Friday, September 03, 2004

So when is the invasion of Alsace-Lorraine?

Perhaps a reflecting a fatigue factor in comparing Dubya to English leaders, Andrew Sullivan puts a new one in the mix. Which maybe reflects his admiration for some je ne sais quoi features of Arnold Schwarzenegger:

BISMARCK + WILSON: The whole package [Dubya convention speech] was, I think, best summed up as a mixture of Bismarck and Wilson. Germany's Bismarck fused a profound social conservatism with a nascent welfare state. It was a political philosophy based on a strong alliance with military and corporate interests, and bound itself in a paternalist Protestant ethic...Bismarck's conservatism also relied, as Bush's does, on scapegoating a minority to shore up his Protestant support. Protecting the family from its alleged internal enemies is an almost perfect rallying call for a religiously inspired base.

Bear in mind that this comes in the context of Sully's general admiration for Dubya, with a rupture only occurring over Dubya's support for a constitutional ban on gay marriage. All the other stuff, it seems, could be overlooked. But look at Bismarck's biography, and see the militarism, the cultivation of expansionist nationalism and German exceptionalism, and of course think what it had turned into two generations later -- this is what one of Dubya's defenders think of him.

Also interesting is Sully's apparent equation of Bismarck's anti-Catholicism with Dubya's anti-gay stance; this mingling of gay and Catholic identities is a favourite strategy of his when wanting to distance himself from the Republican party. By the way, as for that reference to Wilson, we think Sully means Woodrow and not Harold. But with his hot-cold attitude to Dubya these days, you never know.

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