Friday, December 23, 2016

Michael Gerson and The Return Of Pineapple Ice Cream Conservatism

Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These all are actually Conservative things...

-- Michael Gerson, life-long Republican, Conservative Christian
and senior George W. Bush adviser and speechwriter
For those not familiar with "Pineapple Ice Cream Conservatism", a bit of history:
...Mr. [Andrew] Sullivan's Conservatism is identical to Mr. Brooks' Moderation in that their respective ideological systems amount to little more than what is convenient and enjoyable for each man to believe at any given moment.

If Mr. Sullivan suddenly developed a taste for pineapple ice cream, within a week he would be penning columns about how "Liking Pineapple Ice Cream" is a cardinal Conservative value because of something something Edmund Burke.  If he got sick on bad Thai food, we would suddenly see a spate of columns discussing bad Thai food and how it is something that only extreme Christianists or Left Liberal would ever put in their mouths.

He is, at best, a flighty dilettante with a wealth patron and does not have the slightest fucking clue about how his adopted country works.

Likewise the Moderate Mr. Brooks adds or subtracts from his lexicon of virtues based almost entirely on how best to hide out from whichever one of his until-recently-held principled positions has gone hideously wrong...
However Mr. Brooks has taken the month of December off, presumably extending his Heartland Confirmation Bias Tour into the new year.

And Mr. Andrew Sullivan is currently curled up in a fetal position under a conference room table at The New Republic in the throes of a massive case of Hysterical Political Munchausen By Proxy.  Here is a sampler:
ANDREW SULLIVAN: ... It’s Hillary Clinton’s fault. The worst candidate for president in recent history. Worse than Dukakis. She threw this away. ... The Clintons destroyed Obama. No one else. Even so, she won the popular vote. But because she’s just a dreadful candidate, and someone almost no one can imagine being president of the United States...

SULLIVAN: She’s a terribly unpopular person. Horrible: no inspiration, no political skills, complete mediocrity.

SULLIVAN: ... This whole racial thing is just so myopic.
So with no one was guarding the holiday liquor cabinet at the No True Scotsman clubhouse, Michael Gerson snuck in, stole a bottle of Pineapple Ice Cream Conservatism absinthe from the top shelf and drank the whoooole thing.

From the Washington Post:
The GOP is at its peak, but conservatism has hit rock bottom

It is one of fate’s cruel jokes that conservatism should be at its modern nadir just as the Republican Party is at its zenith...

Conservatives believe that human beings are fallible and prone to...

Conservatives believe that finite and fallen creatures are often wrong. We know that many of our attitudes and beliefs are the brain’s justification for...

conservatives believe that a just society depends on the moral striving of finite and fallen creatures who treat each other with a respect and decency...'

But this type of conservatism — a conservatism of intellectual humility and moral aspiration — also has the advantage of being organic...

It appeals to people who would never call themselves conservatives — who probably wouldn’t use words like “nadir” and “zenith”...

This is not the political force that has recently taken over the Republican Party...
"Recently"?

Mr. Gerson's Republican Party has been a guided missile headed towards fascism since the days of Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy, which was implemented when Mr. Gerson was four years old.

Mr. Gerson's Republican Party has been fully in the hands of its Limbaughs and Gingriches since 1994 when Mr. Gerson was thirty years old.

Mr. Gerson is now 52 years old, and for his entire adult life has been a fully-vested, senior member of the Party of Limbaugh, Gingrich, Rove, Coulter and the rest of that long list of goblins, whores and assorted other rodent-people.  Which mean Mr. Gerson is either the biggest, blindest idiot God ever made, or just another Republican liar and fraud who hides his bloody hands behind fake piety.

Or, as was said by my friend Bill Shakespeare:
"And thus I clothe my naked villany
With odd old ends stol'n out of holy writ,
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil."

6 comments:

Unknown said...

There is an excellent essay by Philip Agre titled What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong With It? His short answer is:

"Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy."

http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/conservatism.html

That's really it comes down to. He makes and expands upon his argument at great length, and does so very persuasively. Long but very accessible and in spots rather amusing.

Apologies if you knew about it already.

dinthebeast said...

"But this type of conservatism — a conservatism of intellectual humility and moral aspiration — also has the advantage of being organic..."

I think you're confusing "organic" with "fictional". Steer manure is organic, so I can see how you mistook the two.

-Doug in Oakland

ziply said...

Thank you so very much for your link to Agre's essay. Very thought provoking

duquesnepdx said...

"Which mean Mr. Gerson is either the biggest, blindest idiot God ever made, or just another Republican liar and fraud who hides his bloody hands behind fake piety."

These things are not mutually exclusive.

Ivan Raikov said...

the Party of Limbaugh, Gingrich, Rove, Coulter and the rest of that long list of goblins, whores and assorted other rodent-people.

This sentence is almost as beautiful as the one written by your friend Bill.

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