Much has happened in the last few months while I have neglected Arimathea. Suffice it for me to say how thankful I am that Russia has helped the United States to avoid another disastrous entanglement in the Middle East. The consequent wailing and gnashing of teeth, the partisan cheap shots, and the ridiculous reminders of how inept the American political leadership class is all have been dismaying but amusing for my cynical soul. Ideologues make for poor strategic thinkers, and the members of the American elite have become grossly perverted liberal democratic ideologues.
In this, Republicans may still be worse. Is there a war that John McCain and Lindsey Graham won’t support? That is sincere question. However, it heartens me that some American conservatives are finally (well over a decade too late) coming to the realization that their Cold War reference points no longer match reality. Change is hard, though. I recently heard Newt Gingrich and Condoleezza Rice spew their Russophobic venom and neocon “analysis.” Rice should know better, but she reminds us of the old saying that when one only has a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. She spent her life studying the Soviet menace, and she reduces the global stage to her familiar Cold War libretto. I remember having a fit during her address at one of the Republican presidential conventions. The woman is a broken record that cracked in the 80’s—she reminds me of the sadly ever relevant Nate the Neocon. Indeed, if there is a silver lining to Obama’s two terms, it is that the true believers in our liberal missionary wars have been largely sequestered from power. Obama is not a true believer; I suspect that his hawkish pose is merely domestic political posturing. Fortunately, some Republicans are waking; no longer is poor old Patrick Buchanan the only man on the Right who sees the new landscape.
Though “conservatives” are blameworthy in their belligerent consistency, it was somewhat entertaining for me to watch the spectacle of the anti-war Left drum up support for bombing yet another Arab despot before Vladimir threw the president a lifeline. Our betrayal of Mubarak and the bipartisan hypocrisy in Kadafi’s downfall were worse, but the campaign to attack Assad—by assisting cannibalistic jihadists—ranks up there among egregious episodes of American foreign policy idiocy. Yet, wrongheadedness comes easily to democracy. For many among America’s elite supported the Bolsheviks during the Russian revolution and civil war. Blind, wicked ideologues! Anyway, comedians found the political absurdity a target rich environment. On Fr. Z.‘s blog, I discovered the following delightful image:
I sent the link to friends and family, and my brother Aaron responded by one-upping me with this brilliant video from Second City:
The very next day, Fr. Z. himself posted the satirical video. It just goes to show how quickly information travels among those conspiratorial papists!
I hope that my fellow old calendarists had a lovely ecclesial new year over the weekend. I have been absent for several weeks, but I assure you that the break was time well spent. For today, I simply offer a warm and humorous piece on improv by Charlie Todd:
Play is good.