Saturday, October 08, 2011

Conservatives under siege (in their own minds)

Digby recently reminded her readers of this useful essay by historian Rick Perlstein, Let's review The Big Con 09/04/2008, which discusses the long history of Republican conservatives cultivating a sense of themselves as "marginal and beleaguered". This is the sense that I often refer to as white people's whining. Frank Schaeffer refers to it as the Jesus Victim posture. The overlap between whiny conservative white folks and the Christian Right is very great.

Perlstein takes a bemused look at the phenemenon in this passage:

Conservatives are always beleaguered, always under siege. "I think we had better pull in our belts and buckle down to a long period of real impotence," National Review Publisher William Rusher wrote in a 1960 letter. "Hell, the catacombs were good enough for the Christians." Five years later, M. Stanton Evans wrote in The Liberal Establishment: "For decades Liberalism has ruled the government and opinions of the United States with little or no effective challenge to its pretensions."

Listen to conservatives now, and they're still in the catacombs. "Just because a rock song is about faith doesn't mean that it's conservative," National Review explains of U2's "Gloria." "But what about a rock song that's about faith and whose chorus is in Latin? That's beautifully reactionary." Note the tone of sturdy defiance: So few bold souls, these days, are brave enough to publicly profess that underground faith, Christianity.
Sarah Palin, who hopefully will fade quickly from the national celebrity news now that she's admitted she isn't running for President, just provided a new example, as she does virtually every time she speaks (Luke Johnson, Sarah Palin: Hank Williams Jr. Controversy Is An Illustration Of 'Hypocrisy On The Left' Huffington Post 10/07/2011). The occasion was Hank Williams Jr. being dropped from ESPN's Monday Night Football show after a seemingly drunken interview of FOX News in which he said, that President Obama playing golf with Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner "That would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu. Not hardly. In the shape this country is in?"

ESPN is a private company, not part of the gubment. I suppose we should pretend to be shocked that Palin would question the decision of important "job creators" like the folks at ESPN. But she did:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin defended Hank Williams Jr., the country singer known for his appearances on Monday Night Football, over the controversy surrounding his comments comparing President Barack Obama to Hitler Thursday.

"Hank Williams and what he is going through now, I think it's a very clear illustration of a greater societal problem and that is the hypocrisy on the left -- the liberals who can throw these stones at a conservative and they knowing that they’re not going to be held accountable," she said on Sean Hannity's radio show, according to Politico.
ESPN is "the left"? Good to know.

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