Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Shape of the Race to Come

New York Times:
"And an experienced Democratic operative e-mailed: “Finally, I think [McCain’s] going to win. Obama isn’t growing in stature. Once I thought he could be Jimmy Carter, but now he reminds me more of Michael Dukakis with the flag lapel thing and defending Wright. Plus he doesn’t have a clue how to talk to the middle class. He’s in the Stevenson reform mold out of Illinois, with a dash of Harvard disease thrown in.”

In a close race, that “dash of Harvard disease” could be the difference."

This from William Kristol, a Harvard Ph.D., in a NYT op-ed.

I consider Kristol's column utterly worthless, and the decision to hire him a low point in the history of The Times. I've written several letters to The Times making this point in relation to particular Kristol columns. Unlike William Safire, Kristol's writing is pedestrian at best, he does no real reporting (this column is a joke), and seems utterly incapable of fresh thinking or insight on any issue. I have yet to discover a single redeeming feature. (Safire, the object of a Kissingerian wiretap during his time in the Nixon White House, had the good grace to care about personal privacy of others in subsequent years).

There are, of course, numbers of conservative thinkers and writers doing interesting, well-written, and usefully provocative stuff, who would deserve a place on the rather valuable real estate on the NYT op-ed page and provide a real service to its readership. It is said that the selection of Kristol is due to The Times' publisher, who has been on a rather extended losing streak of late. The publisher can't be fired, but maybe it is time for a nice extended vacation.

And speaking of "Harvard disease", if Obama has "a dash", Kristol is a source of mortal contagion. What a pompous windbag.

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