Monday, May 31, 2010

"They are apocalyptic pessimists about public life and childlike optimists swaddled in self-esteem when it comes to their own powers. "

Via this excellent BHTV diavlog comes a link to this must-read piece on the underlying mindset of the Tea Parties, and the modern conservative movement, by Mark Lilla:

Now an angry group of Americans wants to be freer still—free from government agencies that protect their health, wealth, and well-being; free from problems and policies too difficult to understand; free from parties and coalitions; free from experts who think they know better than they do; free from politicians who don’t talk or look like they do (and Barack Obama certainly doesn’t). They want to say what they have to say without fear of contradiction, and then hear someone on television tell them they’re right. They don’t want the rule of the people, though that’s what they say. They want to be people without rules—and, who knows, they may succeed. This is America, where wishes come true. And where no one remembers the adage “Beware what you wish for.”

Read the whole thing. The way I see it, it's as if they want freedom, for free. Freedom to criticize, free of criticism. Freedom from hard choices. Freedom from expertise. Freedom from the real world. It's as if they say, "give my liberty, and as for the rest of you..."

The anger is real, and a lot of it has to do with real frustration over real crises. Blaming the government, the media, Obama, the Democrats, etc, is easy. Trying to maintain coherence by railing against government, and cuts in Medicare at the same time, is hard. Coming up with solutions is hard. It's one thing to want to be free, but freedom is hard.

Happy Memorial Day, and in which we honor our bravest men and women, who've paid the ultimate price for freedom, and continue to pay it every day.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Madness of Andy McCarthy

Conor Friedersdorf soundly exposes the manifold, insidious deception in Andy McCarthy's new book:

Mr. McCarthy would have us believe that President Obama refuses to acknowledge the September 11 attacks, the appropriateness of the word war, or the fact that our current military efforts abroad are directed at real enemies. Yet here is a speech where the president does all those things in the space of one brief passage. The degree of misrepresentation that Mr. McCarthy permits himself is staggering.

He goes on:

It is so easily shown to be false that it ought to exist only in the author’s mind. Unfortunately, this misinformation is being touted by Rush Limbaugh as piercing, Michelle Malkin is recommending it to her readers, and Mark Levin is calling it “thorough” and “cutting edge, and few of their listeners will question the facts the book presents because they foolishly if understandably underestimate the capacity for intellectual negligence perpetrated by these hosts everyday.

They rave about a book.

I’ve read a single excerpt, and already the mistakes demonstrated by simple Google searches are multitude.

Read the whole thing. It's quite amazing to me how people like McCarthy continually get serious treatment from allegedly serious people. It's one thing to have serious, substantive disagreements with Obama on policy, but it is a viler and more destructive thing, to willfully distort and invent facts, in order to advance a case that the President, and the Left are guilty will willful treason--a case that could only be true in the fairy-tale universe of his own brain. Assuming McCarthy has any intention of the book achieving mainstream success, the excerpts he presents ought to show that this whole unhinged partisan enterprise is rotten from top to bottom, and not worth the paper it's printed on.

Just sayin.'

HT: Sully

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"George W. Bush is missed by activists in Cairo and elsewhere who—despite possible misgivings about his policies..."

"...benefited from his firm stance on democratic progress. During the time he kept up pressure on dictators, there were openings for a democratic opposition to flourish. The current Obama policy seems weak and inconsistent by contrast."

Ouch. Now, I think he's being a bit harsh, but it's hard to argue, and this is something I've wrestled with for a while (and was touched on here), that maybe President Obama might be more of a cold-eyed realist than we liberal hawks who supported him realized. I still hope I'm wrong, and there's reason to--but this sort of thing ought to be embarassing--on a purely personal legacy level.

HT: Jennifer Rubin, via Totten

cross posted at Stubborn Facts.