Monday, December 11, 2006

Damn it, I had just finished

Fresh off my inchoate apology for Mark Steyn, I came across this explication of right wing ressentiment, which says everything I said about Mark Steyn's worldview, only better put and more universally argued.

It truly is one of the weirdest things in contemporary political discourse that conservatives generally and Christian conservatives in particular feel at the very least hard done by, if not actually oppressed. Michael Berube has perhaps the pithiest response to this when he points out, in a quote I cannot find for the life of me, that conservatives "complain about a disposition in which they control all the levers of business and government while we teach the American Novel class." He points out, in a post of his I can find, that this reflects a hostility to procedural liberalism, rather than to liberalism as an ideology. Any centre of power that isn't controlled by the conservative movement is seen as a threat. This is distinctly reminiscent of Jeanne Kirkpatrick's description of totalitarian impulses.

To be clear about this, I don't believe that most conservatives are cryptofascists. Mark Steyn is, and there are other examples, but for the most part I don't think the right would act to sideline their opponents in the manner some of their rhetoric would suggest. But the ludicrous grievances sections of the conservative movement advance are wearisome, irritating and stupid, and I wish they'd stop.


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