Thursday, October 27, 2005

It is Fitzmas Eve..I'm so excited!

Brad DeLong writes about his confusion over the ultimate motives of Moe, Larry, and Curly in a way that reminds me of an old quote attributed to Enrico Fermi:
"Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture, I am still confused. But on a higher level."
-- Enrico Fermi


Glaukon: NOC NOC.

Thrasymakhos: Who's there?

Glaukon: Not "knock knock." "NOC NOC." Non-Official Cover.


Thrasymakhos: Do you understand it?

Glaukon: No. Does anybody?


Thrasymakhos: Indeed not. But my not-understanding is at a very elevated and sophisticated level.


Thrasymakhos: Focusing on the seriousness of the underlying act--trying to hide one's pathetic little affairs with interns from one's wife vs. harming the national security--works well, doesn't it?

Glaukon: Yes, it does. I am lost in admiration.

Thrasymakhos: I am a trained professional.

Glaukon: Yes you are. What else do you not-understand?

Thrasymakhos: Alger Hiss.

Glaukon: Alger Hiss?

Thrasymakhos: Yes. Alger Hiss was convicted not of espionage but perjury. On today's right-wing line of argument, charges should have been dropped once it became clear they couldn't prove espionage. Doesn't anyone on today's right remember Alger Hiss? Everyone who was anyone on the right was there: J. Edgar Hoover, Richard M. Nixon, Joe McCarthy, William F. Buckley, Whittaker Chambers...

Glaukon: No.

Thrasymakhos: No?

Glaukon: No. William F. Buckley remembers that Alger Hiss was convicted not of espionage but of perjury. Perhaps a few of Buckley's epigones remember. (But they are keeping very quiet.) Nobody else. What else do you not-understand?

Thrasymakhos: The pointless, boastful lying in the fall of 2003. Cheney: "I don't even know who Joe Wilson is!" Bush: "Gee. I really hope they catch those leakers!" When all the while both of them knew that Cheney had launched the leaking campaign and that Rove, Libby, and company were in it up to their necks. It didn't gain them anything. And now it makes them look like the sleazy liars that they are--and makes them look so in a soundbite simple enough for the media to understand it. That I really don't understand.

Glaukon: You don't have much experience with fratboys, do you?

Thrasymakhos: I'm afraid not.


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