It’s been a long-time coming, but the Washington Post and New York Times have finally broken their silence and endorsed “Barack Obama for President.” That was the headline of the Post’s October 17 editorial, which the Times proudly plagiarized in its offering of October 24, which also happened to be United Nations Day, if any of you forgot. It is celebrated in New York City not so much as a holiday as an opportunity for padding the old expense account and redoubling one’s efforts at double parking along the fast lanes of Turtle Bay.
In keeping with its more mature voice — indeed, it expressed some regret at not endorsing John McCain, who was a good guy before he became a bad guy — the Post said not a word about the UN. Not so the shrill voices at the Times, who praised Obama as someone who “wants to reform the United Nations.” In your face, Kofi Annan. Not for the Times McCain’s wish “to create a new entity, the League of Democracies.” Did you know such a move “would incite even fiercer anti-American furies around the world”? These are the same people who also wrote, “Mr. McCain’s willingness to joke about bombing Iran was frightening.” Boo! Happy Halloween.
Nonetheless, was McCain’s behavior more frightening than what the Times called his “irresponsible” and “opportunistic” selection of a “running mate so evidently unfit for the office”? Or was it superseded by the express judgment of the New Republic‘s ageless enfant terrible, M. Léon Wieseltier, who in a thoughtful examination of his own voting patterns launched into this: “And when he picked Sarah Palin, [McCain] told the United States of America to go f–k itself.” Chris Buckley and David Brooks would have put it more elegantly.
Can’t be too sure about Mr. Kathleen Parker, though. He’s the husband of the wife who now has discovered that McCain chose Palin because he found her irresistibly attractive. Unable to get anyone in the McCain camp to confirm that that was the case, Mrs. Parker had to rely on her husband’s insights, along with those, solicited over wine, of an unnamed 75-year-old gentleman, whose experience in such matters is apparently not to be confused with her husband’s. But it does put into perspective the cavalier behavior of one Sen. Ted Stevens — that would be, of Alassska, as we like to hear it pronounced. What fool reason would an aging fellow have to corrupt himself beyond his means unless there were a lovely young political player in his midst whom he desperately hoped to impress?
Old boys come in various shapes and sizes, sometimes in the same person. Alan Greenspan is spoken for, and it’s safe to assume that in his marriage he accepts the stern regulatory powers of his missus. Yet as he confessed before congressional inquisitors, that did not prevent him from straying with his long-time free market companion. He now regrets not displaying greater interest in Ms. Free Market’s uglier features, which have left him, a long-time booster of entrepreneurial relations, distraught and practically a socialist. Which is not a codeword for communist, no matter what they might be telling you in pro-America country.
Barack Obama has returned from the Hawaiian SSR, the lava land of his birth. Though peeved not to be running unopposed, he remains confident about his chances in next week’s formalities, having had his political bona fides reinforced by the emergence of a taped interview from 2001 with a Pacifica Radio-sounding Chicago PBS station. Whoever is listening to the tape isn’t hearing it, which we can take as final confirmation of what the Washington Post in its endorsement hailed as Obama’s “evident skill at conciliation and consensus-building.”
Early Voting has already left its mark. We now look forward to Early Inauguration, if not on Thanksgiving or Christmas then certainly on New Year’s Eve. And the only sounds we’ll hear will be the clinking of champagne glasses, thanks to the pioneering work of the latest neocon-turned-Obama-con, the Hon. Kenneth Adelman. So he celebrated victory in Iraq prematurely back in 2003? This time he’s making sure the cakewalk he’s on includes lots of EOW icing.