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Wingnuts on Holiday

Johann Hari (pictured below), a journalist from the UK, recently ambarked on a week-long Wingnut Holiday... and lived to tell about it.


The Iraq war has been an amazing success, global warming is just a myth and Guantanamo Bay is practically a holiday camp. The annual cruise organized by the 'National Review,' mouthpiece of right-wing America, is a parallel universe populated by straight-talking, gun-toting, God-fearing Republicans.

I am standing waist-deep in the Pacific Ocean, both chilling and burning, indulging in the polite chit-chat beloved by vacationing Americans. A sweet elderly lady from Los Angeles is sitting on the rocks nearby, telling me dreamily about her son. "Is he your only child?" I ask. "Yes," she says. "Do you have a child back in England?" she asks. No, I say. Her face darkens. "You'd better start," she says. "The Muslims are breeding. Soon, they'll have the whole of Europe."

I am getting used to these moments - when gentle holiday geniality bleeds into... what? I lie on the beach with Hillary-Ann, a chatty, scatty 35-year-old Californian designer. As she explains the perils of Republican dating, my mind drifts, watching the gentle tide. When I hear her say, " Of course, we need to execute some of these people," I wake up. Who do we need to execute? She runs her fingers through the sand lazily. "A few of these prominent liberals who are trying to demoralise the country," she says. "Just take a couple of these anti-war people off to the gas chamber for treason to show, if you try to bring down America at a time of war, that's what you'll get." She squints at the sun and smiles. " Then things'll change."

I am travelling on a bright white cruise ship with two restaurants, five bars, a casino - and 500 readers of the National Review. Here, the Iraq war has been "an amazing success". Global warming is not happening. The solitary black person claims, "If the Ku Klux Klan supports equal rights, then God bless them." And I have nowhere to run.

From time to time, National Review - the bible of American conservatism - organises a cruise for its readers. I paid $1,200 to join them. The rules I imposed on myself were simple: If any of the conservative cruisers asked who I was, I answered honestly, telling them I was a journalist. Mostly, I just tried to blend in - and find out what American conservatives say when they think the rest of us aren't listening.

"Just take a couple of these anti-war people off to the gas chamber for treason to show, if you try to bring down America at a time of war, that's what you'll get."

In light of the sentiment expressed above, coupled with the cold, hard reality that through Executive Orders President Bush is suspending our constitutional safeguards left and right, it takes a true patriot to stand up and speak out against this administration.

Why are the vast majority of conservatives content to just go along with the neoconservative rape of this great country?

Where have all of the true conservative patriots gone? Are they all "On Holiday?"

Journalist Hari continues his saga here.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Rating: 3.3/5 (7 votes cast)

Comments (7)

Steve Crickmore:

Great piece Lee..I laughed out loud at many of the lines...Bill Buckley sems to be about the only person on the cruise apart from the journalist to make any sense what so ever, and to think the present administration embodies most of what the passengers are saying? Indeed, Bush could feel at home as captain and Cheney as first mate, or is it vice versa?


Buckley's "shut the mike" aside regarding Podhoretz was identical to one reported on an earlier NR cruise. Maybe it's vaudeville. maybe it's Memorex.

I wonder. Except for the author's short, lively interview with Podoretz, the report seemed fake. Cardboard people spouting phrases.

Basically, only spending 1/15 of a rather long article on the pantload luminaries of NRO, when they were there, in the flesh (perhaps buzzed), is journalistic malpractice. No room for shy journalists.

Steve Crickmore:

bryanD..you may have read about the cruise earlier in June in a Huffington piece by Rachel Sklar on the original article in 'The Indepedent'..tpm cafe also covers it


Hari is just a stupid punk. He should know that Dorothy Parker could go from sweet to suicide bomber in three seconds, or less.


You know, it will be really fun to read the comments that come the "tolerant" side of the blogosphere when some of their pet ideas gets trashed.

Oh wait! Here is an example! http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/7/16/133049/958

Let's see what the tolerant types espouse:

1) Tolerating only a single viewpoint? Check
2) Violence threatened at apostates? Check
3) Casting those who don't follow the same drumbeat to the side of the enemy? Check

"Pot calling Kettle, Pot calling kettle...kettle do you read?"

Lee Ward:

Great job, Mundane - link to a post that has 1865 comments and you can pretty much claim that there are comments that say anything you say they say...

But why didn't you quote the comments that you say meet the "kettle test?"


Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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