Sunday, October 30, 2005

Matt Drudge quotes David Brooks's latest New York Times column, which concerns the alleged paranoia of Bush's opponents:

..."Leading Democratic politicians filled the air with grand conspiracy theories that would be at home in the John Birch Society."

"Why are these people so compulsively overheated?.. Why do they have to slather on wild, unsupported charges that do little more than make them look unhinged?

Brooks quotes from an essay written 40 years ago by Richard Hofstadter called "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." ...

"The paranoid spokesman," Hofstadter wrote, "sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms -- he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization." Because his opponents are so evil, the conspiracy monger is never content with anything but their total destruction."

Maybe I'm stating the obvious, but wasn't this precisely the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Chalabi/Mylroie/Niller/PNAC/Bush administration stance toward Saddam's Iraq? That he wasn't merely a brutal megalomaniac who wanted to be the big gun in the region (never mind the fact that, in the wake of Iraq War I and the sanctions, inspections, and no-fly zones, he found even that goal impossible) -- that, in fact, he was so evil that failure to destroy him would mean destruction of the world as we know it?

In the column itself, Brooks quotes Hofstadter at greater length:

Thus, "even partial success leaves him [the paranoid] with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes."

Isn't this exactly how the people who got us into this war felt after the first Gulf war?

No comments: