As of this writing, the population of the U.S., according to numbers accepted by most everyone except Al Franken and his crack team, is 305,518,893. To think that one of that number might grow up to win our annual prize. And like the U.S. at its best and most porous, we welcome outsiders too, or outliers in the current parlance (not to be confused with out and out liars -- but enough of this Clinton bashing. There won't be any more need to revive that impulse, right Messrs. Emanuel and Axelrod?).
One fern'er crossed our reading path just the other moment. She is the Britty rock diva, Lily Allen, of whom it is written in the London Speccie, "There are many Spectator readers who will sympathise with the sentiment if not the title of her song 'F*** You,' about George W. Bush ('We hate what you do, and we hate your whole crew, so please don't stay in touch')." So whom will the haters finger once he's gone? Once a hater, always a lefty. And vice-versa, backwards and forwards, over and out.
It's a special breed of annual enemy who insists on telling us whom we should regard as the enemy. How the last eight years must have flown by for them as they were having so much fun. A few successor possibilities have emerged: Rick Warren, the Mormon Church, Rupert Murdoch, Sarah Palin in her new role as grandmother, Caroline Kennedy... Oops, what's she doing there? You know how it is, you know -- with so few right-of-center targets left, the left is left having to devour its own. Survival of the unfittest, you know.
What a disappointment: Lady Caroline had everything going for her, niceness, politeness, pleasantness, one might even say wholesomeness. Despite the tragic loss of her parents and brother, she kept her head up and never played the victim. She remains married to her only husband, their children having been raised without any hint of scandal. Single-handedly she deprived Hillary Clinton of the U.S. presidency. Even more conservatively, she decided to join the U.S. Senate in the time-honored, pre-17th Amendment manner. So naturally left and right have coalesced to denounce her as elitist, dynastic, and unmeritocratic. Leading the way was that big bozo Leon Wieseltier, a coalition in his own mind, who even as he slapped at Mrs. Schlossberg made sure his readers knew that he too had attended Harvard. And that was before Mrs. Schlossberg consented to sit down to an interview with two all-male hyenas from the New York Times. The rest is herstory. The um-you-knowing notwithstanding, though, it contained one rhetorical gem, as when she expanded the target audience of the Special Olympics founded by her aunt Eunice Shriver to include those diagnosed as "intellectually disabled." All the money Mrs. Schlossberg has raised for Joel Klein and New York City's schools won't begin to remedy that malady, though it might cover the speech therapy that next time around will allow Mrs. Schlossberg to resound like Daniel Webster.
Which leaves us with three incorrigibles. None requires speech therapy. Hot Rod Blagojevich would beg to differ, though his problem could easily be handled if someone were to wash his mouth out with soap and water. You might recall former Senator John Edwards. We'd rather not go there, for that would have us hiding in a Beverly Hills hotel basement, quaking in fear that a tabloid reporter and photographer might discover our illicit whereabouts. Democratic profiles in courage aren't what they used to be, that's for sure. And even with Slate editor Jacob Weisberg acting the part of William Gladstone, Ms. Ashley Dupre's recent client is not likely to return to the righteous path. That's because the lout thinks he was acting morally all along when he destroyed the careers of some of Wall Street's finest. And now Slate has given him a column in which he takes "nuanced" positions on the financial crisis he helped set in motion. Clearly he's learned nothing from his mistakes. When asked by an ABC reporter how he liked life as a columnist, he replied, "It sucks." With a tin ear like that, how can Eliot Spitzer not be runaway Enemy of the Year?