Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Iraq afflicted by analogy excess

Bush administration operative Peter Wehner in yesterday's New York Times bemoaning the crude rhetoric of Ben Carson --

Such rhetorical recklessness damages our political culture as well as conservatism, a philosophy that should be grounded in prudence, moderation and self-restraint. That doesn’t mean that conservatives should not use language that inspires people to act. But they should respect certain rhetorical boundaries. There are some places they shouldn’t go.

Peter Wehner in his former Bush administration operative role, attacking conservative critics of the Iraq war in 2006 --

Why is Mr. Fukuyama so sure people in Iraq and elsewhere don't long for democracy? Just last year, on three separate occasions, Iraqis braved bombs and bullets to turn out and vote in greater numbers (percentage-wise) than do American voters, who merely have to brave lines. Does Mr. Fukuyama believe Iraqis prefer subjugation to freedom? Does he think they, unlike he, relish life in a gulag, or the lash of the whip, or the midnight knock of the secret police? Who among us wants a jackboot forever stomping on his face?

As Corey Robin has elaborated many times, the notion that there was a pre-Trump or indeed pre-Obama golden age of restrained conservative rhetoric is simply laughable.

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