Friday, October 06, 2006

Any Honest Conservatives?

It's not been my intention to work in the traditional blogger style, and certainly I'm not a fan of gotcha politicking, nor of empty-headed generalizing punditry, but it infects everything I read, and sneaks out of me now and again as well. And, since I know that both of you are just dying to know what I thought of Towing Jehovah, I can at least throw a little bone while I gather what passes for my thoughts.

So in that spirit, I present to you (via alicublog, a hilarious exception to the gotcha rule) the stupidest shit I've read all month. Well, the stupidest shit that's intended to be taken seriously anyway. (The absolute stupidest lies somewhere down there in the comment apologia.) And October's only a week old, I admit.

So if you can stomach the empty-headed generalizing of David Brooks (I can't but you know, he lays on the "thoughtful" schtick as thickly as he can), you'll have found he and his cheerleader Ms. Althouse framing an argument in which moral equivalence was drawn between a fictional character and something that happened in real life. A nationally syndicated columnist said, presumably with a straight face, that liberals who like terrible feminist stage polemics are just as evil as certain wayward congressmen who (wink wink) under the influence of alcohol, abused their authority position over underage interns.

Perhaps it shouldn't be so surprising. I mean, I've seen enough people conflate the fictional Jack Bauer's ability to torture the truth out any motherfucker he pleases with any actual foreign or domestic policy. Yeah sure, real world torture and surveillance is effective and conscionable, because you just know that nasty brown people have started the big red LEDs are ticking down somewhere. There's probably theses to be written on how television drama has corrupted critical thought. Or at least a triple handful of poorly reasoned op-eds.

But I refuse to believe that all of conservatism is this stupid, just because some of them are. There was a time in my life, a scant decade ago really, when I would have identified myself as conservative (had I bothered to identify myself at all), back when I associated conservatism with balanced budgets and individual liberties (I was young and deluded, ya see). I am fairly certain that I nodded along to a George Will column or two sometime back in those hazy dark days. It's easier to look smart when you're out of power. And hey, in 1990 it was pretty easy to find liberal whackjobs who'd been taken seriously for far too long.*

But accepting nutters on either inadequate side of the national political debate, I still thought opinion journalism was something about principle. I pretty much lost my faith in it however, after seeing Al Gore clean George Bush's clock in the televised presidential debates. All the until-recently pundits of the tough truths were falling all over themselves to apologize away the deficiencies of a high-functioning retard. What happened to the intelligent conservatives?

It's been tougher on them since. Any conservative who's stuck with these guys has had to defend narrowing of the first, fourth and fifth amendments (for starters), not to mention unsustainable hubristic foreign and economic policies. I guess to support these guys, you need to mount an intelligent defense of imperialism, and/or convince me that abortion and "the terrorist threat" have been worth squandering our national defense and moral authority and trade balance. A tough row to hoe, that.

I feel somewhat guilty about the blogroll here, which, if you've read any of them, mostly tend liberal or libertarian (some of them reluctantly so--I'm trying to figure out if Dennis Perrin's "liberals suck" thing is a gag, or if maybe he has Tourette's syndrome). I'd like to add some challenging conservative voices, but it seems the only intelligent ones I can find are the insufferably earnest bible-thumpers. The rest are self-assured delusionals with fingers in ears and the "lalalala" at full yodel.

Surely liberals aren't this bad, right? (Oh, wait....)

Anyway, if you know any non-stupid con blogs, let me know.


*I was about to say "like Eve Ensler," but to be honest, the Vagina Monologues, while no doubt every bit as ridiculous as I perceive it, does seem to have lifted some taboos on female sexuality. At least you don't hear reporters cringe anymore when they say the title.


Keifus said...

Daily affirmation:

Well, if I'm being honest with myself, that...that was not really my best post. I mean I had nothing to say and I wanted to... I'm just such an idiot. Stupid! Stupid!

It hurt me the way, the way...

Okay, but I know tomorrow will be better. I'm going to be the best Keifus I can be, I know it. Because...because I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And gosh-darn it, people read my blog.

tiger barbs said...


crazy, dat fox. man, i bin tellin ya, dat fox be crazy.

ok, i'll stop wit da word verification craziness. for now.


what happened to the real, true conservatives was that their party, the GOP, got greedy about 25-ish years ago and started wooing the religious fundamentalists and assorted nut-jobs away from the democratic party.

this won them more voters, more votes, and more elections, but lost them their direction.

as a life-long yellowdog democrat and flaming liberal, i'm glad to no longer be politically identified with the weirdos and idiots. but my god! what a price to pay: now i'm governed by them!

much has been said about the political acumen of the republican party, but at least we democrats knew how to keep the wingnuts under control and out of the uppermost echelons of governance. mostly.


i have run across one or two intelligent and resonable conservative blogs -- and non-bible-thumpers at that -- but i don't remember which ones they were. if i find them again, i'll let you know.


ps. i must not be a good enough democrat. i seem to have got myself banned from dkos, and in right short order too.