I re-post/link to a lot of other bloggers here. It's mostly a lack of originality on my part, though laziness is a factor. But!, every now and again I feel a need to re-broadcast something so incisive, so pertinent, that simply saying "you should read this" doesn't quite cut it. This is one of those posts. Susan of Texas , a nice lady who goes to the trouble of reading MeganJane McArdleGalt daily (and could you fucking die from that? yes, you could.), has posted something that should be taught in every Poli-Sci from now until Armageddon. I defer to the Lady-
"No, the tragedy is not that our elite lied, bullied, and self-deceived us into war. It's not the hundreds of thousands dead, the million sent fleeing for their lives, the children starved, killed, traumatized. It's not the destruction of a country. It's not the thousands of American dead, limbs blown off, children orphaned. The tragedy is that the elite can't fantasize that they are the heroes in the fictional version of reality that is constantly screening in their heads."
She's talking about the recent Brooks/Douthat Not-Coordinated-At-All! PR offensive being played out on the pages of the NYT. You see, Conservatism CANNOT fail. It can only BE failed, and then only by people who's allegiance to Conservatism was always suspect in the first place (Conservative support for the aforementioned people/policies being wholly predicated on the child-like faith placed in said policy-makers by the mass of Real Americans(tm), who had no inkling, NONE!, of the deviousness and duplicity of the people Conservatives loudly hailed as the Champions of the Movement just the moment before).
Then (shudder, Villagers, at the rudeness!) she goes on to describe the MO of every Conservative politician since Nixon in a passage I hope no American will be able to avoid-
"Fantasies. Lies told and retold until they have the false ring of truth. Self-soothing masturbation, to silence the voice of conscience that demands to be acknowledged but is constantly, compulsively ignored. The actual facts tell a different, less reassuring story, and are all but forgotten. The elite rewrites the story, recasting themselves as heroes or harmless dupes and complaining when everyone else won't play pretend as well."
After the horror and bloodshed of the last 10 years, a thinking person of Conservative bent might well pause and re-evaluate their world-view. Sadly, the thinking people have all been run out of the Conservative party. We have only the ignorant detritus of Nixon's Southern Strategy to remind us of what Conservatism used to be. Honesty compels me to note that some of them had a point (and some of them still do).
If Principle is the motivating factor, regardless of reality, then it must be the motivating factor in EVERY decision, not only those which benefit your side. If Principle is wholly conditional on the politics of the moment, then it's not Principle, it's Advantage; and short-term advantage always fails in the long run.
Long story short, I enjoyed Susan's post. I hope you do, too.