One of the reasons it's been so hard post anything here lately is that it seems so otiose. I mean, every day the Obama administration is providing actual tangible concrete evidence that we -- those of us who share to any degree my values, anyway -- have nothing good to expect from it. (One word: Bagram.) What glossing, what explication, what exegesis, does the bald daily newspaper record require? Comment, as they say, seems utterly superfluous.
Yet none of my Obamaphile friends is willing to admit that he or she was taken for a ride.
Perhaps they weren't. Perhaps I was wrong about what motivated them. Before the installation of the current Emperor, I thought they were indulging in wishful thinking. Then for a while after the installation, when the administration's arguably still-latent physiognomy became unmistakably patent, I thought they were being stubborn -- after all, nobody likes to acknowledge that he's been schnookered.
But it's gone on too long. I'm starting to think that Obamaland is the country they want: which is to say, a vile violent brutal empire and police state run by people who don't have hick accents and vulgar prejudices, top-notch smart people from good schools; People Like Us, in other words. It's starting to seem that my friends' objections to Bushery were entirely objections to style rather than substance.
Which of course raises the question: What can one say to people like that? Hadn't one better save one's breath to cool one's soup?
Perhaps I'm still running on autopilot under some old CP notion of "progressive" peoples and social formations being somehow aligned, at least in part, with real substantive social change. It seems pretty clear now that this is a very mistaken idea. The "progress" that "progressives" are interested in is progress toward a universal color- and gender-blind panopticon, a world where the Scholastic Aptitude Test confers imperium over all the legions and all the surveillance cameras.
The resulting quandary explains a lot about this blog. If the people who are likely to read it are the people least likely to be persuaded by anything you have to say -- then the note of mockery, so often deplored by some of our commenters, is about the only note left to strike.
But then too one wants to find somebody to talk to, someplace to look for bloody-minded antisocial impulses that one might help stir up. Hence, I think, the interest that people like Alex Cockburn (and, si licet magnis componere parvos, me) have in libertarians, gun nuts, Tr00thers, climate "denialists": all the people who are, from the enlightened "Progressive" point of view, the wretched refuse of the earth -- the ineducable, in fact. The ineducable are maybe just the people you want, for reasons nicely dissected by Al in an earlier post.