February 23, 2012

Russ Feingold's new book has a title that's so right wing... and I mean 1960s right wing.

"While America Sleeps."

Freaky!

45 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Feingold refuses to be a liberal liberal. He wants to be a foreign policy guru that thinks for himself, but he still wants the liberals to vote for him. Very interesting man.

mesquito said...

A searing indictment of the Obama Regime, no doubt.

PETER V. BELLA said...

Freaky? It's Russ Feingold!

Coketown said...

I don't get it. Could you provide context for those of us who weren't around for things like campus unrest, coffee percolators, polka-dots, and Jesus Freaks? Your formative decade is so distant, so alien, that it can only be condensed into four terms and mocked.

mesquito said...

In While America Sleeps, Russ Feingold details our nation’s collective failure to respond properly to the challenges posed by the post-9/11 era. Oversimplification of complicated new problems as well as the
cynical exploitation of the fears generated by 9/11 have undermined our ability to adjust effectively to America’s new place in the world. This has weakened our efforts to protect American lives, our national security, and our constitutional values. Ranging from institutional failures to “get it right” by Congress, the executive branch, and the media to the way we have spoken of the war on terror, the nature of Islam, and American exceptionalism, too often we have not made the best choices in confronting, in Churchill’s words, the “new conditions under which we now have
to dwell.”
Senator Feingold explores the way in which the American public has been fed inadequate information
or mere slogans to explain 9/11, Al Qaeda, and related events. This compares unfavorably with the candor often associated with, for example, FDR’s fireside chats during World War II. Lumping Al Qaeda into a catch-all category known as “bad guys,” failing to make it clear that Islam itself is not a threat to our way of life, and underestimating the extreme difficulty of fully invading individual countries as a way to root out international terrorism are examples of this misdirection. Moreover, our general inability to keep our eyes on the international ball seems to have grown
even worse in the years following 9/11.
More than ten years after one of the greatest wake-up calls in human history, our nation seems to have again grown complacent about the issues that suddenly seemed so urgent immediately after 9/11. While America Sleeps suggests ways in which we can awaken a new national commitment to engage with
the rest of the world and one another in a less simplistic and more thoughtful way. Feingold’s hope is that when the history of this era is written, it will be said that our country was taken off guard at the height of its power at the turn of the century and stumbled for a decade in an unfamiliar environment, but in the following decade America found a new national commitment of unity and resolve to adapt to its new status and leadership in the world.


That, mind you, is presumbly calculated to lure in potential readers. What's the opposite of "tivo," but for books?

mesquito said...

Or this could be one of those cultural markers that sits ostenatiously (but unread) on the coffee tables of Wisconsin's better sorts of white people.

Peano said...

And of course we all just know the meaning of "1960s right wing" in the mind of our learned hostess ... don't we?

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't get it. Could you provide context for those of us who weren't around for things like campus unrest, coffee percolators, polka-dots, and Jesus Freaks? Your formative decade is so distant, so alien, that it can only be condensed into four terms and mocked."

It sounds like 60s-era anti-communism paranoia.

mesquito said...

While America Sleeps suggests ways in which we can awaken a new national commitment to engage with
the rest of the world and one another in a less simplistic and more thoughtful way.


I know! I know!

Close Gitmo and try its inmates in civilian courts!

David said...

I think he was trying to be Kennedyesque.

It is fun to read the article and be reminded of Russ's outrage at Bush over domestic wiretaps. Apparently all is forgiven. Russ is now a national co-chair (figurehead division) for Barack The Change Maker, who magically changed Russ's view of whether it's bad to have domestic wiretaps.

Coketown said...

It sounds like 60s-era anti-communism paranoia.

Oh. "Red Scare" goes in my list of terms for the 50s. You know. "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and "Clue" and all the rest. Still, freaky indeed!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Should be interesting. Since FDR is apparently Feingold's model, I expect to see lots about how we should have rounded up all the Muslims in America and put them in camps.

YoungHegelian said...

While America Sleeps suggests ways in which we can awaken a new national commitment to engage with
the rest of the world and one another in a less simplistic and more thoughtful way.


Oh God, this is such bullshit, and Feingold having been in the government knows that this is such utter bullshit.

DC is full of international specialists for every country on the globe. These specialists write, talk, lecture, speak to congress & presidential aides incessantly. We've got a State Dept & intelligence services that provide these guys on tap.

But you know what? The experts don't agree with each other on any given international affairs topic, so finally the guys who have to make decisions choose a path and go with it, for better or for worse. Because that's the way reality works.

But that there's a lack of analysis (and this goes for both D's & R's)? Utter nonsense!

Lem said...

'Its not over until we win' wrote a post 9/11 prescription?

Probably a laundry list of how we brought 9/11 upon ourselves.

btw... If Feingold is finally persuaded to run against Walker.. look for Althouse to abandon ship faster than the captain of Costa Concordia.

You cant say you haven't been warned!

Seven Machos said...

I'm sorry. But this needs to posted at Althouse. Delete if you must, Meade...

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Police say a Wisconsin man took the Denny's restaurant chain slogan "America's diner is always open" too far, marching into one of the restaurants, announcing he was the new boss and cooking himself dinner.

James Summers walked into a Madison Denny's on Tuesday dressed in a maroon tie and black trench coat and carrying a briefcase, according to police. He strode into the manager's office, told her he was the new general manager and then fixed himself a burger, fries and a soda before police arrived...


http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_ODD_DENNYS_SCAM?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Carol_Herman said...

So what? Publishers paid him millions. Just the way they paid Hillary Clinton to write (or have ghost-written) The Village Idiot Takes a Vacation. (Well, maybe you remember a different title?)

I'm sure I won't be reading Russ Feingold.

And, pretty much what Adlai Stevenson said to a woman who praised him ... with "Every intelligent American will vote for you." And, he replied "Then I lose."

Feingold's old hat.

Chris Dodd ended up with more money working for hollywood.

Maybe, Feingold blames McCain?

Carol_Herman said...

Oh? I thought the "Red Scare" was set in the 1950's.

The 1960's was the Age of Aquarius.

AJ Lynch said...

I will bet Althouse $100 she can't find one good big idea in this book.

Carol_Herman said...

Here's another difference between the 1950's and the 1960's.

In the 1950's, to use Sandra Day O'Connor as the example. She graduated Stanford 2nd in her class. And, was told she'd make a good secretary.

By the 1960's, with LBJ pushing through Civil Rights laws, women began moving up. All they needed was the correct genitalia to earn a seat in a law school.

So, today, when you see women in jobs they couldn't get in the 1950's, you know the 1960's brought change.

William said...

As David points out above, the allusion is probably to JFK's book, Why England Slept and not to anti-Communist hysteria.....You can never be too vigilant, too suspicious, too paranoic regarding the vast right wing conspiracy that threatens to take over America....Can anyone point out a single liberal from that era who protested against both McCarthyism and the internment of Japanese and other foreign nationals during WWII.

Coketown said...

All they needed was the correct genitalia to earn a seat in a law school.

Hahaha, you're great, Carol. You need your own pirate radio station, immediately.

Roger J. said...

I think the sainted Carol Herman is correct--red scare was so 1950s

edutcher said...

The Red Scare in the sense of scare quotes. To make something real look as if it were illusory.

The reds were trying to take over.

Look at the 60s and then look at today.

WV "toneydva" What Ann Althouse is to blogging.

Mark Daniels said...

I agree with David that Feingold was trying to be Kennedyesque in the title. JFK's father arranged for the publication of his senior thesis at Harvard, 'Why England Slept.' That title, in turn, was inspired by Churchill's 'While England Slept.' Both books dealt with England's lack of preparedness for hostilities with the Nazis.

While his father had no use for Churchill (and actually said nice things about Hitler), JFK was always smitten with the wartime prime minister. While he was president, Kennedy signed a proclamation making Churchill an honorary US citizen.

Now, I think I'll go to sleep.

Methadras said...

So what can this leftard possibly have in this book that will matter one snot of relevance? I'll read it and let you know.

Titus said...

Is it about contraception?

Or vasginal procedures?

J Allen said...

I heard a little bit of Russ’s interview with Jim Bohannon and he sounded very ‘hawkish.’ Maybe almost getting ready to carry the message of, “We can’t change Presidents in this terrible time of need and danger…blah, blah, blah.”

I guess if you can’t get elected you might as well get appointed.

traditionalguy said...

While America Slept calls to mind Pearl Harbor and the blame game for that disaster.

It was later used as a major trope of the John Birch Society that blamed the "loss of China" on everybody except the several dozen elite Anti-Communists who knew everything...these being the cult gurus from whence Ron Paul's career sprang into being.

It does show that Sen. Feingold is well aware of the proper role the Senate plays in foreign policy from advise and consent of appointees to ratification of treaties.

I think Feingold will help raise the level of the debate on foreign Policy, especially contrasted with CNNs propaganda approach.

Pogo said...

Apparently, America sleeps during the Obama administration.

Surely one must blame Bush.

Never mind that food stamp use is at an embarrassing peak, millions are chronically unemployed, and housing and student loan debt is massive and unpayable.

The Dow is 13K!

Clearly, the answer is More Unions and More Crony Capitalism!

Pogo said...

Weird thing is, Feingold's right, but is unaware why.

America snoozes through the dissolution of the Constitution.

Whoopsy!

EDH said...

There's that word again, "Sleeps".

I wonder if Feingold's talking about "First Sleep, Second Sleep".

Kirk Parker said...

"... failing to make it clear that Islam itself is not a threat to our way of life..."

Way to beg the question, Russ!

Saint Croix said...

It sounds like 60s-era anti-communism paranoia.

Yeah, I think the reason for that is that in the McCarthy era, the fear was internal threats against the country. Secret Commies here in the U.S.

Reagan-era anti-Communism talked about external threats to the U.S. (i.e. the Soviet Union).

So if Feingold's book focuses on Islamic terrorism, that's external threats to our security. That's normal.

It's the fear of internal threats that can sound paranoid.

Haven't read Feingold's book, but my guess is that one thing he's complaining about is what the right-wingers are doing to our country.

"Anti-Americans are destroying our country from within!"

Michael Moore uses that type of rhetoric, too.

And of course right-wingers say that about Obama. He's bringing socialism (that vile European disease) here!

Saint Croix said...

The sleep metaphor also has a paranoid vibe. We're at our weakest and most vulnerable while we're sleeping.

And so the title kinda reminds me of the Hillary 3 a.m. ad. We're asleep. We're vulnerable. Suddenly, a threat!

While America Sleeps, who do you want guarding us against external threats? Hillary? Or that wimp, Obama?

Beldar said...

Feingold's title also made me flash to JFK's "Why England Slept."

But "while" is quite different from "why."

I would credit Feingold for being one of the comparatively few politicians who could produce a serious book without a ghostwriter or co-author. But these things still tend to be rehashes and updates of things first written up by someone on staff back in the days when he was still Senator Feingold. I'll be curious to read reviews of this one to see if it has anything that strikes the chattering classes as "fresh."

-------------

puzzle: "ectunt hemensen" ... I feel dirty after typing that (twice)!

Rusty said...

Carol_Herman said...
Oh? I thought the "Red Scare" was set in the 1950's.

The 1960's was the Age of Aquarius


Late sixties. Early sixties ere pretty much June Cleaver an shit. Late sixties was pretty much getting stoned an shit.
I don't remember a whole lot after that until the early eighties.

David said...

Better title: While Obama Schlepps.

David said...

I went to college 1961-65. Through the Kennedy assassination, it was definitely still the 1950's. By 1965 the 60's as we remember and stereotype them were evident but not predominant. But predominance was just around the corner.

Kit said...

It appears his mind is far from Wisconsin.

damikesc said...

And, pretty much what Adlai Stevenson said to a woman who praised him ... with "Every intelligent American will vote for you." And, he replied "Then I lose."

I'm just impressed that the Democrats ALWAYS nominate the FAR more intelligent candidate for elections.

Don't believe me? Just ask them.

Even noted morons Kerry (who did worse in school than his opponent) and Gore (who failed out of Divinity School and ALSO did worse in school than his opponent) were WAY "more smarter" than the idiot Bush. If Romney wins, no doubt, Obama will be measures more intelligent.

I'm convinced that if Hawking ran for President as a Republicab, he'd quickly go from brilliant man to "retard in a wheelchair" in the eyes of the MSM within a week.

SGT Ted said...

What self serving bullshit.

I wonder if he is going to write about the Democrat Partys attempts to undermine the war effort for their own political gain by painting GW Bush as a war criminal and our troops as the Gestapo or Communist gulag camp guards.

They tried to lose the war at home while we were fighting it in the field, by stabbing us in the back.

I will never forgive the Democrat Party for that betrayal.

Feingold and the Obama/Nancy Pelosi/ Harry Reid Democrats can go fuck themselves.

DADvocate said...

Steppenwolf released this in 1969.

And though the past has it's share of injustice
Kind was the spirit in many a way
But it's protectors and friends have been sleeping
Now it's a monster and will not obey


I doubt they were right wing.

virgil xenophon said...

@David/

Depends on the part of the country one lived in. In the South (where I went to school 62-66) and most of the Mid-west I'd say it was the 50s until the demarcation-line "Summer of Love" in 67. In places like Berkeley what is now thought of as "the 60s" came a year or two sooner. My take is that the groovy" "Age of Aquarius" 60s lasted basically 67-75, tho YMMV..

Mitch H. said...

James Summers walked into a Madison Denny's on Tuesday dressed in a maroon tie and black trench coat and carrying a briefcase, according to police. He strode into the manager's office, told her he was the new general manager and then fixed himself a burger, fries and a soda before police arrived...

Bavarian Fire Drills rarely get more naked than this, and you see why - it got him arrested.

The Sixties arrived asynchronously depending on what part of the country you lived in. Frankly, if you want to economically suggest the sort of paranoia our hostess is trying for, I'd go with "Bircher".

damikesc said...

I think he was trying to be Kennedyesque.

Probably should've had daddy pay people to write it for him and then buy a bunch of them before buying him a Pulitzer.

Just sayin'...