Wednesday, May 07, 2003

A FREE SOUL. My, Jonah Goldberg spends a lot of time parsing the Bill Bennett case ("I did say that Bennett gambled too much... I do think Bennett did the right thing announcing he will stop gambling. Why? Because he got caught"). I should have thought JG and his ilk would have let this horseman pass by. But no, they worry it like dog worries a small, dead animal.

As previously noted, I couldn't give a shit about Bennett. More interesting to me is Goldberg, the spokesmodel for woo-hoo conservatism, trying to simultaneously play Right-wing scold and rover boy. It's a line he's been dancing along for years now, and it apparently doesn't get any easier. Being the Bluto of NRO's Animal House is a gig he enjoys, but he stiffens up whenever he has to pay obeisance to Niedermeyers like Bennett, Santorum, et alia.

As I have pointed out before, painting conservativism as the fun side of the street is a dicey proposition. As the country's war-fever abates, the Goldbergs would like to be viewed as Good-Time Charlies, as opposed to those dour liberals who make you act nice to black people and so forth. But they are also compelled by tradition (and by watchdog groups glaring over their shoulders) to denounce (for where would conservatives be without their denunciations?) misbehaviors as anti-American (especially if you "get caught"). How trying it must be for them.

As for myself, I'm a horrible person. I smoke, drink, and fornicate. And I thank God I don't have to pretend otherwise for fear of alienating certain constituencies.

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