Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Arrested Development and the War on Terror

Conor Friedersdorf uses the occasion of Arrested Development‘s renewal to offer some very serious reflections on the War on Terror and the current state of American politics. Here are a few:

This is how desperate War on Terror critics are. Conflicted words from a man with a history of breaking his, and that man’s apparent moral doubts about his own actions, are enough to make us cautiously optimistic. It could be worse. At least the teams of seals we deploy haven’t gone rogue….

…Thus the two choices before Americans in the realm of national security: A Team Blue that pays rhetorical lip service to eventually ending the War on Terrorism (at an unspecified date), even as Team Blue leaders openly plan to wage it for the foreseeable future; and an opposition party that also plans to wage it for the foreseeable future, but is dead set against rhetoric suggesting that it should endsometime. Says Glenn Greenwald, summing up American politics since September of 2001, “The cosmopolitan, intellectualized flavor of [Barack’s] advocacy makes coastal elites and blue state progressives instinctively confident in the Goodness of whatever he’s selling, much as George [2’s] swaggering, evangelical cowboy routine did for red state conservatives.”

And the cosmopolitan, intellectualized flavor of Barack’s advocacy makes red state conservatives confident in the Badness of whatever he’s selling, even when he’s doing what they’re selling (though they’d do it with more swagger, costing them the support of coastal elites and blue state progressives). It’s all very serious stuff with terrible consequences here and abroad. But without occasionally laughing at its terrible, truth-is-stranger-than-fiction absurdity, we’d probably be driven to Forget-Me-Nows.

By Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the Rector of Christ Church Anglican in South Bend, Indiana. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a founding member of the Davenant Institute.