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Remain Calm

But there’s more than a passing resemblance between this narrative [Animal House] and classic right-wing populism. Like “Bluto” Blutarsky rallying his fraternity to ruin the homecoming parade, crafty conservatives have been riling up middle America for decades against champagne-sipping limousine liberals. The boys in Animal House aren’t, say, fighting tooth and nail for a living-wage ordinance. These mostly privileged young men are fighting for their right to party—a libertarian cause if there ever was one. And consider that the villain in Wedding Crashers is a Kennedy clone, a cultured environmentalist who hides his woman-hating ways behind earnest platitudes. ~Reihan Salam

I salute Reihan for suffering through Fletch again so that the rest of us can be reminded of just how much we resent Chevy Chase for that (and Ishtar) to this day.  He also has to be the only one–ever–to align John Belushi with the politics of the Southern Strategy.  As for the political message of Wedding Crashers, I leave that to Michael, since this is more his area than mine.  Besides, I don’t even like weddings.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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