October 8, 2004

WHO'S HALLIBURTON? (via Mike Daley):

The Perfect Storm of Hating Bush: Part Three: The wages of postmodernism, or when facts do not exist, we can invent our own reality (Victor Davis Hanson, Private Papers)

In a world where text and speech, like everything else, are constructs, we see the emergence of a new crop of Leftist leaders who, first of all, are liberated by feeling no need to reconcile their progressive rhetoric with their own privileged material circumstances. The hypocrisy is startling, but has the practical effect of encouraging the rich and advantaged, a prominence that has evolved beyond the coffeehouse or foundation boardroom. The disconnect makes Americans scratch their heads in disbelief when they try to square what comes out of the raucous mouth of a Madonna or Ted Kennedy with the actual circumstances in which such folk live.

The subtext of a group like moveon.org is the pernicious influence of the corporate imperialist. Yet the current heartthrob and multimillion-dollar benefactor of such activists is none other than George Soros, who made a fortune hedging on currency fluctuations, often during wartime and to the detriment of small investors and deposit holders in leveraged banks. An Arianna Huffington runs for governor of California, grandstanding about the gas-guzzling SUV-even as she lives in a natural-gas gobbling mansion. Unapologetic privilege and criticism of just that wealth in others is a logic extension of postmodernism, where discourse is reality and not predicated by the bothersome facts of the material world.

The common cultural tie that binds the screeching Howard Dean, Al Gore, Ted
Kennedy, or John Kerry is not personal knowledge of the cruelty and misery
inflicted by Dick Cheney's corporate America, but precisely its dividends of
prep school and lots of family money. The attack dog of Enron Terry McAuliff
is $20 million richer only as a result of questionable mega-stock transactions during the eleventh-hour collapse of Global Crossing. The epitomes of American hypercapitalism-a Donald Trump, Warren Buffet, or Bill Gates-are welcomed into the Democratic crusade against George Bush's betrayal of average America.

Limousine liberals are not new. But the hyper-rich's support for candidates
who decry the unfairness of corporate capitalism is. Equally strange are the
angry liberals at the forefront of the Democratic Party who are the elite
beneficiates of capitalism-whether we see the Kerrys flying on a private
Gulfstream to environmental conferences, a Barbra Streisand faxing position
papers to the Democratic leadership from Malibu, or the Heinz corporation's
multinational wealth subsidizing lectures on the evils of outsourcing jobs

Consequently, the new anger over what Gore Vidal has called from his villa in Italy the "Bush-Cheney Junta" emanates not from bankrupt farmers, ghetto-activists, out-of-work coal miners, or non-union waitresses. No, it is a sort of smugness that often breaks out in Al Gore's vein-busting sputtering, and is voiced by the privileged who feel that their populist rhetoric and boilerplate attacks on Halliburton and Enron need not have any relationship to their own awkward and often hypocritical existences.

The interesting question is do folks so divorced from reality really speak for rank-and-file Democrats? FDR was rich, but he gave a voice to the poor. Does George Soros?:

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 8, 2004 8:51 PM

Soros, nutty as he may be, gives a larger voice to those who feel that the Iraqi war was wrong in many ways.

Although I strongly disagree, it may yet turn out that those folk have a clearer vision of how the world really works than I do.

There are some rational arguments to be made against the Iraq war, some of them made in this forum.
They just tend to get lost amid all of the non-rational arguments being made in the press and broadcast universe.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 9, 2004 3:00 AM

Michael, it looks like oj stopped one paragraph short of the 'real' answer. Iraq is not the problem.

"Thus while there are still concrete demands for universal health-care, low-cost prescription drugs, and assured jobs, much of the real venom is packaged in the sarcasm and cynicism of a self-absorbed, out-of-power elite, not the masses—specifically the worry among American intellectuals, professors, artists, and journalists over how George Bush’s America is now portrayed abroad where they so often visit or have homes. Moorism and Chomskyism are attuned to European slurs of stupid, Texas-like Americans, who fear that they are no longer to be welcomed or liked in Paris or Berlin."

They are 18th century Tories (a.k.a Loyalists) living in the colonies.

Posted by: Michael at October 9, 2004 9:53 AM

Oops, the second comment was me, not Michael

Posted by: Uncle Bill at October 9, 2004 10:13 AM