- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 18, 2000

Weeping women

"Last Sunday's Million Mom March, the gun-control protest organized … by the sister-in-law of Hillary Clinton's longtime pal and hatchet woman, surly Susan Thomases, may not do the Democrats much good this year… .

"It doesn't take a weatherman to figure out that the average citizen doesn't want national policy determined by packs of weeping women led by a shrill, dimwitted talk-show host (Hillary sycophant Rosie O'Donnell)… .

"The Million Moms would do much more for this country if they would focus on the breakdown of family and community ties that produce sociopaths like the goons who shoot up schools and day-care centers… .

"The problem with gun laws is that they only work on already law-abiding citizens."

Camille Paglia, writing on "The Million Mom March: What a Crock," Wednesday in Salon at www.salon.com

'Sweaty little colonials'

"Today the humanities faculties are hives of abstruse doctrines such as structuralism, postmodernism, deconstruction, reader-response theory, commodification theory… . The names vary, but the subtext is always the same: Marxism may be dead, and the proletariat has proved to be hopeless. They're all at sea with their third wives. But we can find new proletariats whose ideological benefactors we can be women, non-whites, put-upon white ethnics, homosexuals, transsexuals, the polymorphously perverse, pornographers, prostitutes (sex workers), hardwood trees which we can use to express our indignation toward the powers that be and our aloofness to their bourgeois stooges, to keep the flame of skepticism, cynicism, irony, and contempt burning. This will not be Vulgar Marxism; it will be … Rococo Marxism… . We won't get too hung up on political issues, which never seem to work out right anyway. Instead, we will expose the stooges' so-called truths … and deconstruct their self-deluding concoctions of eternal verities. We will show how the powers that be manipulate, with poisonous efficiency, the very language we speak in order to imprison us in an invisible panopticon, to use the late French 'poststructuralist' Michel Foucault's term.

"Foucault and another Frenchman, Jacques Derrida, are the great idols of Rococo Marxism in America. Could it be otherwise? Today, as throughout the 20th century, our intellectuals remain sweaty little colonials, desperately trotting along, trying to catch up, catch up; catch up with the way the idols do it in France, which is through Theory, Theory, Theory."

Tom Wolfe, writing on "In the Land of the Rococo Marxists," in the June issue of Harper's

A problem with truth

"By now, pretty much everyone recognizes that Vice President [Al] Gore has a problem with the truth… . That observation is hardly new. Twelve years ago, [Massachusetts Gov.] Mike Dukakis, campaigning for president against Gore, urged him, 'Please get your facts straight. If you're going to be president of the United States, you'd better be accurate.' Around the same time, Gore's communications director, Arlie Schardt, warned his boss in a memo: 'Your main pitfall is exaggeration.' Press secretary Mike Kopp once counseled Gore against 'remarks that may be impossible to back up.'

"Now that Gore is the Democratic Party's crown prince, Dukakis isn't elaborating on his earlier comments, and Schardt is spinning his away (no word from Kopp). But the impression remains: Al Gore is a liar. Bill Bradley said as much in one of their debates, when he asked Gore: 'Why should we believe that you will tell the truth as president if you don't tell the truth as a candidate?' "

John J. Miller, writing on "Through His Teeth," in the May 22 issue of National Review

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