08 March, 2006

Andy Sullivan Goes Half-way to Frank Zappa

Andrew Sullivan, everyone's favorite gay Republican blogger, is quoted in Dana Milbank's political gossip column in the Washington Post:
"This is a big-government agenda," he said. "It is fueled by a new ideology, the ideology of Christian fundamentalism." The bearded pundit offered his own indictment of Bush: "complete contempt" for democratic processes, torture of detainees, ignoring habeas corpus and a "vast expansion of the federal government. The notion, he said, that the "Thatcher-Reagan legacy that many of us grew up to love and support would end this way is an astonishing paradox and a great tragedy."
Oh yes, we all remember the Thatcher-Reagan legacy so fondly, don't we. No, Andrew, you moron. George W. Bush is following the same policies as Reagan. He is just better at it. Let's think back on his small-government budgets, which created what were, at the time, unimaginable deficits. Or how about his small-government Attorney General, Edwin Meese III, who supported government censorship of not just pornography but also rock & roll records. Since some of us aren't old enough to remember the joy of Congressional hearings about Prince, Madonna, and 2LiveCrew (who were there just to prove that the threat of censorship does not in itself guarantee indefinite shelf-life), there is still this brilliant Frank Zappa debate, preserved in silicon and iron filings for your viewing pleasure. (And in case that isn't enough of John Lofton's proto-Bushian Christian fundamentalist wingnuttery, you can also read him in conversation with Alan Ginsberg.)

What strikes me is the similarity between Sullivan's critique of Bush and Zappa's critique of Reagan, which at the time turned Robert Novak into a burbling plush toy of condescention. Now we hear Reaganites saying the same stuff about Bush. What next, in 20 years will Karl Rove be saying that kind of stuff about President Malkin?

(Apologies in advance to readers of the future for linkrot. Complain to the Post.)


AS's particular bubble gets my goat. i usually ignore him. recently not so easy.

on march 5 in time , he quoted fukuyama to explain how he's learned not to let "the miraculously peaceful end of the cold war [lull me again] into overconfidence about the inevitability of democratic change, and its ease." the war of attrition ended with a whimper and he and his were surprised.

wow, i guess they were saying, i thought we'd have to nuke central africa. yay!

AS will be in for a nasty shock when he learns that the biggest american opponent in korea and vietnam - our only direct military containment efforts, and both bitter non-wins - was not the USSR. that actual-as-in-shooting-and-killing-each-other enemy is still politically totalitarian; it represents a much larger percentage of the world than the soviet bloc ever did; many many of his beloved limited government revolutionaries are bribing its way into the "financial free world"; and it may soon hold his mortgage.

i know there are neocon hawks screaming about china. let them wack each other with noodles. that's all they deserve for declaring autocracy dead and buried forever because the europeans regained sovereignty. 

Posted by david

What next, in 20 years will Karl Rove be saying that kind of stuff about President Malkin? 

Bah. Today was the day I was going to make myself eat breakfast.

I actually do remember those congressional hearings. Wasn't Meese the guy who broke up AT&T? Bush is better at it. 

Posted by Saheli

I'm not sure Bush is better at it. Reagan
(and more pertinently, his staff) had a lot more opposition to deal with. It was hard work destroying the EPA then! Bush basically had a free hand after 9/11.

Reagan is very loved despite everything he did; Bush will go down as an incompetent idiot. No one calls him "Teflon George."

But they are at different historical moments, so it's hard to compare. 

Posted by someone else

Thanks for that link! Frank Zappa is hilarious while being on point. And it's always nice to see Robert Novak in his sprier days (despite that he probably looked old and obnoxious even when he was 5). 

Posted by someone else

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