To hear the right wing tell it, Bill Clinton has been downstairs in his laboratory, piecing together his Frankenstein candidate, Wesley Clark. The erstwhile general has now arisen from the lab table, ready to obey Dr. Clinton's every command and utterly unaware of the mad doctor's ultimate scheme to use him as a stalking horse to somehow cripple the Democratic field and get wife Hillary into the race.
Two years ago today, I was sitting at my computer and listening to the radio, much as I'm doing right now, when I heard the news. In short order I rushed over to a little park in my Brooklyn neighborhood that had a perfect view of the harbor and lower Manhattan. It's across the street from a hospital, and about 100 of us -- nurses, residents, orderlies, deliverymen and neighbors -- watched, mostly in complete silence. From there I witnessed the collapse of the first tower. It was obvious then that the second one would fall, too, but it was too much violence; I didn't want to see it. By the time I'd walked home (maybe 8 minutes), my arms were covered in ash, pushed my way by the prevailing winds.
Question: What is the highest rhetorical honor that can be paid to a political and intellectual critic today? The answer seems clearly to be that so-and-so is "the Orwell of his generation." One sees this apposition applied to this writer or that on occasion; it is always reverentially and somberly placed, and invoked in such a way as to assume that everyone reading -- everyone -- agrees instantly that George Orwell is God.
Yesterday, Aug. 26, was a day that should live in political infamy for this administration. On that date a U.S. soldier was killed in a roadside bombing, becoming the 139th GI death since May 1. More soldiers have now been killed since the "end" of the war than during it. And, by the way, this soldier's death was the 71st since our fearless leader taunted the Iraqis with his now-famous phrase, "Bring 'em on."
I could make this into another column about this administration's mendacity; Lord knows there's fodder aplenty. But that point has been made. People are used to hearing liberals talk about how evil the administration is, and those who agree already agree while those who don't probably won't be persuaded.