Tuesday, February 3, 2009

'Contrary to true progressive politics'

Depends on what your definition of "true" is:
Apparently, snatching someone without a court order, not giving them a lawyer, and then placing them in a remote country were never too much of a problem after all.
(Instapundit via AOSHQ Headlines.) The problem, of course, is that the pursuit of power is the purpose of all politics. "Progressives" made an issue over what they saw as Bush's abuse of power and, in doing so, attacked the power qua power. But then, when they elected their guy to the same office, he looked at the power and said to himself: Power is good.

If Obama didn't want power, he wouldn't have run for president. And while self-styled "progressives" will find a way to rationalize the Messiah's cynical betrayal of his campaign rhetoric, I'm thinking about some of my arch-libertarian buddies who were all about the O as part of that idiotic "Obamatarian" thing. (Don't blame me, I voted for Bob Barr.)

I wonder what someone like Dave Weigel is thinking now. If Obama loses the Weigel types -- all those clever young people who were understandably repulsed by the dumbed-down ideological gooeyness of "compassionate conservatism" -- you can see them being the fulcrum on which the zeitgeist shifts. Two things would be necessary to such a shift:
  • These clever young people would have to penetrate through the imagery of Obama the Magnificent to understand that they have been hustled, ripped off and sold out like a bunch of stupid chumps.
  • Republicans would have to find a message (and a messenger) that appeals to the wised-up sensibilities of these disillusioned young smart-alecks, bruised by the realization that just because you're smart doesn't mean you can't be a chump.
Step One will take care of itself. There is only so much bullshit the Weigel types will swallow. Step Two is the tricky part. The natural instinct of the GOP (and you saw this with the "Maverick" candidacy) is to play for respectability, to appeal to the timid sensibilities of middle-aged Rotarians. The disillusioned 20-somethings will never go for that lame-ass act. They want someone with a little more of the hell-raiser attitude. But someone smart and hip -- i.e., someone like them, because they're so fucking smart and hip they can barely stand themselves.


  1. The natural instinct of the GOP (and you saw this with the "Maverick" candidacy) is to play for respectability

    Would that the tendency was towards the Constitution. The play towards the GOP as such places important questions of policy on about the same level as the NFL.

  2. Politics is all about creating, expanding and maintaining power. Some politicians admit it, some deny it. I don't believe that the core of US foreign policy will change with the democrats in power. If they want to maintain the power, they simply have to follow the course.