Thursday, May 15, 2008

WINGERS ON A BUM TRIP. As the young hero proudly proclaims in Ah, Wilderness!, I'm a pessimist, so the happy talk in liberal circles about the coming Democratic blowout doesn't really set my world on fire. Americans have voted their own asses down the river before, and they can do it again, so let's not get carried away.

On the other hand, the nervous anticipation of defeat among Republicans -- that's something I can endorse wholeheartedly. It was running like Larry Kudlow's nose throughout National Review Online's The Corner today.

First, the Cornerites discussed boycotting McCain as a means to... well, I still don't know even after reading Mark Steyn: "A McCain victory with Democrat gains in Congress," he says, "would be an invitation to a one-term 'maverick' president to go on an almighty bipartisan binge." Much better, I guess, to let the Democrats run everything, so when Jesus shows up Republicans can say none of it was their fault.

Andrew Stuttaford disagrees:
If McCain is defeated, the conventional wisdom will be that the American people have decisively turned away from conservatism. The reality will, of course, be something far more complex...
Yeah, like, "The American people actually wanted to either strangle or eviscerate (slowly, in either case) every Republican they could catch, but democracy only afforded the less satisfactory alternative of voting."
...but, in the aftermath of a Democratic sweep, that's not the "narrative" that will be constructed, popularized and believed, and believed almost as much as on the right as the left.
Those bastards! And they've probably also say that their "victories" mean they have a "right" to "govern."

Nothing is settled and everyone is grumpy about McCain. Iain Murray is disturbed at the fleeting image of windmills used to symbolize "energy independence" in a McCain ad. "So what's he getting at here?" he asks. "More hybrid-electric cars?" -- and it's really too bad The Corner doesn't employ a webcam so we could see Murray rolling his eyes and mincing suggestively on the phrase "hybrid-electric." The upshot is, McCain should refrain from implying that anything but major oil companies can make America go.

Andy McCarthy denounces McCain's "Democracy fetish." (McCarthy dearly misses the glory days of preemptive war, but apparently never bought all that bullshit about bringing democracy to the invaded countries; guess he just liked blowing them up.) His solution: don't just boycott McCain -- abandon the Republican Party! Conversation wanes at that point.

And of course the specter of state-sanctified butt-fucking lower'd o'er all. "The California supreme court," reads Kathryn J. Lopez in a shaking voice, "creates a right to same-sex marriage." Not possessing the elegant legal language of their Bench Memo colleagues to conceal their homo-hatred sufficiently for public consumption, the Cornerites grow terse. Young fogey David Freddoso suggests California's "robust referendum process" will stop the sodomites, which is perhaps a comfort to his elders, reviving their fond memories of Howard Jarvis and Orange County honky power. But even that dim crew may perceive that Cali ain't what it used to be, and enough bullet-headed Nixonites may have gone to the big Bebe Rebozo picnic in the sky that the referendum will not catch fire. Gasp! Has even the old Man On Dog lost its electorial charm?

Into the grim scene wanders, like a party clown into a funeral home, Jonah Goldberg. Since the publication of his lousy book, Goldberg's Corner posts have been even stupider than before -- not in the side-splitting way that once made him an alicublog staple, but in the insolently checked-out manner of a rock star who won't take his headphones off when you're talking to him and answers all your questions with non-sequiturs. And so, with all his colleagues mired in ennui, Goldberg tips them to an essay: "Rousing stuff, with some neat insights, but I think his commenters have a better hold on the science and the economics." The link goes to one of those rants by Peak-Oil crank Patrick Deneen. Deneen says that the people calling themselves "conservatives" are all frauds and libertarian sybarites, and that the worrrrrld is a-comin' to an end.

Let us close with this picture of the Cornerites regarding with stricken faces this gift from their Local Hero that is as insulting for its thoughtlessness as for its message, while Goldberg waddles away, calling after himself, "He who smelt it dealt it." The tableau captures their movement and the moment, don't you think?

UPDATE. Like all great works of art, The Corner of May 15, 2008 yields new riches each time you revisit it. Further frissons:
  • John J. Miller's celebration of a "bronze" statue (which actually looks like it's made out of butterscotch) of Margaret Thatcher, who writes that the icon's location, Hillsdale College, symbolizes "everything that is good and true in America" -- by which she of course means sex with your daughter-in-law, her suicide, and no consequences.
  • Mark R. Levin challenging Obama to challenge Hitler to negotiate. Levin's tone is highly conversational ("Well, Senator Obama, would you have met with Adolph Hitler... I think you would have... But the question remains..."), which makes it sound as if he's acting it out with dolls. Again, The Corner badly needs a webcam. I'd love to confirm my suspicion that Levin dubs Obama with the voice of Will Smith.
If any grad school's interested, I'm available for guest lectures.

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