axis of idiocy

On Monday night's election coverage, CTV hauled in a greasy-faced David Frum to pontificate on whatever he's capable of pontificating on. Question #1, from a fully made-up Lloyd Robertson, was What do you think of the results from Atlantic Canada? Question #2 was What do you think of the simultaneous nation-wide election results broadcast? The answer to #1 was: We are seeing a return to competitive democracy, and that's good (never mind that Frum wrote slavering speeches for a man who subverted the American electoral process, even claiming responsibility for the moronic "axis of evil" line). The answer to #2 was: simultaneous broadcast was inevitable, so there's no more point in even thinking about it (even though they're showing results from the East when western polls are still open).

Competition and inevitability: the two harpoons that neoconservatives love to hurl at the great white whale of world affairs. I couldn't believe that this was all Frum had to talk about. Surely there's more in that twit's intellectual toolbelt than those rusty wrenches. Has nobody noticed that these two notions are contradictory? That the notion of inevitability obviates competition? What do neocons tell their children before they go to bed? "Work hard, kids, and one day everything will happen just as it was magically foreordained to happen anyway". This is even worse than the dopiest lacunae of Christian theology, in which arguments over predestination are nothing more than an intellectual passtime (unless you believe that your life is controlled by invisible bearded men in the sky). When neocons crow about the 'free market of ideas/global capital/bubblegum cards' they're playing intellectual games with real pieces. The only effective route around the paradox they've generated is to not take the game seriously at all, and simply use inevitability as a canard to justify horrendous situations after the fact. Economic boom in Southeast Asia? Why, that's the result of healthy competition. Sudden collapse in Southeast Asia? Um, that was inevitable. They, um, didn't understand the new economy properly, so inevitably it somehow kind of went kablooey. So there. Talk to the Invisible Hand.

As for the election, what Frum really meant by "competitive democracy" was "my right-wing pals have a reasonable shot at power". I don't deny that the Liberals have been in office long enough, but I doubt Frum would have hailed a strong NDP showing as "competitive," preferring instead that collection of reptiles and too-late-borns that make up the Conservative Party.