Adam Gopnik'sÂ New Yorker pieceÂ on C.S. Lewis will be the first of many attempts this winterÂ to put the Christian apologist in his place now that his work, in the form of a Narnia movie,Â enjoys a new round of popularity. Gopnik's condescensionÂ is only exceeded by his ignorance.Â Gopnik tells usÂ whatÂ is and what is not valuable in Lewis's work: his Christian work, bad and inept; his imaginative work, as long as itÂ was freed up from his Christian prejudices, good. GopnikÂ in know-it-all mode even sketches out what he considersÂ a betterÂ animal than a lionÂ to use for aÂ Christian allegory -- a donkey.Â Gopnik reveals his cluelessness early on when he attributes significance toÂ a criticism of Lewis as a Christian apologistÂ by a "formerÂ Archbishop of Canterbury, no less." The "no less" added at the end suggests that Gopnik isn't aware that Canterbury archbishops are about as interested in the actual meaning of Christianity as he is.
The Spectacle Blog
Google News cached a New York Times article a couple hours ago with this headline: "Democratic Effort to Set Iraq Timetable Is Easily Defeated"
Click on the story now, and it's changed into "Senate Votes to Demand Regular Iraq Updates From White House."
That must have really spooked them at 229 W. 43rd -- for a minute there, it looked like they were going to have to report good news for Bush. The horror!
It isn't unreasonable to have Congress call for some accounting from the White House on the status of Iraq, given the 150,000 troops currently deployed on a police mission there. It doesn't have to be a net negative for Bush to come to the Senate to present his side of the story; as the events this past week have shown, the President can use that kind of platform to correct many distortions of his record and the state of the effort in Iraq. Given the frustration many in the GOP feel with the White House in communicating all the good that our intervention has created, it sounds like a very good idea indeed, one that might be cast as a long-overdue bullhorn.
Or at least the John Kerry faction is. His latest email begins:
You can feel the ice breaking. For far too long, Republican leaders have refused to challenge the aimless Bush "stay as long as it takes" approach to Iraq. But now, their unwillingness to act has started to crumble.
Today in the Senate, facing a Democratic resolution on Iraq, the Republicans offered their own call for President Bush to come up with a plan. They didn't go nearly far enough, but clearly our call for a concrete plan is gaining momentum.
It's time for the next step. Help our "20,000 troops home over the holidays" campaign place billboards in the home districts of Republican leaders.
Nothing like the prospect of failure to energize Democrats.
I'll be on with Bill O'Reilly tonight, talking about the Senate antiwar mess today. How much damage to a war effort can 100 Senators do in one day? Unfortunately, a whole bunch.
And a good one at that ...
Trent Lott should have a lot to talk about with his friends in the MSM after today's Senate Republican Policy Lunch. According to sources close to Senate leadership, Senator Frist is expected to unleash a huge broadside against Democrats, and present a blue print for his colleagues to push back hard against the Dems pathetic, "I voted for war, but really wanted to vote against it with 20/20 hindsight" arguments. The following memo and a 10 page set of quotes from Democrats going back to 1998 reads like a "greatest hits" of Democrats presenting a very hawkish take on Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Good to see them pushing back hard. Read the whole document here.
TO: Senate Republicans
FR: Majority Leader Bill Frist
DT: November 15, 2005
RE: Iraq Rhetoric: Weapons of Mass Distortion
Will someone please tell the 9-11 Commission members that we are all sick and tired of their desperate attempts to stay relevant? They have become a national embarrassment.
First, they whitewashed Jamie Gorelick's role as Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno in building and institutionalizing "the wall" between law enforcement and the intelligence community. Her blatant conflict of interest makes suspect all of the commission's findings and its entire work product. And anyone slightly to the political right of Ralph Neas or Barney Frank who watched the proceedings couldn't come away with any other conclusion than that the Democrat attack dogs, Gorelick, Roemer, and Ben Veniste, were only interested in assigning blame for 9-11 to George Bush while giving Bill Clinton a pass for his 8 years of inaction.
Now, reborn as the "9/11 Public Disclosure Project," they are sticking their uninformed noses into the Iraq War and the detention of terrorists.
Senate Republicans -- led by Bill Frist and John Warner -- are putting a package of antiwar legislation up for votes today that stops short of imposing a withdrawal schedule from Iraq, but will otherwise gladden the hearts of the Cindy Sheehans of the world.
The legislation scheduled for floor vote today imposes requirements on the administration to lay out its strategy to end the Iraq war, gives terrorist detainees the right to appeal military tribunal decisions to federal civilian courts and pressures the administration to impose the kind of "do this or else" requirements with the Iraqis that L. Paul Bremer brought into disrepute
The NYT report today shows how well the effort is orchestrated to dress this legislative cow pie up to look like a chocolate sundae.