A long time ago, after he did a hilarious interview on The Daily Show to promote it, I read Matt Taibbi's book The Great Derangement, and enjoyed it very much. He also blew me away last year with his title Griftopia, which was the first book I read that really helped me understand the financial events of the last few years. So last week when I wanted to read some more of his books, I picked up Smells like Dead Elephants and Spanking the Donkey: Dispatches from the Dumb Season from the library.
Today's quote comes from Spanking the Donkey, a compilation of some of his journalism pieces published during the years 2003 to 2004 (in Rolling Stone, The Nation, and New York Press, among others). This is not my favorite book of Taibbi's, but the following quote IS one of my favorite paragraphs of his of all time:
"As it stands, the Republicans are tougher than the Democrats because they will not hesitate to bomb the hell out of anyone, provided that the target cannot meaningfully fight back. But here's the thing: the Republicans are not interested in ruling other countries, any more than they are interested in ruling the United States. All they really want to do is make money. They only use military force insofar as it is necessary to (a) extract another country's resources, and (b) ensure that these countries become and remain markets for American products. Beyond those parameters, they're amazingly squeamish about using the military." (p. 135.)
I hear ringing. I think it's the ring of truth.
Now, a word to the wise: just because that paragraph admirably sums up the Republicans, don't assume that Taibbi agrees with the Democrats either. More tomorrow on who might enjoy reading Matt Taibbi, and more on this book later in the week.