ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Vision Thing

The Dems don't have it... as Goldbergh points out.

This is the relevant passage:
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore, " he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Since then liberals have adopted their residence in the "reality-based community" as a badge of honor. Left-wing bloggers prominently affirm that they are a "proud member of the reality-based community" or that theirs is a "reality-based weblog." Suskind himself continues to proclaim himself a prophet-with-honor(arium) for calling attention to the administration's "kill-or-be-killed desire to undermine public debate based on fact." Paul Krugman, Molly Ivins, and the rest of the usual suspects have a grand time bebopping over the Right for its supposed faith in fantasy over facts as if this phrase is a cross every conservative everywhere must bear.


Take the second point first [that the Bush aide was largely right]. Imagine that what the aide really meant by "reality-based community" was in fact "the status-quo community." The promising developments toward peace and liberalization throughout the Middle East were considered unimaginable to the status-quo community not very long ago. But Bush found them quite imaginable and he acted to make what his opponents considered to be a fantasy into a reality. Well — fingers crossed! — it looks like Bush is finding considerable success in his efforts to, in the words of that aide, "create a new reality." For good or for ill, who can doubt that Bush is one of "history's actors" at this point?

This dynamic is actually something I've been interested in for a very long time. [...] As you can tell, the first place I read about it was in a phenomenal essay by George Orwell in which he derided the tendency of Western intellectuals and journalists to worship the status quo because that's where the power was. "Power-worship blurs political judgment because it leads, almost unavoidably, to the belief that present trends will continue," he wrote in 1946. The power-worship — i.e. status-quo based — community suffers from a failure of imagination to see how fragile contemporary arrangements can be, particularly if they are fond of those arrangements for ideological, political or financial reasons. The idea that Iraq could have a democratic "teaching effect" on the region was most vociferously pooh-poohed by the Islamist voluptuaries in academia and by various journalists who either subscribe to anti-American or, more often, anti-Bush views. Maureen Dowd time and again has referred to the "discredited domino theory" as if all she needs to do is say something is discredited in order for it to be so. She's really got to stop believing her own press releases.


"Act boldly and unseen forces will come to your aid," proclaimed the writer Dorothea Brande (though the movie Almost Famous attributes the line to Goethe). In the Middle East there had long been unseen forces that are now suddenly visible because the president acted boldly. That doesn't mean he deserves all of the credit, of course. But it's impossible to imagine that we'd be seeing this bloom if Bush had not tilled the soil.
But don't worry, 20 years from now they'll take credit for any changes in the region and say that it was the Dems that pushed for human rights and liberty, while Bush just changed the nature of the region for cheap oil. HALLIBURTON!!!

Fortunately for our nation, Bush isn't concerned about who takes credit 20 years from now - he'll know that he was the major actor that kicked off this phenomenon.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler