Dan Flikkema: ‘Where do you get the idea we ‘all want to like George W. Bush’? I don’t. I flat out hate the guy. We live in the 21st century Soviet Union or the book 1984. Everything that emanates from this administration starting at day one with the fabrication about Clinton’s people destroying the West Wing (gluing down the W keys? remember that?) to whatever lie they told today is simply untrue. They lie about everything. No matter how cynical you get it is impossible to keep up. I don’t ‘want to like this guy’ – I want to get rid of this guy!’
Geoff Wisner: ‘I’ve noticed that when you criticize Republican policies you typically bend over backwards to be fair-minded and see the other guy’s point of view. Your column today is blunter than usual, and I expect you will get some flak for it. I’d like to say that I think you’re right, and are saying what needs to be said. I can’t think of a single important decision George W. Bush has made since he took office that I can agree with: on the economy, on the environment, on civil rights, on foreign policy. Even Richard Nixon opened up relations with China and passed some environmental legislation. When I find myself wishing we had Dick Nixon to kick around again, something is wrong.’
☞ I’m afraid we need to be blunt. Not mean or nasty – and we need to find a lot more humor to make our point than I’ve mustered lately – but we owe it to the 44-kids-in-a-classroom and the veterans-losing-their-health-care-benefits and the seniors-who-still-can’t-afford-their-medication to be blunt. We owe it to the kids of hard-working low-income parents who have no health insurance to be blunt. We owe it to those who feel they have a right to privacy to be blunt. We owe it to those who cherish fundamental fairness and the separation of church and state to be blunt. We owe it to a world that sees us as arrogant and bullying to be blunt. (But you see? There I go getting preachy again. We need to find a way to make this funny.)
I’ve always known Noam’s name and always assume that anyone from M.I.T. is smarter than I am. But there are different kinds of smart, and judging from the e-mails several of you sent, I might not have been terribly smart in linking to Chomsky.
Douglas Symes: ‘Chomsky was just as vitriolic against US intervention in Kosovo and Bosnia. Don’t take my word for it. Read how Brad DeLong (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy in the Clinton Administration) describes Chomsky.’
And speaking of M.I.T. – which I did not attend but which I have, on more than one occasion, driven by – I have arrived at my 35th college reunion. How is this possible? Leaving that aside, the best thing I’ve heard here so far is this simple reflection:
Do you know how to make God laugh?
Tell Him your plans.