The Spectacle Blog

Hear the Guilt

By on 10.20.05 | 12:39PM

George, yes, a certain silence pervades columns such as Cohen's today. But it's a very loud silence, the sort you hear whenever anyone is carrying huge guilt (in his opening paragraph Cohen openly confesses to having callously arranged an abortion for a friend). I don't think it was mere rethinking that drove Cohen to write, "I no longer see abortion as directly related to sexual freedom or feminism, and I no longer see it strictly as a matter of personal privacy, either. It entails questions about life..." Put two and two together and you know he also meant that it entails questions about death.

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Re: Cohen

By on 10.20.05 | 12:12PM

It is becoming almost commonplace for liberals who write about abortion to offer a personal story, often told rather breezily, about procuring/cooperating in/undergoing an abortion. These op-eds have become a form of confession. New York Times editor Bill Keller, some time back, wrote a second-thoughts column about abortion similar to Cohen's. But what jumps out in these columns, which invariably stress that the author is still "pro-choice," is the absence of any direct mention of the victim of the injustice, the unborn child. Hillary Clinton, or Cohen, or any other liberal reworking their position, will speak of abortion as a tragedy. But for whom? The child? No, they can't quite say that, otherwise their pro-choice position crumbles. The victim, normally so prominent when liberals allow people to feel their moral agony, is left hidden.

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Cui Bono?

By on 10.20.05 | 11:22AM

It was the prominently-placed "George Clooney on Keeping America Free" on the masthead of a glossy magazine that arrived in my mailbox recently which drove me to sigh and promptly insert said glossy into the wastebasket. For Keeping America Free is not a subject that I have any interest in hearing from George Clooney about.

But it is refreshing to come across a celebrity who uses his position responsibly and takes the time to study and think about issues that matter. Someone who uses his immense platform not to throw random, knee-jerk barbs and insults at world leaders and institutions or to demand policies that are completely untenable (sometimes outright asinine).

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Joe Wilson, Great American

By on 10.20.05 | 11:07AM

Joe Wilson, that rock-ribbed patriot, declaimed himself yesterday to the San Francisco crowd as uninterested in running for public office. In remarks published by "," Wilson is quoted as saying he was too much a true child of the 1960s to be elected and had "too many wives and taken too many drugs. And, yes, I did inhale." This, from the man chosen by the CIA -- not the White House -- to go to Niger on a secret mission to investigate intelligence on WMD. Were the Plame Name Blame Game not so serious, it would be hilarious. If anyone still working at the CIA was responsible for hiring Wilson for the Niger mission, and in that I'd include le femme Valerie, they should be fired forthwith.

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More on Cohen and Roe

By on 10.20.05 | 10:55AM

Richard Cohen (gasp) has summed up the conservative argument against Wroe better than most conservatives. What the mainstream media and leftist elites have never understood is that conservatives, first and foremost, oppose Wroe on constitutional grounds -- its specious findings of rights that clearly do not exist in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and its trampling of rights and prerogatives reserved to the states that cleary do exist. That many conservatives oppose abortion based on deeply held religious beliefs is a separate matter. If a condescending liberal (excuse the redundancy) like Mr. Cohen has begun to grasp this not so subtle nuance after 30 years, it is cause for hope.

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A Man of American Faith

By on 10.20.05 | 2:08AM

Even if you didn't know Penn Kemble -- I knew him only slightly, but invariably found him solid, quiet, politely friendly, possessing a unique brand of "cool" -- you will doubtless be moved by Bob Tyrrell's tribute today to his longtime friend and handball rival, who died last Saturday. Kemble, you see, remained the best sort of Democrat, in contrast, say, to the likes of Sidney Blumenthal.

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Cohen Overturns Roe

By on 10.20.05 | 1:21AM

What has come over Richard Cohen? Just when Democrats are ready to knee cap Harriet Miers regarding Roe v. Wade he announces Roe is does not deserve constitutional standing and though he says he remains pro-choice it's clear from the context that he regrets very much having been so callously pro-abortion in the past. He even cites Princeton conservative Robert George respectfully. Roe, Cohen concludes, is "a Supreme Court decision whose reasoning has not held up."

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The Saints Go Marching Out

By on 10.20.05 | 1:04AM

Mayor Ray Nagin is in trouble now. The owner of the New Orleans Saints is reportedly working to move his post-Katrina refugee team permanently to San Antonio. Nagin is threatening to do everything to keep it tied to New Orleans. Who will bother to listen?

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Michael Steele to Announce MD Senate Bid Next Week

By on 10.19.05 | 5:26PM

This went out on the Maryland Republican Party mailing list today:


The time has come for Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele to make a special announcement regarding the future of his public service.

Please join your fellow Marylanders for live music and refreshments on Tuesday, October 25th at the Novak Field House at Prince George's Community College at 11:15 AM.

It's no mystery what the announcement will be; it's been assumed for months that Steele would run for Senate.

Back in March I called for Steele (or Gov. Robert Ehrlich) to run. Since then, Ben Cardin and Kweisi Mfume have emerged as the frontrunners on Democratic side, joined by several potential spoilers. In a July poll, Rasmussen showed Steele running behind Cardin but ahead of Mfume.

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Reporting Without Raines

By on 10.19.05 | 5:05PM

Reading Seth Mnookin's book Hard News, I came across this passage about Howell Raines' indulgence of Judith Miller: "Raines had treated Miller -- like Patrick Tyler and Rick Bragg -- like a star. At one point soon after September 11, he personally instructed her to go out and 'win a Pulitzer.' What's more, Raines had effectively chased investigative editor Stephen Engelberg out of the paper; Engelberg, who had co-authored a book on biological warfare with Miller, was known as the one editor who had the knowledge and background to rein Miller in when she became excitedly insistent about whatever latest supposed scoop had been leaked to her."

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