Showing posts sorted by relevance for query dreher orban. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query dreher orban. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

AND WE HEIL, HEIL, RIGHT IN DER FUEHRER'S FACE.

Rod Dreher's been on another of his foodie-Nazi vacations (doesn't spend much time down on the farm, does he?), this time in Hungary, and by utter, absolutely unforseeable coincidence someone decided that one of America's leading white nationalism apologists should meet Victor Orban!

You may have heard that the Hungarian prime minister is a cryptofascist who gutted the nation's top court when it gave him a hard time, took over the national media likewise, and chased a leading university out of the country because of (((Soros))), among other atrocities. But Dreher basked in the man's presence and wants you to know he's dreamy -- in fact, so mesmerized was he that though he had 90 minutes with Orban he didn't ask him any questions.
I tell you this so you readers don’t ask me why I didn’t challenge Orban on this or that policy of his government. I am perfectly aware that he is a controversial figure who has done things and pursued policy goals that are highly controversial for a number of reasons. However, this was a completely unexpected opportunity to be in the presence of one of the most extraordinary world leaders of our time, and to get a sense of his mind.
I mean, would you ask Jesus questions?
If the only thing you know about Viktor Orban is from Western media accounts, you would think that he was nothing but some kind of mafia thug. The Viktor Orban you encounter in person is very, very different from the Viktor Orban shown to Americans by our media. In Orban — who speaks good English — was energetic, fiercely intelligent, funny, self-deprecating, realistic, and at times almost pugilistic in talking about defending Hungary and her interests. 


Well, I'm convinced. In case The Leader's act wasn't enough to convince the group Dreher was part of, Orban also had on hand "Nicodemus, the Syriac Orthodox archbishop of Mosul, whose Christian community, which predates Islam by several centuries, was savagely persecuted by ISIS." What that's got to do with Hungary? Silence, mortal! Nicodemus does Flava Flav to Orban's Chuck D, ringing out every so often with "Those people, if you give them your small finger, they will want your body" and such like.

Dreher faithfully transmits Orban's messages ("Western peoples have decided to create a post-Christian, post-national, multicultural society. Peoples in Central Europe do not") and closes with what he clearly considers the convincer:
Hungary has a million problems, but Parisian-style banlieues filled with angry and unassimilable Muslim migrants, vicious institutional combat around so-called “white privilege,” and endless fights in locker rooms and libraries over gender ideology are not among them.
Yes, Paris is nothing but a wasteland of ooga-booga and trans commisssars, just like California is nothing but bum shit and New York covers up its high crime with low crime!

If you aren't convinced by Vic 'n' Nic, Dreher comes back at you with a whole extra post of Orban fan art:
[Christopher] Caldwell points out that the [Orban] anti-Soros campaign arguably did traffick in anti-Semitic rhetoric... still, that completely justifiable circumspection should in no way justify averting one’s eyes from the fact that Soros really is using his considerable fortune to liberalize Europe, and to dilute European peoples.
Well, at least he said "dilute" instead of "mongrelize." Maybe in February Dreher can jet off to Brazil and, along with the food and drink, take in Jair Bolsonaro, who will explain to the no doubt speechless American why God wants him to destroy the rainforest.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

DREHER'S UTOPIA.

Rod Dreher has made it to Budapest, where he's a visiting fellow at John O'Sullivan's rightwing prop-shop The Danube Institute. Dreher calls it "my new city" but don't get your hopes up -- when he said earlier that he was "moving to Budapest for the summer," he apparently meant that he was visiting, but not like some icky, ignorant tourist wearing Bermuda shorts -- no, just as Dreher eats cured meats in a "sacramental" way that distinguishes him from the rest of you poor slobs gobbling your gabagool, when he spends a few months abroad it's an authentic, artisanal residency. 

Dreher is warming fast to his new sorta-home: So far the people are friendly and hate the transgendered. 

In my initial exploring of my new city, Budapest, yesterday, I met a man from western Europe. We started talking, and when I told him who I was and what I was doing here, he said he once read an interview with me in one of the French papers. That was a pleasant surprise. He went on to say that he moved to Budapest because his wife is Hungarian, and given his profession, he could work from here too. He said he finds life here to be more agreeable than in the western European city from which they came.

“One great thing about living here,” he said, “is that you don’t have put up with these damn people teaching gender ideology to your kids.”

It's like a Dreher Letter to Repenthouse come to life! But I think the man might actually exist, perhaps as an agent sent to handle Dreher by Viktor Orban. Now, to you and I Orban is a preeminent Eastern European fascist -- an autocrat seizing state power, stripping press freedoms, closing down a school that resists his far-right agenda, etc.  But Dreher loves the old bastard -- he even, on a previous vacation to Budapest (excuse me, brief-living-in-Budapest), got to meet him and was so starstruck he forgot to ask him any questions! (Haha, just kidding -- Dreher says he just wanted to "get a sense of his mind.") 

And now Dreher tells us the greatest thing of all about Orban: He got his government to ban gender studies and "define male and female according to biological sex," and even ban adoption by same-sex couples in the Constitution ("The mother is a woman, the father a man")! Swoon!   

It’s almost like Hungary is defending … reality. Meanwhile, in the United States, even conservative states have difficulty passing far more modest reality-defending legislation, because Woke Capitalism threatens them economically.

If only Republicans would run on depriving gay people of their rights -- or, hell, they don't need to run on it, just do it, it's not like conservatives are doing Consent of the Governed anymore.  

Viktor Orban is not perfect...

(But Franco's dead, so he'll have to do.)

...but tell me, where are the American conservative politicians who do things like this to protect their society from a poisonous, cruel ideology? If Donald Trump had had the intelligence and political skill of Orban, he might have been able to pull it off. But he didn’t, and so now we have to depend on the Senate filibuster to save America from the Equality Act.

If only Trump were smarter, we might have Trannie Concentration Camps now. Ah, what might have been! But Dreher and the Orban op shadowing him can dream of a time when the next coup actually works and he can return in triumph to Handmaid America. 'Till then, Orbanland is Utopia enough. '

UPDATE. Since Chauvin was found guilty, Budapest Rod is doing his best to show sangfroid -- it must help that he's in a very white country, far from the insolent blacks back home. "At least we don’t have to worry about national riots for now," he reasons. But as he did back in August, Dreher tells us he doesn't see what was so wrong with what Chauvin did:

The police had struggled with this large, uncooperative, drugged suspect to get him into the police car, but Floyd would not cooperate. Hear me: this does not justify what Chauvin did with the knee, but it does make it a different story than simply throwing him onto the ground and grinding the knee in his neck for passing a counterfeit bill.

"What Chauvin did with the knee," a jury of his peers found, was murder George Floyd.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

AID & COMFORT CONSERVATIVES.

Back after 9/11, when America itself was attacked, conservatives demanded we invade a country that had nothing to do with it and called those of us who said “hey, wait a minute” traitors

This memory adds piquancy to the roll call of prominent conservatives who, in the wake of his unconscionable invasion of Ukraine, are loving up Vladimir Putin. Tucker Carlson:

Tulsi Gabbard:

Glenn Greenwald:

Steve Bannon:

And the leader of the opposition:


A former president praising a foreign dictator's invasion. Well, you get old enough, you live to see it all. 

And this is just a partial list. Some of it's based on the longstanding Putinphilia of the American Right, but there's even weirder stuff behind it. Rod Dreher, "mainstream" conservatism's favorite religious maniac, has utterly flipped; while dropping in "I don't approve" every so often (his primitive idea of ass-covering), Dreher explains Putin's invasion

So, when I read these days that much-quoted line Vladimir Putin uttered some years back, in which he lamented the tragedy of the USSR’s demise, I think of Trianon and the Hungarians. Though he was a KGB man, I don’t think Putin is a nostalgist for Bolshevism. He’s a nostalgist for Greater Russia — a Russia that was bigger, more powerful, and prouder on the world stage. If I had not come to Hungary last year and learned about Trianon, I am sure I would not have been able to grasp what this means to people whose countries have been dismantled or disempowered by war and historical fate.

Similarly, it has helped me to understand why so many Southerners feel so bitter about the Civil War and its latest iteration — the demonization of Confederate monuments and Southern culture.

So, see, this invasion isn't just imperialism or psychosis -- like Dreher's hero Viktor Orban, Putin just wants a return to the Old Order, which when you think about it is true conservatism. More than that, it reminds Dreher of the nostalgia for the Confederacy in his neck of the woods. Talk about bringing it all back home!

Another aspect of today’s news that we Americans should consider, but rarely do: the role of Ukraine, especially Kiev, in the Russian religious imagination. We simply have nothing to compare it to.

It's religious, people. And we have to stretch our concept of "freedom" and "right and wrong" to accommodate it, because as we all know religion can't have any bad consequences. 

As has also become his habit, Dreher reminds us that the West is rotten and Putin at least has Christian values (i.e., persecutes minorities):

But what about the Western empire today? To my eyes, we are decadent, and ruled by an elite that despises our own history, traditions, and the unwoke deplorables among us. We are ruled by an elite who think of many of us as savages: racist, transphobic bigots who must be brought to heel...

Putin is an authoritarian who uses Western decadence in the same way the Soviet regime did: to justify its own repression. Nevertheless, that decadence really is there!

 I'll only add this bit from a post Dreher put up the night before:

Now, if you think the US can funnel military supplies to the Ukraine resistance without suffering any consequences from Russia, you are being a fool. Russia’s cyberwarriors would devastate American institutions. We are not nearly as strong as we think.

When, as I said, conservatives (including Dreher) were denouncing those of us who opposed America's invasion of another country as un-American, if any citizen had talked about how the United States had better not tangle with Saddam Hussein because we were sure to be "devastated," that person would probably have been spirited away to a black site. Things sure have changed. 



Now she's blaming it on Hunter Biden. Jesus. I can imagine if she were starving or her family were in danger, but otherwise there's really no excuse for sinking this low except an absolute lack of human decency. 

UPDATE 2. This cannot be an exhaustive list but just wanted to get this fuckface in here:




Tuesday, May 18, 2021

ROD DREHER'S ORBÁN RENEWAL, A MONTH IN.

As I have mentioned, Rod Dreher is in Budapest, ostensibly as a visiting fellow at the rightwing Danube Institute but, it would seem from his own accounts, to be turned and lathed by Viktor Orbán's agents for the international fascist movement. Among his many self-embarrassments that I have recorded has been his defense of the Red Chinese vs. the terminally "woke" West ("There’s an argument to be made that a country would be better off with ChiCom College than with the University of Baizuo [the Chinese term of derision for 'white leftists']"). Kinda makes sense -- the American conservative movement and the GOP have been turning hard against democracy; Rod's handlers are just getting him out in front. 

Well, after a month in Viktor's Orbit, Dreher has made great progress, emitting such fash aphorisms as "You cannot have a society in which people feel free to live however they like, and expect that society to thrive," and, as ever, raging against black and gay and trans people. He even turned over an entire blog post -- defending the new Chinese college Orbán brought in to replace the liberal arts college he drove out of the country -- to a more exprienced Orbánist operative to write, in prose even more clunkily propagandistic than his own, which must have really been tough for the logorrheic Dreher to sit for. Still, if he's going to play for the team, he's gotta learn when to warm the bench. 

One of the more bizarre tropes of Dreher's residency has been his obsession with a statue -- a replica of the Statue of Liberty back home in the corrupt West, painted in rainbow colors with "Black Lives Matter" on her plaque. He's mentioned it no fewer than five times - starting with this:

I spoke to a Hungarian man about that recently, and he said, “This is why I stand by Orbán, even though I don’t like some things he’s doing. We can see that our Left is trying to bring the same things here. Did you know that there was a Black Lives Matter statue here in Budapest? The far right tore it down, but it was there for a day, and had Lady Liberty in a rainbow flag. What is that doing in Budapest? We don’t have any black people here, but the Left is trying to import American issues.”

Of course. It’s a globalist left-wing ideology: gender fluidity, racial consciousness, soft totalitarianism. And it’s all being pushed by elites in the media and in institutions...

Then again ("Another Hungarian today brought up in conversation the recent construction of a Black Lives Matter/LGBT Statue of Liberty") and again ("the fact, though, that the left-wing Budapest city government erected a Black Lives Matter/LGBT Statue of Liberty as a protest against the Orbán government is not a good sign") and again ("Did you know that there was a Black Lives Matter statue here in Budapest?") and again ("as I wrote last week, the anti-Orbán Left recently erected a mock-up of the Statue of Liberty").   

You have to wonder why the thing eats at him so much. Maybe it's like Giuliani when he was Mayor and the "Sensations" show at the Brooklyn Museum drove him to sputtering rage back in 1999 -- only, unlike Giuliani, Dreher has no complaisant press (well, besides his high-profile buddies like David Brooks and so far they haven't gone for this one) to amplify his crusade stateside, so he signals madly like a castaway at a distant ship. Or maybe the Orbán agents who keep coming up to him and saying shit like "pardon me, stranger, I'm just a poor shopkeeper who wants everybody to live in peace but the decadent West must be purified by cleansing fire" see some percentage in working him up to mentioning it every week.

BTW, here's an article with some background on that statue from German media outlet Deutsche Welle (h/t @David_Jorgonson at Twitter). Highlights:

As a non-partisan mayor [of Budapest district Ferencváros] supported by the opposition, [Krisztina] Baranyi says she's used to being condemned by the pro-government media. But now she is being insulted on all channels and threatened with rape and acid attacks, she told DW. "All we wanted was to give young Hungarian artists a chance to show their art in public," the district mayor said.

Yeah, that tracks. Also:

Commentators on Hungarian television contributed to fueling the controversy. One of them compared the artwork to erecting a statue for Adolf Hitler. Origo, the largest government-related online news site, described the sculpture as the beginning of "incitement and hatred against whites and Christians" in Hungary. Zsolt Bayer, a notorious right-wing media figure and co-founder of Orban's Fidesz party, even threatened to destroy it.

There was also criticism of the sculpture from the government itself. Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, Gergely Gulyas, called the Black Lives Matter movement "fundamentally racist" because it does not see white people as equals. "So it's not the ones who oppose a statue to BLM that are racist but the ones erecting it," Gulyas declared in December. [emphasis added

You're The Real Racists, aka Routine 9! I don't know why the boys in the bund bothered with Dreher -- it looks like he and they were already reading from the same playbook.  

Friday, August 06, 2021

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


Shit is wild.

•   Busy today (Ha! Every day! And this is the thanks I get!) but will try to stick on some commentary later. Meantime enjoy freebies from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, the Only Substack That Matters: Today’s is the script for a trailer inspired by the latest film in which 90-year-old Clint Eastwood stars. Now, I love the guy, too – I even liked American Sniper – but you gotta admit, that’s funny; it’s up there with late Bob Hope romantic comedies. If it’s politics you crave, here’s the earlier one about Biden doing that dumb Obama thing where he has a bunch of conservative columnists over for lunch

•   Jamelle Bouie notes, in his consideration of rightwingers’ recent Orbanmania – which has been amplified by Tucker Carlson, ably assisted by favorite alicublog Figure of Fun Rod Dreher --  that conservatives really do have a soft spot for dictatorship as long as it’s not communist. He even pulls up some examples like William F. Buckley’s qualified (or mealy-mouthed, depending on how you look at it) praise for South African apartheid in 1963:

They may be wrong, as we may be: but we should try at least to understand what it is they are trying to do, and deny ourselves that unearned smugness that the bigot shows. I cannot say, “I approve of Apartheid” — its ways are alien to my temperament. But I know now it is a sincere people’s effort to fashion the land of peace they want so badly.

This is very similar to Dreher’s similarly circuitous apologies for Orban’s “illiberal” rule, as in this most recent example

OK, so what do we US conservatives have to learn from Hungary? Let’s stipulate that Hungary is a very different country from America. It is ethnically homogeneous, has a very different history, and a very different constitutional system. Some of what Orban’s government has done is legal here, but not under the US Constitution (e.g., the recent law prohibiting pro-LGBT propaganda to children and minors). My enthusiasm for Hungary has more to do with Orban’s ideals. As I see it, Orban grasps the nature of the fight in front of us much more clearly than most of his US counterparts.

One would have to be willfully blind to miss that, for all the hand-waving, if Orban or someone exactly like him could be installed as our own leader via the vote-rigging methods he has perfected (far in advance of Tubby’s), Dreher and his pals would be thrilled. 

But this is nothing new. Here’s a National Review celebration of the life and career of Augusto Pinochet on the occasion of his death in 2006. The following is from the contribution of Roger W. Fontaine, “a National Security Council staff officer in the Reagan administration”:

…Human rights did suffer under Pinochet. And Chile spent years under Pinochet recovering from his predecessor Salvador Allende’s mad dash to a Soviet style command economy. It has also lately been shown he was personally corrupt. Finally, at least for Americans, there was the small matter of the caudillo’s secret services committing murder on the streets of Washington, D.C.

But Pinochet will also be remembered as leaving the country better off than he found it. It was Pinochet who obeyed his own electorate by stepping down from power after he lost a national referendum. And unlike his fellow Latin American generals, he let market-oriented civilians lay the basis for Chile’s economy — the most productive in the region. Can his fellow caudillo in Cuba — soon to be among the departed as well — say the same?

This is who and what they are and who and what they’ve always been. The difference is they're bolder now about prescribing Pinochet measures, not just for foreigners, but also for their fellow countrymen.

Friday, December 28, 2018

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


One of my favorite tunes, of which I was reminded
by this terrific interview in the Detroit Metro Times.

•  Rod Dreher's talking Spanish Civil War and guess which side he's on:
I didn’t intend to argue about who was right and who was wrong in that war. Personally I believe the better side won … but that there were no good sides.
Translation: Bothsides, but I gotta go with the fascist dictator. Which is no shock if you're seen Dreher moon over the current crop of European fascists such as Marion Maréchal-Le Pen (and her Auntie Marine) and Viktor Orban ("It seems to me that the Orban government correctly understands that the culture war is a war of imperialism and subversion fought by other means by nations and private actors [Soros] who wish to defeat traditionalists"). To make it look good, Dreher does a little hedging, pointing out that Franco Was A Very Bad Man, but inevitably tips toward the Throne and Altar authoritarian because the Civil War was "incredibly brutal on both sides" and Jesus is the tie-breaker.

Keep in mind that mainstream conservatives like David Brooks take this guy seriously and escort him into polite company. Which has been and remains the way with modern conservatism. Get a load of Roger Kimball, the very model of a rightwing intellectual, hoity as well as toity, getting down with wingnut clown Charlie Kirk:

This is why, when people wring their hands and go, "oh William F. Buckley Jr. would never have gone along with this," I just laugh. Like his pal Reagan was any less of a moron.

•  The conservative movement is in love with Blonde Chicks with Big Glasses like S.E. Cupp and Tomi Lahren, so naturally National Review had to have its own: Katherine "Kat" Timpf, whose attempt to promote herself with a victim narrative I covered some weeks back in my newsletter (and I am unlocking that issue for you because that's the sort of Robin Goodfellow I am -- but you should still subscribe!). Her shtick is silly-liberal-snowflake stories -- and here's her latest:
Being Bigger Than the Person You’re Asking Out Deemed Title IX Violation 
A student at the University of Missouri was found to be in violation of Title IX in part because he asked another student out on a date and is physically larger than she is.
If that "in part" made you suspicious, congratulations. Further into the story:
To be fair, the document does report that the male student had also been pestering the female student for dates and wasn’t leaving her alone — which is, obviously, unacceptable — but the fact that his physical size was enough to constitute a violation-worthy power imbalance is absolutely ludicrous.
Pestering? Wasn't leaving her alone? Hmm -- sounds like him being more physically powerful than her isn't the only issue here. Amanda Marcotte and Andrew Fleischman do us the favor of reading a filing by the guy's lawyer: He sent her romantic Facebook messages, she asked him to stop; he switched to paper notes left with her dance teacher, including one containing "apologies and a confession of 'love' for her." This went on for months with no encouragement from her before the poor woman went to the authorities. Timpf's column -- "updated" once, so I can only imagine how bad it was before -- is like an Olympic victim-blaming routine, e.g.:
The way in which this kind of thinking hurts men is obvious: They risk violating a law, and potentially being punished for it, over what every sane person could agree is normal human behavior.
I predict Timpf will serve as U.N. Ambassador in the Honey Boo-Boo administration.