Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Leading Republican Tree Scholar Begins To Notice The Republican Forest

I know Rick Perlstein.  I like Rick Perlstein.  Blue Gal and I have been broken bread with Rick Perlstein at the Heartland -- a Liberal bastion up in Chicago's 49th ward*, a few minutes walk from the old Castle Driftglass.  And I have always been impressed by Rick Perlstein's depth of knowledge.

But c'mon man...

I Thought I Understood the American Right. Trump Proved Me Wrong.

A historian of conservatism looks back at how he and his peers failed to anticipate the rise of the president.
Einstein's general theory of relativity provided a spectacular and elegant solution to one of the great question in cosmology.  However the some of the implications of his own theory so offended Einstein's personal belief in an orderly and sensible universe that he injected a wholly fictional "cosmological constant" into the equations so that the answer would come out the way he felt it should.

Big intellectual-honesty points (and shrewd media-strategy points) to you, Rick, for putting this in The New York Times Magazine -- a publication whose food chain I am so far beneath that I'm not even allowed to buy a copy of it unless accompanied by a University of Chicago PhD.

But next time, just trust the data and where it takes you.

And head on back to your old stomping ground and listen to the dirty fucking hippies from time to time.  Because while you were canoodling with the muse of history deep in the stacks of America's finest research libraries, we have been out in the world, listening the meatheads and their fascist puppeteers and their Orange Julius Caesar making their depraved intentions perfectly clear.

*Thanks for the catch. James.


gocart mozart said...

I can believe that God plays dice but Trump has proven that sometimes God also play 3 card monty.

bluicebank said...

In Einstein's defense, cosmology reintroduced the "cosmological constant," albeit to mathematically account for dark energy, as opposed to Albert's static universe reason. So even when Einstein was wrong, he was right.

And good old A.E. (he was no slacker, as dear old Dad would say), knew as any historian should know, that anything that can happen, will happen. Only hubris tells a historian, or scientist, that it can't happen. Euro-centric scientists once struggled to fathom how stupid Egyptians could move massive blocks of stone. Modern Christians can't imagine a god smart enough to use evolution, as opposed to painstakingly bootstrapping the whole shebang (much less how chaos theory works). Too many historians can't imagine the US would ever go back to lynchings, genocide, etc. At the drop of a dime.

So unless the human race starts growing Spock ears and thinking logically AS A RULE: past is prologue. As you say, Drift, just follow the facts, and pepper with deductive logic.

Randle Aubrey said...

The thing is, when you hear Perlstein in interviews and such, he does understand the American Right. Better than most, in fact. I find it difficult to believe that such a massive exercise in breathless pearl-clutching and self-flagellation was done for any other reason than money or publicity. Does he have a new book coming out soon...?

Cirze said...

When I read it I thought exactly as Randle.

Thanks for exposing another "good guy?".

His Nixon book also caused the same reaction.

Randle Aubrey said...

Well, someone's gotta write the history books, right? I haven't read "Nixonland" or "The Invisible Bridge," but I hear that they're both quite good. There's a dearth of history books definitively accounting this incredibly important period of modern history, so massive props to Perlstein for taking it on.

Having not read this article, as it likely won't tell me anything I need to know other than a bunch of historical factoids my brain simply can't make room for, I can only assume that he cobbled it together from material in both of his books, plus a few things off of the cutting room floor, as it were.

I also, think that, for people in "the know," so to speak, it's easy to be cynical and say, "well, duh!" when one of our own writes an essay like this. But that's because he didn't write it for us, save as a possible sermon to the choir.

Frankly, a lot of people don't realize the depths to which the Republican Party has sunk over the decades, and how impossibly mired they are in their own bullshit, much to the detriment of us all. So why eat one of our own for trying to explain it to the people at large, even if it is potentially driven by mundane concerns like a possible book release? Isn't that what we've always wanted?