Dice, schmice

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday December 27, 2011 03:31 PM

People who know Robert Naiman tell me he's a nice well-meaning guy, but he just put up, on Arianna's vanity site, one of the dumbest exercises in lesserevillism I've seen in a while. It's got all the ingredients:

Shouldn't the fact that the Iraq war was a consequence of George W. Bush becoming president, although that consequence was not apparent in 2000, inform how we judge the likely consequences of Mitt Romney becoming president?

No one can say that a war with Iran would be a certain consequence of Mitt Romney becoming president... [but] Who wants to roll the dice?

This is a museum-quality example of how Dembot apologists assume they know the answers to hypothetical questions. For Naiman, it goes without saying that Gore 'would not have' attacked Iraq, and it goes without saying that Obie, if re-elected, 'would not' attack Iran. I wish I was as certain as this about many things less involved in obscurity. Faith is a great thing, but the Democratic Party seems a somewhat undeserving object for it.

It doesn't seem terribly likely to me that either Romney or Obie will attack Iran, for what that's worth. But it's far from clear that either is less likely to do it than the other.

Of course we quickly segue from predicting the future (and postdicting the past) to an advanced graduate seminar in Crackpot Realism:

Should there not be a Super PAC explicitly devoted to educating Americans about the danger that Mitt Romney becoming President will lead to more war? Shouldn't such a Super PAC be formed now? Why wait until September to start educating and mobilizing Americans against this? Might that not be too late? Why wait to defend the city until the barbarians are at the city gates? Shouldn't we try to stop the barbarians from reaching the city gates?
A PAC. That's the ticket.

I particularly love the deeply conservative, even Blimpish, barbarians-at-the gates metaphor. The barbarians are not at the gates. The barbarians run the city. Every Senator is a barbarian, every Praetorian is a barbarian, every proconsul and curule aedile and prothonotary is a barbarian. It's barbarians all the way down. Even before the barbarians won, the anti-barbarians were barbarians themselves.

Naiman understandably wants to prevent the more barbarous barbarians from taking over. But he seems to overlook the fact that the less barbarous barbarians are getting more barbarous every day, half a pace or so behind the barbarissimi.

It's a kind of freeze-frame view of the world. The Naimans are like the opposite of T. Rex -- they can't see motion.

Comments (10)

The barbarians were already in charge twenty seconds after Madison's ink had dried.

Happy Jack:

A PAC? Hell, that Daisy ad only had to run once to do the trick. Is this guy pimping for some consulting money or something?


Makes one yearn for the days when the term "Democrat wars" (last heard, I believe, uttered grumpily by Bob "Viagra" Dole) was common parlance. Is there a lovelier, or more apt, pairing of words in our political life?

And it's the kind of term that would really, really get Democrats exercised today. You know, because the Repubs committed the crime- against-humanity-and-good-taste of saying "Democrat" instead of Democratic.


* that would be Dole circa the 1976 vice presidential debates. When he didn't need Viagra to get pissed off.


"... doesn't seem terribly likely to me that either Romney or Obie will attack Iran, for what that's worth."

it's worth a lot to convince folks
uncle can't get it up these days

suggest to lots of folks
uncle could launch on a "threat"
at any time
that we may be choosing between
a war party and a peace party
and millions of knees will jerk

"But it's far from clear that either
is less likely to do it than the other."

exactly so !
and yet
despite everything since february 1 2009
suggesting the contrary

despite all the nasty "had to does "
that have been done by our
white hat emperor

too many nice well mannered doves
still sense
a same feathered friend inside ohbummer

actually the iraqathon
was quite unusual among yankee empire wars
since "we" ascended to the global thrown in 45

baby bush's war was far more elective
then most
and the consequences make a second even bigger
elective attack more then just unlikely
the deeper problem is a second aff-goonie-stan
that op type is always on the menu
though air armada only strikes me as the overwhelmingly likely "intervention" form
next time next where
there will be peace in our time
that is of course if our time
means only the next potus term


if our corporate guardian class are barbarians

what are we of the haute job class ???

what ??

just the merit cream of a crumbling epoch ??

some destroyed civilization's
lot of oppressed de racinated defeated champions ??

egg head and hercules alike

our choice
be mandarins to the goths
or drop aside
wearers of sack cloth
on an internal pilgrimage
escapist hedonians
voyaging to kicksville ???

scientist scholar artist and thief

we exploit too
we share the boodle one way or other

a parasite dedicated to minimum exploitation
is a parasite none the less

then there's universal "labor "

"scientist... " "scholar... " "artist.."
but in addition always
" ...and thief "

beware hyperions
lest you forget

the mark of cain is upon us too


"twenty seconds after Madison's ink had dried"

the constitution is indeed
the pact of a gang of exploiters

but that insight gets you absolutely
no where

and the metaphoric conflation
of exploiter with barbarian
adds only the usual merit class auto-figmentation

in our case ??
well as tooless humanists
the parnassian self delusion
of a qualitative difference

difference ?

well we" aware human capitals "
we get our extracted "funds "
in disguised form
at second hand or even third hand
and blessedly
from a dark sun
just over
the guilt horizon

main frame corporate "barbarians"
--philistines if you will --
have their unrefined ways and willful ignorance
what do we have
each of uscultivated meritoids ?

a uniquely self constructed
maze of exemption ???


a uniquely self constructed
maze of exemption ???

Welcome to human being, op.


Incidentally, Naiman himself assures me that he's actually for Ron Paul. Which of course makes me think better of him; but any indulgence in electoral demonology is still silly. They're all demons.


Dole needs Viagra to get pissed off? I thought it was to get pissed ON. All right, all right, it's a stupid joke, Bob Dole was never into water sports. Although I do remember a 1996 campaign photo published in the NYT showing him lounging next to a pool in Bal Harbour.

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