Thursday, February 13, 2014

Victor Davis Hanson's "O" Face

So there I was, fly-casting around in the planet-wide fire-hose of ones and zeroes that is The Internet, trying to tickle out a few trouts of sagacity, when suddenly this flops into my creel (fishing analogies
The nightmare societies portrayed in the George Orwell novels 1984 and Animal Farm gave us the word “Orwellian.” That adjective reflects a vast government’s efforts not just to deceive and control the people, but also to do so by reinventing the meaning of ordinary words while rewriting the past itself.
We I like a good Orwell Shake as well as the next guy, and have even taken up that fiddle myself from time to time, so I gave the author the gift of my attention, which he repaid by Very Alarmingly noting that America -- My America! Your America! -- was become...Orwellian:
America, of all places, is becoming Orwellian.
See? Very alarming!

And I wondered from what visionary essay of the late-1950s/early-1960s was this cautionary wisdom coming?

Something by Vonnegut maybe? Probably not -- a little too "on the nose" for Vonnegut.

Ellison? Kornbluth? Again, probably not. No life -- no electricity -- in the thing.

Carlin? Nah. I felt no savage humor and brilliant linguistic artistry tugging me along through the words.

So I read on, making for myself a little game of trying to suss out which 40- or- 50 or 60-year-old source material was being reprinted here.
The president repeatedly reminds the American people that under his leadership, the U.S. has produced a record level of new oil and natural gas. But didn’t Obama radically curtail leases...
Does anyone remember that the Affordable Care Act was sold on the premise that it would...
The Congressional Budget Office recently warned that Obamacare would “keep hours worked and potential output during the next 10 years lower than they would be otherwise.” That nonpartisan verdict should be bad news for workers.

Not in our brave new world...

OK. I had obviously (and not for the first time) mistaken a fifth-grader's last-minute, half-assed homework assignment for the Current Events class at his Segregation Academy for the work of some counterculture hero from the Eisenhower Administration.   I mean sure, President Obama has broken a lot of faith with his supporters and has parsed some sentences into an early grave in order to dance around the fact that something he was saying now was he plainly not what he had been saying then, but since no one who was sentient during the Age of Rove could possibly pretend that America's descent into an Orwellian Hellscape began under -- or reached its nadir under --  the reign of the Kenyan Tyrant, I figured it must be the work of a child.

A not-very-bright child.

Obama’s Newspeak

The meaning of words, and history itself, are malleable when it comes to our president and his record.
By Victor Davis Hanson
Yes, that Victor Davis Hanson.

The same comprehension-impaired Neocon hobgoblin who never met a Bush diktat he didn't swear was imported directly from Mt. Sinai.

 The same Victor Davis Hanson about whom friend-of-the-blog James Wolcott used to wax so eloquent:
One person who is not taking Patrick Fitzgerald's coup de theatre well is Victor Davis Hanson, lord of war. Given that Scooter Libby had been one of Hanson's most influential fans, his downfall has to hurt. It robs Hanson of a vital player in the inner circle reading and heeding his militant counsel.

But just because Hanson is in a righteous snit over the injustice he feels has been done doesn't justify encouraging others to go werewolf.

In his latest flaming spear hurled from on high, Hanson says it's do or die time for Bush. Surrounded by evildoers and no-gooders, he must stand and fight. "He can choose either to be nicked and slowly bled to death in his second term, or to bare his fangs and like some cornered carnivore start slashing back."

Now I don't know about you, but I'm not comfortable with the idea of the Commander in Chief of the most powerful military in history baring his fangs and slashing like some demon possessed fresh from the Hellmouth. It's not really what the framers of democracy had in mind.

Like the neocons who think he's the hunkiest, Hanson urges Bush to broaden the war on terror and put a major hurting on Iran and Syria and any other tyranny in the region thwarting American aims. But he also wants Bush to fight a two-front war.
"George Bush also should begin addressing his most venomous critics at home, by condemning their current extremism. He must explain to the nation how a radical, vicious Left has more or less gotten a free pass in its rhetoric of hate, and has now passed the limits of accepted debate."
That guy.

And because the Ever-Flowing Teats of the Wingnut Welfare All-Mother are Infinite, like Bill Kristol and David Brooks, that guy still has a job writing his opinion for a living.

And today, that guy made his daily bread writing this:
"What is job lock — a made-up Newspeak word right out of 1984? Work fewer hours, make less money, and create fewer outputs — and be happy."
And this:
"In 2004, many in the media reported that George W. Bush, the demonized Emmanuel Goldstein of our era...
And this:
"Congressional committees and the treasury inspector general for tax administration found that groups loosely associated with the Tea Party were more likely to have their tax-exempt requests put on hold than other nonprofits. Yet recently, President Obama concluded of this entire mess that it did not entail 'even a smidgen of corruption.'

"It takes Orwell’s doublethink to explain how..."
To make a living doing projections this huge, most people would need a six-story IMAX theater.

If you're a Conservative pundit, all you need is a keyboard and a hole where your conscience should be.

1 comment:

n1ck said...

It's performance art at this point.

Every word they write that is blatantly false and revisionist is a twist of a thread. Every article they vomit out (or arrange in careful piles) is a rope they've tied into a careful noose for everyone to admire.

The proles aren't being taken care of and looked after. They're being fucked over on a continuous basis. Shit, income inequality is something you hear on televisions and radios.

Sooner or later the proles will revolt, and the fascist-enabling trash bags who've been throwing out ropes...well, they'll get theirs.

It's only class warfare when we fight back.