Conor Friedersdorf writes in, The Right-Wing Hucksters Who Dare Not Be Named
President Obama’s critics “seem eager to believe he is a lightweight,” John Podhoretz writes in Commentary, “and he is not.” Conservatives underestimate him to their own detriment, he argues, utterly failing to know their adversary, for when they’re not calling him “a golf-mad dilettante,” they’re indulging in the polar-opposite delusion that he’s a power-mad Kenyan Marxist.
The unintended result:
The notion that Obama is a dangerous extremist helps him, because it makes him seem reasonable and his critics foolish. It also helps those who peddle it, because it makes them notorious and helps them sell their wares. But it has done perhaps irreparable harm to the central conservative cause of the present moment — making the case that Obama’s social-democratic statism is setting the United States on a course for disaster and that his anti-exceptionalist foreign policy is setting the world on a course for nihilistic chaos. Those are serious arguments, befitting a serious antagonist. They may not sell gold coins as quickly and as well as excessive alarmism, but they have the inestimable advantage of being true.
[ ]….All I can say for sure is that you’ve got individuals in mind who, by your own admission, are doing damage to the movement you’re both invested in far more earnestly than they are … and you’ll only criticize them obliquely. As best I can tell from regularly seeing your work, they’re the only sort you disdain but won’t name.
Conor has a point and he means well, yet, and I say this as someone on the the same side as Conor, Conor seems somewhat clueless. Conservative and libertarian intellectuals use phrases like “social-democratic statism” as a synonym for of Marxist Anti-Christ, but the pompous pretender John Podhoretz, and the moral and intellectual vacuum known as Jonah Goldberg know this. Statism is is just another limp piece of hyperbole from mental defectives who think they’re being clever. If the Limbaughs, Glenn Becks, Michelle Malkins and Sean Hannitys would just start using the conservative intellectual thesaurus, the Orwellian dazzle from the new spin will make their proto-fascist agenda much more palatable to the average American. Podhertz is saying the same thing the cheap seats say on Fox News when he writes, “his anti-exceptionalist foreign policy is setting the world on a course for nihilistic chaos.” He will not and cannot give details because he is doing nothing more than what 13 year olds do in the cafeteria when they see someone they don’t like. They start making things up about them. They project their weird imagination on people. Goldberg had to rewrite history to make his point about liberulism, Hillary Clinton, Woodrow Wilson and FDR. What nihilism – killing Bin laden when the neocons could not do the job? Leaving Iraq after conservatives wasted thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. Anyone with a laptop can spew out accusations, how about some measurable, verifiable proof – Obama’s actions and how they pushed the world even one micrometer towards nihilistic chaos. If nothing else one cannot have a dark nothingness and chaos at the same time. I’ve been reading Podhoretz or his dad, since high school. The far Right treats them with a reverence reaching the heights of idolatry. Yet, John has a record of being wrong so often and egregiously, if America was truly a merit based culture, he’d be living in a cardboard box in an ally.
Unidentified Japanese Meiji artist, Audubon Opening His Box of Watercolors Destroyed by Norway Rats, 1872–77. Ukiyo–e woodblock print on paper. Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, Bella Landauer Collection. This is the post the paining goes with.