The dirtiest words in a liberal’s lexicon — besides “judgmental,” “intolerant,” “unfair,” and “Constitution” — are “revanchism” and “irredentism.” For years, I had no idea what these words actually meant, although like a good red-diaper baby, I threw them around a lot. But to men of a certain age, and I’m talking about men even older than my father, the sainted “Che” Kahane, they’re terms that get our side frothing at the mouth, foaming from their nostrils, and stamping their feet against the imaginary, Stalingrad-like cold of Hallandale, Fla.
Recently, I’ve learned — and I researched this directly on Wikipedia, so it must be true — that revanchism means revenge (apparently it’s French or something) and a burning desire to get back territory you’ve lost. To put it in terms we can all understand, think of the Crusaders heading back to the Holy Land, the Germans re-occupying the Saarland, the foodies safely marching up Amsterdam Avenue in the wake of the fascist Giuliani administration. It’s the yelp of the loser planning a comeback, the bluster of the defeated bully, and now, the cri de coeur of some Wisconsin pol defying the clear wishes of His Serene Majesty, the Emperor Barack Hussein Obama II, Lord of the Flies, Keeper of the Hoops, and Protector of the Holy Cities of Honolulu and Chicago. How dare he?
After all, didn’t the great and powerful BO2 win the 2008 election? Didn’t that entitle him to rule as he sees fit, without the meddlesome priests you wingnuts call “red-state governors”? Wasn’t it a clear sign from Gaia that a person of no talent or accomplishment, a poor extemporary speaker, a man with apparently no friends from his youth in Indonesia, his school days at Punahou, his sheep-dip year at Occidental, his mystery stint at my alma mater, Columbia, and his undistinguished tenure as editor of the Harvard Law Review
, could be elected president of the United States?
So who are these pissant politicians and pundits and midwestern peons to defy Hussein’s imperial will? Who are they to rebel against the infinite enlargement of the union/welfare state he embodies, the very Cloward-Piven word made Alinskian political flesh, leading the Party of Take to fulfill its destiny and finally devour the Party of Give?
I guess what I’m trying to say is: Stop it. You’re scaring us.
You see, we haven’t planned for this. We have a form of the Brezhnev Doctrine, which is named after one of our great role models, Leonid Brezhnev, and which clearly states that once a country goes Communist, it can never go back. And while we don’t exactly embrace the retro term “Communist” — we prefer socialist, progressive, or, in a pinch, Democrat — we give ol’ Leo a sly tip of the hat whenever we bring down our AFL-CIO hammer and our SEIU sickle. We see every conflict between looters and moochers — excuse me! I mean “public servants” — and taxpaying suckers the way the Soviets looked at the Prague Spring, and it’s just a matter of time before the tanks roll, and the cries of “Dubček! Dubček!” are replaced once more with “Yes, we did!”
As you seem to be learning at last, we have two modes of operation, depending on how civil we’re feeling at the moment. The first is our usual, unlovely, snarling viciousness, our relentless mockery of everything you clowns hold dear, our sapper-like devotion to undermining the “Enlightenment” ground you stand on even as, like heroic members of the Résistance, we sometimes have to blend into the population and pretend to be patriotic college professors, lawyers, and U.S. senators whenever we’ve got the short end of the stick.