“I’ve been waiting for someone who could communicate the joys of liberty as compared to the joys of equality”, Iggy Pop in Zigzag magazine, on why he supported Ronald Reagan, quoted in Joe Ambrose, Gimme Danger: The Life and Times of Iggy Pop, Omnibus Books, 2004, p. 199.
James Osterhaus (Iggy Pop) may not be history’s most unlikely Republican supporter. He gets stiff competition from Eldridge Cleaver, co-founder of the Black Panthers, exiled from the U.S. in Algeria and Cuba during the 1970s, and Republican convert from the late 1970s to his death in 1998.
But its a reminder of not only how powerful the Republican brand of conservatism was in the US, and how far its fallen now, to think that Ronald Reagan’s political tent was big enough for both Iggy Pop and Eldridge Clever to get inside it.
A link sent to me by The Running Mule made it clear how Barack Obama’s win last Tuesday marks the end point of a 40-year conservative dynasty that began with Nixon, peaked with Reagan, and ended with Bush the Second and the crazy gang of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, “Heck of a job Browny” (who was that guy who managed the Hurricane Katrina events?), and Henry “The Gravedigger” Paulsen. Interestingly, John McCain was always the enemy to these guys, but when he put forward Sarah Palin as his Vice-Presidential nominee and started going on and on about socialism, Bill Ayres, Joe the Plumber, Obama the Hollywood Celebrity, the Democratic threesome etc. etc. the gig was up.
The Running Mule provides a link to P.J. O’Rourke in The Weekly Standard. Well worth a look, although I feel that, like the Repubs, O’Rourke’s humour ain’t quite what it used to be back in the day. His line on why Iggy Pop and Eldridge Cleaver were attracted to Reagan-era conservatism is, however, a good one:
Conservatives generally tend to be funnier in their private lives because of the hypocrisy factor. I am of course a big fan of hypocrisy, because hypocrites at least know the difference between right and wrong–at any rate, know enough to lie about what they’re doing. Liberals are not nearly as hypocritical as conservatives, because they don’t know the difference between right and wrong. In public policy liberals are always much more hilarious. Liberals are always proposing perfectly insane ideas, laws that will make everybody happy, laws that will make everything right, make us live forever, and all be rich. Conservatives are never that stupid.
For O’Rourke’s piece “We Blew It”, read here.
Late news: apparently P. J. O’Rourke has cancer. It is the end of an era.