Daniel Larison spent the weekend uncovering the lies that serious, reasonable conservatives tell.
First, John Fund tells a whopper while trying to gin up a “Gillibrand Upset” story. Of course, the notion that Gillibrand’s opponent has any kind of chance is crazy itself. In tomorrow’s New York primary, three Rebublican nobodies will be competing for the honor of being crushed by Gillibrand in November, after all the big names (Rudy 911 and Pataki) bravely ran away.
Then there’s David Frum, who thinks that the country that suffered the worst post-9/11 violence from Islamic extremists was France. Never mind Madrid and London.
Remember, these are the reasonable Republicans, not the teabagger fringe loonies.
Let Me Lie To You
The new GOP mantra: Trust but leave it to Beck/Palin to verify.
Gillibrand’s team already cut an ad that highlights that it doesn’t really matter who the Republicans pick: Any one of them is too stupid for the job.
Schumer also has two
sacrificial lambsRepublicans out for his seat. He could fall into a coma that lasts between now and election day and he’d still win.
Ed at ginandtacos makes the point that we are all “fringe loonies”, now. An argument worth the read.
So, what does Forum say happened to France? They were assaulted by the sight of countless socially excluded Muslim women wearing hijab?
Reasonable republicans? Don’t call my ox a moron!
John Fund, one of those “reasonable people” that shows up on Diane Rheems show from time to time, like Mark Kirkorian
Regardless of the predictable lies of the Republicans, all is well in Washington. The Redskins beat the Cowboys.
@Larry Signor: Killer!
As an antidote to stupidity for a Monday morning, I recommend Nina Totenbagger’s review of Stephen Bryer’s new book. Good stuff.
@Anya: I think it was the shear number of fee-fees hurt at the sight of Muslims refusing to become “French” (i.e., white).
There is not such thing as Peak Wingnut (R), errr, a “reasonable conservative.”
So speaking of Lying to me, how about a little truth.
Linda McMahon’s newest commercial flat out admits business owners are holding back hiring because of “the fear of Obama’s agenda”
Another words they’re holding the country hostage to prevent good policies from being enacted.
and Linda “gets it” and “will make the politicians get it”
By getting it, that means giving millionaires what they want so they’ll hire us as their indentured servants again.
thanks for that link to the ad. It was great.
Not here. Not now. Not ever. – damn straight. keep that crazy back there!
The French are seriously weird about their Frenchiness. I am not sure it’s exactly an Islamophobia as more of a “zoutalor, you live in FRAAAAAANCE, you must be ze FREEEENCH” thing. But I’ve had this conversation with a French person who is probably 95% to the left of me, and this is one of two points of view that really stood out, the idea that your religious and cultural identity should really remain private and confined to your living room, and whenever you’re in public you better be trying to look and act like everyone else, and the French don’t wear headscarves unless they’re Hermes. The other point of view that stands out is not only do they not care about the infidelity of politicians, which I think is reasonable, they actually seem to think it’s so normal that it would be quite weird if they didn’t.
Oh, and I wasn’t around all weekend, it was very hectic, but I see now that AnneLaurie put up my Graham rescue story and thanks a great deal for that. The puppy is great, and fills a much-needed void, as they say :) because our budget is always such that in any instance in which it appears that we may be able to save money, some brave and noble appliance, vehicle, or other exigency steps in to save the day. In the first month for nine years that we had no child care expenses, we paid out $600 to the vet and kennel. Therefore, all is right with the world.
The Tragically Flip
Frum gets way too much credit for his supposed “reasonable” schtick. Whatever he’s doing, it’s just what he thinks the Republicans need to do to get him more wars and blood spilt to make the world “safe” for warmongering vile twits like him.
If he thought that teahad was the way to do it, he’d be doing that. Glad to see him called out.
The Bearded Blogger
@jibeaux: France and the United States are the two countries that suffer from a “we’re number 1” complex. There’s bigotry and chauvinism in other countries, of course (Belgium!), but the idea of a country being exceptional among others, somehow towering above, is proper to these two. Also accounts for the mutual dislike.
In a world where teatards are expected to be violently opposed to masturbation… perhaps Frum is a “reasonable” Republican.
But it’s like being a polite serial killer; we still don’t want you around.
The problem is that it is getting awfully difficult to tell the difference between “reasonable” Republicans and “teabagger fringe loonies.” This is not your parents’ Republican party anymore.
@The Bearded Blogger:
I think you’re absolutely right about that. But they’re two slightly different flavors, I think — while we certainly have plenty of Amurica-lovin’ rednecks who don’t cotton to folks who are different, the flavor that lets a liberal professional academic say things about headscarves belonging in private homes not in a FRENCH PARK dammit — seems to be pretty French. Maybe it’s just that we have a stronger tolerance of individualism (except for those vile entities known as HOAs) and other countries have a firmer embrace of a shared national identity. I kind of doubt hijabs would go over well in Japan, either, if Japan had any immigrants to speak of.
Larison is a proud member of The League of the South which
“is a neo-Confederate group that advocates for a second Southern secession and a society dominated by “European Americans.” The league believes the “godly” nation it wants to form should be run by an “Anglo-Celtic” (read: white) elite that would establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate blacks and other minorities.”
Sounds pretty loony to me.
Can somebody explain to me why he is such a favorite around here?
Larison’s takedown of Dinesh D’Souza’s twaddle in the WSJ was even better than his takedowns of Fund and Frum.
Most of what JC seems to like about him is simple, self-serving (in a good way) reasonableness that you would expect from anyone who understands that what he writes today just might come back to haunt him tomorrow. This, of course, never enters the minds of most “conservatives”, so it sets Larison apart somewhat.
Other than that, I don’t know why he’s such a favorite. His ruminations may be “deep” for the libertarian/conservative/whatever-the-hell-he-is crowd, but he’d be laughed off the FP of most centrist or lefty blogs, IMO.
@The Tragically Flip: o/t, but great handle.
I would guess it is because he is thoughtful (comparatively) and engages in actual discussions with people who are on the other side of the aisle. I do not think that cite his arguments necessarily implies an endorsement of his views. If it does, it is limited to the view expressed in the cited piece. Larison’s loony ideas remain loony; his sensible ideas stay sensible.
Its important to remember, in re the French, that they were anti-clerical before anti-clerical was cool. Americans simply can’t remember theocracy and the role of the church–a single church–in dominating political life. The French do. They actually fought, very recently, against the domination of the Catholic Church in every aspect of private and public life. The argument that people should strictly keep their religious life/canon law/sharia law in their own homes is an important one. Where plural societies have problems is in the potentially oppressive and anti democratic role some religious communities exert on some of their own membership: women and children specifically. Freedom of religious practice for adult males often means lack of freedom of choice for dependents of all kinds. At that point things get complicated as the individual’s membership in the larger society can conflict with the religious communities need to control its own membership and to prevent individual women, children, and dissaffected men from “voting with their feet.”
You see just this issue in divorce among orthodox Jews–where the woman can legally get a divorce under American law but is at the mercy of her husband’s willingness to give her a “get” under (some) Jewish Law. You see it, as well, among Catholics who can get divorced and remarried under US law but not in the Church. The determination of small, religious sects, to control their junior members (women and children) is seen in the perennial opposition of right wing Christians to anything that smacks of a “children’s rights” movement since a child’s right (to an education, to medical care, to freedom of religion) might come into conflict with the parent’s right to determine the child’s options and behavior.
I think this is relevant to your interests:
Lying Your Way to Crazy by Fred Clark (Slacktivist).
A selection (pray the block-quote works):
Not surprising, then, that so many Americans seem keen to live under a theocracy.
Quaker in a Basement
Never mind Madrid and London.
There was also a small incident in Mumbai. It was in the papers.
Oh, wait. That didn’t involve Western Europeans. Prbly doesn’t count, right?
How about Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan?
if one stops thinking of these pieces as anything other than press releases, one will be less annoyed with them.
well, somewhat. sometimes.
the Frum piece, which i foolishly read, is of the form of “pick the most unreasonable remarks you can find, pretend that they are representative, and ergo show how you are right after all.” in other words, like claiming comments on a blog should be ascribed to the blog’s proprietor. a better hack would write something else that was not such a thoroughgoing example of chock-a-block nitwit whinging. maybe he had to show a draft to cash his check late last Friday. OTOH he’s demonstrated in the past that to him, facts are just pesky misconstructions, so who knows?
as for Larison, he makes no secret of his cultural views, writes clearly, and is perhaps the most articulate exponent of what might be called classical american isolationism. AFAIK he’s also honest, which is a plus. as to his theories about the US civil war, the best i can say is that his view is rather idiosyncratic. i think it is deeply incorrect, but i don’t think that alone justifies ignoring everything he writes, any more than one would be justified in ignoring the writing of everyone who believes in a FSM that has wider noodles than your FSM.
Lie to Me, I Promise to Believe –
Sheryl Crow lyric reference? (“Strong Enough”)
And to numbskull.
Just seems odd to me to quote Larison in a post titled “Lie to Me. . .”
To take him seriously you must buy into his lies. Which is to say you are doing exactly what you are suggesting other folks are doing.
If he wasn’t doing PhD level work in history at a good university you could accept his understanding of American history as “idiosyncratic.”
He is not stupid, he can’t pretend that he doesn’t know, the only possibility left is that he is lying to cover up his “incovenient” white supremacists beliefs.
And can’t take his “proud” membership in The League of the South as anything other than a white power salute.
He is just too smart and too educated to play the “stupid game.” The “we are just harmless good old boys proud of our heritage” scam.