Friday, August 14, 2009

From Taki
  • An unwinnable war. It could be Obama’s Vietnam.
  • His way of war. Many Americans like to think that foreign policy and war, on the one hand, and domestic policy, on the other, are distinct, unconnected political realms. The antiwar hippies who chanted, “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many boys did you kill today?” didn’t suffer much cognitive dissonance condemning LBJ’s war and endorsing his Great Society. Murray Rothbard attempted to bring the New Left full circle in the ’60s and capitalize on its anti-state animus with respect to the war. Rothbard’s mistake was to think that your average hippie or Ramparts contributor really meant it when he occasionally used “libertarian” sounding-rhetoric in the specific context of criticizing the war. (It’s almost as if someone from the Campaign for Liberty heard a Republican question the constitutionality of Obama’s Cash for Clunkers program and then concluded that he must also grasp the fundamental illegitimacy of the Iraq invasion. (No, he doesn’t.) As Joshua has written the tragedy for America in ‘the ’60s’ as commonly understood (as Charley Wingate and Rod Dreher say, essentially it was being an upper-middle-class white at university between about 1967 and 1972) was that the Old Right and New Left never got together: if only, as impossible as it sounds, the rednecks and the hippies before they became hippies (rather like Carl Oglesby in the early days) sat down, actually talked to each other, realised they were being played by both major parties and said ‘no more’. No race-baiting, no more stupid wars, no parlour Marxism and none of the narcissistic nonsense still romanticised today that accomplished little and ruined what many honestly remember as a golden age. Actually the hippy double standard is easy to understand: to a spoilt, self-centred rich kid the war meant an end to his good times; with the Great Society he thought Daddy State could pay for his good times for ever.
  • The Bubba bubble. We saw this before about 15 years ago. Don’t believe the Republicans now either... or the Democrats.

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