Every now and then somebody sees the face of Jesus on a pancake, or a sandwich, or refrigerator mold, and people get all excited about it. I’ve seen photographs of some of these wonders, and usually they don’t look that much like Jesus to me — Willie Nelson, maybe — but then, I’m not all that keen about seeing the face of Jesus on things.
I suspect that people who actually see Jesus on pancakes are people who deeply, deeply crave some kind of whoop-dee-doo mystical experience that will give them Hope, or Peace, or at least some cash from an eBay sale. They want to see Jesus on that pancake so badly that their senses arrange for them to see it. Senses tend to be more susceptible to suggestion/desire than most of us realize. You can see just about anything if you are raving desperate enough to see it.
This John Fund column titled “Liberals in Retreat” strikes me as the political equivalent of seeing Jesus on a pancake. He’s seized upon three unrelated elections in Colorado, Australia, and Norway, as evidence of Conservatism triumphant. All around the globe, he thinks, liberals have panicked and are scampering for the exits. Only conservatism speaks for the people now.
Sorry, Fund. I am not scampering. I don’t see anyone else scampering.
First off, the words “liberal” and “conservative,” when applied to politics outside the U.S., don’t mean quite the same thing as they do here. Although there might be general and fuzzy resemblances, the political dynamics of Australia and Norway are not the same as the political dynamics in the U.S. Frankly, I think a lot of what we’re experiencing here — in which a large portion of our government has been taken over by people who are stark raving bonkers and refuse to actually govern — is unprecedented in world history. Or, at least, unprecedented in an alleged first-world democracy.
Second, the Colorado recall election may be a blow to the gun control issue nationwide, or it may be significant in some regions but not in others. But gun control has been a back-burner issue for Dems for way more than a decade. We keep hoping its hour will come round, but until it does we are mostly unwilling to sacrifice progress on other issues to fight for it.
I see the Colorado recall, and the various batty secession schemes cropping up in rural America, not as harbingers but as last hurrahs. These actions are mostly coming from clusters of insulated, rural whites who are out of touch with where the rest of America is heading.
John Fund is so desperate to see Jesus on the pancake that he called forth Grover Norquist to back him up. Norquist is a man who can see just about anything on a pancake. But Norquist is a walking last hurrah if there ever was one.
It’s too early to know if Bill De Blasio’s big win in New York City is a harbinger or a freak lightning strike. The wingnuts are in denial about this, but I say it was de Blasio’s unabashed liberalism that made him stand out. The position of Mayor of New York has been filled by Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, a.k.a. Rudy Giuliani Lite, for more than two decades. And my sense of things is that New Yorkers are really, really done with that, and want something different. No more squishy, friends-of-business moderates. We’ll see.
In the meantime, expect conservative pundits to keep seeing liberals in retreat — “Jesus on the pancake,” if you will — because they are raving desperate to see it. But I’m not seeing it.