Monday, November 10, 2008

Exactly

P.J. O'Rourke: We Blew It.

Read the whole thing.

5 comments:

Stephen said...

I laughed. I cried.

g_rob said...

Brilliant.

dcat said...

Ihave to say, I like PJ O'Rourke. I think he is occasionally funny. Sometimes witty. What about this article did you like so much? The not-funny, not-insightful views of liberals (Hah! Hippies -- they smell funny!) The not-funny, not-insightful view of politics? I'm just curious. Where is the brilliance, the writing that evokes laughing or crying? Because if this essay evokes it, I can rest happy in that conservatives have gotten dumber with worse sense(s) of humor, which, after an overwhelming victory means that we pretty much got it all.

This is where conservatives are taking their stand? Wow. We. Fucking. Win.

dcat

Tom said...

If you honestly want to know what rang true to me, your increasingly dumb and humorless friend, in O'Rourke's wistful (hence the laughing and crying) essay, here are a few lines about the failures of conservatives and Republicans:

"An entire generation has been born, grown up, and had families of its own since Ronald Reagan was elected. And where is the world we promised these children of the Conservative Age? Where is this land of freedom and responsibility, knowledge, opportunity, accomplishment, honor, truth, trust, and one boring hour each week spent in itchy clothes at church, synagogue, or mosque?"

"We've had nearly three decades to educate the electorate about freedom, responsibility, and the evils of collectivism, and we responded by creating a big-city-public-school-system of a learning environment."

"In our preaching and our practice we neglected to convey the organic and universal nature of freedom. Thus we ensured our loss before we even began our winning streak."

"...modern conservatism has been plagued by the wrong friends and the wrong foes. The "Southern Strategy" was bequeathed to the Republican party by Richard Nixon--not a bad friend of conservatism but no friend at all. The Southern Strategy wasn't needed."

"If the citizenry insists that abortion remain legal--and, in a passive and conflicted way, the citizenry seems to be doing so--then give the issue a rest. Meanwhile we can, with the public's blessing, refuse to spend taxpayers' money on killing, circumscribe the timing and method of taking a human life, make sure parental consent is obtained when underage girls are involved, and tar and feather teenage boys and run them out of town on a rail. The law cannot be made identical with morality."

"Our impeachment of President Clinton was another example of placing the wrong political emphasis on personal matters. We impeached Clinton for lying to the government. To our surprise the electorate gave us cold comfort. Lying to the government: It's called April 15th. And we accused Clinton of lying about sex, which all men spend their lives doing...."

And everything in the article after "Government is bigger than ever," to include his points about conservatives not sticking to their principles on corporate welfare, agriculture subsidies, fiscal responsibility, corruption, amendments against gay marriage, immigration, inconsistencies or utter lack of thought about where morality fits into conservative philosophy on foreign affairs, and transparency in the free market.

In fact, after going over it again, I am trying to figure out how anyone could read that scathing self-critique of conservatives and conclude that the main points were in the intentionally hyperbolic throwaway lines about liberals, and then have the temerity to call anyone else dumb.

Just be happy you won the election, and try to be true to your principles so that you won't have to wonder in four, eight, twelve, or however many years if the reason you lost is because you weren't liberal enough. O'Rourke might be wrong--the 2008 election might have been a rejection of all things conservative--but the truth is we will never know, because for the last 28 years conservatives have not lived up to the name. That was the point, that is why "we blew it."

g_rob said...

I thought the part of about Hippies smelling funny was pretty funny too. But then again, I. Am. Stupid.