Thursday, May 4

A Palate-Cleansing Lemon Granita Intermezzo

David Neiwert, "The End of the End of Racism" responds to that Shelby Steele Opinion Journal piece in a way I couldn't even if my brain weren't at the moment an inert mass trapped in a freakishly large skull. More inert than usual, I mean.

All I have the strength to add at the moment is this:

Mascot: Rebels
School Colors: Gray and Red

Mission Statement (abridged):

"Our mission at Nathan Bedford Forrest High School is to meet
the needs of a diverse group of students by offering quality
programs in academics, technology, fine arts, vocational, and
extra-curricular activities. "

Go Rebs!
(In case it's too small to make out, the Scales of Justice in the upper left corner of the shield are a particularly fine touch.)

Let us move along to something refreshing and slushy, with a hint of self-indulgence and a touch of brave, politically incorrect high living we used to enjoy in the old days, before White European Civilization (is that a redundancy?) was illegal and the servant problem became impossible. Let us take as our inspiration the example of Professor Doctor Dr. Mike S. Adams, Ph.D., who is courageously celebrating not wasting any ammo on his imaginary adversaries this week by smoking three cigars of two ring sizes which I hope are reproduced actual size below:

because that was a lot more work than it looks like it would be. As Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but in your case I wouldn't try it."

Where was I? Oh, the sorbet course:

Jonah Goldberg, "Is Bush the New Nixon?" (warning: this passes for thought in some quarters).

Maybe I can save us all some time and at least one of us an impending Category 3 headache. Abstract: Now that there's nothing redeemable left in George W. Bush the likes of Jonah can cough up, he's no Reaganite. In fact, one more disaster and he's a Liberal. A gay Liberal.
That cackling you're hearing comes from the chorus of Bush critics (an all-inclusive term that accounts for spittle-flecked bloggers and moderate liberal finger-waggers alike) giddy over Bush's basement-level poll numbers. Several bloggers have gone to the trouble of showing side-by-side charts of Bush's approval rating following close behind former President Richard Nixon's. At the end of the trail is the X-marks-the-spot treasure trove "Nixon resigns."

Now, there's a great deal that's wrong with the comparison. Nixon didn't resign because his poll numbers were low. The causation worked the other way. His poll numbers were low because he was involved in an impeachment-level scandal that prompted him to resign. I know there are many Bush-haters clicking their ruby slippers together about how impeachment is around the corner, but let's keep at least one foot on terra firma.

Sure, so long as we can use the other to repeatedly kick your lard ass.
There are other problems with the comparison. The economy was a mess toward the end of Nixon's term. It's going gangbusters now. As bad as the Iraq war may be going, it hardly compares to the bloodshed of Vietnam. And as loud as the antiwar movement may be today, it amounts to little more than a historical re-enactment of the antiwar protests of the 1960s and 1970s.

Well, there may be a problem or two with the problems there. For one, that "gangbusters" schtick isn't exactly playing everywhere, particularly among, oh, the public. Then there's Iraq. Bad as it may be going, it's still worse than you lot want to admit. I realize how comforting it is that the numbers of US deaths don't approach Vietnam's at its height, just as it's comforting that your ass is home in a Barcolounger in front of a teevee that isn't reminding you of the sacrifice of young men and women every night on the news. But as Phil Carter (whose ass is over there, God bring him home safely) and Owen West pointed out at the end of 2004, once you factor in improved medical care (in Vietnam a soldier was 1.5 times more likely to die of his wounds), adjust for troop levels, and take out Air Force deaths, Iraq is pretty damn close to as lethal as Indochina was. And as for that "historical re-enactment" of anti-war protests, it's beside the point. The public is far more opposed to our Iraq adventure than the roughly 50-50 split over Vietnam professional Sixties revisionists would have us forget.
Blah, blah, Nixon was the last of the New Dealers, blah, blah, Bush once said government should solve a problem, blah, blah, he's loyal to his father, who was a Nixonite, blah, blah, blah.

Okay, that's not a quote, exactly. This is:
Perhaps this unnoticed fact explains part of Bush's falling poll numbers more than most observers are willing to admit. The modern conservative movement, from Goldwater to Reagan, was formed as a backlash against Nixonism. Today, Reaganite conservatives make up a majority of the Republican Party. If Bush held the Reaganite line on liberty at home the way he does on liberty abroad, he'd be in a lot better shape. After all, if Bush's own base supported him at their natural level, his job approval numbers wouldn't be stellar, but they wouldn't have his enemies cackling, either.

Goldwater and Reagan were a Nixon backlash? Have you explained this to Mr. Buckley?

I skipped over Jonah's schoolyard witticism about Kevin Phillips. Phillips recently, rather famously, said that the GOP has become the first religious party in America. I think that can be stood on its head; rather than a religious party, the modern GOP, the spawn of the intellectually inbred Reaganaut Right, is now the party which behaves like a religion. It treats reality like pulpit fodder. Whoever or whatever makes it look bad may suddenly be out of the club, excommunicated, eyes closed with holy dread. The war's a Reaganaut war, and clearly still popular with the base. Jonah's still touting the economy. What has he got against Bush, aside from the fact he's a total failure? And one who got that way as the farthest-Right President evah? There's no principled opposition to Bush on the Right. Stop kiddin' yourself and realize that Bush's approval numbers are way higher than they have any right to be because you Republicans still cling to him, because he's your man.


Anonymous said...

Boy, you got that exactly right. They got Their Man into the WH, and he fucked up in spades. Now what? If Their Man, surrounded by all his giggling hordes, approved -ka-ching! - by his lockstep Congress, supported all the way by his packed Courts, rah-rahed into hellnback by his lickspittle press, can't do a damn thing right - what else is there, huh? Oooh, don't go there... there be... dragons...

Anonymous said...

you Republicans still cling to him, because he's your man.

Well, see? He is gay. It's all that immigrant-coddling that does it to a guy.

Actually, Jonah, that cackling you're hearing comes from everyone with an IQ above eighty who were just confronted with the notion of Jonah Goldberg offering the advice that we should stay grounded in reality.

That's not my best sentence all week, but you get my point. I'm going to go get stoned on legal drugs so I don't care about having a migraine.
My advice, which is infinitely more practical than Jonah's: If you're prone to migraines, don't let people who use shampoo that smells like a Jolly Rancher move in with you.

That wasn't my best sentence, either.

DBK said...

Don't you love the phrase "Bush-hater"? I love it so much. I admire those who use it because they found a convenient way to dismiss rational discussion by pretending those who dislike Bush do so not because of anything to do with policy, incompetence, failure, criminal behavior, etc., but because of an implied (or not so implied) irrational hatred. Handy, isn't that?

Anonymous said...

You mean Nixon didn't resign because his poll numbers were low? Wow, sharpster Jonah is like a roadside IED to conventional wisdom, ain't he?

Whenever wide-eyed lightweights like Jonah talk about the "conservative movement" all I can think of is a giant hairball bereft of sufficiant peristalsis to void the premises.

T.H. said...

it's typical of a rightist to talk trash about nixon's efforts of bigger government, and not to mention the domestic spying and watergate.

T.H. said...


roncalli high school on indianapolis' south side has nicknamed its athletic teams the rebels.

it's a catholic high school, btw, named after the last name of pope john 23 before he got the big hat.

for you out of towners, it's a little local color that doghouse didn't mention.