Rod Dreher says Pelosi is right to fret about political violence.  He argues that it is evil to “lead people to believe [Obama is] a socialist conspiring to install an oligar(c)hy to rule America,” among other such accusations, and concludes: “it’s maddening to sit here and watch this happening, to feel that the country is being taken by these people and their fat, foul mouths to a terrible place, and to feel powerless to stop it.”

Paging Bob Cheeks.

I consider Rod a good friend, but I think his perspective is out of whack on this one.  I thought it was conventional wisdom long before Obama that we are a socialist oligarchy.  What do people think Corporate State Capitalism is?  And just to be clear, Obama is making it worse, and he is bankrupting the country.  In this, he follows a fine tradition of American presidents. 

And some people are getting pissed.  Well and good I say.  And I certainly wouldn’t deprive them of their anger by scolding them for failing to comply with some journalistic or country club standard of niceness.

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Local Culture


  1. D.W. is this not the finest, fattest, most aromatic bait you’ve ever seen?
    Caleb, I think your critique shall suffice. In all honesty I don’t read Mr. Dreher simply because his stuff isn’t my cup-of-tea and I’d rather not elaborate for fear that I might come across as ‘mean spirited!’
    The ‘mob,’ at least the ones that I’ve rubbed up against, are just regular, tax paying Americans, who actually read the ‘health care’ legislation that their congressmen didn’t. They don’t hate Negros, in fact some of them were Negros, and they don’t hate Hispanics, in fact some of them are Hispanic.
    Nancy Pelosi, as everyone knows is insane, which makes me question Mr. Dreher’s faculties.
    Is violence possible in terms of the Enlightened One’s Marxist policies…yes, of course. There are Americans out there who resent the efforts of his regime in curtailing certain freedoms and liberties. Americans, thank God, are always dangerous when someone tries to enslave them.
    Now, I must return to PoMoCon where I am busy trying to save souls and right wrongs!

  2. I’m going to bite here, if not to find Dreher, whom I also find to be something less than interesting. Maybe the mob you’re familiar with and the one I’m familiar with are different mobs. (Maybe. I’m not so sure about that). While I have no doubt that there are intelligent, articulate, opponents of the health-care bill, I have yet to encounter one of those who is (particularly) angry about it – mostly for the simple reason that, as Caleb has said, this is in many ways more of the same.

    The people whom I know personally who are angry about it are convinced that there are “death panels,” that Obama was born in Kenya, and that Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity are fine, fair-minded, honest Christian men who only want to preserve the “greatest best country that God ever put on the face of this earth.” (A more believable lie, perhaps, than that Keith Olbermann is, but a lie nonetheless). Most of them have not read the bill (or, indeed, any substantial defense of the bill), but have been informed and mobilized (and I use the passive tense intentionally) by the Becks and Hannitys and Palins. They are angry, but it’s anger of a sort that I can recognize easily, as it’s a thread of anger that has pervaded most of my community for nearly all of my life: they’re angry about welfare queens, about Medicare fraud, and, now, about the possibility of more of the same.

    Their opposition isn’t to the proper villain here – corporatist statism – but to the poor (who are, after all, looking to take our things and avoid work) and the coastal liberals (who, after all, don’t know what it’s like to work). It has all the violence of Solzhenitsyn’s understanding of ideology at that which denies that “the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart – and through all human hearts,” and seeks to draw that line between states, between political parties, between people groups. In their perhaps valiant (but misguided) attempt to oppose something that may well be deserving of opposition, they sacrifice, as it were, their children on the altar of Murdoch (whose execrable mix of “family values,” nationalism, and violent sexuality reminds me of nothing so much as Serbian mass media in the 1990s).

  3. Sorry – first sentence should read “if not to defend Dreher.” Wouldn’t want any confusion on that count, now.

  4. “Corporatist statism”.

    Sweet jeebus.

    Just when I thought I was running out of steam, and lacking focus. To paraphrase the description another FPR poster offered up recently, the week had drained me of my will to fight. The talking heads had worked their will on my faculties, rendering me nearly incapable of a logical train of thought, unable to discriminate between fact and fiction. Postman couldn’t save me. By this morning, I was nearly unwilling to trust my own powers of observation. I’d take any answer someone gave told me to accept. Nearly a whipped pawn, I glanced at my morning Facebook update from FPR, only to see the Farmer refocusing the site on the real target.

    I am reinvigorated for the fight, violent or otherwise.

  5. Obama and his cronies’ approach may be more Gramsci than Lenin, but still, if it walks like a duck, etc.

    That the real enemy here is “corporate statism” is dead on, and no contradiction to the above (Leftists are perfectly happy to use “the market” when it accomplishes their long-term aims.) From the vast majority of the mainstream conservative talking heads, however, you will hear no critique of the first part of that tandem, only the second.

    Thus, there’s no doubt that a certain part of the opposition is misplaced; yet, a lot of folks in the middle class do feel themselves being hosed from both sides — by the urban elites on one hand, and their underclass lackeys on the other (from this latter group I exclude the true “deserving” poor, the disabled, etc.) Neither party has really given a rodent’s rectum about the middle class (although lip service has certainly been present from both) and I think that what we’re seeing as a result is a bit of a middle-class revolt.

    The opportunity here for we Front Porch types is to make a strong appeal to the middle class in those areas where populism (loosely understood) and conservatism (trad, paleo & crunchy varieties) overlap. Otherwise the mainstream “conservatism” of the GOP/Fox/Hannity/Limbaugh sort will absorb a lot this current energy back into its ranks, and we’ll be where we started, with a faux-conservative congress back in power next year and possibly another faux-conservative president in 2012.

  6. One has to stand for a moment and just quietly admire the steadfast, plodding pall-bearing of the print journalist…..tied into their “confidential sources” along K Street or in the offices of our erected uffishuls and believing the ribald doggerel dished out to them by said “sources”…… while they remain barricaded in their Fort Apache on the River Polite, doing the Ghost Dance over their declining readership and revenue….. while the public clamors for the cable news networks…left to right…. who, as Kunstler ably summarized it : “Work the Anger Centers of the Mind”.

    We’re way beyond polite here folks, the grabass has gone on for so long that a certain surliness prevails. However, these folks who currently traffic in the spirit of politesse will surely come right aboard the Ship of Doom once the political maniac has commandeered the Helm and is pulling the chord of the bellowing steam horn, full throttling it to the rocks, intent upon Total Victory.

    The best way to distract the flummoxed masses from the unsettling prospect of an emptied larder is to poke them in one eye and suggest they use the other to look at that big fight breaking out yonder. Politeness never works in this context and how anyone can look at the most earnestly smiling politicians and journalists who continue to smile like Eddie Haskell is beyond me. Polite?, yea,…. thats what we need alright, more politeneness, why don’t we replace “e pluribus unum” with “If you cant say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all” and then maybe the baying will stop and we’ll get a little peace and quiet for once. When one is being mugged, whether the mugger is polite or abusive makes no difference but the one you will hate the most afterward is the polite one.

  7. Oh Sweet Lord! Thank you!

    I was beginning to think I was the only literate (okay, half-literate) member of the Tea Party madness (not that I’ve actually participated in one, but I mean to!)

    I greatly admire Rod Dreher, but I am sick to death of his looking down his brie-chewing nose (go with me here, I know it doesn’t work perfectly) at those of us who are mad as hell and the corporatist socialist state (including our crypto-Marxist president) and not gonna take it anymore!

    Not a big fan of the immediate past administration (or come to think of it, the one preceding either) I think it is nonetheless nearly self-evident that our current president is a wannabe 60’s radical who purposely surrounds himself with actual 60’s, actual Marxists as his closest advisors. I mean, c’mon people – Obama himself says if you wanna know who he is and what kind of government he intends, “look at my advisors.”

    I’m looking, and to a man/woman they’re Saul Alinsky-swilling community activists!

    So I cheered when Joe Wilson proved that at least one man in the house still had a pair. And I — oh the horror and shame of it! — think Glenn Beck is actually on to something.

    I know, I know — all of these opinions are verboten and too common to be endured by Rod. But God love me, that’s what I think — and I don’t live in a trailer, I don’t watch television, and I actually studied foreign languages in college (Greek and Latin, if you must know.)

    Dreher will no doubt faint dead away at my gaucherie, but there it is.

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