For years now I have been marvelling at how President Bush, since coming into office, has pulled the masks off of everyone in politics, both in America and abroad. Sick with hate, people who had managed for years to present themselves as reasonable people suddenly could not maintain the pretence. Masks fell left and right. Sometimes, in watching members of the press and the government expose themselves, I would feel like I was an observer at a mad masquerade just after the clock struck midnight: “masks off! Masks off!”
Without, of course, the streamers, the confetti or the high mood.
This terrific article in the NY Sun – by one David Gelernter – gets to the heart of the matter.
The president has blown their cover. They call themselves compassionate but are monstrously indifferent to human suffering. Otherwise they would be elated that Afghanistan and Iraq have been freed from bloody tyrannies. They call themselves democrats but democracy, they believe, is appropriate to edicuated, sophisticated peoples only. After all – what happens when you bestow democracy on a dumb, ignorant mob of savages? They elect George W. Bush! Where have you been? We just DID that experiment!
Here is perfect picture of the patronizing sneer so many ‘superior” people direct at the presidnet, straight from the front lines of the Washington social scene. “Aat a dinner party in Washington,” the report reads, “composed mainly of opponents of the war and the administration, [the president's policy was,] as usual with this class, the subject of vehement denunciation.” After a while, a lone dissenter (just one!) gets up to say something in the president’s defense: “However deficient he may be in the head, he is all right in the heart.”
This is the president’s champion talking, remember. Anti-war and anti-American sophiticates are positive that the president is an amiable moron at best. Most won’t even be that generous. But this particular “dinner party in Washington,” with its lone presidential defender, took place during Abraham Lincoln’s administration. I am quoting the painter and friend-of-Lincoln F.B. Carpenter, who published “Six Months at the White House” in 1866.
The chattering classes have, it seems, chattered themselves into a circle. And found themselves, once again, on the wrong side of history. Read it all. Good article.