Strong Enough to Be His Man

Victor Davis Hansen channels his inner bottom:

Americans often talk grandly in melodramatic fashion of “speaking truth to power” — mostly on silly issues about which liberals talk tough to moderates, usually in the faculty lounge or at a Senate hearing, often before sharing cocktails afterward. Putin speaks power to truth — an unpredictable, unapologetic brute force of nature.

Again, what is Putin? He is a constant reminder to the postmodern Western mind that the human condition has not yet evolved beyond the fist. He is a bumper-sticker example of Aristotle’s dictum that it is easy to be moral in your sleep, given that verbiage without power is hardly moral or difficult. He is also a reminder about what is important in the most elemental sense. As we debate former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s remonstrances on oversized Cokes or Michelle Obama’s advocacy of celery sticks, Putin has dogs shot down to spruce up the Olympic grounds. We calibrate to the point of paralysis just how large a carbon footprint the Keystone Pipeline may or may not have; Putin ignores the Arctic tundra to enrich kleptomaniac Russian oligarchs and prop up his dysfunctional state.

Bare-chested Putin gallops his horses, poses with his tigers, and shoots his guns — what Obama dismisses as “tough-guy schtick.” Perhaps. But Putin is almost saying, “You have ten times the wealth and military power that I have, but I can neutralize you by my demonic personality alone.” Barack Obama, in his increasingly metrosexual golf get-ups and his prissy poses on the nation’s tony golf courses, wants to stay cool while playing a leisure sport. It reminds us of Stafford Cripps being played by Stalin during World War II. “Make no mistake about it” and “Let me be perfectly clear” lose every time. Obama’s subordinates violate the law by going after the communications of a Fox reporter’s parents; Putin himself threatens to cut off the testicles of a rude journalist.

I realize that the conservative press has been full of this kind of shit for years, but Sochi seems to be amping up the homoerotic odes. Has anyone found something better than this? Prove that you have evolved beyond the fist and use your fingers on your keys to suggest an even more bootlicking ode to Putin’s power.

(via Ed Kilgore)






164 replies
  1. 1
    Joel says:

    In Soviet America, Stalin condemns you!

  2. 2
    Patricia Kayden says:

    I’m confused. I thought Obama was a Chicago thug.

  3. 3
    GregB says:

    asdkjplgf’akj adskl;as’;ads’lvc,m/.,nokj;asakj;lakj;ladfsk”La,msmas,?.

    Translation: Fist no type, manly man good, girly man bad.

  4. 4
    piratedan says:

    @Patricia Kayden: he’s obviously not exemplifying enough melanin challenged strength

  5. 5
    coin operated says:

    Daaaaayum. Talk about a Valentine’s Day man-crush.

    Dude…just send flowers and chocolates next time.

  6. 6
    evolved beyond the fist mistermix says:

    @Joel: I love how England’s ambassador to the Soviet Union in WWII is the stand-in for Chamberlin. Victor realizes that the appeasement references are getting stale and he spruces this one up. That’s how you get a NRO gig.

  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:

    Hansen loves democracy so much he will not risk letting a bunch of common people shit all over it.

  8. 8
    aimai says:

    Holy shit, talk about not being able to tell shit from shinola. Could there be anything more absurd about comparing the effectiveness of a guy who flushed 50 billion dollars away and made his country a laughingstock to the man who is celebrated the world over for trying to repair the ravages wrought by another man’s man and who, while playing golf, ordered the killing of bin laden and managed to pass the biggest health care reform act in US history saving 43 million people from miserable death?

  9. 9
    aimai says:

    @coin operated: Or offer to kill some dogs, I guess.

  10. 10
    FlipYrWhig says:

    What makes a golf outfit “metrosexual,” let alone “increasingly metrosexual”? Skinny jeans and a circle scarf? Has Obama ever worn anything while playing golf that any other golfer wouldn’t wear? Hanson is just a screamingly weird dude.

  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Prove that you have evolved beyond the fist

    Sorry, 1stly VDH does not deserve the dignity that would give him, 2ndly, I am not that evolved.

  12. 12
    Cacti says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I’m confused. I thought Obama was a Chicago thug.

    Yep, a prissy Chicago thug.

    Don’t expect any winger insults of the President to make any logical sense.

    He’s also an inexperienced naif, who manages to diabolically control the media.

  13. 13
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    I kind of agree that brute force usually wins, but that’s not something to admire.

  14. 14
    Mike G says:

    Authoritarians long to be followers of powerful bullies.
    We’re talking about the mentality that was deeply impressed with Bush’s Potemkin ranch and laughable tough-guy preening like a male model.

  15. 15
    Cacti says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled:

    I kind of agree that brute force usually wins, but that’s not something to admire.

    Disagree.

    When the Roman legions were conquering mainland Europe, they won most of their conflicts by being smarter and better organized.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    RSR says:

    Don’t look now, but your daddy issues are showing.

  18. 18
    srv says:

    Stalin was already Hitler’s ally when Cripps was appointed ambassador. Clearly, played:

    When Hitler attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941, Cripps became a key figure in forging an alliance between the western powers and the Soviet Union.

    Am sure that had nothing to do with, you know, winning a fucking war.

    Can we pay driftglass to make a pic of Venereal David Hanson oiling up Putin’s pecs?

  19. 19
    evolved beyond the fist mistermix says:

    @aimai:
    Peel me a grape,
    crush me some skulls,
    skin me a dog, save the fuzz for my pillow

    Doesn’t quite have the same ring as

    Peel me a grape,
    crush me some ice,
    skin me a peach, save the fuzz for my pillow

    But I guess it works for VDH.

  20. 20
    FlipYrWhig says:

    One more thing: I’m guessing that “the head of state clapping stiffly while watching figure skating” would be a key part of an indictment of Obama’s apparent effeminacy — and yet we’ve watched Putin do it sans mockery.

  21. 21
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    I’m trying to figure out in what way Britain was played by the Soviet Union during WW2.

  22. 22
    cleek says:

    ah VDH, i thought he’d dried up and blown away when W left town.

    brings to mind TBogg’s Victor Davis I Was A Teenaged Classicist Hanson blogpost jamboree.

    sadly, my entry didn’t win. but i like it anyway.

  23. 23
    JustRuss says:

    Now now, we all remember how conservative pundits derided Bush and Boehner’s golf excursions as “playing a leisure sport” don’t we? Don’t we?

  24. 24
    srv says:

    @Cacti: Does the Marvel Universe have a metrosexual thug?

  25. 25
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Hanson is just a screamingly weird dude.

    Nahhh. He’s just so deeply in the closet he doesn’t even know there is a door.

  26. 26
    EconWatcher says:

    I can’t bring myself to click the link. But minus the obligatory shots at Obama, there seems to be sort of a point here. Putin does remind you that some primeval forces are still at work in the world. And the stakes in most American political disputes are considerably less in Russia where, as usual in their history, they play for keeps.

    A trite point, perhaps. But still true.

  27. 27
    Derelict says:

    @Cacti:
    AND he’s imposing law willy-nilly while not upholding the law.

  28. 28
    David Hunt says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I’m confused. I thought Obama was a Chicago thug.

    Whenever, he gets anything done, especially if it’s something conservative don’t like, then he’s a thug or even a tyrant/king. The rest of the time, he’s an emasculated homo/metrosexual.

  29. 29
    aimai says:

    @Cacti: Thats not brute force.

  30. 30
    Corner Stone says:

    Bare-chested Putin gallops his horses

    Why does everyone keep publicizing events when someone comes fully out as gay? Why do I have to keep being confronted by this inhumanity?

  31. 31
    aimai says:

    @EconWatcher: They play for keeps? Does that mean that the government and the oligarchs, being relieved of the necessity of following the rule of law, kill and imprison their enemies with impunity? And they don’t do that here? You’d think the party of Chris Christie and D’nesh D’souza would be grateful but they are, in fact, claiming that Obama and Clinton did kill and harrass their political enemies.

  32. 32
    Citizen_X says:

    Jesus, VDH. Fascist authority issues much? (Speaking of which, who do you think was the enemy in WWII?)

    Besides, I thought the whole point of civilization was to evolve beyond the fist.

  33. 33
    Splitting Image says:

    @Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937:

    I’m trying to figure out in what way Britain was played by the Soviet Union during WW2.

    Stalin signed the non-aggression pact with Hitler, which the British considered a “stab in the back”.

    The fact that it didn’t end up working out so well for Stalin does not detract in any way from how awesome and alpha-maley he was.

  34. 34
    Anna in PDX says:

    Wow, I cannot believe that is unironic. It looks like something one of us would write as a comment on an Edroso blog post, followed by comments like “I would like to fist bump this comment and then platonically bear-hug it”

  35. 35
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937: Oh, I believe it was that we gave away Eastern Europe when what we should have done was simply ignore the size of the Soviet Army and where they were located and gone in with the rest of the Allies where Hitler had failed. The Soviets played us by making it look like they would have been a formidable foe.

  36. 36
    Cacti says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Besides, I thought the whole point of civilization was to evolve beyond the fist.

    Evolution is a satanic lie.

  37. 37
    Roger Moore says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I thought Obama was a Chicago thug.

    Yes, but Chicago thugs are girly man pushovers compared to manly man Russian thugs.

  38. 38
    EconWatcher says:

    @aimai:

    They make such claims to help fundraise from rubes, but they don’t really believe it.

  39. 39

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    He’s just so deeply in the closet he doesn’t even know there is a door.

    Give him a bottle of baby oil and an International Male catalogue, shove him in the bathroom, and he’ll be happy for about ten minutes…

  40. 40
    Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    It’s a paradox, he’s simultaneously effete and a thug, a lazy, ineffectual twit and an existential threat to the nation.

  41. 41
    Violet says:

    Bare-chested Putin gallops his horses, poses with his tigers, and shoots his guns — what Obama dismisses as “tough-guy schtick.” Perhaps. But Putin is almost saying, “You have ten times the wealth and military power that I have, but I can neutralize you by my demonic personality alone.” Barack Obama, in his increasingly metrosexual golf get-ups and his prissy poses on the nation’s tony golf courses, wants to stay cool while playing a leisure sport.

    The Onion weeps.

  42. 42
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    why don’t you conservatives just MOVE TO RUSSIA????

  43. 43
    jl says:

    @Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937:

    ” I’m trying to figure out in what way Britain was played by the Soviet Union during WW2. ”

    There are so many confused themes and stale tropes in this hilarious piece that some golden oldies get lost. I will try to disentangle this one from the rest of the psychodrama spaghetti.

    I think this is the way old line that any democracy is too weak and sissy compared to a real man’s man brutal authoritarian state, and will always lose to said authoritarian. I read about some French intellectual fraud at the end of the Cold War who peddled this tripe.Decadent imbecile versions are heard on our corporate media when some pundit assumes that the U.S. will always get played and lose in any negotiations with an Evil Doer, so we should just blow up some stuff and kill us some people.

    Hilarious column by a long-standing goofball. Is this dingbat still in Fresno? That place has enough going against it as it is. If this guy would just get out of town, it would be a burden that poor place would not have to bear anymore.

  44. 44
    Violet says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Besides, I thought the whole point of civilization was to evolve beyond the fist.

    For conservatives, the whole point of civilization is to keep Those People down.

  45. 45
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @aimai: Kind of Cacti’s point.

  46. 46
    gbear says:

    Mo Sochi Mo Problems featuring Vladimir Putin by DJ Steve Porter

    A manly hippity-hoppity man mashup. Pretty well done.

  47. 47
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Tokyokie:
    Now I want to see the rest of that outfit.

  48. 48
    woodyNYC says:

    His inner Bottom? I guess so, he has his head up his ass, even if he doesn’t have an ass’s head.

  49. 49
    BGinCHI says:

    @Roger Moore: I resent that.

    Look at how we treat our teachers. Total thuggery.

  50. 50
    Tokyokie says:

    @David Hunt: Maybe he’s like the Simon Yam character in Ringo Lam’s Full Contact: a flamboyantly gay and ruthlessly efficient violent criminal.

  51. 51
    qwerty42 says:

    Larison found the whole thing absurd
    http://www.theamericanconserva.....h-resolve/

  52. 52
    Chyron HR says:

    “I can neutralize you by my demonic personality alone.”

    Are you going to pay VDH royalties for the site’s new banner tag?

  53. 53

    Even the liberal NYT says that men who do manly chores around the house get laid 1.5 times more than men who help out with womanly chores, like cooking and cleaning.

  54. 54
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    “You have ten times the wealth and military power that I have, but I can neutralize you by my demonic personality alone.”

    There is absolutely nothing that distinguishes this statement by Hansen from something an eight year old holding two action figures aloft while riding in the back seat of the car would say.

    I’m just concerned that when the current conservative “intellectuals” evolve to the equivalent of ten or twelve year olds it may be too late to save the country.

  55. 55
    taylormattd says:

    I’d totally forgotten about Victor David Hansen.

  56. 56

    Is VDH an academic? If so, what does he teach and where. The paragraph you quote sounds like a parody.

  57. 57
    Citizen_X says:

    Second amendment, schmecond amendment. I can neutralize you by my demonic personality alone.

  58. 58
    jl says:

    This column really needs to be preserved for study in the future, when the science of conservative mental and emotional confusion and inconsistency has advanced beyond its current primitive state.

    It is remarkable. One would think, after the defeat failure and collapse of the various brutal, thuggish, intolerant, rigid, authoritarian, non-democratic regimes over the last 100 years, that the worship of mere power and brutality would get a clue and go away in certain crowds. But it doesn’t.

    This column might make sense if people like Gorbachev and Yeltsin had never existed, or they were political ephemera that were promptly taken out and shot or imprisoned, and Putin was lording it over an intact Soviet empire. But he is not. He is an authoritarian leader who is either brutishly dominating, or trying to hold together, the remnant core of a failed Soviet empire, that is still trying to recover from the disastrously failed transition from an authoritarian regime to capitalist democracy.

    And the failed transition was guided by the very fanatical conservative free market principles that places like the NRO advocate.

    But Hansen yammers on as if nothing has happened over the last 35 years.

  59. 59
    gf120581 says:

    I’m still trying to get my head around the notion that conservatives who call Obama a communist are at the same time in a ragingly homoerotic swoon over an actual former communist. From Russia. Who was in THE F__KING KGB no less.

    Then again, these are also the guys who say Obama is a weakling when he’s also a thug, so logic doesn’t really play in here. Another sympton of Obama Derangement Syndrome.

  60. 60
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

    AKA the “Mister we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again Institution.”

    I think he holds the Archie Bunker chair.

  61. 61

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Isn’t Stanford in godless California?

  62. 62
    jl says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I know he has been a professor of classics at Fresno Sate University, and Wikipedia says he still holds that position. But Wikipedia also says he is now also a fellow at the Hoover Institution.

    The Hoover institution can take care of its own self, but too bad the California State University system, which has many very excellent campuses with great teaching and research, has to bear the burden of a guy like Hansen.

  63. 63
    dmsilev says:

    Speaking of when subtext and text collide, I give you this: Erick Erickson Says Journalists Have ‘Erections’ For Obama In Wild 4:30 AM Blog Post.

  64. 64
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: As am I. It’s kind of a wash out here, in more ways than one. This last week, anyway.

  65. 65
    Slugger says:

    I was going to make a snarky classicistic reference to a Patroclus yearning for his Achilles, but I remembered that I am a liberal. This heart-felt expression of admiration should be considered yet another small step toward the full recognition of same-sex love that we should all support. I say go for it, Dr. Hansen! Some day a bare chested Vladdy will come riding up on his stallion to carry you to a place where ancient Greek manliness can be expressed freely; perhaps, at the Castro Street Fair.

  66. 66
    dmsilev says:

    @taylormattd:

    I’d totally forgotten about Victor David Hansen.

    Wise decision.

  67. 67

    @jl: His poor students, I feel sorry for them.

  68. 68
    JPL says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Parody is all they have left.

  69. 69
    Gordon, the Big Express Engine says:

    Any one of us would jump at the chance to eat rare steaks, drink single malt Scotch and watch Red Heat with VDH.

  70. 70
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @gf120581: Yes Hansen chose to focus on golf for some reason, something he would never have done all the times many George W was shown out on the links, rather than focusing on the thuggishness of Obama seen playing basketball with his homies that he’s known and played with for years, as others have done.

    It must be so freaking confusing to be a right wing conservative.

    By the way, did everyone see this picture captioned “Sarah Palin watching the Sochi Olympics from her house”?

  71. 71
    gvg says:

    I think Hansen is revealing that he gets hooked by every add campaign that comes along. Obama is right-stuff like posing bare chested with animals is “tough-guy schtick.” In fact it also seems to me to be rather decadent-like something a late Roman emperor would do or be accused of doing. I hadn’t realized Putin was getting that strange. It’s hard to believe how far the former USSR has fallen in my lifetime.
    And this Hansen actually doesn’t see how pathertic that is. Oof!

  72. 72
    Gene108 says:

    @Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937:

    I vaguely remember reading something about Churchill wanting to play a preWW1 Great Game, with Stalin and Roosevelt/Truman, in Yalta, without realizing it was really a two party negotiation between the USA and USSR.

    But Churchill, like Thatcher, is an idolized vision of strong conservative leadership, so the NRO probably does not want to mention it.

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    VDH is determined, determined I say, to be the most reactionary asshat in the world, and will do anything to attain that goal.

  74. 74
    ericblair says:

    @jl:

    It is remarkable. One would think, after the defeat failure and collapse of the various brutal, thuggish, intolerant, rigid, authoritarian, non-democratic regimes over the last 100 years, that the worship of mere power and brutality would get a clue and go away in certain crowds. But it doesn’t.

    The US wingnuts are mostly authoritarians, and loves them some dictators. The only reason that they keep gibbering about “FREEDOM!” is that it’s a standard part of the American mythos, and that’s why their concept of “FREEDOM!” comes off so oddly. In an authoritarian society, the only real freedom you get is the freedom to impose your will on those below you, so “economic freedom” means forcing others to hold down jobs they hate, and “religious freedom” means forcing others to follow your personal religious rules, and “spreading freedom across the globe” means forcing other nations to your will by military power.

  75. 75
    KG says:

    “You have ten times the wealth and military power that I have, but I can neutralize you by my demonic personality alone.”

    So, the US is the Lannisters and Russia is Stannis? Or is Putin the King in the North? (In that case it doesn’t work out well for him)

  76. 76
    barry says:

    This is the same “VD” who last got a woody when an AWOL drunk pranced in a flight suit on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

  77. 77

    @gvg: Have you never heard of Vladurday. Putin has been strange for a while now.

  78. 78
    jl says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Hansen recently wrote a book about Thucydides and the lessons of his work for the modern world.

    I read an entertaining review of the book. The reviewer said that the book was a complete hash: it was basically a disguised polemic for neoconservative thought, and hilariously ignored or twisted the history to make weak and confused points. The reviewer did grant that Hansen knew ancient Greek, but was about all.

  79. 79
    Botsplainer says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....75002.html

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, striking down part of the state ban.

    In 23-page a ruling issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II concluded that Kentucky’s laws treat gay and lesbians differently in a “way that demeans them.” The constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in 2004. The out-of-state clause was part of it.

    He’s a good judge, and his partisan background was GOP. I was counsel for the lead defendant in his very first criminal trial (a five week fiasco involving a complex fraud case), and have had several things with him since.

  80. 80
    Tripod says:

    Putin is the prettiest girl at the Olympics.

  81. 81
    Archon says:

    I know were not supposed to say this as Americans but I truly believ most American conservatives would be fascists if the circumstances allowed for it.

    This limited government talk is just to trip up the left when in power, none of them truly believe in that, VDH included

  82. 82
    Anoniminous says:

    VDH would be a much happier person if he just accepted his inner leather boy and moved on.

  83. 83
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    He’s right. Putin is a vivid reminder that intelligent pursuit of good policy is more important than manly posturing. Putin is good at retaining his personal power. He can’t even keep a major project like the Olympics from becoming a laughable train wreck.

  84. 84
    eric says:

    joe jackson for the win.

    Putin is the Old Testament god conservatives love.

  85. 85
    JGabriel says:

    The response I posted at NRO:

    Victor Davis Hansen: Again, what is Putin? He is a constant reminder to the postmodern Western mind that the human condition has not yet evolved beyond the fist. … He is also a reminder about what is important in the most elemental sense. … Bare-chested Putin gallops his horses, poses with his tigers, and shoots his guns … Putin is a reminder … of our dark past, where raw force, not morality, adjudicated behavior …

    Hansen continued: “Take me, Vladmir, take me! You are my Randian rape god, my fetish, my midnight fantasy!”

    Unsurprisingly, it’s not hard to believe all that purple prose was written by a man who’s afraid of gay marriage. Come out of the closet, Victor. You know you want to.

  86. 86
    Corner Stone says:

    @Archon:

    I know were not supposed to say this as Americans but I truly believ most American conservatives would be fascists if the circumstances allowed for it.

    Where did you get the idea we weren’t supposed to say that?

  87. 87
    Sir Nose'D says:

    Sorry. I am just convinced that the current collection of people on the far right are Dadaists. How else do you get a fascist, communist, evil genius, incompetent, effeminate Chicago thug for president?

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    As I said after the presidential debates, the only people who are impressed by alpha male bullshit are other men (and usually only other white men, especially when it’s a white dude pulling the alpha male bullshit). The rest of us have been on the receiving end of it too many times to find it amusing or attractive. At all.

  89. 89
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @aimai: That’s the point. He’s disagreeing that brute force usually wins.

  90. 90
    jl says:

    @Sir Nose’D:

    ” Sorry. I am just convinced that the current collection of people on the far right are Dadaists. How else do you get a fascist, communist, evil genius, incompetent, effeminate Chicago thug for president? ”

    Maybe, but Dadaists would be posing for satire, but the right are earnestly telling us what they think are important home truths that we weak liberals just do not want to hear.

    But, I guess the Hansen piece could be read as a satirical hymn to Pere Putu, or something.

    Gadzooks, what if Hansen is a dadaist mole in their midst, pumping out dreck to discredit righties, and for the lulz?

  91. 91
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    @Sir Nose’D:
    By being unwilling to admit that your real problem is skin color. This is what racism sounds like. They can’t say ‘I don’t like a black man being better than me’ even to themselves, because they can’t stand to be shamed as a racist. Instead they stream-of-consciousness insults they feel safe using.

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Archon:

    Well, to be honest, American “conservatives” are not true fascists. Fascism, as articulated by Mussolini, had a fairly coherent set of tenets. American “conservatism” prides itself on being incoherent and concerned with only a few things, such as eliminating taxes and keeping “those people” down, most prominently.

    All this “meterosexual” talk about Obama is very poor cover for their real problem with him, which is his nearness.

  93. 93
    KG says:

    @Botsplainer: I’ve always thought that the full faith and credit issues were going to be the most interesting element of the gay marriage debate. If a state will recognize my drunken Vegas marriage, why would they refuse to recognize a same sex marriage in another state? That was supposedly what DOMA was about, but I’ve always believed (going back to the 90s), that you can’t curtail full faith and credit like they tried to do.

  94. 94
    slag says:

    “You have ten times the wealth and military power that I have, but I can neutralize you by my demonic personality alone.”

    So, according to conservateria, Obama and Putin are engaged in some sort of kinky S&M relationship? Is a wetsuit involved in this fantasy?

  95. 95
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    As an aside, I think that a pairing of VDH and Camille Paglia would make for a disruption of the space-time continuum.

  96. 96
    eric says:

    the fundamental tenet of conservatism is “no weakness.” the Jesus of the new testament is not the Jesus of turning the other cheek but the Jesus returning for the Tribulation on horse with sword drawn. Because women are “naturally weaker” they are less than men, and because women are “naturally weaker” anything feminine is weaker and to be avoided. That is what makes the Missouri player so damaging to their world view. He is manly in all the ways they admire, but likes men in a way they think shows weakness. Most importantly, admitting to a mistake is a weakness and that is why you will never ever ever hear a conservative do so. When they do, the renounce conservatism (see cole, john.)

  97. 97
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Corner Stone: Every time someone turns gay, a demon gets his pitchfork.

  98. 98
    GregB says:

    Manly Vlad Putin is the proud recipient of the much vaunted Victor Davis hand-job.

  99. 99
    C.V. Danes says:

    Again, what is Putin? He is a constant reminder to the postmodern Western mind that the human condition has not yet evolved beyond the fist.

    Yes, because two world wars were not enough to demonstrate what happens when we put too many megalomaniac “fist firsters” in charge.

    What an idiot.

  100. 100
    raven says:

    This post dance freaking out by the Russian dancers is gettin on my noives. And dancing to Jesus Christ Superstar no less!

  101. 101
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @slag:

    So, according to conservateria

    I’m thinking that mebbe that ought be conservatiphilia

    Better, no?

  102. 102
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JGabriel:

    That’s a good response. It sums up what VDH is actually saying quite well.

    Cripes, the man is pathetic. He’s like a 13 year old screaming in the Ed Sullivan theater at the Beatles.

  103. 103
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Considering the anti-gay bashing Putin condones, it’s interesting that American conservatives (who supposedly love freedom) are praising him to the highest heavens.

    Dan Savage linked to this article at THE SLOG. Just Horrible.

    http://americablog.com/2014/02.....-free.html

  104. 104
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    As long as VDH has a draft exemption, it’s all good. He’s like Burke, who loves the “sublimity” of war, but only if he can observe it from across the channel from the actual fighting.

  105. 105
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @eric:

    Women are so “naturally weak” that they’re the ones who bear children. Most men would curl up like kittens at the experience of childbirth, demanding to be drugged to the brink of unconsciousness at the first labor pang.

  106. 106
    Archon says:

    Well it’s considered impolitic to call our right-wing brethren Fascists. If most of today’s fascists were in our universities and veteran’s groups instead of our senior citizen homes I’d be really afraid for our country.

    Luckily for America most of today’s belligerent right wingers like VDH will soon be “aging” out of our electorate,

  107. 107
    dubo says:

    Just goes to show, as I think (?) one of the bloggers here noted, Republicans don’t just want a daddy, they want a BAD daddy, the kind who occasionally comes home drunk and “accidentally” breaks his toddler’s arm, because that’s MANLY

  108. 108
    jl says:

    @eric: Since maniacal pedantry has entered the thread, to the extent Xtianist dogma influences contemporary U.S. reactionary doctrine, you are confusing the Jesus of the Gospels and his earthly teaching, with the post-epiphany Christ who will fulfill the last Dispensation before the Endtimes.

    To Xtianists, the earthly Jesus and the post-epiphany Christ are two related but very distinct things.

    So, they can say that their Christ will not come back with hippie Jesus-love, but will come on a white horse with a sword to judge, and gather his sheep and mercilessly throw the goats into everlasting hell fire.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    megalomaniac “fist firsters” in charge

    Woah, now. Shouldn’t there at least be a dinner involved, or show tickets?

  110. 110
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Hansen chose to focus on golf for some reason, something he would never have done all the times many George W was shown out on the links

    “I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive.”

  111. 111
    eric says:

    @jl: agreed. but the Jesus they admire is Jesus II, not Jesus I.

  112. 112
    eric says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: i should be clear that I am not writing that in my own voice

    child bearing to them is weakness in another way. you are captive and not free to do as you please.

  113. 113
    hoodie says:

    Aside from all the homoerotic fantasizing aspects, even if you are into such things, how is Putin the alpha male over Obama? Obama can order SEALS to grease bin Laden and head off to tell jokes at the WH Correspondents Dinner, or order a drone strike halfway across the world at a moment’s notice. Putin does staged publicity shots( I may be mistaken, but it also looks like Vlad has had some work done), is surrounded by unrest in formerly vassal republics, and can’t seen to get fucking plumbing installed properly. The only fisting Putin’s doing is in VDH’s fevered imagination.

  114. 114
    gnomedad says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I’m confused. I thought Obama was a Chicago thug.

    Just like Hitler, also, too.

  115. 115
    Mike in NC says:

    Sochi seems to be amping up the homoerotic odes.

    Hansen has always had a thing for the ancient Spartans. He also was a fervent admirer of Dick Cheney, another pseudo tough guy asshole.

  116. 116
    gnomedad says:

    Barack Obama, in his increasingly metrosexual golf get-ups and his prissy poses on the nation’s tony golf courses, wants to stay cool while playing a leisure sport.

    What brush has he cleared?

  117. 117
    Lee says:

    The comments at the link are a nice mix of pointing out Hansen just needs to come out of the closet for Putin and other comments declaring their man-love for Putin.

  118. 118
    Svensker says:

    There’s this FB page for Hardcore Conservatives with this wonderfully erotic photo of Putin skating with Obama — who’s in a pink tutu.

    When my brother put it up, I didn’t understand it. Now, reading this crap, I do. Lucky me.

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    So, they can say that their Christ will not come back with hippie Jesus-love, but will come on a white horse with a sword to judge, and gather his sheep and mercilessly throw the goats into everlasting hell fire.

    I remember seeing some late-night broadcast by the Worldwide Church of God (what can I say, I’m an insomniac) where they pointed out that the idea of eternal hellfire is actually extremely un-Biblical and that story clearly shows Jesus throwing them into fire where they die immediately. In other words, the goats’ punishment is no eternal life of any kind — they die and they’re dead and that’s the end of it.

  120. 120
    Chris says:

    Bare-chested Putin gallops his horses, poses with his tigers, and shoots his guns — what Obama dismisses as “tough-guy schtick.” Perhaps. But Putin is almost saying, “You have ten times the wealth and military power that I have, but I can neutralize you by my demonic personality alone.”

    Every time I read something like this, my mind goes right to the American Civil War. Prior to which the South had spent decades lovingly building up an Officer-Gentleman class of manly warrior elites (following in the footsteps of European aristocracy), while the North invested in mundane, grubby little things called “factories.”

    Guess what ended up trumping what when they went to war.

  121. 121
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Hey now, OT but I see where Ray Nagin has been convicted of taking bribes. Who could have imagined, a crooked pol in Louisiana?

  122. 122
    Chris says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Besides, I thought the whole point of civilization was to evolve beyond the fist.

    It’s a popular talking point on the right that while civilization is beautiful and worth defending, it only exists because of Manly Men doing ugly but necessary things. (From that you leap straight to how torture, preemptive war against the wrong enemies, and whatnot are necessary to Keep America Safe).

    I’ve read it rendered on PJMedia as sheepdogs vs sheep, and Team America dumbs it down to the “dicks, pussies and assholes” speech.

  123. 123

    @Svensker: Isn’t Putin really short? I think even Michelle is probably taller than Putin.

  124. 124
    Chris says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    The Soviets played us by making it look like they would have been a formidable foe.

    And yet at the same time the Soviets were a formidable foe, so formidable that we needed to keep our army on a near-war footing for the next forty years and give our security agencies free rein to Do What Must Be Done because anything less would have resulted in the entire world falling before the Reds.

    It’s kind of like the story of Obama the effeminate thug, actually.

  125. 125
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Tripod: “Putin is the prettiest girl at the Olympics” presents the expert photo shoppers with a gold medal opportunity! Actually, I have a suggestion: use the American female’s purple ice dancing costume; the results would be hilarious.

  126. 126
    kindness says:

    What do I find curious about that National Review piece by Hanson? All the cock worship of Putin in the comments. For folks who state they don’t like homosexuality they sure are a bunch of fantasizing bottom boys.

  127. 127
    Chris says:

    @Archon:

    I know were not supposed to say this as Americans but I truly believ most American conservatives would be fascists if the circumstances allowed for it.

    I don’t even have a shred of doubt about it and have no trouble saying it out loud.

  128. 128
    Gene108 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Michelle is about 5’10” tall. She’s taller than most men on the planet. In high heels, she is distinctly taller than her hubby.

  129. 129

    @Gene108: Oh I know but aren’t manly men supposed to be tall dark and handsome. Putin is none of the above.

  130. 130
    Chris says:

    @eric:

    What’s hiding behind that whole “No Weakness” mantra: a deep, deep, paralyzing sense of insecurity, which goes a long way towards explaining their ever-crazier tendencies. Their thought process is paralyzed by the thought that someone, somewhere, is laughing at them, or otherwise failing to take them seriously as the action heroes they imagine themselves to be.

    It’s a theme that runs through the entire conservative mindset and is ridiculously easy to recognize once you know it’s there.

  131. 131
    Mike G says:

    @Chris:

    Every time I read something like this, my mind goes right to the American Civil War. Prior to which the South had spent decades lovingly building up an Officer-Gentleman class of manly warrior elites (following in the footsteps of European aristocracy), while the North invested in mundane, grubby little things called “factories.”

    Southern culture draws a lot more heavily on aristocratic English feudalism than it would like to admit. They’re too busy bragging about how More Murkan they are than everyone else while waving a flag of treason.

  132. 132
    Carol says:

    @FlipYrWhig: What did Bush wear while playing golf? It seemed pretty metrosexual to me, no less so than Obama. I think Hanson is losing it.

  133. 133
    Gene108 says:

    @Chris:

    They were formidable in May 1945, after spending the past 4 years smashing the Wehrmacht to little pieces, and then in August 1945 rolling through a Japanese Army unit, in Manchuria, like a hot knife through butter.

    When it came to balancing that level of military might and a strong civilian economy, they just could not pull it off over the next 30 years.

    By the mid-1970’d the commies realized they had a problem and those guys percalated to the top by the 1980’s to fix a broken system.

    I think the initial fear of all those Soviet tanks poised to roll through Western Europe seemed to make an impression on Americans for the next 40 years. I figure all the American Cold War Presidents were adults at the end of WW2, so it probably left a strong impression.

  134. 134
    tk says:

    I would beat the ugly out of any one of the keyboard badasses that fancy themselves right wing tough guys. I am far more liberal than our president ever thought of being. I spent my youth playing professional rugby and I will be fucked if I would take even so much as a side glance from any of those tough talking candy asses. Nothing gets me riled up more than some fatass wingnut talking about what pussies we liberals are. Chickenshit mvtherfckers.

  135. 135
    jl says:

    @Chris:

    ‘ But Putin is almost saying, “You have ten times the wealth and military power that I have, but I can neutralize you by my demonic personality alone.” ‘

    That is the source of the hilarity of the Hansen piece. Exactly what has Putin, or Russia, done to ‘neutralize’ Obama, or anyone else lately? OK, they are hanging on to a soon to be outmoded fossil fuel industry, and they can get a lot of money out of Europe for gas. What else?

    I can’t see any meaning to ‘neutralize’ other than the effect of Putin on the fevered, psycho-sexual confusion of repressed reactionary American nincompoops.

  136. 136
    NobodySpecial says:

    I dislike the ‘bottom’ comment, because it’s really not what VDH is about here.

    Look at how most conservatives fight with both fists and shrill voices against the ‘feminization’ of the country. Lefties are ‘pussies’ and ‘fags’ in their world. ‘Manly men’ doing ‘manly’ things are the only people who demand their respect. Of course, this goes hand in hand with their personal belief that they are the Ubermench, the chosen people. Watch them as they celebrate and defend rape culture.

    They don’t desire to bottom to Putin – they fondly rub it off thinking about how if they faced him, that they would force HIM to submit to their natural desires.

  137. 137
    jl says:

    @Gene108: The Soviet nuclear arsenal was formidable, that is the key. Their conventional land forces were probably formidable, until their economy started sucking so bad that they had to devote an ever larger proportion of their GDP to just barely maintaining it. And their economy lost its ability to innovate, and could not capitalize at all on the scientific advances that they produced, so they had to spend a lot of money trying to stretch increasingly outmoded technology further and further to match the U.S.

    But, mainly, it was worry that whatever the state of their conventional forces, they would be effective enough if a crisis turned into a hot war, that the MAD trigger would be pulled, and both countries would go ‘ballistic’ as it were.

    And Russia today, in any area outside caging as much extra bucks as they can out of Europe for gas, makes the Soviet Union’s influence look really swell and fantastic.

    And dingbats like Hansen swoon over the tattooed love-boy and muscle man who runs, or is trying to run, this faded remnant of the Soviet Union. Why? It is funny, but also disturbing when yot wonder what the heck is going on inside his head.

    Edit: note that ‘love-boy’ is an ironic metaphorical turn of phrase characterizing Putin in terms of Hansen’s fantasy. To my knowledge, Putin has no tattoos and is not a love-boy. He may qualify as a muscle man, though in a discreet and seemly way, suitable for a head of state.

  138. 138
    StringOnAStick says:

    @tk: I hear ya, tk. I’m a Rocky Mountain native and life-long liberal, and though a short, blonde middle-aged woman, I am also stronger and fitter than every single libertarian moron I have ever met here. I also suspect I am a better shot as well. These guys are all tough talk and authoritarian-worship, I suspect because they think they’ll be the boss in Galt’s Gulch, instead of the boot-licking toadies they were born to be.

  139. 139
    Fred says:

    @Gene108: Michelle is more buff than Vlad too. That lady could whip his baggy old white ass without breaking a good sweat.

  140. 140
    fidelio says:

    @eric: You know, my father used to say that it was the weak who worried about appearing to be strong…

  141. 141
    rikyrah says:

    Rutherford shared rooms with assistant
    By John Chase and Monique Garcia, Tribune reporters
    8:34 a.m. CST, February 12, 2014

    State Treasurer Dan Rutherford routinely roomed overnight in hotels and a Chicago apartment with a low-level treasurer’s office employee whom he has given a 50 percent pay hike, raising questions about the workplace judgment of the Republican candidate for governor.

    Rutherford said he has shared a room with his executive assistant, Joshua Lanning, scores of times since taking office in 2011, a practice he says is a way to save money for his campaign fund.

    “We double-bunk in the campaign,” Rutherford said. “We always double-bunk when we can. Totally as a cost-saving measure.”

    Several human resources experts said superiors should avoid sharing a room with a subordinate, for reasons ranging from potential discomfort for the employee to allegations of favoritism or harassment against the boss. But one expert said in some cases, the job responsibilities may justify room sharing.

    Questions about Rutherford’s workplace conduct have recently become an issue for taxpayers and voters in the March 18 Republican primary. Rutherford was sued in federal court Monday by a former top manager in the office who accused the treasurer of repeatedly sexually harassing him and pressuring him to do campaign work at taxpayer expense. The ex-employee is seeking damages, including for medical issues he said were caused by the alleged harassment.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/.....full.story

  142. 142
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Woah, now. Shouldn’t there at least be a dinner involved, or show tickets?

    I think you’re confusing “fist firsters” with “fisters”

    But, on second thought, maybe I’m the one who is confused…

  143. 143
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Corner Stone: @C.V. Danes: Three mixed drinks at the Mercantile were enough for some folks I knew in Sacto. I suppose in this case, a half-bottle of genuine Russian vodka would do the trick (though I’d be afraid of broken glass).

  144. 144
    brantl says:

    Obama’s subordinates violate the law by going after the communications of a Fox reporter’s parents;

    When was this shit purported to have happpened, and to whom? I call horseshit.

  145. 145
    brantl says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled:

    Obama’s subordinates violate the law by going after the communications of a Fox reporter’s parents;

    When was this shit purported to have happpened, and to whom? I call horseshit.

  146. 146
    Visceral says:

    @hoodie: It proves Kissinger wrong: power is not the ultimate aphrodisiac, at least not in and of itself. Rather, it’s what you do (or don’t do) with it that transforms you into a paragon of primal masculinity, a strong leader who’s valued but no-one’s going to fantasize about, or an effeminate pushover that everyone’s convinced is going to make certain parts of their body shrivel up.

  147. 147
    Citizen Alan says:

    @srv:

    At this point, I wonder how many conservative “intellectuals” secretly (or perhaps not so secretly) wish that we had allied with Hitler against Stalin instead of the other way around.

  148. 148
    Helmut Monotreme says:

    He’s just sad that he doesn’t get to watch the Roman Legions burn Carthage to the ground and salt their fields and not say sorry. He’s sad that in the modern world, he’s expected to give a shit about the poor, women, racial and ethnic minorities and liberals. He’s sad that when he recommends classical Greek and Roman foreign policies, people think he’s some sort of fanboy of genocide and murder.

  149. 149
    burnspbesq says:

    @Gene108:

    Michelle is about 5’10″ tall. She’s taller than most men on the planet. In high heels, she is distinctly taller than her hubby.

    Uncle Craig towers over all of them, at 6’6″.

  150. 150
    burnspbesq says:

    Lie to me, I promise I’ll believe it.

    Is this Sheryl Crow’s first appearance in a post title?

  151. 151
    JGabriel says:

    @Chris:

    @Archon:

    I know were not supposed to say this as Americans but I truly believ most American conservatives would be fascists if the circumstances allowed for it.

    I don’t even have a shred of doubt about it and have no trouble saying it out loud.

    Thirded.

  152. 152
    oldster says:

    Of for fuck’s sake.

    “Aristotle’s dictum that it is easy to be moral in your sleep”

    Aristotle never said that.

    You know, I am used to people attributing stupid shit to Plato and Aristotle because, it was a long time ago, they are famous, Greek is hard, everybody wants a piece of celebrity authority, etc.

    So when Doug MacArthur says that Plato said some stupid shit that he never said, I don’t even bother kvetching.

    But this fucking guy, Hansen–he is supposed to be a Classicist, for god’s sake. He is supposed to *know* this stuff, or know when he does not know it.

    Aristotle never said that. Hansen is not only a lousy human being, he is also a lousy scholar, a lousy Classicist, and a lousy historian.

  153. 153

    Yes, but Chicago thugs are girly man pushovers compared to manly man Russian thugs.

    It’s the vodka slurred accent….all that mixing of s, z and chuh whilst doing ugly, bloody things….gets some on the right all moist. Methinks that Hansen missed his most recent dom appointment.

  154. 154
    muddy says:

    @oldster: He probably got it from here? Not that it’s at all to the point that he is attempting to make!

    “Further, men seem to pursue honour in order that they may be assured of their goodness; at least it is by men of practical wisdom that they seek to be honoured, and among those who know them, and on the ground of their virtue; clearly, then, according to them, at any rate, virtue is better. And perhaps one might even suppose this to be, rather than honour, the end of the political life. But even this appears somewhat incomplete; for possession of virtue seems actually compatible with being asleep, or with lifelong inactivity, and, further, with the greatest sufferings and misfortunes; but a man who was living so no one would call happy, unless he were maintaining a thesis at all costs. But enough of this; for the subject has been sufficiently treated even in the current discussions. Third comes the contemplative life, which we shall consider later.

    The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else. And so one might rather take the aforenamed objects to be ends; for they are loved for themselves. But it is evident that not even these are ends; yet many arguments have been thrown away in support of them. Let us leave this subject, then.”

  155. 155
    Bjacques says:

    I’d say VDH is really serving up the word salad, except manly men don’t do salad.

  156. 156
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @rikyrah:

    Totally as a cost-saving measure

    Totally.
    Ha!

  157. 157
  158. 158
    RSA says:

    It reminds us of Stafford Cripps being played by Stalin during World War II

    “us”?

  159. 159
    Cervantes says:

    @oldster:

    “Aristotle’s dictum that it is easy to be moral in your sleep”: Aristotle never said that. Hansen is not only a lousy human being, he is also a lousy scholar, a lousy Classicist, and a lousy historian.

    No arguing with your conclusions — but as for what Aristotle did or didn’t say, here’s what Hansen is likely referring to (notice that while he did not do it in this case, he often says he’s paraphrasing):

    When they are both asleep, it’s difficult to tell a good man from a bad one.

    That’s from Nicomachean Ethics, Book 1 (my translation, with apologies).

  160. 160
    aimai says:

    @Cervantes: But if that is what he’s referring to it doesn’t say what he says it says. You might just as well gloss the quote as “its easy to be bad in your sleep” as “its easy to consider yourself moral in your sleep” (i.e. when you are inactive). He’s trying to argue that virtue is somehow weak, morality just something people pretend, a default position held most successfully when you are asleep i.e. doing nothing/inert. Evil meanwhile is active, strong, and can and will overwhelm civilization and virtue which, if we were awake and actually aware that we are contending with such a force, we would acknowledge. Its a boiled soup of a metaphor with everything jumbled up in it but there’s no way to get from your quoted line to what VDH is arguing.

  161. 161
    Cervantes says:

    @aimai:

    Its a boiled soup of a metaphor with everything jumbled up in it but there’s no way to get from your quoted line to what VDH is arguing.

    Probably — and that’s why, when oldster concluded that “Hansen is not only a lousy human being, he is also a lousy scholar, a lousy Classicist, and a lousy historian,” I said there’s no arguing with that.

    Of course, I could be wrong — Hansen may be referring to something else in Aristotle, or something else somewhere else, or nothing at all.

  162. 162
    Bill Arnold says:

    @aimai:

    He’s trying to argue that virtue is somehow weak,…

    Christians (evangelicals mostly) sometimes say that “the heart of man is desperately wicked”.
    (KJV: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”).
    Could be he’s conflating the two (Aristotle and Jeremiah) a bit.
    This sloppiness doesn’t bother me much; what’s worse is the mention of golf when Obama also plays basketball, and for that matter the whole disingenuous comparison. Objectively, Obama has a ruthless streak too – drone assassinations, the focused hunt for Bin Laden, some of the negotiations with Republicans. He just works (or at least makes the effort to work) within the law, whereas Putin isn’t restricted by the law as much.

  163. 163
    Cervantes says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Christians (evangelicals mostly) sometimes say that “the heart of man is desperately wicked”.

    Victor Davis Hansen’s, in particular.

    Could be he’s conflating the two (Aristotle and Jeremiah) a bit.

    I hadn’t thought of that.

    Thanks.

  164. 164
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Wait, wait. Conservatives think golf is bad now?

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