Can American policy makers and politicians take for granted that they are ruling a nation of Homer Simpsons who can be duped into war by the very same trick that we just fell for ten years ago? Our leaders are being extra-careful not to say "WMD"s, but surely Bart and Lisa can connect the dots.
Progressives cannot blame the president for our highly militarized culture in which masculinity has been conflated with martial violence and military prowess. The roots of this tradition are so deep President Obama can't do much to soften it.
The war is over, sort of, but the Big Lie marches on: that democracy is flowering in Iraq, that America is stronger and more secure than ever, that doing what's right is the prime motivator of all our military action.
I personally find it disgusting how much the U.S. emphasizes the tenets of death instead of the tenets of life throughout our policies. However, is shaming and guilting people really the best way to win them over?
If we're not careful, the civilian and military will become the Washington equivalent of Siamese twins, co-joined at the head and, however bitter their internecine arguments, sharing the same underlying militarized thought processes.
2010 has seen a re-assertion of bipartisan consensus on American militarism, making the issue virtually invisible in this campaign despite the fact that it's never been more urgent for us to face squarely its scope and consequences.
Poverty is at a fifteen year high and inequality at an all-time high. And yet it has become a more-than-respectable mainstream view that we're too far in debt to spend more money. This version of respectability is deeply informed by class.
Marty Peretz apologized for saying he wasn't sure whether Muslims deserve the same rights as other Americans, but refused to apologize for having said that "Muslim life is cheap, especially for Muslims."