child to get his feelings hurt because he's no damn good at the game. That may be the way the Europeans see things, but it's not how we see things in America.
If you have any doubts about American exceptionalism, go to the nearest high school football field this Friday night. You will witness a scene you can't see anywhere else in the world. And maybe you've been taught to look down on it. But you shouldn't. Everything you own and enjoy has been purchased by the kinds of souls you will see on that football field, youngsters who understand that victory, pride, and outstanding performance really are worth the risk of humiliating defeat, broken bones, and the extreme consequence of death in a game. No other country on earth understands this so well. Your freedoms were not procured by shrewd lawyers and slick speechmakers. They were procured in the first place and protected ever since by the spirit you see on that high school football field. That spirit has made you free, it's made you rich, and it's made you complacent, because it's always always there, and you don't have to have it yourself to benefit from it.
I know it's become the fashion to belittle the unfamous people who build your houses, fix your plumbing, repair your cars, and fight your wars. You probably think they're not as smart as you are. They believe in God, they drink, they smoke, they can't do the Sunday Times crossword puzzle if they even know it exists, and they can be stampeded into fear of things they think they don't understand, like economic crises and mysterious chemical threats. But don't ever think they're fools. They're not going to let you turn government into the great eliminator of all risk in life. Whatever you think, they don't all want to work for the government. They know the extraordinary value of cheers. And they won't let you take away all the rivalries that infuse their lives with energy and excitement.
You can bail out Ford and Chevy in the short term. But if you try to turn them into state-run, can't fail bureaucracies, all the mothers and sons who make high school football possible will come for you with pitchforks. And they'll be right to do it. Because this is America. The land of the free safety and the home of the breakaway running back. (And while you're at the game you've never bothered to attend before, check out the parking lot; then tell us that Americans won't fight for GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Ain't gonna go down that way, bro.)
I know the great liberal dream is to turn America into Europe. It's not going to happen. Not in the Obama administration. Not ever. Because even as we speak, some fifteen-year-old boy is practicing to catch the game-winning touchdown, no matter how much it costs. You can bleed America all you want, but you'll never bleed that trait out of our unique and indefatigable people.
P.S. La Monica has forwarded an irresistible video that seems somehow to go with this post.
Don't ask me how. I might tell you.