Conservative Cage Fighting

I’m always delighted to see conservatives attacking each other. Beyond the entertainment value, internecine battle shows just how ugly and mean the most out-spoken conservatives can be, as well as the chaos Duhbya/Rove/Cheney have left the Republicans. So, Paul Greenberg made some less-than-reverential reference to the Jester of Bloviation, Lush Limbaugh, and, of course, got attacked by a proud dittohead. Of course, that’s the conservative way — attack, defeat, conquer — our warrior caste.

Greenberg defends himself as “more conservative than thou” — counter-attack is the only self-defense, it seems. Yearning for civility long abandoned by Conservatives, Greenberg wields his pen like a stiletto, as he explains he is a true conservative, not some brutish right-winger. But he exhibits the same binary mind of his cohort: he is true, others are false. There is only black and white in conservative eyes. Pity. Ironic, too, that the reverence for the past doesn’t include an effort to preserve the analog perspective with its infinite gradations. Conservatives despise subtlety; sophisticates like Greenberg eschew nuance.

Why do Conservatives believe they can pick and choose what to conserve? Not only is change clearly inevitable, but much of it is for the best in the long run and most of it is probably as much a mix of good and bad as anything human. When would Conservatives roll back time to and freeze the clock? Was our golden age the Fifties? (Not the Sixties, certainly.) The Raygun Error? The late 1700s? (A great time for white males with land and guns.) When was everything perfect and how much of what we have today would Conservatives give up for the goodle daze: the Internet, modern medicine, civil rights, the wheel? mjh Be a Conservative::By Paul Greenberg

Dear Dittohead,

It was wholly a pleasure to hear from you, even though yours was not exactly a fan letter. But we learn most from our critics, and you gave me a chance to think on what it is to be a conservative in these raucous times. It seems I’m not a true conservative by your lights because I dared criticize Rush Limbaugh in passing, specifically his brash, take-no prisoners approach to political rhetoric. …

Do I have to praise Rush without reservation, vulgarity and all, to avoid being read out of conservative ranks? …

Irony is a pleasing enough style, one among many others, but all-irony-all-the-time is poisonous. It crowds out any real meaning. Much the same could be said of bluster, anger, ridicule or any other popular substitute for reasoned thought and time-tested principles.

The object of political rhetoric should be to raise the level of public discourse, not lower it. Our politics ought to be something more than a mutual exchange of insults between left and right. It ought to have a higher, more thoughtful level. [mjh: ROFLOL. Paul, you are hilarious. Remember the opprobrium you just heaped on all Democrats-cum-traitors?]