Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Politics as total war" and the state of American conservatism

This, from Andrew Sullivan, is a fantastic overview of how the right is conducting itself these days:

When Andrew Breitbart offers $100,000 for a private email list-serv archive, essentially all bets are off. Every blogger or writer who has ever offered an opinion is now on warning: your opponents will not just argue against you, they will do all they can to ransack your private life, cull your email in-tray, and use whatever material they have to unleash the moronic hounds of today's right-wing base.

Yes, the Economist was right. This is not about transparency, or hypocrisy. It's about power. And when you are Andrew Breitbart, power is all that matters. There is not a whit of thoughtfulness about this, not an iota of pretense that it might actually advance the conversation about how to deal with, say, a world still perilously close to a second Great Depression, a government that is bankrupt, two wars that have been or are being lost, an energy crisis that is also threatening our planet's ecosystem, and a media increasingly incapable of holding the powerful accountable.

Meanwhile, the GOP leaders, having done all they can to destroy a presidency by obstructing everything and anything he might do or have done to address the crippling problems bequeathed him by his predecessor, are now also waging a scorched earth battle to prevent the working poor from having any real access to affordable health insurance.

This is what the right now is: no solutions, just anger, paranoia, insecurity and partisan hatred. 

I quote Andrew's entire post -- it's that good.

He's right on the mark here, on everything. If there's one thing he understands, as a conservative himself (in a non-American sort of way), it's conservatism (and those who call themselves conservatives). (Just look at his ongoing deconstruction of Sarah Palin -- a brilliant effort.)

I have certainly disagreed with Andrew in the past, many times and on many issues, but it's this sort of acute, big-picture analysis that makes him an essential voice in the blogosphere, and a must-read.

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