« You! Off the tiger! | Main | The nuclear option: use it »

What have you done for us lately?

By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday February 14, 2007 11:33 AM

It's now four months since The Most Important Election In The History Of Whatever, yet the world-historical consequences seem strangely... muted. Meanwhile, it's "On to the next thing!" for the pwoggies and the Dems. We didn't even get to take a breath after the last Most Important Election, and now we're supposed to gird our loins for the next one. It's like that Ivan Ilyich line: the reward of success in schooling is... more schooling. The reward we get for Democratic victories is the precious opportunity to give the Democrats more victories. What benefit we receive from this deal does not clearly appear.

The Nation magazine is ready to rumble, though. Here's a recent bit of pulpit oratory, taking its text from the Upper West Side's favorite bad writer:

Into 2008

On the eve of the 1992 elections, novelist E.L. Doctorow reminded Nation readers why the bizarre and troubling pageants known as presidential elections matter so deeply. "The President we get is the country we get.... He is the artificer of our malleable national soul." ... the President has become "the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail. One four-year term may find us at reasonable peace with one another, working things out, and the next, trampling on each other for our scraps of bread."

Wow, man, that's lyrical. E L Doctorow on the American Presidency -- there, if you like, is the ideal marriage of writer and subject: a tin-eared Virgil and a tinpot Caesar.

It's hard to imagine that after this spectacular plunge into bathos, there might be still deeper abysses ahead. But The Nation unerringly finds 'em:

The early [Democratic Presidential] favorites come hearteningly close, for the first time in our history, to actually "looking like America."
Like corporate America, maybe. But it gets better:
The huge shadow of the chief executive is part of what has deformed our political system....

Let us imagine, and insist upon, the election of a President with the broad heart, the sharp but open mind and the principled passion to seize the opportunity that now exists for a long-term political realignment in America--who can set not only Democrats but a strong national majority back on track toward the goals of equality, opportunity, true democracy and social justice.

Cue the Battle Hymn of The Republic. Fade to Old Glory waving above the Capitol. A Frank Capra film.

I wish I knew who actually wrote this slab of rodomontade. Pwoggies have a strange susceptibility to the corniest flag-waving -- I suppose that's one reason why that trumpery, vulgar blowhard John F Kennedy is still held in such high regard.

Perhaps one reason for this perverse taste is the anaesthetic effect of self-administered Fourth of July rhetoric. Patriotism is the opiate of the liberals. In this case, the fumes of the pipe have apparently obscured the Nation editorialist's self-contradiction from his own awareness. On the one hand, the swollen Presidency has "deformed our political system" -- from what shapely former form, I wonder, and when did the deformation occur? -- but on the other hand, our salvation lies in a "President with a broad heart, a sharp but open mind," and all the other anatomical qualifications for a savior -- a manly brow (particularly if she's a woman), a chiseled chin, and oh let's hope, liquid liberal eyes brimming with the tears of deep and earnest feeling.

Comments (10)

La Nation is starting to read like the kind of crap that gets posted on Chris "On To Govern!!!1!!1" Bowers site. It's a fund raising letter penned by Jolt-fueled pwoggie-bloggies. I suspect it was either Ari Berman or a mildly retarded shih-zu.

royal paine:

jfk a "blow hard " ???

oh dear father i must differ there

his ever since dallas chorus
has sure been

blow hard and blow long very very long
and then some and again then some

and all that
over the thinest
fly strip of a presidency

jfk gave our gatsby-esque
ladies mag
fantasy dreams
a lasting blow job

but a hard blower ??? hardly

he was a diffident
skating charmer

a political pretty boy
without undue vanity

a male cortesan
with a fair measure of guts
and aloof as a cockateel
just like the bsecond son of a
over compensating
gold plated irish wolverine ought to be

how's that

Thanks for posting that. I was just thinking that what would make this V-Day the best ever would be a chance to vomit all over my own shoes. Your help has been invaluable. Only next time call ahead. I want to down a box of patriotically-colored candies before reading so I can really do up my footwear in style.


Beautiful post, Michael.

owen paine:

center stage....nutshell department

"The reward we get for Democratic victories is the precious opportunity to give the Democrats more victories. "

I know you must have seen this, about the "slow bleed" (you have to love it) strategy the Dems have now embraced on the war.

owen paine:

can't make this up unit parachutes to the rescue

"What we have staked out is a campaign to stop the war without cutting off funding
for the troops"

thats Tom Mazzie
Americans Against Escalation of the War in Iraq

"We call it the 'readiness strategy.'"
thanx lj

prolly the skipper knew about this but...

never assume

i repeat

other then where lunch is coming from

Most important election in the history of...whatever?

Actually, gang, just for the record, this past election was, in fact, The Most Important Election Since The First Strands Of DNA First Began Appearing In Small Tidal Pools -- as opposed to the 2000 Freakshow, which was The Most Important Election Since The First Humans Appeared At Olduvai -- as compared to the 2004 Circus, which was the The Most Important Election Since The Last Major Extinction Event -- but which will be entirely dwarfed in importance by the upcoming 2008 Fracas which, the Democraps will tell us, will be The Most Important Election Since The Earth Cooled To A Temperature Conducive To Life.

Just so you know.

Oh, and btw, just lay the hell off Doctrow. I happen to have thought "World's Fair" was a helluva book.

OK, granted, I also really dig Benny Hill and Three Dog Night, but that's beside the point.


Mike F -- Come back and talk to me after you've read Sherman's March. I'm with you on Three Dog Night, but Benny Hill -- every other nation in the world knows that English people are far too easily amused.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Wednesday February 14, 2007 11:33 AM.

The previous post in this blog was You! Off the tiger!.

The next post in this blog is The nuclear option: use it.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31