Friday, October 31, 2008

Competence and nuance are overrated!

Not long ago, David Brooks sounded the alarm for the latest incarnation of the Republican Party, alleging that its primary foundation is...anti-intellectualism, anti-competence, anti-ideas. The only quality that counts is absolute, slavish fidelity to a set of narrow ideological principles. We've certainly seen plenty of evidence of that in the last 48 hours, which have seen, among other things:

Joe the Plumber, whose education seems to be limited to high school, if that, elevated to foreign-affairs expert at a McCain-Palin
event. Joe says electing Barack Obama will mean "death for Israel," since Barack's going to wave the white flag of surrender in Iraq and invite Ahmadinejad to sit in the front row at the inaugural, etc.

Joe the Plumber elevated to the status of domestic policy expert and historian. Joe claimed at another McCain-Palin event--he's become a fixture on the trail lately--that "progressive taxation is straight out of the mouth of Karl Marx." So now our income tax is Marxian socialism, even though it was advocated by none other than Theodore Roosevelt, who is...John McCain's hero.

The distinguished Middle East scholar Rashid Khalidi branded as a "neo-Nazi" because he happens to have advised Palestinian politicians AND associated with Barack Obama. In the McCain-Palin universe, you are Adolf Hitler if you believe Israel is subject to criticism.

These people know nothing, will say anything, and are proud of all of it. I think David Brooks is absolutely right to be alarmed, and maybe he ought to jump ship-- it is astonishing to me that any thinking person would agree to share a political affiliation with them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't be interesting to bring Mr. Conservative himself, Barry Goldwater, and let's say William F. Buckley Jr., back from the grave (hey, it's Halloween, after all) and ask their opinion of the current Republican nominees and their crowds.

I can't imagine how many conservatives are rolling over in their graves these days.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Gilman Chatsworth said...

Republicans have shown they are only about themselves. Perhaps the Democrats are too, but the evidence of that is scant compared to the Republicans. Their party has no ideology other than what can get them votes and power. Their methods are to make everything a mandate on the other guy. Even this election is a mandate on Obama, rather than a decision between Obama and McCain.


2:31 PM  

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