Monday, November 12, 2007

Atrios Gives Sully A Poke or Two

Atrios finds fault with Sully's fantasy world within which we would all agree...with him (natch):

"National Consensus"

I'm always puzzled when this phrase is thrown around, as Andy Sullivan and others do. I don't know why it's assumed to be a good thing. I don't know how we'd know if we had it when we did. I don't know why Andy and the gang imagine they'd feel better if such a thing were achieved, or why it seems to be important to them.
Exactly. Andy, the retro-cons and his formerly close friends, the neo-cons, yearn for the days of yore when everyone thought the same and lived in perfect harmony. The reality is that there hasn't been anything close to resembling a national consensus in either our country or his in 50+ years. It's a dirty little historical secret that even in in the dark days of World War Two, dissent was commonplace especially among the socially marginalized. The African-American community was particularly ambivalent. Why fight for a country that tried Nazi saboteurs in court while lynching black men for minor slights real or imagined?

But I digress. Sully's fervent wish for a national consensus reflects a deep inferiority complex at the core of the conservative baby-boomer. Having been raised by the Greatest Generation, it's only natural to want to blaze your own trail. But with the Cold War won (by pre-boomers no less) and Vietnam lost there has been scant opportunity to do so. Until 9/11. Thus a war for oil is marketed as a "global war against islamofacist terroristas" or what have you. This is position is born not just out of the need to mollify the masses but also is a desperate attempt to convince themselves that they are continuing in the honorable legacy of that "greatest of generations."

Which leads nicely into where Atrios gets to the nub of what drives Andrew Sullivan and his compadres. He goes in for the kill:

...I mean, I guess I do basically understand - it's the need of the narcissist for the world to line up completely with their views, along with the ego to be convinced that one's rightness transcends all.