Friday, July 02, 2004

From The "Nice" One

I'm a little weary of so many lefty bloggers brandishing Tacitus their token "decent righty". Maybe it's his faux-brahmin style that fools them; his William F. Buckley-Of-The-Blogosphere schtick may be music to the ears of wingnuts, but lefties should well know that behind the affected, chilled prose, the original article was a raving nutball on many issues.

Not to beat around the bush, rightwingers like Tacitus, whose style implies measured, nuanced thought, often give themselves away in weak moments. Their style's a sham, a device; beneath it lies the extremity that is so familiar elsewhere.

I want to also mention that I've seen Tacitus at work in different lefty comment sections, and his manipulation skills are exquisitely rodentine. He correctly notes that the attitude most guaranteed to set lefties off in frothing paroxysms is that of smug condecension. Anticipating the result, he is then ready to admonish a lecture on tone and civility, and it has been noted in the last couple of days what hypocrisy and bad faith (Kristoff, Brooks) has lain behind the many calls for a more civil, less polarised dialogue. What's just crash landed into the collective conscious of the blogosphere has actually been Tacitus's bread & butter for years now.

Fuck him.

I don't think any of us on the GOP side actually want a thriving nutball movement led by the likes of Saint Ralph (to say nothing of the detestable Greens) and his assorted fringe fellow-travelers. We foster them on the assumption that they will remain forever on that fringe, or at least affect the policy debate so little as to not cause worry to those of us who like America more or less as it is.

(My Emphasis)

I imagine, with the Democrat hatred of Nader at full pitch right now, that this will go over easily. But it's easy to think that Tacitus thought the same thing of Nader and Greens in 2000 or 1995 or whenever.

perhaps it's a hyperbolic metaphor, but seeing the GOP sponsor Nader to beat the Dems calls to mind the Israelis sponsoring Hamas to beat the PLO.

(My Emphasis Again)

Notice the "perhaps", skillfully employed as both a weaselword and an intensifier; it simultaneously serves the purpose of softening the insult, or qualifying it. He can fall back on either, which is the beauty of it. And the insult itself is ample enough to anyone but ..huge, considering what he thinks of Israel, Hamas and the PLO.

Maybe the hardcore Kerry crowd won't much care that Tacitus "perhaps hyperbolically" compares Hamas to Nader and the Greens, but they ought to care that he "perhaps hyperbolically" compares the Democrats to the PLO, if they consider what he thinks of the PLO.