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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, February 28, 2006

 
Limited Nativism

by digby


Tristero has already linked to this great interview with Mark Danner and I too recommend that you read it if you haven't already. It's interesting in dozens of different ways, but I wanted to highlight something specific:

TD: They're really extreme American nationalists, though you can't use that word in this country.

Danner: That's true, and they combine with this belief in great-power America an almost nativist distrust of international institutions. That's the difference between Truman America and this regime in its approach to foreign policy. They put international institutions in a similar class with terrorism –- that is, weapons of the weak.


Ah. Yes, they have very skillfully stoked this nativism with distrust of international institutions. This has long been an effective tool on the right from the Panama Canal to the UN black helicopter crowd. Recently, they have stoked this nativism with distrust of our allies too. I have been quite amused to see all of the rightwingers clutching their pearls about "alienating our friends" after their performance in 2003 in which some of them were actually agitating to attack France and Germany. Watching them stutter and dissemble about our great and valued ally the United Arab Emirates is just funny. Freedom falafels anyone?

But then this port deal doesn't really fit the storyline, does it? It's not about an international institution or a real ally. From what we've seen these last few years, they would never have gone to such lengths to defend it if it were. It's about an international corporation and that goes beyond borders, beyond alliances and beyond institutions. That's sacred ground to the big money boys of the Republican establishment.

I don't know if people are consciously aware of this distinction, but if they were I don't think they would be impressed by it. Basically, the Republicans are saying that we cannot trust long standing internatinal institutions, long standing international law or even long standing close allies --- but we should take it on faith that international corporations, even those owned by dodgy middle eastern monarchies, can be trusted not to harm our national security. Their all encompassing belief in the market has extended to national security.

This nativist impulse that has been so skillfully exploited by the Republican party is not allowed beyond the boardroom door. Is this ok with the white working class Republican base? I wonder.



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