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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Republicans: Spared and Spoiled No More

Progressives outraged by medieval moralizers utterly miss the point when they triumphantly expose hypocrisies and then breathlessly imagine that this should somehow win them the "debate" on "morals" with social feudal-conservatives. The truth is it feels good to sin, and then when you're done you just repent without paying. To feel the force of hypocrisy as a shaming nudge to reform one's conduct rather than a ribbing of sin for one's added pleasure is to be already an adult rather than a smug spoiled child, and as often as not these days to be already a Democrat rather than a Republican.

Yes, yes, the fetid swamps of the South are tangled benighted dens of domestic violence, divorce, street crime, epidemics of alcoholism, drug abuse, obesity, teen pregnancy, illiteracy, not to mention kudzu. And much the same goes for the barren tornado-torn mileage of the Midwest, a sprawling ghost-acreage except for the bright liberal oases of a handful of scattered cities.

Red-faced red-staters gulp down delirious swigs of tax largess from the productive civilized liberal cities they deride and disdain and then belch out their loud rants agin' gu'ment.

Republicans are squalling squalid infants stewing in their stink and howling with endlessly frustrated desires, for whom liberty simply means there will always be somebody around to clean up after them. Democrats, I fear, are the grown-ups whose largely thankless responsibility it seems is to be, for the time being, the parents of this staggering dumbfounded Republic. And that means we need to see to it that irresponsible citizens are no longer insulated from the negative consequences of their bad behavior.

It's time to cut their credit cards, time to send them to their rooms without supper, time to take away their privileges until they learn to show respect in a world of diversity and behave responsibly in a world with a long-term future. And they can be thankful that -- unlike some people I know -- we Democrats are neither so brutal nor unenlightened as to go in for spanking the daylights out of them as well.

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