A NYT columnist and the left’s failure in opposition have set Obama up.
“Our gross national product does not allow…. for the intelligence of our public debate.” — Senator Robert F. Kennedy, 1967
What would Bobby Kennedy think now?
For eight years the people inhabiting prominent roles on RFK’s side of today’s ideological divide, all of them suddenly speaking of reconciliation, of respect for the presidency and the president, who speak glowingly of a fresh start — did none of this. None. Zero. Nada. Zip. To hear the departing President Bush, a gentleman to the core, muse at his last press conference about his disappointment in the tone of the criticisms he has received only makes one marvel at his understatement.
Let’s take a sampling of the kinds of things that were said of George W. Bush. The kinds of people and things Bobby Kennedy was speaking of when he stressed the importance of “the intelligence of our public debate.”
* From Frank Rich, the columnist for the New York Times, came this tone-setting citation of Bush via David Letterman. Bush, offered the allegedly erudite Rich, is a “colossal boob.” Not a “memorable villain” (Bush being villainous, you see, was part of the tone-setters equation as proffered by Rich.) Other “intelligent” comments offered by Rich on Bush include asserting (without a shred of fact but, of course, who cares about that??) that the President “lied us into war” and exhibited “smugness” (hey, maybe he got that from reading Frank Rich columns!). Rich even wonders whether this “worst president ever” actually prays to God. There’s infinitely more of this kind of stuff from Rich, but there’s a space limit here.
But in defense of Mr. Rich, “intelligence” in our public debate as that intelligence was defined on the left was easy to find. The comments below are but a skimming of the sewer.
* From Keith Olbermann: Bush “let their (Americans’) sons and daughters be killed!” Bush aides “may yet be charged with war crimes” and were “sycophants.” The President was guilty of “murderous deceit” and had an “addled brain.” We should question Bush’s “very suitably (sic) to remain in office.” Bush was guilty of “faithless stewardship” of the presidency. In short, the president of the United States should “Shut the hell up!”
* From the Daily Kos: Bush was “incredibly stupid” and a “chickensh—.” (The last two letters were present in the original.) Not to be outdone, liberal critic Neal Gabler seethed on the DK that the Bush presidency “is (the) nation’s first medieval presidency” And another Kos contributor was blunter (as blunt as we can allow in a family publication) about Bush and company: “They are goddamned liars. And they are bastards.” Oh, and don’t forget the standard cry from the left: “Bush lied. People died.”
* MoveOn.org was more visual, with an ad morphing Bush into Hitler. This theme obviously was just fine with George Soros, who claimed Bush supports “supremacist ideology” and “reminds me of the Germans” (meaning the Nazis).
* Terrence McNally, playwright: Watching Bush is “like watching Jason or Chucky from the slasher movies.”
* Paul Krugman: The words most associated with Bush are “incompetent,” “idiot,” and “liar.”
And these were some of the allegedly smart people on the left. Think of it. Columnists for one of America’s most prominent newspapers. A television commentator who gets his own show on a cable network run by one of the oldest and (once) distinguished broadcast networks in the world. A playwright who has won four Tony Awards, a comedian with one of the top rated shows in television history, a billionaire financier. All this supposed intellectual firepower and this is their response to RFK’s call for intelligent debate? Pretending to discuss deeply substantive issues that demand both serious thought not to mention thoughtful discussion, Frank Rich and his intellectual soulmates (uh, might we scratch the term “intellectual”) respond by calling the President and his staff Hitler, a slasher, murderous, a colossal boob, an idiot and a liar?
Somewhere Bobby Kennedy is deeply embarrassed. These are the worst presidential and public policy analysts this side of John Wilkes Booth.
Quite aside from pulling the curtain back to reveal that, lofty media perches or not, these people have shown a breathtaking inability to think critically and present thoughts on policy, something else has been displayed here. The inability to articulate opposition to ideas in any serious fashion other than the shallow nuttiness as quoted above condemns them individually and collectively as guilty of a massive failure of serious opposition.
Worse, they have managed to set up Barack Obama for similar criticisms from some on the right.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online