- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 5, 2006

Intolerant future

“I’m a conservative — I’m not entirely on board with the Islamist program when it comes to beheading sodomites and so on, but I agree Britney Spears dresses like a slut: I’m with [Taliban leader] Mullah Omar on that one. Why then, if your big thing is feminism or abortion or gay marriage, are you so certain that … tolerance will prevail once the biggest demographic in your society is cheerfully intolerant? …

“Just before the 2004 election, that eminent political analyst Cameron Diaz appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to explain what was at stake: ‘Women have so much to lose. I mean, we could lose the right to our bodies. … If you think that rape should be legal, then don’t vote. But if you think that you have a right to your body,’ she advised Oprah’s viewers, ‘then you should vote.’ …

“But, after framing the 2004 presidential election as a referendum on the right to rape, Miss Diaz might be interested to know that men enjoy that right under many Islamic legal codes around the world. … Bottom line for Cameron Diaz: There are worse things than John Ashcroft out there.”

Mark Steyn, writing on “It’s the Demography, Stupid,” Jan. 4 in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com

Gung ho

“I’ve only met two kinds of soldiers in the combat arms community: Those who have served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, and those who are pulling every bureaucratic string to get deployed there.

“I spent the summer of 2004 with a group of Marines in Niger and sub-Saharan Africa, and every Marine in that platoon was trying to get to Iraq. A few months later, one of them got lucky and ended up leading Iraqi forces into combat in the second battle of Fallujah. He was a sergeant from Georgia, and after the battle, he sent me a long e-mail flush with pride. And that’s not just a cutesy-pie story — that’s basically what I encounter all the time. …

“Soldiers are very aware of why they’re fighting — and that awareness stems from their own practical day-to-day experience, which is not killing people. By and large, they’re rebuilding, patrolling, and helping the Iraqi people.”

Robert Kaplan, author of “Imperial Grunts,” interviewed in the January/February issue of the American Enterprise

Un-red state

“I can’t stand much of the so-called common-man culture celebrated by the Right.

“I fully realized I’m a conservative metrosexual — let’s call me a metrocon for short — a few weeks ago. The Gretchen Wilson song ‘Redneck Woman’ came on the radio. This tune, a hard-charging boogie-woogie number, is a celebration of crude behavior, a kind of red-state aria of defiance against the staid, snobby, and civilized. The woman in the song boasts about shopping at Wal-Mart, keeping the Christmas lights on the house all night long, and standing in the front yard barefoot ‘with a baby on my hip.’

“I had an immediate, visceral hatred of the song. It represented the one thing I truly cannot stand about modern conservatism: its defense of anything dumb, tacky, and second-rate, as long as it comes from ‘the people.’ The common man is deified by the right. NASCAR, an absolutely idiotic ‘sport’ which consists, as the joke goes, of ‘a bunch of rednecks makin’ left turns,’ is hailed as red state America’s favorite pastime. … To populist conservatives, the simple fact that Bush country embraces the sport makes its aesthetic quality quite beside the point.”

Mark Gauvreau Judge, writing on “Right-Wingtips,” Jan. 4 in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

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