Monday, June 21, 2010

At Least Douthat Has a Rich Inner Fantasy Life

Ross Douthat once again proves two things: that a conservative columnist is no more reliable than a bog-standard  conservative blogger, and that you can tell any story about your intellectual opponents you wish, if you're willing to make every thing up along the way.

There isn't much there that he substantiates, and even less that makes sense. His descriptions of liberals comes right out of his own head, and his prescription for America's problems—principally caused by his own conservative doctrines—sound exactly like the kind of crap that got everybody into this mess in the first place.

Like all the best conservative rhetoric, it's rich with projection. A conservative whinging about liberalism's "unfalsifiable" theory would be hysterical were it not tragic, considering his own movement's history of almost cult-like faith in its own doctrines. Pairing it with a complaint about liberals' belief in presidential power is even more insane, considering the hysterical conservative defenses of every Bush era excess in the name of "national security. But the part where he attempted to tie liberal doctrine to foreign policy hawkishness? Honestly, that'll just blow your goddamned head off with sheer force of chutzpah. 

The most fantastic element is his closing:
But it’s here, with the looming fiscal crisis, that the more legitimate liberal fear comes in. Liberals had hoped that Obama’s election marked the beginning of a long progressive era — a new New Deal, a greater Great Society. Instead, from the West Coast to Western Europe, the welfare state is in crisis everywhere they look. The future suddenly seems to belong to austerity and retrenchment — and even, perhaps, to conservatism.
American unemployment is still at 10% thanks to the enduring effects of Bush-era policies and Greenspan's Randroid delusions, the Euro is facing extinction thanks to the German conservative government being unwilling to consider the possibility that Germany's economy isn't the only one worth paying attention to, and the Gulf of Mexico is being stripped clean of life thanks to the overly-cozy relationship between business and government that conservatives cheer with every breath. Every single problem that faces the world can be laid at the feet of conservative doctrine, and the future "belongs to conservativism"?

Ross, with that kind of track record, I certainly hope not. If the near future belongs to conservatism, the time that follows it will probably belong to either the anarchists...

...or the cockroaches.

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