The Spectacle Blog
Jed -- That was exactly my point in writing the column. You, of course, said it much more pithily. Well done!
Quin and CJ: I agree. Things look pretty bleak, and are likely to only get worse as the year goes on. Especially when you consider the accelerating
Quin's thoughtful piece on the homepage this morning really resonated with me and I hope our readers will take a moment to read it.
I too have been deeply demoralized by recent developments both at home and abroad. I joked to a friend the other evening, "Eh, the way things are going, I'll give civilization another 20 years at best. Perhaps it's time to stop caring and just start partying….."
I felt awful about that joke. What would my idol, Ronald Reagan, think of a conservative saying something like that, even in jest?
On the surface things are grim indeed and seem to be getting grimmer. But as Quin so ably reminds us, beneath that surface lie many small (and not so small) successes both foreign and domestic which, taken together, add up to enormous potential. We have an opportunity -- well, actually, a mandate -- to profoundly change the World (to paraphrase Newt) and now is not the time to go wobbly, (to paraphrase Mrs. Thatcher).
If you missed Brit Hume's broadcast last night, you missed the otherwise unreported story about the EUnuchs' latest descent into dhimmitude in the form of restricting free speech. Here's the money quote from "The Political Grapevine":
The European Union says it will no longer use the phrase "Islamic Terrorism" to describe attacks carried out by Muslims. Instead, EU press releases will use the phrase "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam."
The words "Islamist," "Fundamentalist," and "Jihad" will also be banned, as part of a new "lexicon" that seeks to avoid offending Muslims.
The EU's counter-terrorism chief says the government is taking great pains to use language that "makes clear that we are talking about a murderous fringe that is abusing a religion and does not accept it."
The EUnuchs are also considering a "non-binding" code of conduct for the press to prevent future incidents such as the Danish cartoons of Mohammed.
Wlady: Applebaum's description of how confident and controlled Rice is around "ordinary mortals" brought to mind the nervous and off-balance Rice at the 9/11 hearings in 2004, where she more than once seemed flustered, even intimidated. For me that was the moment in time when the Rice image of imperviousness came crashing down for good, and I've never been able to put it back together again. Reading this month's Spectator isn't going to help, either, not after coming across Angelo Codevilla's view of Rice: "A daughter figure, a pleasing mediatrix, intellectually insecure, whose career consisted of Bush family favors." If the shoe fits ...
Anne Applebaum, the Pulitzer Prize winning author who is currently a Washington Post columnist and editorial board member, recently penned a profile of Condoleezza Rice for the Spectator of London's April 1 issue. It includes this delicious anecdote, which you probably would have never read in the Post itself:
To my earlier post on the situation in France, a reader ID'd as "GMS" came up with a comment so good it bears repeating here: "The French have reached a state perfection of sorts. They have surrendered to themselves." Now THAT'S funny, and insightful. And it gives me the chance to urge more readers to use our "submit a comment" option, which is in red at the bottom of each blog entry, and to check out the "view comments" option, also in red at the bottom of each blog entry box -- because we can get some good give-and-take going in that manner! Meanwhile, thanks to GMS for making my day.