Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Taking off on Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, David Kahane at National Review Online describes some of a liberal's worst nightmares:

I have a nightmare.

I have a nightmare that sometime before the 2010 elections, the scales will fall from your eyes and you will see us as we really are.

I have a nightmare that you will read C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters and realize that it is not fiction.

I have a nightmare that you will read Plunkitt of Tammany Hall and get firsthand instruction in how we steal elections.

I have a nightmare that you will read Machiavelli’s The Prince and realize that we got there way ahead of you.

I have a nightmare that you will read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and recognize us in the figure of Ellsworth Toohey -- the “friend” who is in fact your mortal enemy.

I have a nightmare that you will read Dickens’s Bleak House and see us in the character of Mrs. Jellyby, the “telescopic philanthropist,” who lets her own family go to hell while she frets over the fate of an African tribe.

I have a nightmare that you will re-watch Saving Private Ryan and realize that Corporal Upham, the liberal stickler for process played by Jeremy Davies, saves the German prisoner’s life only to get most of his platoon killed, including Tom Hanks. And then commits the very war crime he tried to stop.

. . .

I have a nightmare that you will go back and watch any B-movie made between 1933 and 1963, like Gun Crazy, and see an America that was not afraid of inanimate objects like firearms, and instead blamed the man for the crime.

I have a nightmare that some of you are old enough to recall a time when the law was an honorable profession, the Constitution was not so deconstructed that, essentially, all that is left of it is the Commerce Clause, and your doctor charged a fee for service and made house calls.

I have a nightmare that when you think of the late Ted Kennedy, resting peacefully at Arlington Cemetery, all you will be able to see is Mary Jo Kopechne, gasping for air in the Oldsmobile while the senator returned to his hotel room and went to sleep.

I have a nightmare that you will remember that Sirhan Sirhan was a Palestinian who hated Bobby Kennedy because of his support of Israel.

I have a nightmare that you’ll realize that, far from being a right-wing nut, Lee Harvey Oswald was a self-proclaimed Marxist who defected to the Soviet Union, came home with a Russian wife, agitated on behalf of Castro’s Cuba, tried to re-defect to Russia, returned to Dallas, brought his rifle to work, and killed JFK with a classic marksman’s shot group: miss, hit, kill.

I have a nightmare that you’ll remember that, in the week leading up to the murders of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, there was no right-wing “climate of hate” in San Francisco as Nancy Pelosi, aka Maerose Prizzi, would have you believe. Instead, the city was riveted by the murders of Congressman Leo Ryan and journalists Don Harris, Bob Brown, and Greg Robinson at the Port Kaituma airstrip on Nov. 18, 1978. This was followed by the “revolutionary suicides” of hundreds of Jim Jones’s radical-leftist Peoples Temple followers, most of them African American. One of the suicide notes read, “I, Marceline Jones, leave all bank accounts in my name to the Communist Party of the USSR.”

I have a nightmare that people will eventually realize that Dan White, who shot Moscone and Milk not over gay rights but over Moscone’s refusal to give him back his seat on the Board of Supervisors, was a Democrat.

. . .

I have a nightmare that one day, perhaps during another Great Awakening, the Supreme Court will overturn Murray v. Curlett, which outlawed school prayer in a lawsuit brought by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of American Atheists. In 1995, O’Hair was murdered along with her son and granddaughter by another American atheist, who chain-sawed their bodies into bits.

I have a nightmare that one day the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, thus returning abortion to the states -- although, alas, we will never get those 40 million dead souls to pay into the Social Security system.

I have a nightmare that I will still be alive when the Mother of All Ponzi Schemes finally beggars the nation, and the heroic, eco-friendly childless couples starve to death as they realize they forgot to manufacture their old-age meal tickets.

I have a nightmare that you will finally understand what the Manchurian Candidate, “mmm mmm mmm / Barack Hussein Obama,” meant by “fundamental change.”

. . .

I have a nightmare that, one day soon, the New York Times will collapse into irrelevance, along with Time, Newsweek, and The New Yorker, and no one will be there to set the TV networks’ agendas, forcing you to once more think for yourself.

. . .

I have a nightmare that you will come to understand the truth of Goya’s axiom that “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.”

I have a nightmare that Sarah Palin will get the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

I have a nightmare that she will win, scattering us like so many scuttling Gregor Samsas [the protagonist of Kafka's book, whose nightmare is that he awakens transformed into a cockroach].

I have nightmare that#...#

Nah. Never happen. You’re too stupid.

Maybe we are. Let's try, though, adding a few conservative ones of our own:

I have a nightmare that Israel, finally realizing that its "friends" are its worst enemies, and left with no alternative but to await the delivery of an atomic bomb on Tel Aviv, will open World War III by bombing Iran.

I have a nightmare that the CIA, seeing its employees prosecuted by a special counsel appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder, will go on an undeclared strike, and fail to obtain from an interrogation crucial information about a plot to smuggle a dirty bomb into the United States.

I have a nightmare that the plot involves a Guantanamo detainee, released to Afghanistan by the Obama administration, who returns with a dirty bomb that causes 75% of the population of Manhattan, Bronx and Queens to die a slow, painful and horrible death from radiation overdose.

I have a nightmare that the event causes a wipeout of the Dow Jones and S&P so great that all the mega-banks which had derivatives tied to the market fail simultaneously, beyond the ability of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to rescue them.

I have a nightmare that the almighty dollar becomes so worthless in peoples' eyes that no amount of paper money will suffice to buy even a single 1/10th-ounce gold coin.

Feel free to add your own in the comments.


  1. I have a nightmare of Nikita Khrushchev standing over our graves with a shovel in his hand saying "Thanks for digging the hole, and thanks for the shovel."

  2. I have a nightmare that terrorists use a WMD before November 2010. Obama then declares martial law and cancels the elections.

  3. I have a nightmare that the Diocese of Minnesota in trying to outdo the election of the first professional wrestler as governor and the election of the first professional comic as Senator, goes ahead and elects the first openly lesbian bishop.

  4. I have a nightmare that one or more of the church property disputes makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court AFTER Obama has yet appointed another liberal. They rule that all church property does belong to the "national office" and at the next ECUSA GenCon they vote to make Shori an actual Archbishop with power. OMG!! I'd rather have nightmares of falling off a bridge!!!

  5. I think my worst nightmare is rather abstract. A year ago I heard a constitutional law professor assert that the courts should not be bound by precedent but rather should decide each case upon its own facts and circumstances.

    Ever since then I have been haunted by the spectre of judicial relativism, by the prospect of a completely unpredictable and capricious judicial system.

  6. Matthew, that "constitutional law professor" wouldn't currently be in a position where he is demonstrating the truth once more of the Peter Principle, would he?

    And if he said it a year ago, didn't he repeat it more recently in connection with a nomination he made of a wise Latina to some august judicial body?

  7. Someone once remarked "but logic must win in the end."

    My nightmare is that on this temporal earth and in our time ... logic doesn't actually win in the end but felt emotionalism (unanchored by reason) does.

  8. Mr. Haley, the professor in question was no one famous. He was tapped to teach some CLE. He was a Sotomayor supporter. As a tenured professor, I'd say he readily demonstrates the Peter principle.

    It's just a pity that the 1L's have to put up with him on their way to the Bar exam.