ONE FOR THE ROAD: Before I head out, I wanted to leave you with this passage from Sofia Sideshow, found via Stephen Green. It’s too good not to share:
Something about this war is eating Bush’s detractors alive, something unquantifiable with conventional weights and measures. I think that it is because if George W. Bush really did lie (and thus surprising both the Right and Left), the anti-war crowd would still have to face a disheartening Spectacle of Freedom For An Entire People, instead of the more satisfactory Humiliation Of Bush At The United Nations And Mass Graves Nobody Knows About.
Nothing is more irritating than watching your enemies fail to live up to your worst expectations. If George W. was hawking stolen museum art, or John Ashcroft was forcing Shiites to convert, or Dick Cheney was sucking the oil from Iraqi teenager’s skin, the Left would have far lower blood pressure. They would be relieved, vindicated, because the war would be delightfully immoral.
The anti-war crowd long ago started measuring themselves as culturally, intellectually, and morally superior to the pro-war crowd, instead of measuring whether their policies were superior. Thus, the incredible success in Afghanistan and Iraq is not a blow to their policy, it is a blow to their ego and sense of self. I think the worst example I can give is during the campaign in Afghanistan, where it became popular to repeat that ANY civilian casualties should classify the endeavor as a failure for George W. Bush and the administration. This was to raise the goalpost to a level not out of concern for Afghani civilians, but out of concern that the critics’ self-image not be a casualty, to attempt to force the debate into one where it was guaranteed that the pro-war side would be inferior. Hey, to each their own, I guess.
Yet as of now, they are constantly reminded that their intellectual and cultural inferiors have accomplished something quite historic. Wonderful, even. And they know it; nobody is this sputtering and unhinged when proven right.
I really think Jonah pegged it, a few months before the war in Iraq, when he called the left on their “hypocrophobia“–their fear of actually being taken seriously.