Sunday, August 29, 2010

Palingenesis: Just Whose 'Honor' Was Being 'Restored' At The Big Glenn Beck Rally?

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Sarah Palin's speech at yesterday's big GlennBeckapalooza, aka the "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial, was really a pretty tawdry piece of typical right-wing agitprop, whereby they wrap themselves in the glory of veteranhood and the sacrifices of our young veterans in the name of Republican wars. Can you say, "Jingo", boys and girls? I knew you could! You betcha!

But I was especially struck by the way she attacked President Obama along the way:
Palin: I must assume that you too, knowing that no, we must not fundamentally transform America as some would want, we must restore America and restore her honor!
Yeah, so much for this being "nonpolitical." And there's a funny thing about this. Why, only the night before, Glenn Beck went onstage at the Kennedy Center and declared:
Beck: We are 12 hours away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America. [applause] And it has nothing to do with this city or politics! It has everything to do with God almighty!
So, is Palin disagreeing with Beck? Or did she just not get the memo that he was now adopting "fundamental transformation" as his own theme, after castigating President Obama endlessly for having suggested it? I'm guessing the latter.

And really, someone needs to ask the question: Exactly when did America lose its honor? How did we lose it?

Over at The Illiterate Electorate, Pierre Ross went out and asked exactly that question. The results are about what you'd expect:

As you can see, this rally was very much a political event for a lot of the people who turned out. They just left the kooky signs at home, mostly. But these Tea Partiers are agitated about abortion. Hey, I thought the Tea Parties were just about government spending and preserving freedom, right?


Which brings us to the final facet of Palin's formulation here: She opposes transformation and instead demands restoration. And we know, too, what they hope to restore: the "principles" of the "Founding Fathers" and other colonial-era political thinkers. While basking in the reflected light of wounded veterans.

There's a word for this kind of politics: It's called, appropriately enough, Palingenesis. And we really don't want to be going down that particular path -- no matter how much Sarah and Glenn may try to push us there.

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