Friday, March 06, 2009

Now, if you're feeling kinda low 'bout the dues you've been paying

Actually, I love it when the Right gets it right. From Rod Dreher at BeliefNet, a crunchy con:
Verily, that's the way to bring the party back: blame the media. I talked to a conservative the other day who assured me that Obama's success is entirely a creation of the lying biased media, which tricked people into voting for him. The unpopularity of Republican policies has nothing to do with it. Why, we have that from the mouth of America's Top Conservative, who said at CPAC:

Rush Limbaugh, touted by many conservatives as the de facto head of the party in the interregnum, closed the conference with his own speech. "We can take this country back," the radio host told the assembly. "All we need is to nominate the right candidate. It's no more complicated than that."

Yep, it's just that easy. No need to return to first principles and recalibrate policies to account for new realities. Just find a better messenger for the same old same old. You begin to see why nobody inside that bubble could grasp what a flop Bobby Jindal's reheated Republican mush of a speech was going to be ahead of time. Here's a transcript of the entire Limbaugh CPAC speech. Take a look at this passage, and please tell me what is conservative about it?:

Let me tell you who we conservatives are: We love people. [Applause] When we look out over the United States of America, when we are anywhere, when we see a group of people, such as this or anywhere, we see Americans. We see human beings. We don't see groups. We don't see victims. We don't see people we want to exploit. What we see -- what we see is potential. We do not look out across the country and see the average American, the person that makes this country work. We do not see that person with contempt. We don't think that person doesn't have what it takes. We believe that person can be the best he or she wants to be if certain things are just removed from their path like onerous taxes, regulations and too much government.

This is a comforting lie. It is Rousseau conservatism: the idea that man is born innocent, but corrupted by society, or government. Remove the chains of government, and man will return to his natural, good state, which is one of limitless possibility. This denies two bedrock truths of philosophical conservatism, which are that 1) human nature is fallen, and 2) man must learn to live within limits. A conservatism that is not founded on a conscious recognition of those two truths is a false conservatism, and has a shaky foundation from which to criticize liberal utopianism.

There's more, the whole thing is a revelation in non-insane conservative thinking, somethine we don't get to hear too often. Rod adds this:
Anybody who challenges Limbavian orthodoxy is, ipso facto, the Enemy. If you suggest reform, even from the Right, you are a useful idiot for the Media, which are the Enemy, and can never be anything but the Enemy. Limbaughism sounds a lot like Leninism.

I loved it when the Soviet Union went down and the wall went down and the liberals in our country said you know they may not be ready for freedom over there. They've been oppressed -- yes, liberals will gladly tell you who can have freedom and who can't.

Um, what were the Nineties like in the former Soviet Union? That experiment proved that free markets and liberal democracy can't take hold without the cultural and social preconditions for same. Ditto Iraq. But the Limbavian ideologues, these Right-Wing Rousseauists, see human nature as essentially perfect, except for the corrupting hand of government.

Nicely done, sir.