So much of what makes us feel good makes us feel bad on further consideration. It’s as if we had two selves: one who experiences pleasure in the short term, on a timeline of about three seconds, and one who wants only to live abstemiously in retrospect. It so happens that self #1 is located entirely in the past, and self #2 keep scolding us for associating with him. Today is Friday, and the internet has spent all week delivering us stuff we probably should not like so much. The past is a garden of dubious pleasures.Won’t you wish you hadn’t frolicked in it with me?
I don’t know about you, but I like my Republicans shrill, vaguely racist and relentlessly accusatory. I was thus terribly disappointed when Newton Leroy “Newt” Gingrich left the House of Representatives in 1998, leaving that body unable to pursue its constitutionally-mandated function of investigating the President’s real estate deals, campaign financing and extramarital affairs in an endless attempt to remove him from office. Fortunately, President Bush assumed office shortly thereafter, and the Republican Party coincidentally decided that executive privilege was extremely important. Now, though, we have Barack Obama, a man “who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president.” That was Gingrich’s assessment of the President in a recent edition of the National Review, and it’s one of the least crazy things he says in the interview. The real money shot is after the jump, and it’s the subject of today’s Close Reading.