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Monday, July 28, 2008



Seemingly out of arguments in favor of his candidate of choice, Bill Kristol chose instead to mope about Obama in this morning's NYT op-ed.

And to boot, it's titled, "Be Afraid. Please."

(At least the Right finally came out and said it!)

Prize snippets:
It was just another journalist fawning over Obama. That was a disappointment. But disappointment was quickly replaced by the healthier emotion of annoyance.

“Nicht so schnell, Herr Spörl,” I thought, drawing on what Obama would consider my embarrassingly limited German. Not so fast.

Don’t the American people get a chance to weigh in on this in November? Maybe they’ll decide it’s more important to have John McCain as commander in chief than Barack Obama as orator in chief. Maybe they’ll further suspect that 200,000 Germans can’t be right.

I was cheered up by this notion.

Kristol oscillates between self-satisfaction and this election's version of the Red Panic throughout the piece. He seems to think that depicting himself as a political manic depressive is somehow endearing. So much so, that he wonders how he can sway us into joining him in his private hell.
Got hope? Are my own neighbors’ lives so bleak that they place their hopes in Barack Obama? Are they impressed by the cleverness of a political slogan that plays off a rather cheesy (sorry!) campaign to get people to drink milk?

Just because your portfolio's doing well doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of people out here who are strug-gle-ling. But I guess I can't expect a guy like Kristol to understand that. Heaven forbid the Republicans understand anything remotely related to American fiscal plight, whether urban or rural.
And what is it the bumper-sticker affixers are trying to say? Do they really believe their fellow citizens who happen to prefer McCain are hopeless? After all, just because you haven’t swooned like Herr Spörl doesn’t mean you don’t hope for a better world. Don’t McCain backers also have hope — for an America that wins its wars, protects its unborn children and allows its citizens to keep more of their hard-earned income?

Think of the last seven-plus years. Then re-read that last sentence. Try not to chuckle.

As for the "got hope?" sticker, it could just be a clever play on words, Bill. Chill thyself.
Later that day, I read a report of a fund-raising letter from Obama on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, arguing that “We must have a deadlock-proof Democratic majority.”

Yikes.

But then it occurred to me that one man’s “deadlock-proof” Democratic majority is another’s unchecked Democratic majority. Given the unpopularity of the current Democratic Congress, given Americans’ tendency to prefer divided government, given the voters’ repudiations of the Republicans in 2006 and of the Democrats in 1994 — isn’t the prospect of across-the-board, one-party Democratic governance more likely to move votes to McCain than to Obama?

So I cheered up once again. For it will become increasingly obvious, as we approach November, that the Democrats will continue to control Congress for the next couple of years. But if the voters elect Obama as president, they’ll be putting Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in untrammeled control of our future.

Which is a hell of a lot better than what we have now. I'm a strong liberal, but unlike Kristol, at least I recognize the potential for others to have different opinions.
And so I drifted off into a pleasant daydream. It’s election night, and a victorious John McCain is waving around the Spiegel article, “No. 44 Has Spoken” — just as Harry Truman, 60 years ago, triumphantly held aloft the early edition of the Nov. 3, 1948, Chicago Tribune, with its banner headline, “Dewey Defeats Truman.”

Right. Because they're precisely the same thing.

The New York Times is embarrassing itself by continuing to publish Kristol's columns.

  • A LETTER TO THE EDITOR.

  • M.J. Rosenberg at TPM has a hell of a response:
    No, Neocon Man, our lives are not bleak at all. We have nice houses and nice cars. But, you see, the essence of patriotism is caring about people other than one's self. Not everybody lives in our suburbs, with our fine schools, libraries, and sheer wealth. Millions and millions of Americans are hurting -- not to mention the millions hurting here and in Iraq from the war you and your pals inflicted on this country. Democrats care about those people. In fact, caring about them is what makes us Democrats.

    What makes you a neocon is that you only care about you and yours. And that is why you can't understand why Obama gives us hope. It's not only for ourselves. It's for our country, a concept utterly alien to the likes of you.

    It's not your neighbors' lives that are bleak. It's yours. What can it be like to live a life of such utter selfishness?

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