Point (Richard Cohen, “America’s Left Slides Down A Slippery Slope In Iraq,” 2014):
…people will die of starvation or thirst or a bullet in the back because we didn’t do what we could easily do.
This is not who we are. This is not who we should be.
I recognize that these are not easy issues. I recognize further that we are a war-weary nation and that events in the Middle East are so convoluted, they redeem the preposterous plots of “Homeland.”
But, Lord, how did the moral center of the American left get so isolationist and selfish? How did it manage to cede the moral high ground to the right? Why does it see no difference between a moral obligation to save lives by avoiding murder — not just with humanitarian measures — and a kind of militarist lust for yet more adventure?
Counterpoint (Richard Cohen, “The Myth of American Exceptionalism,” 2011): Continue reading Oh, so *now* Richard Cohen wants to be a neoconservative. Because Obama.
I’ve been chewing on this Richard Cohen article on the upcoming film “By the People: The Election of Barack Obama,” and I’ve finally figured out what was nagging me about it. It’s because of this passage:
What’s striking about this inside look at Obama is how being inside gets you nowhere. It is virtually the same as being outside. What’s also striking about this movie is its lack of arc. Obama is always golden, always going to win and always does. His issue, if it can be called that, is himself. He is something new, something young, something biracial and something black, but he is not something from a political or ideological constituency. He is adored by his fans — the directors, Amy Rice and Alicia Sams, included — not for something he’s done, but rather for something he is.
Richard Cohen thought that he was watching a documentary. Still does. So his confusion over the lack of tension, internal conflict, and ‘arc’ makes sense, in this context: you need all of these for the documentary genre, which is of course supposed to be a type of film where the director attempts to show the essential truth of a situation or person on camera.
But you need none of them for propaganda.
Crossposted to RedState.