Friday, November 07, 2003

How do I admire the Old Oligarch? Let me count the ways:

Here's a starter.

There is nothing, nothing stupider than putting less than our best and brightest out in the way of combat just so we can all feel warmer and fuzzier. Eliminate the massive physical and psychological differences between men and women, and we can talk. Otherwise, spare me the cockamamie crap about making girls feel good and accepting the needless loss of men and women as an acceptable consequence.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Just for the record: Statements like

“It’s the seat of the American revolution,” DNC spokeswoman Deborah DeShong said of Boston, “and we hope it’s going to be the seat of another revolution, and that’s taking over the White House.”
are cute, and everything, but may be -- just may be -- why our politics has become so poisoned.

Every time someone mutters about the need for regime change, a coup, a revolution, whatever, when what they're actually talking about is a normal, legal election, they drag us a little closer to the brink. Words have meaning, guys.

I actually have a theory about this: Politics becomes warfare about once or twice a century. In the heady few decades after the revolution, Hamilton wasn't the only politician who took one in the chest from a rival. Congressmen went to battle -- I mean that precisely -- with each other on the legislative floor on the eve of the Civil War. The elections of 1876-1888 marked a high-point in the late nineteenth century's mudslinging. (The conventional wisdom, from which I see no need to depart, is that 1876 was so very bad, so very dangerous for the political health of the nation, that things toned down, fast, and that is the peace from which we are now awakening.)

Obviously, some of the century or so that we came through made this peace unusually tenable: Two World Wars, in a sense Three, a Great Depression That Shouldn't Have Been As Bad As It Was But There It Is, and massive economic growth from 1950 or so on, etc.

But it appears we're back.

I don't even know what to say about this any more. I do know this: Things will be, politically speaking, ugly for a little while.