Make Believe and Reality

Last summer, as Barack Obama directed the subtle intimidation of fawning European crowds (millions of charisma-intoxicated Germans can’t be wrong!) at those Americans still retaining the quaint notion presidential elections are domestic affairs not subject to global opinion, at least one of his acolytes in the media here in the formal remnant of the UnitedContinue reading “Make Believe and Reality”

Deconstructing Barry

(And the Myth of White Racism)She had seen May Day parades when people were still enthusiastic or did their best to feign enthusiasm…As a group approached the reviewing stand, even the most blasé faces would beam with dazzling smiles, as if trying to prove they were properly joyful, or, more precisely, in proper agreement.(…)Kitsch causesContinue reading “Deconstructing Barry”

John McCain’s Base Base

Perhaps you‘ve seen it, the near-precise moment when John McCain lost control of his campaign. The scene is a now familiar one, the bogus “town-hall meeting.” He’s passing the microphone around like a decrepit Donahue, standing before a woman who starts by saying she “can’t trust” Obama; McCain is nodding along, intimately engaged for theContinue reading “John McCain’s Base Base”

Hope and Hype

(minor clarification: “the Mortician” is David Axelrod, for his dour visage, not Ms. Obama) Ah, it had nothing to do with Kennedy. Still, all that vigor disappeared once he found out he couldn’t get anything done.–Mad Men Events, dear boy, events.–Harold MacMillan To emerge sane from the recent party conventions and the endurance test ofContinue reading “Hope and Hype”

And the Uncle Tim Goes to…

I used to be disgustednow I try to be amused–Elvis Costello, The Angels Want to Wear My Red Shoes In Slate’s unfortunately named “Big Idea” column, Jacob Weisberg, waving about the latest NY Times/CBS poll (PDF) like Joe McCarthy brandishing his list of names, campaigns for title of this season’s most conspicuously contrite white (aContinue reading “And the Uncle Tim Goes to…”

Keeping Hope Alive

“You know, sometimes we’re not prepared for adversity.”–The Reverend Jesse Jackson Could this be the “decrepitude and what promises to be an entertaining public dementia” I so carelessly wrote about last year? It’s always easier to imagine despised public figures suffering personal indignities than to witness it. There’s no pleasure to be drawn from theContinue reading “Keeping Hope Alive”

The Ecstasy and the Apostasy

I’m just retrograde enough to think that voting for Barack Obama because of the gesture it constitutes, whether to Black America’s or the world’s historical resentment, is an absurd way to go about selecting a president (and the source of a nifty political gimmick for a campaign already low on substance). But one can’t denyContinue reading “The Ecstasy and the Apostasy”

Demagogy, of the Very Best Sort

When I take up a person, Mr. Lyndon, he, or she, is safe. There is no question about them anymore. My friends are the best people. I don’t mean they’re the most virtuous, or, indeed, the least virtuous, or the cleverest, or the stupidest, richest or best born. But, the best. In a word, peopleContinue reading “Demagogy, of the Very Best Sort”

Shooting the Blue State Bar Bull

“No, I didn’t see the speech. What did he say?” “It was exhilarating. I’m still tingling.” “What did he say?” “He was in rare form. Dignity. Poise. Handsome.”“Nonsense. He looks like Stan Laurel’s mulatto love child. What did he say?”“His inflection, his tempo. Just perfect.”“What did he say?” “His is a rare eloquence. He struckContinue reading “Shooting the Blue State Bar Bull”

Throw Granny Under the Bus, Hug the Store-Front Preacher, Affect Magnanimity

One of the early responders to the Obama speech praised it by saying that the senator appeals to the “winners and losers” of the American experience. This is a common case of a mainstream figure tripping over the fatal flaw in the American Left’s narrative, hitting his head and taking the ensuing flash of whiteContinue reading “Throw Granny Under the Bus, Hug the Store-Front Preacher, Affect Magnanimity”