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  • Lance Mannion
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« Miers falls on her sword | Main | Brainiac twists slowly, slowly in the wind »


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Are they truly making uninformed decisions or are we erring by assuming their focus is on the well-being of the country? Being more of an idealist than my husband, I get into this debate all the time… I keep assuming that they have the good of the country at heart no matter how different their idea of good may be. I keep thinking that the administration will pay because they are not doing their job or because they are doing it poorly, but it is at that point that my husband says they don’t give a rat’s ass about the country, but rather are only in this for their personal agenda. I keep thinking there will be a comeuppance because they are failing the people of the country, but he says they don't really care what the people think and are just in this to take the money and run. Maybe their decisions are very informed, maybe they are thinking things through… they just aren’t decisions based on the goals one would think the government should have. The well-being of the country and its people is obviously not a priority and never has been. They are a mean-spirited, miserable bunch.


This made my Fitzmas. It fits in with my theory of the "Republican Dick," and this weekend might be a prime time for a "Republican Dick" essay!

Shakespeare's Sister

Great post, Mannion.

They'll never give you Clinton, though, or you or I or anyone else, for that matter, because they come at this thing from a position of victimhood. What liberals have seen as progress, a word that has for us not the connotation of winning as much as necessity if we are to fully realize a vision of an equal and free America, they have seen instead as hostility directed squarely at them. And in truth, it is hostile to many of the things they hold dear--racism, sexism, homobigotry, and all manner of bias and prejudice. What we viewed as the necessary steady march of progress, they viewed as meanness. And so they are mean in return, and wonder why we don't just acquiesce that it's what we deserve after so many years of being mean to them.

Someone who is a racist, or a sexist, or a homobigot will never believe that a white, straight man (for example) could genuinely want to see someone not white, not straight, and/or not male be his equal. They don't believe that liberals celebrate equality, but that we secretly mock "traditionalism" and wrap our mockery in a P.C. bow.

They don't see a distinction between how we behave and how they behave, because through their impenetrable filter of victimhood, everything is completely misshapen.


It's a commonplace among conservatives, and the sort of people who like both pot and guns and call themselves libertarians, that liberals and Democrats and Hillary Clinton most of all enter the political realm, and do what they do and say what they say, not out of any true conviction or for the ultimate amelioration of the American way of life, but only to indulge their busybodyish tendencies and Mother Courage fantasies by telling everybody not to smoke, not to eat cheeseburgers, not to drink and drive (thought I forgot that bit in the WSJ in late 2000, eh, Christopher Buckley?).

I don't believe that's true in all, or most, cases, but I do believe that a similar analysis does apply to conservatives: they like to know that people die because their commands: foreigners, criminals, the unruly mob. And they like to get away with it. They like knowing that shots are fired and bombs are dropped where and when they like, on the wicked and the innocent alike, and that no one but a few pitiable wannabe Saint Francises will ever have the guts to condemn them.

The germ of this is the knowledge that, when he was in Congress, Dick Cheney's chief concern was not handing out care packages to oil companies or banks, but making sure that the United States had a nuclear first-strike capability.


Rass, let's not forget that Cheney was also one of the few to vote against Head Start while in Congress, thus showing his stripes early, for those clever enough to see (if they'd even known who the single representative from Wyoming was).


I'm glad you are reading Publius (my blogfather). Always thought-provoking without being firebrand. The comments sections are usually delicious.


Also, Fitzgerald must be reading your blog - that 'sand in the face' eerily resembles your 'sand in the engine' you mentioned a few days ago. That is how current GOP operates.

Exiled in NJ

In one sense, Fitz followed the procedure of the boys from Brazil or whatever you want to call the crew in charge: he announced the bad news on Friday afternoon when everyone is going home for the week.

The Heretik

People who go with their gut all the time usually must do so because most of what was in the head is long gone.

Red Tory

Bush and Cheney are both mean and cheap – not only intellectually, but emotionally. They have demonstrated time and time again that they couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the welfare of the country, let alone have any concern whatsoever for the livelihood of the “average American.” Try as I might (not all that hard, I have to admit) I cannot imagine that they have the best interests of people at heart, or are in the slightest way interested in advancing the country’s overall quality of life. All available evidence points to a diametrically opposite conclusion.

You are entirely correct in pointing out that the same dysfunctional, beetle-brained mindset that thought Harriet Miers was an absolutely super nomination for the SCOTUS is the same bunch that brought about the Iraq War, massive deficits, FEMA mismanagement, amongst many, many other giant cock-ups.

Anne Laurie

I'm reading down from the top of your blog, Lance, and now I see that you've slightly pre-empted my comments on Rove's Genius, which is mostly Meanness. On the other hand, while I agree that Meanness is the driving & possibly the only principle behind the Mayberry Machiavells, I think you underestimate how attractive that very Meanness is to the "base" (in every sense) of the Fox News audience as well as its public presenters. One of the biggest Liberal problems is that we assume, as part of our own political credo, that most people generally mean well by others, most of the time, at least if they have things explained to them in terms they understand. One of the biggest Conservative weapons is the fact that a certain percentage of the human race just likes to see other people suffer. The current Republican base, I suspect, contains a lot of people who never got past their childhood enthusiasm for stomping ants, pulling the wings off flies, setting fire to cats (hello, Mr. Frist), beating up smaller kids and stealing their lunches. Or at least cheering on the playground "geniuses" who were brave or uninhibited enough to actually do the ugly things the rest of them only talked about. Human, and American, history is the slow progression of social empathy beyond total self-centeredness; the older & smarter we get, the more people we include as part of our "tribe", the "human family" that we treat as partners instead of enemies/victims. But it's never a straight-line progression, and when we're threatened we have to resist the urge to go straight back to the law of "I've got mine, Jack, bugger you." The Repugs have been playing that old jingle to great effect for the last decade; for some people, the only thing that'll win them over will be the conviction that the Democrats can be just as vicious, if less amorally, or at least more intelligently... maybe "ruthless" would be a better term here.

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