Friday, October 27, 2006


My hat is tipped once again to Matt Drudge who links a window into a brilliant mind. From Salon:

“Salon Interview: Camille Paglia”

The best five pages I have read in years. Conservatives, you must read this, especially if you think the left is intellectually spent… Liberals, you must read this, especially if you think it isn’t…

She absolutely excoriates Democrats… A few gems:

On the topic of Democrats, defense, and our dearth of choices:

“What candidate do we have to offer when national security is the No. 1 item on the front burner? Democrats became so distracted by their focus on domestic issues over the past 25 years that they're weak on national defense…  My generation of baby-boom Democrats hasn't done much deep thinking about international issues except in terms of postmodernist fragmentation or fuzzy, smiley-face multiculturalism. We desperately need better candidates… John Edwards… Good Lord, that guy is such a lightweight! Are we really going to put America's national security in Edwards' hands? He has no relevant experience whatsoever… Except for Charles Rangel, who served in Korea, few Democratic leaders have military experience, so their rhetoric isn't likely to convince this skeptical and apprehensive electorate.”

Really nailed that one… But what are the choices?

“The country is being asked to take a gamble with the disordered Democrats or to choose nascent fascism on the Republican side -- the intrusion into personal files and phone records, the shadowy sweeps that may have imprisoned innocent people along with genuine terrorists. The electorate could be ready to accept abrogation of basic constitutional rights in a time of war.”

If we do, we will never get them back. But as Paglia notes:

“In this anxious atmosphere, the Democrats look addled and self-absorbed, with their handmaiden major media and showbiz sermonizers and celebutantes. All that vulgar posturing”…

On the Democrats’ characterization of Republicans as “fat cats:”

“The Democrats' portrayal of Republicans as fat cats out of touch with ordinary Americans just doesn't fly anymore, and they should drop it. I think the center of the Republican Party really is small-businessmen and very practical people who correctly see that it's job creation and wealth creation that sustain an economy -- not government intervention and government control, that suffocating nanny-state mentality.”

Nanny Pelosi…

“The Democrats are in some sort of time warp in always proposing a government solution to every problem. It's like Hillary's philosophy that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, does it? Or does it take a strong family and not the village?”

And that from a woman who supported Ralph Nader over her own Democratic party…

On Democrats’ fascination with right-wing media success:

“This overblown fear of Fox News is such a sentimentality on the part of too many Democrats. Talk radio is infinitely more powerful than Fox. Radio hosts are blanketing the country with round-the-clock conservative ideology -- not because they're dastardly conspirators manipulating the media but because they've achieved their success, market by market, in creating programs that millions of people want to listen to…

I think there is a connection between talk radio and the ordinary Republican Paglia so accurately characterizes: those “small-businessmen and very practical people” are a natural audience for talk radio. They run their own shops, and don’t have to be overly concerned with PC issues. They are mostly contrarian by nature – you need an independent streak to survive on your own these days – and the “stir the guts” nature of talk radio is a natural fit.

Perhaps most importantly, a lot of small business owners spend half of their lives in their cars…

And Air America?

“The recent filing for bankruptcy by Air America dramatizes my party's abject failure to produce shows that are informative and entertaining and that systematically build an audience -- the way all the top radio hosts did who climbed the ladder from obscurity to their present prominence. Aren't we the party of Hollywood? The fact that we've failed so miserably at this central medium of communication shows how something has gone very wrong in Democratic sensibility… Don't even mention Al Franken -- I can't listen to him for 30 seconds without falling asleep. A voice like molasses and never a fresh idea.”

On religion:

“To claim, as Democrats often do, that there has always been a separation of church and state in America is misleading: The U.S. simply has no official state religion. The formative influence in our intellectual heritage came from Puritan dissidents in New England. Major universities like Harvard and Yale were founded on religious principles.”

No revisionism there…

“As long as the Democrats are perceived as the anti-religion party, we're going to lose the culture wars… Religion is absolutely central to this country in ways that Europe's secularized intellectuals fail to understand. I'm speaking here as an atheist who studies religion and respects it enormously. In the history of mankind, the benefits that religion has brought to society in shaping behavior and moral choice are overwhelming in comparison to the negatives, which anyone can list -- like religious wars and bigotry. Without religion, we'd have anarchy… I think that the constant sniping at religion coming from liberal Democrats is really a dead end.”

I have to agree, with the qualification I think religion has outlived its usefulness – we’ve outgrown it. Our ancestors were barbarians and their religions reflected it… But seeing good aspects in our religious history in no way tempers my disdain for the evangelical jihadists of the religious right… Paglia offers a similar caution, continuing:

“But there's reason for alarm at the right-wing intertwining of religion and politics, where the Bible is seen as the prophetic master plan of the universe and where Israel as the Holy Land must be protected at all costs from Muslim infiltration -- duplicating the agenda of the medieval crusades.”

Damn straight. Yet Paglia notes a powerful disconnect:

“The more liberal parents are, the less contact their children have with religious ideas. That will surely disable our future American leaders from being able to understand the religious commitment of Islamic fundamentalists. Liberal journalists often seem incredulous about how anyone would seek death for religious principles. But that was the entire history of early Christianity, when the saints willingly sought martyrdom. We're heading into that world again.”

I hope she is wrong. I think she is right.

And what does this liberal intellectual think of liberal intellectuals?

“What do contemporary intellectuals have to offer anyhow? What passionate engagement do they have to appeal to young people? Liberal secularism has become bourgeois and materialistic. It's snide, elitist, and politically marginalized… The intellectuals, with their cultivated internationalism, always counsel procrastination and leave it to the men of action to deal forcefully with fascist regimes”...

And finally the war:

“Of course Democrats are genuinely divided about how we should proceed. There are people like me who want immediate withdrawal of all American forces from Iraq... Withdrawal would probably plunge Iraq into civil war, and the Democrats don't want to be blamed for the blood bath. But it's going to be nasty whether we stay or go.”

That’s just it. Democrats – and liberal intellectuals in general - don’t want to be blamed for anything. So they do nothing, and get blamed for that…

And predictions about “staying the course:”

“I doubt withdrawal has ever been a possibility for this administration. Bush sees Iraq as a staging station to safeguard the oil fields by democratizing the Middle East. Our military bases may be permanently planted in Iraq. It will require a very strong and visionary future president of either party to get us out of this mess.”

Plus a lot more – Foley, Woodward, the first woman President…

A must, must, must read.

Always loved Paglia, especially so since she appears to agree with me on the Foley idiocy.

Dont konw if you have ever read any of her books but they are pretty interesting.
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