It’s happening. It really is. Pim Fortuyn’s party stormed to second place in the Dutch elections, behind the Christian Democrats, smashing the social-democratic consensus that had run Holland for the last eight years (and, truth be told, much longer). So we now have center-right governments in Italy, Spain and France. Only Britain’s New Labour has bucked the trend, but as Harold Meyerson points out, Blair is less left than DLC. The reason for all this? One massively over-looked factor: the EU. It has robbed people of a sense of control over their lives, it has been foisted on populations without their consent, it combines the worst of socialist regulations with the difficult challenges of global capitalism. In short it’s an undemocratic behemoth begging to be unravelled. The liberal press will play this is a triumph for the far-right. Don’t believe them. There are indeed some unsavory characters mixed up in all this, and we sure shouldn’t prettify them, but this is really a victory for democracy. And Pim Fortuyn helped bring it about. The other factor that I think needs stressing is: September 11. I think Europeans get now what the threat of resurgent Islamist extremism is. They’re getting killed themselves around the world. They don’t believe their governments or elites grasp the problem. So they’re voting for international security, which, right now, means parties of the right, or at least those prepared to say an honest thing about Islamo-fascism.

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL: As usual, a superb Victor Davis Hansen piece on the war so far. I liked this paragraph:

Mr. Ashcroft has been libeled as an insurrectionist, and yet so far our Constitution is intact – and we have not seen another September 11. Mr. Bush was pilloried for ineptness – and yet Israel has been allowed to take the necessary measures to curb the suicide bombing. Our military has been denounced alternatively as too cruel and too lenient – and al Qaeda is now truncated. Guantanamo was called a concentration camp, but the inmates look stouter and healthier than when they arrived. Mr. Sharon was dubbed a killer, but now Palestinians who have sponsored real killing are talking of peace. Mr. Rumsfeld was declared at war with Mr. Powell, but in fact, both are complementary, not adversarial, as enemies and allies now realize it is their own choice whether to meet a conciliatory Powell halfway – or deal all the way with a bellicose Rumsfeld.

My feelings entirely.

THIS GUY GETS REAL MONEY CALLS: Bob Reich manages to beat Paul Krugman at the buckraking game. But hey, guys. Keep those stories coming about the evils of the plutocratic rich!

COLLAPSE OF THE GAY LEFT: The old guard – clapped out denizens of the late 1960s – are beginning to realize that their socialist mantras and multicultural pablum have about as much appeal to most gay men as a vacation in Uganda. Joe Conason, ever the loyal Democrat, tells gays not to “jump ship” from the Party. What you mean, me, straight man? Is he aware that a million gays voted for his nemesis, George W. Bush, last time around, or that a third voted for Gingrich in 1994? Richard Goldstein, still seething after all these years, vents in the Guardian, in a rehash of the piece in the Village Voice. Goldstein obviously doesn’t know what to do with gay men who don’t buy into his orthodoxy. He compares me to Pim – but then claims I’m more of a far-rightist than Fortuyn was:

But there’s a major difference between Fortuyn and his American cousins. He was a feminist, while our homocons are dedicated to the preservation of male power. Fortuyn’s outsider image stemmed from his sense of the political elite as an old-boy’s club. He wanted to replace it with something else entirely, whereas Sullivan merely wants in-this is a major part of what he means by the term virtually normal. That’s not a standard Pim aspired to. He had no beef with gay people who flamed or fornicated, whereas American homocons turn their anger on their own kind. This stance has taken them far in the media, always eager to be entertained by a homophobic aperçu delivered by a homosexual. In the Netherlands, that sort of shtick would be seen for what it is: minstrelsy.

I wonder if Goldstein has actually read my books or columns. If he did, he’d know I’m a fervent feminist, a believer in equal opportunity for women in all areas of life and politics. My difference with the left is with their silly assertion that there are no biological or psychological differences between men and women. Does that make me a supporter of male supremacy? He also suggests I’m a sexual prude, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m a big defender of sexual freedom – mine and others’. He claims I’m also somehow hostile to drag queens or flamers or any other kind of gay sub-sub-culture. I’ve never said or written anything of the kind. And if he’s in P-Town this summer, I’ll be happy to take him as my guest to “ShowGirls.” So this is yet another groundless smear from the gay left – the kind used against Fortuyn. They never learn, these people, do they?

BROCK MAKING IT UP AGAIN: You knew there was more to come. Tim Noah finishes the job.

FEMINISTS AGAINST ISLAMIC IMMIGRATION: Call it the Fortuyn effect. It’s happening here as well. Check this blog out. From Berkeley no less.

KINDER BUD, PLEASE: One reason to oppose marijuana legalization and regulation. The government can’t even deliver pot right.

BLAIR TAKES THE EURO PLUNGE: Just as the rest of Europe is experiencing a backlash against the EU, Britain’s PM has decided it’s time for Britain to abandon its own monetary independence by abolishing the pound. Give him points for timing.

NEWS YOU CAN REALLY USE: This site really fills a need. It tells you which famous old people are still alive and which ones are dead. Essential when watching old movies. It reminds me of a wonderful feature they used to have (and may still do) in the English magazine for seniors called “The Oldie.” Each issue they would have a profile of someone you thought was dead but actually wasn’t. They called the feature: “Still With Us.” Priceless.

NO VICTORIAN GENTLEMAN: Here’s a smart refutation of David Brooks’ notion that today’s stultifying liberal media establishment is somehow like the Victorians:

David Brooks’s compari
son of today’s media elite to Victorian gentlemen, which you quote with approval, shows that his heart is in the right place, but his concept of the Victorian gentleman is founded in stereotype rather than in study of history.
Real Victorians engaged in vigorous political journalism. No one then debated the existence of media bias – it was openly acknowledged. Newspapers were founded with the purpose of promoting a particular party or platform. Relics of this remain today in the names of newspapers like the Little Rock, Arkansas “Democrat-Gazette, ” the Red Wing, Minnesota “Republican-Eagle,” and – most charmingly – the Cecil County, Maryland “Whig,” still published a century and a half after the demise of the Whig party.

The letter continues, along with others on environmental extremism on both sides and ‘desecration’ of the Church of the Nativity. Check it out.