A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one

There is a meme going around that we’ve turned into an angry rude nation,  America the Ornery

A Bee in the Mouth by Peter Wood; Encounter Books $25.95 Or at least a New Anger Style. Wood doesn’t think we are angrier than we have ever been, or angry more often; he does think we express ourselves more angrily, more often, that at the merest provocation we act indignantly and speak harshly. Why? “New Anger … is the expression of a new cultural ideal that emphasizes the importance of individual authenticity achieved through the projection of personal power over others. New Anger is … perhaps the most important modality of an increasingly common personality type … that the historian Christopher Lasch called ‘narcissistic’ a generation ago.” Wood sees New Anger in rap music, in the snarling looks of today’s cars, in NBA brawls, in movies like The Upside of Anger and Anger Management, and, of course, in politics.

I don’t know that we are angrier then any other generation only because of the various communications medium our anger, individual or collective has a louder echo then ever. Anger in itself isn’t a bad thing unless there is little or no provocation. Many of us have reason to be a little ticked off,

Read what editorialists said about the British before the War of 1812, what people wrote about abolitionists and suffragettes and trade unionists and civil rights activists. The armies of the North and South marched to a civil war on clouds of angry words. Remember all our judgmental puritans, gunslinging desperadoes, choleric nativists, the Battling Bickersons, the gangs of New York. Consider that between 1798 and 1815, eighteen officers in the tiny U.S. Navy were killed in duels; Andrew Jackson personally fought in 103 duels. In 1856, South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks went to the floor of the Senate and used his cane to beat abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner senseless. Beatings, whippings, canings, lynchings, labor riots at River Rouge, race riots in Tulsa, zoot suit riots in East L.A.—the soundtrack of the American movie isn’t exactly played on a harp. Wood looks at a great chain of vituperation and says, “None of these events made anger into a national ideal.” Geneticists tell us that a tiny, subtle chromosomal difference can yield very different species. Wood must have an awesome microscope.

When Conservatives run the economy on the credit line of this and the next generation that is bound to piss a few people off. Of course its not going to be the Bush family because they belong to that class that never suffers regardless of which way the economy turns or what their individual tax rate is. When we have a government that whose foundations are the three co-equal branches of government and Bush uses signing statements and executive orders to undermine those foundations people have a right and even a duty to be upset. While I don’t think anyone should use a cane on him to teach him a lesson I can understand why someone would want to. The parents and spouses of those killed by the war that Bush and their chorus of defenders lied the country into have a right to their rage as well.

Dick Cheney probably came out of the womb with a chip on his shoulder. I don’t think that he has ever uttered a phrase in public that wasn’t mixed with some vitriol, Cheney Holds Firm On Iraq, Pelosi Comments

But Cheney is holding firm on his original comments.

“I am not sure what part of it that Nancy disagreed with,” Cheney told ABC News during an interview today in Sydney, Australia. “She accused me of questioning her patriotism. I didn’t question her patriotism, I questioned her judgment.”

I tried to find a Democratic response to that, but I found Cheney’s own refutation of what he’s peddling this week to try and score political points, Cheney debunks himself

In a 1991 speech, Cheney delivered a rather defensive speech on the subject, noting the intense sectarian rivalries that dominate Iraqi society and the likely inability to maintain stability in Baghdad. As for replacing Saddam with a democracy, Cheney asked his audience, “How much credibility is that government going to have if it’s set up by the United States military when it’s there? How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for the government, and what happens to it once we leave?”

Cheney also said:

“The notion that we ought to now go to Baghdad and somehow take control of the country strikes me as an You’d probably have to put some new government in place. It’s not clear what kind of government that would be, how long you’d have to stay. For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who’s going to govern in Iraq strikes me as a classic extremely serious one in terms of what we’d have to do once we got there. For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who’s going to govern in Iraq strikes me as a classic definition of a quagmire.”.”

Cheney’s record of judgment shows – A) Cheney is channeling Stalin B) Cheney is a pro when it comes to moral relativism C) Cheney possess the maturity and wisdom of a drunk squirrel.

“A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.” – Benjamin Franklin