Colonel Blimp

By From page A5 | March 14, 2014


Publisher Richard Esposito’s latest op-ed page criticizing Obama’s foreign policy initiatives as disasters in Lybia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Ukraine, reminds me that, so far, not a single American has been killed as a result of these “disasters.”

Mr. Esposito seems to prefer the more “robust” approach to foreign policy: invade first, ask questions later — the policy advocated by chicken hawks like William Kristol and Sarah Palin, and the chicken-hawks-in-chief, G.W. Bush, and his partner in crime, Dick Cheney.

Reading Mr. Esposito’s piece reminded me of British cartoonist David Low’s 1930s-1940s character, Colonel Blimp: a pompous, irascible, jingoistic, stereotypical, closed mind for whom force was the first, last and only solution to all problems. Like the moneyed, upper classes he exemplified, Blimp was deeply distrustful of democracy, with a total lack of concern or empathy for anyone outside his own class. In other words, Colonel Blimp’s updated version represents Mitt Romney and the Koch brothers, and the 1 percent.

Like Louis Gohmert and Michelle Bachman, Blimp was fond of spouting such inanities as: “We must build a bigger navy than the enemy will build when he hears we’re building a bigger navy than he might be building if we build a bigger navy,” or “Gad, sir! They (Britain’s GOP) are marching us over the abyss and we must march solidly behind them.” These are applause lines for a McClintock speech.

America’s equivalent of Colonel Blimp may be Dogpatch’s founder, General Jubilation T. Cornpone, a man deeply attached to the “Southern Way of Life (wink, wink)” and whose proudest achievements included Cornpone’s Retreat, Cornpone’s Disaster, Cornpone’s Misjudgement and Cornpone’s “Hoomiliation.”

Am I drawing parallels between John McCain and Richard Esposito and Colonel Blimp? Am I associating Dogpatch with today’s red states, or General Cornpone with Ted Cruz and his TP allies? You, reader, be the judge.


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