Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A modern-day Snidely Whiplash speaks!

Where else but on Faux News can you hear a sociopathic winger condemn the idea of public service--and misquote Jefferson in the process?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Jonathan Hoenig, 1980s yuppie holdover, author of (no joke) Greed Is Good, and believer in the I've-got-mine-so-hit-the-road-you-rube approach to life.

"It was Thomas Jefferson who once said that public service and private misery are inseparably linked," Hoenig told the hosts of Fox & Friends, referring to a letter in which Jefferson expressed a concern near the end of the Revolutionary War that 13 years of public service had left his private affairs in "great disorder."

Yeah, a WAR will do that. I'm sure George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ulysses S. Grant felt the same way at some point in their lives, but they didn't use it as an excuse to behave like assholes. And they never pooh-poohed the idea of public service.

"There is a belief now," Hoenig went on, "that individuals, especially young people, should essentially ... 'devote themselves' to something greater than themselves -- sacrifice their own wants, their own interests, to serve the common good, whatever they happen to believe it is at the time. To me, that's very un-American."

Say, dude, what if their wants and interests involve teaching, nursing, or the Peace Corps? Not everyone wants to be a hedge fund manager like you.

Hoenig denied that there is any such thing as the "common good" beyond what a politician might say it is. "I just don't think it's the role of the government," he complained, "to have me tutoring young kids if I don't want to or digging latrines if I don't want to or cleaning up trash at housing projects."

Oh dear heavens! Imagine asking Mr. Hedge Fund Capitalist here to exchange his Italian suits for old jeans so he can trudge around Hunts Point picking up trash. The very thought makes one wish some smelling salts were nearby.

Even when asked about the value of military service, Hoenig insisted that "people who serve in the military do so voluntarily, and I think they do so out of their own self-interest. They do so because they want to attack and kill a militant Islam. They do it very selfishly."

Note he doesn't mention college tuition benefits. But I'm confused. Is he suggesting there's something wrong (i.e., "selfish") with wanting to kill, what's the word? Militant Islams? Doesn't he support the War on Terror? If not, what's he doing on Faux News, since he's obviously not there as a token liberal?

Via The Defeatists.

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