And Now a Message from Deep Inside the Bubble of Thing that Used to Be Conservatism Unreality

And Now a Message from Deep Inside the Bubble of Thing that Used to Be Conservatism Unreality November 9, 2012

This Strange Piece of Unreal Thought Brought to You By the Drudge Report:

Think about this for a minute. We are doomed! DOOOOOOMED I tell you–to a horrible future of immense prosperity in Obama’s second term!

I am reminded of Tevye’s quip: “If wealth is a curse, O Lord, smite me!”  If (which I doubt) there is a burst of prosperity during Obama’s second term I say, “Bully!”  The weird attempt to say that an economic recovery is something to fear and yet another reason to loathe Obama is another one of the ways in which the right cocoons itself in unreality instead of seeking the common good. What comes through loud and clear in the message is “Just in case something good happens, we are ready with a strategy for remaining miserable and finding some excuse for hating Obama anyway.”  For some reason, this loses elections and makes the Right look like it cares more about hating Obama and inventing fear scenarios than in recovery.  It’s of a piece with the delusional analysis from FOX on election night, in which two talking heads told each other that they hoped Obama had learned a lesson–from his victory.  Impressive chutzpah, and guaranteed to keep losing them elections.

Such unreality bubbles should be abandoned by anybody seeking the virtue of prudence.

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  • JDH

    To paraphrase St. Paul: I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie; my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were immensely prosperous and fabulously wealthy for the sake of my brothers, my kin according to the flesh.

  • Peggy R

    I don’t see this at Drudge. It look like an ad that probably rotates showing up.

    Prosperity is not coming any time soon.

  • victor

    Jeepers! Kick people while they’re down much?

    • Mark Shea

      Victor: This kind of stuff has been going on for years. If the Right wants to keep losing they can continue it. If they want to appeal to people outside the Bubble, they can start by not sending out the clear message that, no matter what happens, they will be filled with gloom and doom and unhappiness.

      • Nonymous

        I remember waaayyy back, when Reagan kicked Mondale’s butt all over the electoral map, some people saying they prayed for another Great Depression so that people would see how *evil* Reagan truly was. Sick b*st*rds.

        • Ted Seeber

          The sad thing is that it eventually happened. Just took the Clinton/Bush home ownership bubble to do it.

      • I suspect that Matt Drudge has even more problems policing his ads than you do. As content producers on the Internet, you share difficulties except he doesn’t make fun of your version.

        • Damn it, Lutas, sometimes you make it impossible to hate on you!

          What he said, Mark. My contempt for the right almost, almost, rivals my contempt for the left, but this is a BAD example.

        • ivan_the_mad

          While Mark doesn’t own Patheos and doesn’t directly control its ads, Matt Drudge does own Drudgereport. Since Drudgereport is him and two other employees, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say they’re directly responsible for their ads.

  • While I have little doubt that the creator of that ad is nuttier than a fruitcake, I think you may have missed what it’s really claiming in your haste to mock. I suspect that the dreaded “creation of wealth” referred to is another bubble (i.e., business cycle boom), which will inevitably burst. That’s not an unreasonable fear, except that Republicans have been as guilty as Democrats of creating illusions of prosperity by inflating bubbles.

    I could, of course, be wrong about the author’s fears or overly generous in assuming he’s capable of rational thought. I prefer to give benefit of the doubt, though, if for no other reason than to mock a nutter for what he’s really claiming rather than a mistaken impression of his claims.

    • Mark Shea

      I think the dread is pretty much directed at Obama the Scheming Socialist, not at an economic bubble. I think it’s trying to walk a line between promising some awesome money-making thing that’s a sure bet and you can get in on if you act now–while also playing on the Obama Fear Meme. An excellent motivator to get suckers to invest in this thing that will bring them riches while Obama pulls the economy down around the rest of the sheeple who did not invest in the awesome moneymaking plan. In short, he is selling an Ark for the coming flood.

      • The problem is that we *do* have a great deal of back-loaded activity that’s been pushed beyond this just past election and now the wave is due to crash down on us. The timing of the build, crest, and crash is ludicrously off in my opinion. The shape of the wave and likely consequence can be found chapter and verse in existing legislation, agency statements, and already published official regulatory calendars. That shape of events, unfortunately, is spot on.

        Winston Churchill famously predicted in his post-WWII electoral defeat that you cannot have socialism without a gulag. He was off by about 30 years, but mine union leader and socialist Arthur Scargill was going around the UK in the 1970s arguing for the imposition of exit visas, a measure which would have created a national gulag as nasty as Churchill predicted. This deficit in the ability to time socialism’s effects has not improved much with age. People on the right are still getting the timing quite wrong as they get the effects spot on right.

        As an aside, the people of the UK rejected Scargill’s road and elected Thatcher instead.

  • Peggy R

    Both parties engage in much fear mongering to raise funds and get votes. O’s re-election campaign was all about fear—and mostly appealed to women who want to have consequence-free sex, with great success. And men who want to remain off the hook appreciate it too, I am sure.

  • Scott

    I agree with Eric. Any prosperity to be witnessed in the coming years is going to be a bubble created by Keynesian economic policies. It happened with the Dot Com bubble (exacerbated by Greenspan, one of those Randian boogey men, mind you) and the housing market. Republicans and Democrats have both been feeding at the trough of Keynes and blaming the other for the waste that’s produced.

    • Mark Shea

      I’m not really interested in the question of whether there will be a burst of prosperity. I’m simply pointing out that this ad telegraphs “Just in case things get better, we still have a strategy for being miserable and complaining about what a lousy job Obama is doing.”

  • RFlaum

    Checked out the ad, and it seems to be just a scam. The guy who made the ad owns an investment company; the ad is dressed up as a warning about Obama, but it’s really a claim that there’s a coming oil and natural-gas boom, and encouragement to invest with his company to take advantage of it.

    • Mark Shea

      That’s kind of what I figured. Here’s a get rich quick thing. It is the Ark that will see you through the coming Obama flood. Like Glenn Beck hawking gold for the gold company that paid him, telling suckers about the imminent Obamapocalypse that was just around the corner in every broadcast. More unreality hawking.

    • RFlaum

      No, wait, it’s worse than I thought. He doesn’t run an investment company, he runs an investment advice company. He’s asking people to pay $49.50 a year, in exchange for which he will send them a letter once a month (well, and get some other reports). I’m pretty sure this is actually illegal — he makes claims in his pitch that are provably false.

      • RFlaum

        In fact, even if it were true it might be illegal; I think taking advantage of some of the info he claims to have from secret sources might qualify as insider trading.

      • I wouldn’t trust him either. Do a Google search on “Porter Stansberry SEC fraud”.

  • B. Minich

    I remember the left doing something similar during Bush – basically, wanting things to go badly, so that their side would get elected, and wanting to be miserable. If a Republican was in charge, some wanted the country to fail. I thought it was unattractive then, and I find it just as unattractive now coming from the right. Ugh.

  • Kirt Higdon

    I’m not opposed to being at least somewhat wealthier myself and have made some investments in the energy sector for the past six months or so. That said, I don’t want to see Obama succeed and the USA become wealthier so long as that wealth is being used to make the wretched of the earth in Asia, Africa, and Latin America still more wretched by drone attacks, depleted uranium, etc. I’d happily sacrifice my own wealth if it would deprive this evil Caesar of the wealth to obtain more of his murderous toys. As it is, I contribute what I can to aid his (and America’s) victims, but it would be better if the harm were not done in the first place.

    • But you still profit from the harm?

      And people wonder why I criticise modernity…

      • Kirt Higdon

        How am I profitting? Certainly not economically – I’m getting poorer year by year and just trying to slow down the decline. And I have no investments in armament manufacturers. The only “profit” I can see is that this is making me a more prudent steward of my dwindling resources.

  • vox borealis

    Is this a serious criticism? The message of the ad is pretty clear and not in itself nefarious: those on the fiscal right said all along that the economy would recover, but that Obama’s policies would actually slow recovery (this seems to be the case). Nevertheless, when the inevitable recovery comes, Obama and company will claim credit, which will in turn be used to justify more like policies that don’t actually help things but rather make them worse. Moreover, these policies are intrusive on a variety of levels (HHS mandate, anyone?). This has been the fiscal right’s line for the last three years.

    Mark Shea is so adamant about not talking about the election by posting frequently on it to criticize the republican party (which, by the way, deserves much, much, much criticism, I agree), that he sometimes misses his mark, badly. Such it is in this case.

    • I agree he misses his mark, JUST NOT AT ALL IN THE WAY YOU CLAIM!!!

      Is Stansberry paying you?

  • I don’t know what this has to do with anything. It’s an ad on a blog. Are we to judge entire movements based on an ad that appears on a blog? More information needed.

    • Mark Shea

      No. We are to pay attention to the sort of things an advertiser, appealing to Drudge culture, says because he knows his audience and how they think. That ad would never run outside the Bubble of the Thing That Used to Be Conservatism, because people outside that Bubble can see that its nonsense. The advertiser was betting that a significant demographic on Drudge would find that very appealing. Why might he think that? Those interested in cultivating prudence ask such questions in the quest to think critically instead of simply reflexively defend the Thing That Used to be Conservatism. Then hold it up to the light of the Church’s teaching.

      • I would expect to see stuff like the 3rd secret of Fatima on a Catholic site, and Left Behind stuff on a Protestant site. Quite possibly, we’d see gimmicky stuff on health food or the environment on a liberal site. Or maybe it’s selling a book on how the Catholic Church will establish a theocracy in America. Scammers know how to play off of our fears and desires. On the right, it’s a fear of constitutional break down and growing big government. These fears aren’t entirely misplaced, as you yourself acknowledge when you hammer on conservatives for turning a blind eye when Bush did it.

  • j

    can you pls post something about the lefts lack of prudence? There are a lot of Catholic who worked very hard on this election and need a beat to feel dissapointed at the result

  • Xpat

    It seems reasonable to object to the contents of nutty ads appearing on sites. It seems unreasonable to actually equate them unequivocally with the site/creator, much less with conservatism in general. (Unless calming down and making sober distinctions and not acting on impetuous emotional reflex and not painting with a sloppy broad brush are standards to be applied to “the thing that used to be conservatism” but not to oneself). I personally did not equate Mark Shea or Catholic orthodoxy with the lingerie ads I was forced to look at for the longest time whenever I visited this site, even long after I pointed it out in comments. Instead, I concluded that Catholic orthodoxy wasn’t involved at all, and that Mark was simply either too preoccupied or too negligent to deal with it. (Those were cute babes, by the way. I can’t say I totally miss the days when every visit to Mark’s blog would problematize custody of the old peepers!)