What was Teddy thinking?

A mostly political Weblog.
Jan. 31 2005 6:39 AM

What Was Teddy Thinking?

Explaining the Dems' bizarre behavior.

(Continued from Page 5)

The memorial service for  Marjorie Williams  will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, January 25, at the Washington National Cathedral. 4:02 P.M.

kf Nutrition News: Tremendous unrealized hype-potential (perhaps even justified) in this story. ... But while non-alocholic beer might have cancer-fighting properties, many lobsters may be contaminated with ingredients of plastics. ... 2:53 A.M.

Thursday January 20, 2005

I'm scheduled to be on Warren Olney's "Which Way L.A.?" radio show at 7:00 P.M. Pacific time this evening to attack the L.A. Times for its stuffy and disastrous aversion to gossip. (89.9 on your FM radio dial, or you can hear it online.) They have me paired with Times legend Bill Boyarsky--who thinks the same thing I do. The segment (just taped) wasn't a debate. It was non-stop Times-bashing! The Times, pathetically, refused to send someone to defend itself on one of L.A.'s most substantive and intelligent talk shows. ... [You don't usually hype radio appearances--ed. True. But this one's in the can, and it was one-sided!] ... KCRW listeners are exactly the West Side liberals the Times can't afford to lose. ... P.S.: Boyarsky, who after all worked at the paper for many years, says Times editors had trouble with even a semi-gossip column because it was "flip and irreverent." Wouldn't want that! ... How many more millions will the Tribune organization want to lose by backing editors who aren't eager to publish "irreverent" writing? 4:02 P.M.

Mr. Complexity: Andrew Sullivan has lately taken to presenting himself as a nuanced "political hybrid," a "solvent" of "rigidity" and partisanship. He's dismayed at the "bizarre [notion] gaining traction in the blogosphere ... that there can only be two positions on the Iraq war." Alert reader N.S. points to this March 9, 2003 blog entry  as an example of this nuanced, non-rigid, third-position-friendly hybrid thinker empathetically critiquing the New York Times' editorial opposing the Iraq invasion.

The Times has been campaigning for appeasement of Saddam for over a year. The hawkish pirouettes in between were diversions. What this editorial is really about is the first shot in the coming domestic war - to undermine this military campaign once it begins, to bring down this administration, and to advocate the long-term delegation of American power to an internationalist contraption whose record has been to facilitate inaction and tyranny. The Times, in campaigning against war, has actually fired the opening shot in the coming domestic war. Hostilities have begun.

P.S.: Sullivan now claims:

I have never said I don't agree with Bush's decision to go to war with Saddam. I've merely said the obvious - that we now know that, given Saddam's lack of WMD stockpiles, the urgency, with hindsight, was misplaced. Does that mean I have to apologize to Howard Dean? Sure, if Howard Dean had argued that there were no WMDs and that was why we shouldn't go to war, and I had trashed him for it. To Hans Blix? Sure, if he had said the same thing. But they didn't. And I didn't. Almost no one argued against the war on the basis that the WMD stockpiles didn't exist.

Huh? Sullivan must be remembering a different run-up to the Iraq war than I do. The Times editorial he sneeringly dismissed as "appeasement," for example, argued:

[T]he report of [Hans Blix's U.N.] inspectors on Friday was generally devastating to the American position. They not only argued that progress was being made, they also discounted the idea that Iraq was actively attempting to manufacture nuclear weapons. History shows that inspectors can be misled, and that Mr. Hussein can never be trusted to disarm and stay disarmed on his own accord. But a far larger and more aggressive inspection program, backed by a firm and united Security Council, could keep a permanent lid on Iraq's weapons program.

If you argue as the Times did that a "more aggressive inspection program ... could keep a permanent lid on Iraq's weapons program," doesn't that include the possibility that it could keep a lid on the program because the weapons had not been stockpiled at all? If it turns out there are no weapons, hasn't your argument a fortiori been proven right? What did the Times and Blix have to do to merit a Sullivan apology? Did they have to guess everything correctly--the exact number of canisters in each bunker, maybe? They said Saddam's weapons program wasn't worth going to war over--the "urgency ... was misplaced," as Sullivan delicately puts it. In that they were right, according to Sullivan. A blogger who wanted to be a "solvent of ... rigidity" would swallow his pride and admit as much. ... 3:12 P.M.



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