Friday, September 01, 2006

Political P0rnography

I wish I could say it surprised me to learn that a British television network has decided to fund a feature-length motion picture dramatization of the Left’s recurrent sotto-voce fantasy, the assassination of President George Bush.

Not, as they might easily have done, some fictional President Geoff Holly, or similar roman-a-clef dodge (as they did in the Manchurian Candidate, which accomplished the admirable feat of simultaneously defaming Nixon while hanging the basic outline of the traitors afoot in the Democratic Party circa 1944 about the neck of the Republican Party--and even then, they felt compelled, like a criminal returning to the scene, to remake the film in 2004 removing any ambiguity about the evil of Republicans). No, the Left is tired of pussyfooting around, they want their pound of flesh bloody and unadulterated.

With a morbid curiosity for which I will no doubt atone in purgatory, I sojourned within the fever swamps of the DailyKos to see how badly the Left would betray its baser urges. Mostly, even there, it was recognized that to entertain this conjecture as a dramatic project for public consumption for even an instant was a profound rejection of the American experiment and impulse towards Caesarism which stood contrary to the stated values of most Leftist movements.

However, the pro-forma denunciations of the film had two recurring features that suggest the Left’s rejection of the assassination fantasy is neither completely sincere nor unconditional.

1) The first feature took the formulation along the lines of “I would never see this film, and I would urge others to reject it as well.” This is, I suppose, the situational variant of the well-worn “personally opposed, but politically supportive” cant which has been the Left’s stock-in-trade on issues of sexual immorality since the 1960’s, but it demonstrates a complete lack of seriousness about the nature of the project. If the objection to the film is merely that one finds the theme unpleasant, I suppose this attitude might hold water. If, on the other hand, it is believed, as most of the posters claim to do, that publicizing such fantasies in fact amounts to incitement, then one cannot in moral seriousness suppose that the public danger is eliminated by only allowing those who have no qualms about subjecting themselves to such incitement to view the film. The danger is showing the film publicly, tout court, not that the film is distasteful and therefore unworthy of support.

2) The second phenomenon observed runs parallel to the first in that it similarly reveals an inability to separate the fantastic and conspiratorial from actual reality. A significant number of posters who objected to the film, objected for the tactical reason that the assassination of Bush would only elevate Vice President Cheney, one of the purported masterminds who compose the ruling syndicate in the imaginings of many on the Left. This train of conspiratorial reasoning swiftly deduced that the only possible source of this inflammatory film must be some public relations operation on the Right, following the notion that since the assassination of Bush would probably redound to the popularity of his successor (as Johnson was only able to sustain any sort of public popularity standing in the halo of Kennedy’s secular martyrdom), therefore it must be the case that the Right has come to consciously wish for Bush’s assassination and is, by unspecified Dark Arts, compelling Leftist English filmmakers to produce the material to set off some anti-Bush Travis Bickle in our midst.

To the extent that any politically consequential conclusions can be drawn, it seems clear to me that the Left is in clear denial about the extent of their Bush Derangement Syndrome, and that any attempt by the Democratic Party to craft a serious foreign policy platform on which to run in November is perhaps fatally compromised by this unwillingness to engage in the sort of reality-based analysis of their situation upon which they congratulate themselves so warmly.

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