REDNECK CHIC. Is there anything more pathetic than the spectacle of the wealthy conservative pundit, that creature of millionaire-funded think tanks, TV studio green rooms, and catered symposia, trying to establish some red-state cred by pretending to be down with redneck culture?

Michael Ledeen:

"Barbara and I went to Indianapolis for a Toby Keith concert, where we partied with something like 25,000 happy rednecks, most of them young, most of them wearing boots and cowboy hats (and cheering Keith's great song "I Should Have Been a Cowboy"). It's a great show, and he's a wonderful performer, not least because of his deeply moving patriotic songs like "American Soldier," "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," and " The Taliban," etc.

It's great to get out of the Washington culture of narcissism and spend some time with the rednecks, a.k.a. real Americans. And it's simply great, as the encores end, and a downpour of red, white and blue confetti covers the crowd, to see Toby say "don't ever apologize for your patriotism," and then lift the middle finger of his right hand to the skies and say, "F*** 'Em!"

Which, after a week of disgusting anti-Americanism in Washington, nicely summed up our feelings.

You ought to try it. Does wonders for the spirit."

The condescension of Ledeen's little paean should be obvious, as he writes about his visit to flyover country as if he had just been swimming with the dolphins ("Does wonders for the spirit"!) There's also a pretty clear racist element to his statement about "real Americans" (Read: white, conservative Americans.) What, Michael, the people who cater your speaking engagements, clean your office, and park your car aren't "real American" enough for you? (I wonder if, when, at long last, his very serious, thoughtful, argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care is finally released, Jonah Goldberg will have anything to say about the tendency of fascist propagandists to locate the authentic soul of the nation among the rural volk, away from the corrupting, cosmopolitan intellectualism of the cities, and, if so, whether this tendency is more characteristic of Democrats or Republicans?)

Bottom line, rednecks and caterers: Whether he considers you a real American or not, Michael Ledeen has no problem with your being sent to fight and die in his next war.

--Matthew Duss