In defense of snark
I have to disagree with many of the recent responses to Freddie’s attack on Robert Stacy McCain, namely his use of snark and less than kind words on the subject of Palin-worship, the recent rise in faux-populism, etc. that is ransacking the Republican Party and poisoning modern movement conservatism from within. Since when are conservatives populists, first of all? And since when has Palin been anything more than a better-seen-and-not-heard mascot for this faux-populism that elitists such as McCain and Kristol and their lot have used to push their less-than-populist policies? One could hardly call democracy promotion a populist cause, and yet Palin and her puppeteers spin it as such. That such “East-Coast Elites” should rally behind this woman signifies either ideological blindness at an unprecedented level, or a rather disingenuous, sardonic approach to politics that deserves little more the snark and derision from its critics.
After all, as Daniel Larison pointed out recently, McCain and the other elitists within the GOP who pushed Palin and still do are “doing more to undermine Middle American interests with [their] shameless Palin-worship than any of [her critics] ever will.” In a sense, Freddie’s “snark” is little more than constructive criticism for the pro-Palin crowd. Perhaps the base of the Repulbican Party has been reeled in by this Middle America charade, and as such perhaps they aren’t witnessing it with much objectivity, or in much of a position to see with clear eyes what is actually happening to conservative causes. Someone on the outside, a liberal say, like Freddie, is looking in on the whole sad scene and actually hoping that it stays its course because, quite frankly, this course is one of implosion for the Republican Party. Rallying behind politicians who exhibit such monumentally abysmal qualifications, such disdain for intellect and experience, and such a general lack of even the most basic understanding of what it even means to be conservative (short of railing against liberals and liberalism) will spell the end for the modern GOP, and perhaps that’s a good thing. And yet, despite all this, Freddie has the good sportsmanship to warn the opposition of their own foolhardy ways.
So I say snark away, Freddie. Call it like you see it. Either it will fall on deaf ears and the GOP will run its course of inexplicable self-destruction, to later re-emerge from the ashes of its own folly, or it will catch on and a better, smarter conservative movement will be born. I highly doubt any of the Palin crowd will listen, choosing instead to write off any critique of her capabilities and intelligence as an attack on Middle America. The blind will lead the blind, and the politics of faux-populism (a political strategy only slightly less dangerous and foolish than actual populism) will lead the Republican brand into one defeat after another. It took such folly to lead the Conservative Party in Britain to the point they’re at now, poised at last to re-introduce themselves to the British political scene, a better, smarter political force than before.
Sure, sometimes beating someone over the head with a blunt object is an unproductive way of getting your point across. Then again, sometimes nothing will get that point across, so what does it matter? Perhaps someday when realization finally dawns, McCain and the other Palin-pushers will remember those slings and arrows. They may not ever admit they were wrong, but they won’t forget that once upon a time someone called them out on all of it, for whatever that’s worth…