- The Washington Times - Friday, January 21, 2000

'Smug and snug'

"The most perfect symbol of where women now stand in the radical feminist state they have been conned into supporting is our blithe President: a dedicated feminist in principle, a pig in private. Real men loathe Bill Clinton.
"A few decades ago, William Carlos Williams wrote of America as 'a vigorous, man's country.' Clinton's America, in contrast, is a woman's world. Men tamed the Wild West, and now they the foolhardy pioneers, the cowboys, the gunslingers, the men of honor must be driven out of the territory so that 'decent folk' can live smug and snug in the prosperity and security that those antiquated heroics wrested from the wilderness."
Marian Kester Coombs, writing on "It's a Girl's, Girl's, Girl's, Girl's World," in the February issue of Chronicles

Middle-class Marxism

"The bourgeois man finds himself unsettled by a guilty conscience and spiritual dissatisfaction. 'Self-doubt,' [author Francois] Furet writes, 'has led to a characteristic of modern democracy probably unique in universal history, the infinite capacity to produce offspring who detest the social and political regime into which they were born hating the very air they breathe, though they cannot survive without it and have known no other.' Hatred of the bourgeoisie, on the right and the left, is a tale as old as bourgeois modernity itself, of course, but it is jarring to realize how much ire has come not from aristocratic revenants or fiery proles, but from the cerebral sons of bourgeois fathers. Historian Perry Anderson points out that most of the leading Marxist thinkers originally came from bourgeois money: Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Friedrich Engels, Rosa Luxemburg, Herbert Marcuse, even Marx himself all had fathers who were bankers, bureaucrats, lawyers, manufacturers, or merchants… .
"Though communism and fascism have exited the stage of history, one should resist the temptation to conclude that the history of politics culminates in the bourgeois regime. New political monsters may yet arise from the unstable and ultimately dissatisfying bourgeois world. More likely, liberal democratic societies will continue their plunge into a generalized moral nihilism subversive of bourgeois order."
Brian C. Anderson, writing on "Capitalism and the Suicide of Culture," in the February issue of First Things

Political punch lines

"By every account, former Vice President Dan Quayle never recovered from the avalanche of jokes about his intelligence.
" 'Once they have a take on you, once they decided what to mock you for, it essentially becomes permanent and there's almost no way of undoing it,' said Mandy Grunwald, a top media adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"Mrs. Clinton's appearance last week on the Letterman show was partly in response to Mr. Letterman's repeated jokes about her move to New York to run for senator and his on-air tauntings of her for not visiting the show.
"During the 1992 presidential race, in which Ms. Grunwald was an adviser to Bill Clinton, the campaign hoped each night that ['Tonight Show' host Jay] Leno and ['Late Show' host David] Letterman would focus on the benign 'Big Mac' jokes about the candidate gorging himself on junk food instead of what she termed 'the other things': Mr. Clinton's avoidance of the draft, his sexual escapades and whether or not he had smoked marijuana… .
"But do the jokes always have an impact on the politicians?
"In the months leading up to his impeachment trial, Mr. Clinton was a prime target… .
"Despite the joke barrage, Mr. Clinton's approval rating went up."
Bernard Weinraub, writing on "Election's Barometer: Barbs of Late-Night TV," in Wednesday's New York Times

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