Freedom from Blog

Don't call it a comeback . . . .

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On a Raft with Huck and Jon

I know this episode of The Daily Show is now a week or so old, but they just replayed it a few days ago and I've been thinking about it ever since. What amazed me, although maybe it shouldn't have, is how naive and simplistic Huckabee's defense of conservatism was. Here, in a nut-shell, is his argument: if people were just nice to each other all the time, we wouldn't really need government. The scales--they've fallen! Sign me up for the revolution!

If that's not the most utopian drivel I've ever heard, then paint me red and call me Karl. Paint me green and call me Ayn. No, we're doing a disservice to those utopian frauds. Marx at least had a realist (and plausible, ca. 1848) account of economic history, and Rand was at least cynical about human motives. Huck's spinning some crap from the five-year olds' Sunday school class. This is Emma Goldman meets Mr. Rogers, Kropotkin trippin' on X in a Seuss hat. Jesus, man! (Jesus Man), whatever happened to original sin!? Gimme some "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," not this warmed-over Joel Osteen shit. You're making me miss the days when antinomians like you got thrown in the stocks. Now, as you guys know, I'm a pretty liberal Christian, and I'm all about the tolerance and glad tidings, yada yada. I don't like talking about hell unless the sentence includes names like Hitler, Stalin, or Falwell. But let's keep the radical forgiveness shtick for when we're all dead, not when we're, oh I don't know, keeping an eye on the hedge funds.

What has happened to conservatism? Somehow, they've managed to combine an utterly amoral set of governing/campaigning tactics--ones I might call "Machiavellian" if I didn't have so much respect for that old skeptic and democrat--with a self-image borrowed from Bobby McFerrin, or, think of it as Malcolm X in a purple dinosaur costume, or Joe McCarthy carrying a Tinky Winky purse. And here's the worst part: Huckabee was one of the least objectionable Republicans this year! I kinda like the guy, and given an apocalyptic choice between him and Mitt Romney (or Sarah Palin), I'd be out on a street corner passing out "Don't Fuck With Huck" buttons. Given the recent drift of GOP politicians, I can't wait to see what their next generation of leadership is going to look like.


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