Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Little Entry on the Republican Shadow

When righties try to claim George Orwell as their own, you know they might not be too good at things like context. But an editorial by J.R. Dunn on RealClearPolitics entitled "Bush and the Bush Haters" that tries to claim Orwell for Republicans also manages this stunning paragraph:

Bush hatred involves a number of factors that will be debated by historians for decades to come. But one component that cannot be overlooked is ideology, specifically the ideologization [sic] of American politics. It is no accident that the three most hated recent presidents are all Republican. These campaigns are yet another symptom of the American left's collapse into an ideological stupor characterized by pseudo-religious impulses, division of the world into black and white entities, and the unleashing of emotions beyond any means of rational control.

It's hard to know where to begin with everything that's wrong in this passage, it's sort of a cornucopia of dumb. For a rightwinger to insist that the three most hated recent presidents are all Republican means, I guess, he's including Clinton as a Republican--there are a mere 2,630,000 entries on Google for Clinton hatred. (True much of that's aimed more at Hillary than Bill, probably, but that just means misogyny is a preferred brand of hate--note we elected an African American president before a female one.)

But it's that last trio that amazes me in its projection--J.R. Dunn thinks those items are seen in the Democratic Party? The Dems became a party of ideology? To which I ask: Sarah Palin was the Republican Vice Presidential nominee why? Oh yeah, she was the most qualified.

J.R. Dunn needs to go back and watch the video tapes of the Republican convention, an event full of "psuedo-religious impulses." What with the endless USA chants you'd think it was Herb Brooks and not John McCain leading the Republican charge. That connects directly to the see the world in black and white issue. A term like "axis of evil" isn't created to make people feel the nuance, Dunn. Selling folks a war on terror, and at times draping it in the outmoded theory of a Samuel Huntington, well, that's rightwing talk. The left, instead, tends to see every point, which is why it's often so ineffective as a political party--we're very good at picking each other apart. I thought one of the arguments with the left is that we are too willing to mollycoddle. (I can imagine Dunn's response--"exactly, the left sees America as always the bad guy." To which I reply, "Not all of America, just idiots like you.")

But it's "the unleashing of emotions beyond any means of rational control" that I'd argue is all the Republicans have left. The "God, guns, and gays" way to victory isn't exactly an attempt to turn the country into Mensa-ites. You'd think J.R. Dunn didn't know a Rudy Giuliani exists. Or that there was an Evil Empire or a Cold War or "America love it or leave it," a phrase so many hippie longhairs yelled at the cops in Chicago in 1968.

Here's why Bush angered so many so--he tossed what we most loved about the United States away to make his rich friends richer. On Inauguration night we had a party and each attendee wrote what they most wanted to see go up in smoke from the past 8 years, then drop that slip of paper into our chimnea. There were about a dozen of us and we could have tossed slips into the fire all night. I tried to sum it up with this phrase: "Incuriosity matched by unwavering certainty."

But there's no getting back the 8 years of environmental degradation we could have been fighting, no getting back the sections of New Orleans we can miss as they were the poorest neighborhoods, no getting back the over 4000 US military dead in a war fought for no reason, no getting back the 100,000 to 1,000,000 (why bother to count?) dead Iraqis.

And then someone has the nerve to suggest there's no reason to be angry?

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4 Comments:

Blogger Queen Whackamole said...

"Cornucopia of dumb" sums it all up perfectly.

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

"unleashing the emotions beyond any means of control" -- I think I'm slightly misquoting there--is pure Yvor Winters anti-romanticism. Winters was an FDR liberal. Now, most of us cultural romantics would view Winters (e.g., in his strictures on Hart Crane) as a conservative, at least in his cultural politics. So what fascinates me here is the way that these cultural tensions have somersaulted onto the scale of institutional politics. It's precisely the cultural left that scored its fantasy date in Obama.

5:08 AM  
Blogger CLD said...

If these idiot wingnuts ever acknowledged the true legacy of Bush and his 8 years of the Destruction of the U.S. [after 8 years of fellating him online and in print], their heads would explode.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Freealonzo said...

Wow I leave the country for a week and George is on fire! Preach the truth brother. Preach. The. Truth.

6:38 AM  

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