ESQUIRE's Stephen Marche has written a hilarious piece detailing the end of the "douchebag" era:

The departure of W., that backslapping, nickname-calling, know-nothing M.B.A. failure, is the cue for… the expense-account-abusing, bottle-service-ordering, Ayn Rand-quoting embarrassments of the American banking sector: Your relevance is dwindling, your presence no longer required. [W]e are seeing the return of a classic American type, the tough son of a bitch…

While Marche worked himself into a lather over prototypical tough SOB Emmanuel and this reinvigorated American masculine aesthetic, two things struck me. Firstly, I couldn't help but smirk at Marche's sentiment, which is premature if not flat-out wrong. As a son of Eli, let me tell you without equivocation: Douchebags will outlive the roaches. They lack the self-awareness to be anything other than what they are and that ensures their survival.

Advertisement

Secondly, I couldn't help but wonder if Marche's sentiment stretched to the conversation of torture and the mounting criticisms being leveled at President Obama. Unless I'm mistaken, the Obama's non-prosecution of CIA agents—whose criminal tactics have been well-outlined by Andrew Sullivan at THE ATLANTIC—is textbook tough guy: allowing hatchet men and their ilk to do the dirty work, and not saying boo about it. Douchebags, of course, herald the hatcheteering, but for both, the approach is the same.

So I guess these guys have something in common after all, huh?

—JONATHAN PITTS-WILEY