The Spectacle Blog

Brock Meets Baudelaire

By on 10.4.05 | 2:05AM

Our old friend David Brock has been back in the news, smearing Bill Bennett with unrestrained glee. Well, every bad boy gets his comeuppance, and Brock's occurs in the November issue of the Atlantic. Bernard Henri-Levy, in the fourth installment from his travels across America, has this to report on one of the Democrats he met in Washington. It isn't pretty. The only mitigating factor is that we're not reading it in the original French:

We are always a little ashamed, Baudelaire wrote, of mentioning names that won't mean anything to anyone in fifty years.

In the case of David Brock the shame is redoubled.

First of all because you won't need fifty years, or twenty, or even ten, to see this name disappear from American political memory. But also because the character himself is in many respects one of the most objectively loathsome I've met in the ten months I've been traveling through this country.

He is a little over forty years old. Dark brown hair, smug good looks, thin wire-rimmed glasses. The well-defined square jaw of a tennis pro. Yet in the corners of his mouth; in the self-satisfied bitterness of his smile; in his morose, fugitive glance; last, in his odd complacency in not sparing any detail of his shadowy past, there is something that makes me deeply uneasy....

No kidding. More mysterious is why "bigwig" Democrats urged Monsieur Levy to see him. Is he really their most valuable property? Wasn't Sidney Blumenthal available? Or Rahm Emanuel? (Speaking of whom, if Emanuel is the best the Democrats have to speak against Tom DeLay, as he did ever so unctuously on Sunday's "Meet the Press," DeLay is already home free.)

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