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At the intersection of Cobb and Stein

Couple of worthwhile things from the blogger formerly known as Boohab: an examination of class, especially as it pertains to one Lone Gunman and his peregrinations through the middle class; an examination of self-esteem in black girls, and perhaps most poignant (from my perspective) a link to a Ben Stein column in the NY Times bemoaning the fact that while the men of the generation preceding Ben's all did time in the military during World War II, most of the money men now haven't and would most likely consider the suggestion that they should ridiculous. Stein doesn't use the phrase, but he points out that most of the troops doing the fighting and dying in Iraq are men and women from the red counties. Not a lot of Ivy Leaguers in the mix these days. Cobb thinks that when things get desperate they too will pick up a rifle, but given the quality and type of teaching being done at Yale and Harvard these days I have my doubts.

On a related topic, Ann Althouse slams Judge Taylor for giving ammunition to critics of judicial activism. This comes after her ripping on Lawrence Tribe for defending Taylor's decision and publicly criticizing bloggers who pointed out that the Empress had no clothes.

I think the subtext here is that the only things holding this country together are the law and a sense of shared responsibility for the common defense. Respect for the law began to fray during the sixties along with the popularization of draft dodging, and I don't think the country has ever really recovered from that time. Much of the current political frenzy on both sides is a reflection of this situation: one party is fighting the centripetal tendency, one is trying to encourage it, even as their basic philosophies conflict with their objectives.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
windelina
Aug. 23rd, 2006 05:10 pm (UTC)
Red-state soldiers are a result of a lot of social/cultural pressures, not just that red states will serve and blue states won't (as you know). As a liberal, I'm often frustrated at the Dems inability to connect to these very people since (ideally) what the Dems are for would benefit them. The two sides are pretty much hardened into "elitist" and "redneck" by now and that's frustrating and sad since the issues are universal, but it seems we'd rather be class snobs - from both directions.
wombat_socho
Aug. 23rd, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC)
Well, you'll notice I was careful to break things down a little more than just to the red state/blue state level, as Stein was, because as you can see here some of the blue states in fact have pretty hefty body counts. I don't know that things have hardened up as much as you might think - certainly nobody is trating Jim Webb as a joke, especially in George Allen's office, and unlike Ned Lamont, his main thrust is that populists are being taken for granted by the GOP and would be better served voting for Democrats like him.

Not that there are that many of those around, mind you.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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