Freedom from Blog

Don't call it a comeback . . . .

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What Pauly Said

Are these guys INSANE!? Yes. Yes they are.

Back on The West Wing, which now seems as culturally distant as Bonanza, they used to say "Let Bartlett be Bartlett." Well, I think they're finally letting Bush be Bush. Or at least letting Cheney be Cheney. Obviously, a big part of the rationale for this war has been its use as a classic GOP wedge issue designed to divide Democrats against themselves and then savage them like wounded gazelles--gay, treasonous, terrorist-loving, wounded gazelles. But why? A big win in Iraq would have been a windfall for Bush and the GOP even if they hadn't sought so droolingly to exploit it for political gain. Election timing explains part of the unnecessary warmongering, and I'm sure that W's daddy obsessions played some role too. But they now seem to have told us, finally, that it really WAS all about Vietnam.

By embracing the Vietnam metaphor, Bush & Co. have tapped into a vein of right-wing 1960s ressentiment they had only scratched at before. The experts thought the mine was not safe, but the Bushies kept digging for that ore no matter how much the earth quaked. To quote Kelly Bundy: Urethra, I have found it! Our chance to finally prove that we're not a nation of pussies, not like all those draft dodging, drug dabbling wastrels of yonder year, not lacking in "will" or too craven to let the generals fight. If only we could bomb Cambodia. . . er, Iran! If only the American people had a bold and charismatic leader unafraid of risking his. . . er, others' lives.

And thus, the conservative movement comes full circle. Born of the 1960s. Rising from the ashes of an imploding New Deal/Cold War consensus. That resentment had given them life, and it is to that resentment that they now turn in death, curling up into a fetal ball of confusion, anger, and contempt as the flames gradually envelop them. This is the end. My only friend, the end.


At 5:16 PM, Blogger Paul said...

It's enough for me to scream "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah."

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Frances said...

Hope you're right, TMcD. But Giuiliani's entire campaign is based on the premise that there's still gold down in that mine.

After all, before Bush embraced the Vietnam analogy himself, Giuliani published his Foreign Affairs foreign policy manifesto in which he explicitly stated that the "lesson of Vietnam" was that the defeatist left snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and that we shouldn't make that mistake again in Iraq.

Is this stance hurting Giuliani? He seems to think it's one of his trump cards! And Giuiliani is both the GOP frontrunner and--based on the polls--the most likely to beat Hillary in the general.

TMcD, are you sure it's not going to work this time around?

(In case anyone might doubt whether I'm misreading Giuliani, here's the quote: "America must remember one of the lessons of the Vietnam War. … Many historians today believe that by about 1972 we and our South Vietnamese partners had succeeded in defeating the Vietcong insurgency and in setting South Vietnam on a path to political self-sufficiency. But America then withdrew its support, allowing the communist North to conquer the South. The consequences were dire, and not only in Vietnam: numerous deaths in places such as the killing fields of Cambodia, a newly energized and expansionist Soviet Union, and a weaker America."


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