Fat Steve's Blatherings

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Steyn does it Again

      In his latest column, on the latest Great Conservative Crackup:
The point to bear in mind when Hollywood producers, State Department diplomats, respected senators, gay mavericks, the New York Times and the rest of the media offer conservatives advice is a simple one: As that great self-esteem volume has it, He's Really Not That Into You. The preferred media Republican is an amiable loser: the ne plus ultra of GOP candidates was the late Fred Tuttle, the lame, wizened idiot dairy farmer put up for a joke against Sen. Patrick Leahy in Vermont. But, if they can't get that lucky, the media will gladly take a Bob Dole type, a decent old no-hoper who goes down to predictable defeat and gets rave reviews for being such a good loser. Republicans could well run into trouble in 2006 and 2008, but for being insufficiently conservative on things like immigration rather than for anything the media claim they're cracking up over.

      Reading it reminded me of Garrison Keillor's article in In These Times, "We’re Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore", in which he asks what's gone wrong with the Republican Party:
Something has gone seriously haywire with the Republican Party. Once, it was the party of pragmatic Main Street businessmen in steel-rimmed spectacles who decried profligacy and waste, were devoted to their communities and supported the sort of prosperity that raises all ships. They were good-hearted people who vanquished the gnarlier elements of their party, the paranoid Roosevelt-haters, the flat Earthers and Prohibitionists, the antipapist antiforeigner element. The genial Eisenhower was their man, a genuine American hero of D-Day, who made it OK for reasonable people to vote Republican.

      Yeah, Eisenhower was their man.  Ike's popularity was purely personal.  He governed eight years, six of them with Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress, was succeeded by two Democratic presidents, and Nixon, who was also anti-Conservative.  During Eisenhower's and Nixon's terms, the Democrats got the vast majority of what they wanted.  If I were a Democrat, I'd look back on those times as marvelous too.

      Keillor goes on to say:
The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous.

      And then, after ten paragraphs like that, he closes:
This is a great country, and it wasn’t made so by angry people. We have a sacred duty to bequeath it to our grandchildren in better shape than however we found it. We have a long way to go and we’re not getting any younger.

      Since George H. W., we Republicans/Conservatives have stopped listening to the advice of Democrats.  The Democrats will have to come up with another plan to govern without winning elections.



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