Monday, August 14, 2006

VISION THING. Boy, that Liberal Media sure is tricky -- letting former Bush apparatchik Michael Gerson go on for thousands and thousands of words in Newsweek! If any of you fellers figure out how this advances the LM's Islamocommie agenda, please let me know, 'cause I'm stumped.

Gerson was once a Bush speechwriter, and like Peggy Noonan is trying to tell the new breed how it's done. His peroration is meant to convince the public to stay the course, terror-wise, despite their obvious desire to go another way.

Gerson acknowledges that the people are no long singing "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah" with W and the boys. But guess whose fault that is?

The President, says Gerson, is a visionary -- "Every element of the Bush doctrine was directed toward a vision: a reformed Middle East that joins the world instead of resenting and assaulting it." Condi Rice is the midwife stoically enduring the new Middle East's "birth pangs" (though if I were the Middle East right now, I'd be wondering where the fucking epidural was).

And you crappy little people are harshing their new paradigm:
First, the nation may be tired, but history doesn't care. It is not fair that the challenge of Iran is rising with Iraq, bloody and unresolved. But, as President Kennedy used to say, "Life is not fair"...

Some commentators say that America is too exhausted to confront this threat. But presidential decisions on national security are not primarily made by the divination of public sentiments...
Or, to put it in the visionary Bush's own words, who cares what you think? Gerson goes further, proposing a "new compact between citizens and their government":
Americans have every right to expect competence and honesty about risks and mistakes and failures. Yet Americans, in turn, must understand that in a war where deception is the weapon and goal of the enemy, every mistake is not a lie; every failure is not a conspiracy. And the worst failure would be a timid foreign policy that allows terrible threats to emerge.
In other words, you have a right to your expectations, and we have a right to do whatever we want without your goddamn belly-aching. This is a "new compact," indeed, as applied to the citizens of a Republic, though it is familiar enough to conscripts, battered children, and such like.

Having thus cuffed his audience, Gerson believes they will sit quietly while he fills the middle section of his address with W's Greatest Hits. Democracy in the Mideast is "messy" but "no one has a better idea." We must "draw a line." "Liberty improves life." Democrats practice "McGovernism." Etc.

And now for the wow finish:
The response of many Americans to all of this is ... up in the air. And, unfortunately, the demands of history may just be beginning, requiring more engagement, more sacrifice, more promotion of democracy, more foreign assistance to raise failed states where dangers gather. Setting out this case will fall to presidents of both parties, in calm and crisis—and making it will always be difficult in a weary hour. But necessity, in the end, makes a stronger argument than the finest rhetoric. And from London to Lebanon, history is proving that peace is not a natural state; it is achieved by a struggle of uncertain duration. In that struggle, the cynical, the world-weary, the risk-averse will not inherit the earth.
Wow! I'm juiced, aren't you? We're locked in a struggle that will never end! Let's crank some Twisted Sister and get down with some dismal necessity!

(I love the little knock against "the finest rhetoric." As long as he's lowering our expectations of the government, I suppose Gerson has a right to lower our expectations of himself, too. Though I must say he needn't have bothered.)

I imagine Gerson and all these guys, the moment the latest terror incident broke, running to the tank and finding there was nothing left but bitter dregs, too noxious to be made palatable even with the Coke syrup of patriotic sentiment.

So they're serving it up raw: weary struggle and blind obedience, and "cynicism" is the new treason.

This new model does not require formation-flying displays, the National Anthem, or invocation of the Founding Fathers. In fact, such things would tend to mess up the routine. We are no longer talking about our hopes, but about our apprehensions. We are no longer encouraged to celebrate our infinite possibilities, but ordered to accept our lack of choices. And democracy is not a gift with which America is blessed, but a sort of chemotherapy that America must wearily roam the earth administering to other nations.

I'm a New York City smart-aleck, yet I think more highly of this country than the Republicans do! I never thought I'd say this without irony, but I really think they've lost their patriotism.

UPDATE. See Kung Fu Monkey's related thoughts about FDR and Churchill versus piss-pantsed us.

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