Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One weird lizard

Most of the columnists I read are decidedly right-leaning. Actually, my favorite columnists, with the exception of the one and only Patrick Buchanan, tend to be libertarians. I should probably read more left-leaning columnists, but I avoid them for two reasons: 1) none of the popular left-leaning columnists strike me as good writers; and 2) for all of the recent dearth of good commentary amongst the anybody-but-the-Democrats crowd, it's hard to capture just how badly the left lacks ideas. Proscribing more government spending for every ailment under the sun was vaguely novel a century ago, but after one hundred years of failed government programs--to say nothing of the millions of corpses, casualties of progress--it takes either historical ignorance or simple idiocy to advocate more government involvement.

The one glorious exception is the ever enigmatic Camille Paglia:

Would I want Hillary answering the red phone in the middle of the night? No, bloody not. The White House first responder should be a person of steady, consistent character and mood -- which describes Obama more than Hillary. And that scare ad was produced with amazing ineptitude. If it's 3 a.m., why is the male-seeming mother fully dressed as she comes in to check on her sleeping children? Is she a bar crawler or insomniac? An obsessive-compulsive housecleaner, like Joan Crawford in "Mommie Dearest"? And why is Hillary sitting at her desk in full drag and jewelry at that ungodly hour? A president should not be a monomaniac incapable of rest and perched on guard all night like Poe's baleful raven. People at the top need a relaxed perspective, which gives judgment and balance. Workaholism is an introspection-killing disease, the anxious disability of tunnel-vision middle managers.

As always, the entire thing merits a read. The Hillary campaign has certainly gotten weird lately. The ad makes way more sense for the McCainiac; it's not as if the hawks are going to give Hillary the go with the GOP nominee gnawing at the bit to attack Iran and snarling at Russia. The point, I suppose, was to emphasize Obama's inexperience, but if that inexperience means he's going to be cautious about pushing the little red button, my guess is there are a lot of Americans who will opt for inexperience.

It's also amusing that the democrats, who have--rightly--criticized Bush and company for fear mongering in regards to the non-existent threat of the Islamo-bad-guys, are now siding with Bush--at least some of them anyway.

I'll try to get to the war issue later this week. Suffice it to say that Obama is the best anti-war candidate in the race for President, albeit to a certain extent by default. I could never vote for him, since he's a fascist--see Jonah Goldberg's book; his calls for unity are classically fascistic--but I hope he continues to emphasize his anti-war positions. Faced with a choice between killing unborn American babies, and killing unborn American babies plus Iraqis and Iranians, I'll hope for, but never condone with my vote, the lesser evil. A half-hearted go Obama.


Lichanos said...

Camille Paglia is a writer who deals only in images, images of images, and self-indulgent criticism which amounts to her spouting off about her preferences and preoccupations. I don't see why you take her seriously as a person of ideas.

Personally, I find most political writers boring. I agree with lots of what is in The Nation, but I find it dull as dishwater, and numbingly predictable.

Paul Krugman is a left-leaning liberal whose columns are filled with ideas, facts, and figures. If you want serious commentary of specific policy issues, he's worth reading. Of course you won't agree with him, but he's no lightweight. Certainly not a phoney-snob-pontificator like WFBuckley.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

I don't see why you take her seriously as a person of ideas.

Her political commentary is fairly trite, but it amusing. Since the Presidential contest is little more than a grand sporting event, I prefer my commentary to be amusing.

I've also read her one serious work, Sexual Personae. Anyone who produces such a work is worthy of respect as an intellectual.

Paul Krugman is a left-leaning liberal whose columns are filled with ideas, facts, and figures.

I've read Krugman infrequently. He's certainly better than Dowd, but his economic policies are very suspect. I'm not saying you have to buy into the gold standard--as I do--but to not be a bit suspect of Keynesian economics after, not only their failure during the Great Depression, but the stagflation of the 70's--which appears to be making a return.