Monday, January 08, 2007

The decline of the right, Exhibit A

In a move that seems almost calculated to showcase the degeneration of the Republican Party and American mainstream conservatism, Fox News talking head and conservative commentator Sean Hannity has a feature on his new show in which he declares whoever has pissed him off that week an "Enemy of the State." This week it's Sean Penn, for calling Hannity mean names. There's a video at the link.

Actually, this isn't the first time conservatives have been tossing this phrase around as a term of abuse. About a year ago, at (the neoconservative web magazine edited by David Horowitz), they were advertising T-shirts with the slogan "ACLU: Enemy of the State." That certainly wasn't as prominent as this, though.

You know, I first became politically aware early in the Clinton years, and I can vividly remember a time when many conservatives would have reveled in such a designation. They weren't as radical as I am now, and obviously a lot of those people are now raving statists, but there was nonetheless a lot of intense hostility to the state among many conservatives back then that is all but gone now. Too bad.

Hat tip: Hit and Run.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The obvious too many contradictions conservatives now operate under is preciesely why I cannot accept the label as my own without experiencing a mental recoil. Unfortunately, both "conservatives" and "liberals" revel in utilizing the state as a sledgehammer to impose their will upon the individual. One is either a libertarian (no refernce to the political party of the same name) or a statist, for there are no other options.

The artificial constructs of "left" and "right" are little more thna empty rhetoric and tragically cloud the issues which both sides [often] heatedly debate. Typically it often degenerates into who gets to dip into the taxpayer bowl the most, whether through direct taxes or the printing press.

It's surprising anyone still retains enough ignorance to hold onto these artificial constructs.