In imperial China it was common to describe officials as Confucians when in office, Taoists when out of office. Similarly, in modern western democracies whichever party is out of power tends to ramp up the libertarian rhetoric. Hence we hear all this anti-government talk from the Republicans during the Clinton and Obama eras, but (apart from a few honourable exceptions) where was it during the Bush era? And likewise for the Democrats, in the Bush era suspicion of government power was the order of the day, but now (again, apart from a few honourable exceptions) such suspicion is dismissed as evidence of lunacy.
Olbermann and his ilk are perfect examples. Last year Olbermann used to address President Bush in terms such as these:
If you believe in the seamless mutuality of government and big business, come out and say it! There is a dictionary definition, one word that describes that toxic blend.
Youre a fascist get them to print you a T-shirt with fascist on it! …
The lot of you are the symbolic descendants of the despotic middle managers of some banana republic to whom freedom is an ironic brand name, a word you reach for when you want to get away with its opposite.
Thus, Mr. Bush, your panoramic invasion of privacy is dressed up as protecting America.
Thus, Mr. Bush, your indiscriminate domestic spying becomes the focused monitoring only of terrorist communications.
And so on, quite enjoyably. But nowadays anyone expressing similar sentiments toward our current President Incarnate would get nothing from Olbermann but ridicule, outrage, and probably some veiled threats of violence.
Which bring me to my point (and I do have one, right on top of my head), which is to recommend Kevin Carsons critique of Olbermann-style liberalism.
Also check out the latest installment of Kevins critique of Sloanism.
And, in mostly unrelated news, check out Stephan Kinsellas latest piece on IP.