If this is progress…


… I don’t want any, thanks.

Somehow I got myself on this outfit’s mailing list and receive an email newsletter every five minutes or so called ‘Thinkprogress’. Recently I got a particularly stupid one about Israel and Iran — the problem, it seems, is that those dumb knucklehead Likudniks are stubbornly ignoring the advice of the experts in Mossad. Fools that they are. I had meant to write a little squib about this remarkable piece of imbecility, but then I got distracted by CAP itself, which is, of course, the Democratic Party’s answer to the Heritage Foundation etc.

A half-hour of superficial research confirmed my long-standing view that anybody who mentions ‘progress’ in an approving tone, or characterizes himself as a ‘progressive’, is just begging for a kick in the teeth. CAP’s web site offers a great deal of fun — Larry Summers is a senior fellow, for example, and if he stands for progress, I’ll take regress any day. And the corporate supporter list is juicy. But among many delights, this was the best bit:

Building on the achievements of progressive pioneers such as Teddy Roosevelt and Martin Luther King…

I read this and rubbed my eyes. I was sure that I had fallen asleep and dreamt it. But no. It’s really there.

‘Teddy’ Roosevelt — that cozy, cuddlesome, dear little bear, with his big shiny teeth — and Martin Luther King. As always: where do you start?

It does, of course, rather vindicate my theory of the madness of the Center. No doubt there are sensible, judicious people — people in positions of reponsibility and emolument — who would read this line and nod approvingly. Yes indeed, that’s what we need. Imperialism — with diversity!

To this extent CAP has already succeeded. They have grafted Martin on the stock of ‘Teddy’ — an admirable black guy joined at the hip to an unspeakable white guy. Result: An unspeakable light-skinned black guy:

Barack Obama

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