14 March 2007

So Easy And Fun It's Probably A Sin

Reading Ross Douthat's comment on Andrew Sullivan and Dinesh D'Souza, I was struck by this quote from Sullivan: It deeply enrages the liberals whom conservatives now exist to enrage.

It's not that we live to enrage the left, it's just that it is so darn easy and so darn fun. Here are a couple of comments that enrage the left:
  • George Bush is a good president.

  • The world is not in imminent danger of ending.

  • The Iraq war has been too cheap and easy to really impress our enemies.

  • Eventually, we're going to have to invade Iran and Syria if their governments don't collapse of their own weight.

  • There's nothing we can do about the fact that the Islamists hate us

  • Overall, Christianity has been a force for good in the world.

It's really asking a lot to ask us to refrain from such good clean fun.


Brit said...

The Iraq war has been too cheap and easy to really impress our enemies.

Heh heh, I will have to use that one. I will start by shaking my head sadly and saying "What a disaster Iraq has been, eh?"

Oroborous said...

I don't think that it's surely true that the U.S. will have to invade either Iran or Syria, regardless of what happens to their governments.

It's only a possibility.

And we really, really don't want to do either, but especially not Iran.

Harry Eagar said...

'The world is not in imminent danger of ending'

That was a left, even atheistical statement when I was growing up. When did it become conservative?

joe shropshire said...

After the left abandoned it. Sometime around 1980, I should think, 1983 at the latest. That's generally applicable. We don't have any ideas, we just look after other peoples' castoffs. Some of those thrive, or refuse to die anyway, and that is where part of the rage comes from.

Hey Skipper said...

That was a left, even atheistical statement when I was growing up. When did it become conservative?


David said...

Harry: In the 80s when the right became radical and the left became reactionary.

Harry Eagar said...

I thought conservatism was the policy of protecting old things. How can an idea that is less than 25 years old be conservative?

(Walks away, shaking head and muttering.)

joe shropshire said...

That bewilders us too, Harry. How did liberalism get so old, so fast?

David said...

Harry: That's conservation. Conservatism is something else entirely.

Harry Eagar said...

Conservatives used to believe in sticking to the old ways, whether they were good or not, because they were old. There have been very few American conservatives. The last prominent one was probably the humorist Harry Leon Wilson, who died in 1940.

I believe you are talking about radical rightism, which believes in ways of living that never were.

Duck said...

That bewilders us too, Harry. How did liberalism get so old, so fast?

It got there by winning most of the gains it sought. All revolutionaries become reactionaries once they gain power.

Scoobie said...

George Bush is a good president.

This doens't anger us; it makes us laugh.

Oroborous said...

"George Bush is a good president."

This doesn't anger us; it makes us laugh.

Posted by a person who lists "Animal House", "Dazed and Confused", and "Dude, Where's my Car ?" as their favorite movies.

OK, so poor taste is not definitive evidence of general ignorance or stupidity.

But I would love to see Scoobie give a couple of examples of whom he* considers to be "good" Presidents.

* I assume.

David said...

Scoobie: I'm pretty sure that we wouldn't have to discuss it for too long before your temperature started to rise.

David said...

Harry: Yes, conservatism is not a particularly useful word, but it's the one that we have. In modern parlance, the conservatives are the radical party and the liberals are the reactionary party. As Richard Posner long since observed, if conservatives only conserved the status quo, politics would become a ratchet that only turned to the left. When the left was in power they would move and when the right was in power it would conserve. This is compounded by the fact that in America conservatives are optimists and believe in benevolent Progress.

Oroborous said...

Much of what the Left has done has been net "benevolent Progress".

Civil rights, feminine rights, national support for the poor...

The Right has done itself proud as well, but we benefit most by Yin and Yang.

Harry Eagar said...

Ah, well, it's hard to be a conservative in a country where buildings 51 years old are protected under historic preservation laws.

America has never stood still long enough for a would-be conservative to grab hold. By the time he reaches out, the item he wanted to conserve has become extinct.

That's why I prefer the terms 'left' and 'right.' There's not much ambiguity in them, so that one does not shake one's head upon learning that, of late, the biggest deficits are run up by the so-called conservative party.

It is an easy but I think superficial trope to say that the liberals and conservatives have switched sides, just as it suits a certain attitude to compare Israelis to Germans. The appeasement of the left today is not distinguishable from the appeasement of the left in the '20s, f'instance.