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Friday, May 29, 2015

The Man Who Couldn't Say No

He could never say no to George W. Bush's mad spending. That is the reason I took an oath never to vote for a Republican again. It wasn't any of their other nonsense, it was not their infernal war-mongering; it was their out-of-control spending during the Bush Administration.
If you do not remember, look it up.

Mr. Hastert is in the news again, unfortunately.

The Indictment of Dennis Hastert
Bradford DeLong
And I immediately flash to John Micklethwaite and Adrian Wooldridge's 2005 book, The Right Nation. One important argument of it was that:

Nancy Pelosi and her constituents in San Francisco are decadent perverts living in a city that is "stagnating... nondescript houses... [with] some districts (particularly south of Market) downright tawdry... thumbing its nose at business..." yet somehow "aristocratic".
Dennis Hastert and his constituents on the Illinois prairie are hard-working middle-class strivers who fear God and focus on being parts of stable, normal families.

It was obviously false and lazy back then, to Americans at least: A discussion of the prairie that doesn't mention methamphetamine? A discussion of San Francisco that does not mention the growing software and internet-media industries?


John Holbo had a nice review of The Right Nation back in THE DAY:

John Holbo: Intelligent Design: "[The book] affords many irritations to the non-conservative reader...

...The authors still enjoy toying with the idea that America is a 50/50 nation, half of which isn’t really American, but more … European. They equivocate between using ‘right nation’ as a tag for America, and a tag for half of America. 'To people who wonder 'What sort of place is Texas? the simplest answer is that it is America exponentiated. Texas is America’s America, or at least conservative America’s America' (p. 134).
Lots of little nudges like that.... They don’t belly up to the bar and drink the conservative kool-aid, but they do take many a debonair, pinky-raised sip. Then, on p. 159-60 these Brits do some Texas-style kool-aid bong hits....

and so on.

John Micklethwaite and Adrian Wooldridge (2005): The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America: "Dennis Hastert, the Republican Speaker, and Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic minority leader...

...typify the political clash that we have followed.... Hastert, a hulking former wrestling coach, is a fairly straightforward conservative: antiabortion, anti-gay marriage, anti-Kyoto, pro-invading Iraq, pro-death penalty. Pelosi, a tiny birdlike woman... at the other end of the political spectrum....
Revealing even more of the country’s political differences are the districts these individuals represent. Pelosi’s district (California’s eighth) is more or less coterminous with San Francisco, the “bluest,” most liberal city in America.... Hastert’s (Illinois’s fourteenth) is deep scarlet. It begins in the suburbs thirty miles west of the Chicago Loop and then stretches out through miles of cornfields to a point just forty miles short of the Iowa border....
The differences between the two places are so striking that it is difficult to know where to begin. San Francisco is part of vertical America—a land of soaring skyscrapers and high-density living. Hastert’s district is part of horizontal America. The same arguably goes for the people: in Illinois, a broad girth is a sign of health. In San Francisco, even the chefs are thin. San Francisco is as edgy as America gets--a peculiar mix of blue bloods and gays, dotcom millionaires and aging hippies. Hastert’s district is resolutely “normal.” The local citizens think of themselves as typical Americans....

It is such a shame that no one learns the lesson that prides goes before the banana peel; when you set yourself or something you value up as a moral paradigm, it is only a matter of time before fate trips you up grievously.

Think of the Duggars.

I mean, I did not even know about these people until a few days ago.
So now I am forced to make their acquaintance... if I were related to them at a distance that required gift giving on birthdays and holidays, I would be at my wits' end.

Their message seems to be to procreate.
That is all well and good, but I'm not so sure I'd watch a TV show based on it. It is just the type of thing that 10 years from now you read about in articles about how dysfunctional the whole thing was, and now they are not talking to each other.
Fecundity is a process that is pretty much outside morality; taking care of 19 kids or so requires incredible skill and help, I would think.
I mean, I used to have to worry about Middle Child Syndrome; imagine if you had to ponder whether you were suffering from 12th Child Syndrome?

Be careful of people who set themselves up before you.
During a snowstorm of fresh, powdery, and excellently-packing snow, why would you dress up and step out for a stroll wearing your top hat?
Did you really expect that no neighborhood scallywag would heft a snowball at it?

I will not write about what possibly Mr. Hastert did back in the day.
Everyone abuses kids; they can't fight back.
Some how, some way, we all take what we need from youth and leave them crippled.... like the thousands we let die in Iraq.... for a lying dream of the violent incontinence of the elderly.


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