Thursday, November 29, 2018

What An Era

Most people didn't really live through the Bush years the way they live through the Trump years. It's social media. Only weird blog reading nerds had any clue about the full cast of characters of the conservative Wack Pack. Most normies - even people who paid a lot of attention to current events - wouldn't have had any idea who all of these C-List conservative weirdos were, or what dumb shit thing was said on Fox News last night, etc. People who paid attention knew the big stuff, but the minutiae of horrors and stupidity went unnoticed by most. Now the phone beams it all directly into their foreheads so they have been dragged into this hell I have been living for so long.

But my real point is that the Bush years were full of horrible crazy shit, also, too, even aside from the more obvious stuff. People don't remember because they weren't really exposed to most of it at the time. Even I've forgotten so much (thankfully).

A little flashback from everybody's favorite totebagging reasonable conservative, David Brooks.

My third guess is that the Bush haters will grow more vociferous as their numbers shrink. Even progress in Iraq will not dampen their anger, because as many people have noted, hatred of Bush and his corporate cronies is all that is left of their leftism. And this hatred is tribal, not ideological. And so they will still have their rallies, their alternative weeklies, and their Gore Vidal polemics. They will still have a huge influence over the Democratic party, perhaps even determining its next presidential nominee. But they will seem increasingly unattractive to most moderate and even many normally Democratic voters who never really adopted outrage as their dominant public emotion.


What lessons will they draw from the events of the past month? How will the fall of Saddam affect their voting patterns, their approach to the next global crisis? One way to think about this is to conduct a thought experiment. Invent a representative 20-year-old, Joey Tabula-Rasa, and try to imagine how he would have perceived the events of the past month.


WHEN JOEY LOOKS at the talking heads on TV, he begins to form judgments about this country's political divides. First, he sees the broad majority of people who support the war, who, it seems to him, deserve to be called the progressives. These people talk optimistically of spreading democracy and creating a new Middle East. They have a very confident approach to what America can achieve in the world. People in this political movement include Christopher Hitchens, Dennis Miller, Paul Wolfowitz, Joseph Lieberman, John McCain, Richard Holbrooke, Charles Krauthammer, the staff of Fox News, Bernard Lewis, and George Bush.

They still pull the first trick regularly now. Lefties are always irrational, always consumed by hatred. They just hate Trump because they are haters, and not for any reason. This was the drumbeat during the early Bush years. Liberals were just ANGRY so HULKANGRY they were silly not like the completely sensible rational people who responded to 9/11 by causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people who had nothing to do with it and 15+ years later still pat themselves on the back for their very sober reflections and very lucrative book tours about how they could have possibly gotten anything wrong.

That list of names in the last quoted paragraph... those are the liberals to David Brooks.

(via driftglass)