Tuesday, June 26, 2007

IF I CAN DREAM. Ross Douthat defends Amity Shlaes' new book That Commie Bastard FDR from John Updike. Douthat says:
But one of the implications of Shlaes' book, which Updike is supposed to be reviewing, is that FDR could have given us the fireside chats and the rhetoric of government action and yes, even the stronger safety net without the counterproductive attempts at centralized planning and the relentless scapegoating of business...
"Even this stronger safety net"? Surely, in the ideal Depression of rightwing alternative history, nothing stronger than a free cup of joe on the way to the workhouse would have been offered.

That leaves the fireside chats, which would probably have gone something like, "We have nothing to fear but Stalin himself. So don't ask your government for a handout -- we're saving our few tax revenues for an invasion of Russia. Now I'm off to Warm Springs for my fifteenth vacation of the year. Work or starve, parasites!"

I look forward to Shlaes' next book, said to expose Thomas Jefferson as a syphilis-crazed Jacobin who should have listened to his wise Federalist opposition and retained the Alien and Sedition Acts, the loss of which caused 9/11.

The more obvious their failure and collapse becomes, the greater, it seems, their need for fantasy.

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