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By KellyMc - Last updated: Friday, July 21, 2006 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Is it ever reasonable to compare your opponent to Hitler?

I’m not sure, but I highly recommend this article from Harper’s Magazine, which makes a case for betrayal as the preeminent Conservative/Republican cop-out narrative going back to World War I.

Since the end of World War II it has been the device by which the American right wing has both revitalized itself and repeatedly avoided responsibility for its own worst blunders. Indeed, the right has distilled its tale of betrayal into a formula: Advocate some momentarily popular but reckless policy. Deny culpability when that policy is exposed as disastrous. Blame the disaster on internal enemies who hate America. Repeat, always making sure to increase the number of internal enemies.

The author ties his history notes (Ike blaming FDR for the spread of Communism, Nixon blaming hippies for losing Vietnam, etc.) right into the modern “evil Liberals” histeria.

But I think this will all be particularly informative as we watch the outcome of the war in Iraq and move into the post-Bush era. For the past year at least we’re already seeing the “real” Conservatives distance themselves from that bunch in the White House, and we’ll certainly be seeing more of it as the McCain campaign gets into full swing.

I appreciate that there is such a thing as a reasonable Conservative. But it’s a convenient argument, as I’ve seen phrased elsewhere, that “Conservatism can’t fail, it can only be failed.” How convenient that it seems to be failed because of treachery every damned time. And how many more times does it need to be failed before we can give it up for dead?

And as long as it’s Harper’s day for me, here’s a much shorter article on the administration preventing the CIA from doing an intelligence estimate on Iraq, perhaps for fear that it will conclude it’s a total civil war.

Posted in Politics • • Top Of Page

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