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Wieseltier on Maddow

5:38 PM, Mar 16, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Leon Wieseltier, writing in the New Republic:

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and so the other day I read Rachel Maddow’s new book. It is called Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, and it is an anthropologically useful document of the new American disaffection with American force. Written in the same perky self-adoring voice that makes her show so excruciating, it offers some correct observations about certain lamentable trends in the American military— its reliance on contractors, its exploitation of reservists, its surfeit of nuclear weapons; but its righteous aim is to make the use of force itself seem absurd. (Maddow is an absurdity artist, who thinks that all you have to do to refute something is to make fun of it.) What offends her is “the artificial primacy of defense among our national priorities.” She champions “the disincentives to war deliberately built into our American system of government,” which were established by the Founders “not to disadvantage us against any future enemies, but to disincline us toward war as a general matter. Their great advice was that we should structure ourselves as a country in a way that deliberately raised the price of admission to any war.”

Whole thing here.

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