Comments: Questions Answered

It doesn't necessarily care about world's richest people. It's more like a Mafia organization.

Posted by abb1 at December 19, 2008 03:59 PM

NO matter who "they" are they gots more money than me.

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 19, 2008 04:10 PM

The problem with "conservatives" is that they want to feed at the trough like a pig until the "liberals" gain power. At that point they wipe the slop off their chin and say "let's be conservative now".

Posted by meshuga at December 19, 2008 10:37 PM

When it comes to a full-on, hemp-wearing, kelp-eating, mandala-tatted, fool-coifed liberal with socks in sandals...

Har de har har. What decade is this asshole stuck in? You'd think that O'Rouke would have figured this out by now, but attacking "the left" with lame cultural signifiers doesn't work because left culture is constantly being mainstreamed. Back in the early 70's - which seems to be the last time P.J. O'Rourke had an original thought - eating organic food made you a dirty fucking hippie. Now, organic is the fastest-growing segment in the food industry. Same with renewable energy, fair-trade coffee and so on.

O'Rouke, who seems more interested in making a buck than most, could do worse than heading to east Willy Street in Madison, taking careful note of what people there are buying, and then sinking his retirement fund into exactly those products. Come to think of it, that's not too different from what he does now, making a good living off bohemian leftists, by milking the same tired stereotypes in return for a steady paycheck.

Posted by SteveB at December 19, 2008 10:42 PM

milking the same tired stereotypes in return for a steady paycheck.

I read that piece and I just shook my head. I couldn't even get worked up about his bullshit potshots at the 'Left' since they were so obviously forced.

The poor guy knows movement conservatism as we know it is done, but he can't quite connect all the dots:

"In how many ways did we fail conservatism? And who can count that high?....

What will destroy our country and us is not the financial crisis but the fact that liberals think the free market is some kind of sect or cult, which conservatives have asked Americans to take on faith. That's not what the free market is. The free market is just a measurement, a device to tell us what people are willing to pay for any given thing at any given moment. The free market is a bathroom scale. You may hate what you see when you step on the scale. "Jeeze, 230 pounds!" But you can't pass a law making yourself weigh 185. Liberals think you can. And voters--all the voters, right up to the tippy-top corner office of Goldman Sachs--think so too.

We, the conservatives, who do understand the free market, had the responsibility to--as it were--foreclose upon this mess. The market is a measurement, but that measuring does not work to the advantage of a nation or its citizens unless the assessments of volume, circumference, and weight are conducted with transparency and under the rule of law. We've had the rule of law largely in our hands since 1980. Where is the transparency? It's one more job we botched."

What a sad bunch of horseshit-'we failed conservatism', 'we understand the free market'. This reactionary cocksucker has spent his entire adult life helping to make the world a worse place and now that the results are apparent to everyone, it's all because we didn't follow the instructions on his Conservatism Erector Set to the letter. Tell us about the free market, PJ! Is it like a unicorn?

Posted by Waingro at December 20, 2008 01:48 AM

The saddest part is, in terms of self-awareness and self-criticism, this piece puts O'Rourke leagues ahead of anybody else at the Weekly Standard.

Posted by Chris E. at December 20, 2008 10:24 AM

From the steamy jungles
to the high mountain passes,
trouble in the rubble
say the hot news flashes.
From the barrel of a gun
to the sound of the lashes,
but everybody's still
moving slow as molasses.
All over the world
there's sugar all over the world.

We used to look
to the tropical nations
to get the bodies
to run our plantations.
It's a brave new world
and a brand new order.
We can relocate
south of the border.
All over the world
there's sugar all over the world.

Our agents are ruthless,
our watchdogs are toothless.
We use everything
till everything is useless.

Sugar on your tongue.
Sugar in your pose.
Sugar in your veins.
Sugar up your nose.
It's always been
one long search for spices:
The power of the product
and a market for new vices.
All over the world
There's sugar all over the world.

"Sugar All Over The World" by the Art Ensemble of Daly City, from "Over There" circa 1990.

Just saying.

Posted by Bob In Pacifica at December 20, 2008 10:46 AM

Like most aging comics, O'Rourke performs what he knows, and what got him attention in the first place. It's been a long road since he turned the Lampoon into a white man's burden.

Posted by Dennis Perrin at December 20, 2008 10:52 AM

You go, Bob.

Posted by roy belmont at December 20, 2008 10:29 PM

The conservatives understand the free market? What a laugh! The market has been the freest it's been since, um, right before the LAST depression, and we're witnesses to the logical and entirely predictable result. That's right. This financial mess isn't an aberration of the free market: it's its logical result. The free market pretty much says "I'm free to pursue what makes me the most money; to hell with you!" That's a summary of the machinery behind what's just happened, minus a few smarmy details. The failure of conservative philosophy is its cornerstone: the notion that individuals are not capable of making their own moral decisions without government oversight (witness anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage forces), but that a corporation IS (witness their almost religious belief in de-regulation). Add to it a heartfelt belief that the government should not be in the business of serving the people (that would be demonstrated by their systematic dismantling of FEMA and their conversion of the Justice Department into an enforcement organ of the Republican party) and you've got a perfectly good description of the conservative agenda--and a perfectly predictable recipe for the morass we're currently experiencing.
And then O'Rourke tries to imply that liberals have a marginal grasp on reality. Huh. There's nothing on this side of the aisle that's anywhere near as good as what he's smoking.

Posted by doggril at December 21, 2008 05:35 PM

Of course conservatives understand "The Free Market." It's a marketing phrase for conning the little people.

Posted by Joey Giraud at December 21, 2008 07:31 PM

Believe it or not, this guy was once a celebrated humorist. Over a quarter century ago.

From National Lampoon (back when it was funny) to the Weekly Standard. It's like Tyrone Power's tumble from mentalist act and con man to carnival geek, in "Nightmare Alley":

"You think you can handle the job?"

"Mister, I was born for it!"

Come to think of it, though, biting the heads off live chickens would probably be a karmic step up from writing for the Standard.

Posted by grouchomarxist at December 22, 2008 12:36 AM

Believe it or not, this guy was once a celebrated humorist. Over a quarter century ago.

From National Lampoon (back when it was funny) to the Weekly Standard. It's like Tyrone Power's tumble from mentalist act and con man to carnival geek, in "Nightmare Alley":

"You think you can handle the job?"

"Mister, I was born for it!"

Come to think of it, though, biting the heads off live chickens would probably be a karmic step up from writing for the Standard.

Posted by grouchomarxist at December 22, 2008 12:36 AM

O'Rourke was funny as hell, and dead on, until he got married and settled down and needed a steady paycheck. Life affects many of us that way.

As Chris mentioned, cliched and turgid and overbaked as this piece is, PJ has much more of a handle on where conservatives went wrong than anyone else I've read on the rightward side of the web. And (you can take this with sorrow or delight) he clearly sees no way out of the mess they saddled themselves with.

Posted by Fritz at December 22, 2008 01:32 AM

You know what I'd like to see?

Dennis Miller and P.J. O'Rourke in a 'comedy' death match.

Then again, maybe we could do without the 'comedy,' and they could just both die.

Now, that would be funny.

Posted by Rightwingsnarkle at December 22, 2008 05:37 AM

You just don't understand the Kundalini. That you must let it be, and the Path of the Tao will do its own thing naturally. The Invisible Hand of God is not begging for hand outs so it can go on fucking orphans afterwards, It is (but let me pretend outrage, call Bush a socialist etc etc so it can justify my racist obsessions and preoccupations with social spending - the pea on the mountain).

If you want to understand better, check out www.mises.thefuckingpoint.org.

Posted by PJ at December 22, 2008 10:01 AM

I'll say the same thing I said in the comments section at Hullaballoo: to anyone reading this, if he or she should ever run into P. J. O'Rourke, please ask him if he ever considered whether he is an even bigger asshole as a boring, reactionary jerk than he was as a dirty fucking hippy.

Posted by Cato at December 22, 2008 10:10 AM

Ah c'mon PJ was always a self-serving, abusive asshole.

In the late '70s, I was visiting the Lampoon offices and happen to pass PJ's office when he started in SCREAMING at a secretary, because he hadn't yet received a book she'd ordered for him.

I was working for magazines for a number of years then, bouncing from women's to men's, and despite the lack of harassment laws at the time, I'd never heard either that volume level or vitriol from any other executive to staff.

PJ is also a little man -- in height as well as personality -- I'm a short girl, and after his temper tantrum he got into the elevator I'd been waiting for.

And gave me the eye: I backed up and at the lobby practically ran out of there.

An asshole so un self aware he thought a woman could be attracted after he'd harassed his secretary in that scary fashion.

Posted by judy brown at December 22, 2008 03:01 PM

Wow. A man for whom the word "asshole" was coined. I was only able to wade through half of that screed before I had to stop to take a shower and change my shoes. All I can say is he'd better not call me half of that crap to my face, or I just might forget I'm a lefty pacifist...

Posted by JoeBuddha at December 22, 2008 03:48 PM

The bad part is that, like Coulter, he profits from the "they call me an asshole, therefore that makes me a non-PC bad boy" bullshit (and we thought the Bush-years oposition culture was incorporated, just wait...). We're back to the 90's. The moneyed suit in beige cubicles talks of "fiscal conservatism" and sweaty black-socks stench of "Anti-government" crypto-fascist "mavericks" creating "peace time" hatred for the escape goats through financial (and crime) concerns. Many shits thinking the dudes from Mad Men are awesome.

It's not full on fascist homoeroticism. It's the stuffed build up (if there isn't a depression -- then it's 30's Germany -- hatred for "socialists", arabs, blacks, jews, mexicans with a black man on the dart board to spit your problems on). Now it's just the homoerotic "I'm a macho incorrigible asshole. Fuck you (black) pal, I got mine. I'm a shark. Tee-hee I'm so naughty and outrageous. Call me a neandearthal and I'll like it and maybe in a few years time I'll say some flat out fascist shit, get me Dennis Miller and Tommy Friedman on the line, I wanna suck on some Made-in-China authoritarian sticks".

It's bad enough we had keyboard Spartans in the last eight years. Now it's back to the full on strawhippie bashing to create that sense that caring and clear thinking is unicorn fantasy land while talking about free market. Talk about projecting your failures.

Posted by Stephen at December 22, 2008 05:38 PM

Let's not be hasty. I've been reading O'Rourke's work since back when it was tinged with humor, and I notice that nowhere in this article is it stated that Jimmy Carter is ugly. I believe it's quite possibly a forgery by some garden variety asshole who found a thesaurus somewhere.

Posted by Kip W at December 24, 2008 08:33 PM