Monday, March 28, 2005

And this is *respectable* Republican commentary...

A lot of conservatives, even some who seem to imagine themselves to be possessed of sound judgment, take Victor Davis Hanson of the Hoover Institute seriously as a writer. I don't quite know why. Maybe there was a time when he wrote something other than "middlebrow" Republican propaganda.

One of his recent columns, America's new discontents 03/22/05, is really a bunch of insults aimed at Democrats strung together in a flimsy frame of a narrative. I know that for the foreseeable future, there is going to be more money paying for these sorts of articles than for Democratic, liberal or moderate rejoinders. But it's kind of amazing that people claim to take him seriously as an analyst of political affairs.

Still, it is a thing of some wonder to behold.

Judging from this column, Hanson appears to think that a large part of the American public (hint, hint: he could mean Democrats!) have lost "faith in the values of the West." And that multiculturalism is a trendy fad. Does he expect mass emigration of Latinos and African-Americans sometime soon? And that American schools teach that all cultures are the same and therefore no American should criticize Cuba or Iran. (?!?)

In whatever movie he's watching, there are a bunch of "utopian elites" who feel vaguely guilty about something and are running around trashing US culture. I mean, cults are a problem, but are they really that bad?

He thinks George Soros is an enemy of the common people. And he holds it against the folks who run that they are "neither poor nor oppressed." Not that I've heard them claim to be either. And apparently the "upper-middle classes" (whoever those might be exactly) are out there in the suburbs and the gated communities practicing "strident anti-Americanism." And somehow, I don't think he means to say that they're anti-American because they support illegal preventive wars and torture in the gulag.

He gathers steam and ascends farther into the clouds as he rolls along. He seems to think that Al Qaeda - well, I can't quite tell what he thinks. Apparently, "nihilists" of that gated community America-hater crowd admire Islamic terrorists because they (the gated community nihilists) are full of "self-doubt and anti-Americanism." He seems to think these stark raving nihilists admire Al Qaeda because they've confused them with "romantic communists."

I'm getting curious to see these nihilist communist guilt-ridden self-doubting America-haters who live in the Hammer-and-Sickle Gated Community and the Red Star Luxury Condominiums. Gee, I wonder if they're any of them here in the San Francisco Bay Area? I've never come across any such strange specimens.

Apparently the Red Star condo crowd like Ward Churchill. And Michael Moore supports beheading people. (?!?) Then there's something about how they wouldn't like Al Qaeda or the Taliban in the government but somehow they feel all guilty about them anyway. Or something.

I'm already lost. But there's more. It seems we had to go to war in Iraq because of "fuzzy relativism." As opposed to precise, crystal-clear relativism. Ted Kennedy thought there was torture going on at Abu Ghuraib. Gosh, how could he have gotten such an idea? John Kerry seemed to think that the American choice for interim prime minister in Iraq was pro-American. All the problems with Iran are Bill Clinton's fault. (You knew Bill Clinton had to come in here somewhere!)

The Red Star condo community want the US to fail in the Middle East. Fail at exactly what I'm not so sure. But it has something to do with postmodernism. Nancy Soderberg (don't feel bad; I won't remember who she is either after I post this) thinks Bush's foreign policy isn't perfect. And the cynical, guilt-ridden, bitter, America-haters at Hammer-and-Sickleville also hate women in Afghanistan. And store owners in Lebanon. And Kurds.

And this guy is one of the sober Republican flaks!


purcellneil said...

The resentment and anti-intellectualism that fueled Nixon's Archie Bunker crowd has been increasingly evident among Bush supporters.  We have our share of nuts on the left of course, but I always give the folks who are not in power some leeway to throw verbal bricks at the establishment.  What is remarkable is the prominence of loud-mouth loonies like Hanson at a time when the right wing have been in power for four years.

It seems to me that this says something significant about the nature of the GOP.  This is a party which is continuously in attck mode, and prefers to throw insults at the opposition rather than offer any form of reasoned argument for their policies, let alone a conceptual or strategic framework.  The best we get is a fuzzy nonsense from the President about expannding the reach of freedom and democracy -- a rhetoric that seems to be an essentially empty collection of disingenuous platidudes.

Between the nonsense of hacks like Hanson, and the bullshit offered by the President, I am convinced that the GOP is setting a very low standard for political communication.  Ultimately, there will come a point when Americans will seek something more, and this regime will reach its ignominious end.


purcellneil said...

I wish AOL had a spellchecker for the comments feature.  

"Platidudes" is an interesting coinage -- sounds like a group of young platypus this case I meant to say "platitudes".


bmiller224 said...

Actually, Neil, I kind of like "platidudes."  That could be a useful word!

I think you're right in your comment, except for one point.  In today's Republican Party at least, Hanson doesn't count as a "loony."  He's taken to be a nuanced, careful, insightful thinker.

After all, this is the Party in which the President says that Rush Limbaugh, Mr. OxyContin himself, is a "national treasure." - Bruce