Now you tell me

In today's New York Times David Brooks argues that Sarah Palin does not have the experience to be Vice President and therefore President.  He joins a growing chorus (he says) of conservative pundits who make this argument.  I can't say of course that I disagree with him or them.  But my interest in punditry here … Continue reading Now you tell me

This American life

Pundits rarely criticize each other by name.  So when they do, it's fun to point it out.  Here's Michael Kinsley on right wing sophistry  punditry re Sarah Palin, John McCain's pick for Vice President: But that's so five minutes ago, before Sarah Palin. Already, conservative pundits have come up with creative explanations for McCain's choice … Continue reading This American life

Sojourner Truth

E.J.Dionne writes in today's Post: The great opportunity this year for less scrupulous Republican strategists is that Obama is both black and a Columbia-and-Harvard-educated former professor who lived in the intellectually rarified precincts of Hyde Park in Chicago, Manhattan's Upper West Side and Cambridge, Mass. They can go after him subtly on race and overtly … Continue reading Sojourner Truth

You’re no Jack Neibuhr

We have a category here for politicians, but we rarely use it.  Unless they're making specific claims about policy or about reality (which they really don't do in speeches), one can't really expect them to be subject to the minimal standards of coherent reasoning.  They're not really reasoning, after all, when they make speeches–they're motivating, … Continue reading You’re no Jack Neibuhr

Shared values

I wonder what the value question is here: Then there are the cultural issues. Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos of ABC News are taking a lot of heat for spending so much time asking about Jeremiah Wright and the “bitter” comments. But the fact is that voters want a president who basically shares their values … Continue reading Shared values

Crystal balls

Like his colleague David Brooks at the New York Times, William Kristol has been pretty much wrong about everything in the past several years (and probably before).  But wrongness, when it happens, just doesn’t happen.  There’s always a reason for it.  So I believe now, at least. I’m not going to explain the wrongness of … Continue reading Crystal balls


If you look at opinion journalism, you'll often find the author complaining of someone's willful dishonesty and/or lack of basic critical thinking skills. This is the "opponent" (yes, I'm looking for a new name) variety of op-ed.  That's the op-ed directed at specific opponents (this also includes specific fantasy opponents).  This specific type of op-ed … Continue reading Opponents


David Brooks, famous dichotomist, meditates on the health care proposal Hillary Clinton.  This is to say that he uses the anecdotes of a political opponent some 15 years ago to describe her as "icy" (three times in 700 some words) and nameless sources to describe her "evil look."  The column is an abomination for other … Continue reading Iceman