Washington Babylon — September 11, 2009, 1:57 pm

In Defense of Joe Wilson: Mark Slouka

Those of us at Harper’s appreciate rudeness no matter who is in charge. See this wonderful essay by Mark Slouka from June 2008:

[S]urely one could argue that the American democratic experiment was at least in part an attempt to challenge this “reality,” to establish a political and legal culture from which would emerge, organically, a new sensibility: independent, unburdened by the protocols of class, skeptical of inherited truths. Willing to be disobedient. To moon the lord.

Alas, if that was the plan, it went sideways a long time ago. In today’s America, the majority is nothing if not impressed by power and fame (its legitimacy is irrelevant), nothing if not obedient. As for mooning the lord, the ass to the glass these days is more likely to be the lord’s, and our own posture toward it, well, something short of heroic.

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