November 11, 2003


BOOKNOTES: with David Brooks (C-SPAN, July 30, 2000)

LAMB: And how about your colleagues at The Weekly Standard? [...]

LAMB: Bill Kristol is the editor...

Mr. BROOKS: He's the editor. Fred Barnes.

LAMB: ...and Fred Barnes and--and...

Mr. BROOKS: Andrew Ferguson.

LAMB: Now do they all--do you all think alike on this conservatism thing?

Mr. BROOKS: No, we think violently differently. In fact, that's one of the hallmarks of the conservative movement, is that people who used to think alike now disagree on everything and that--that's a function of the end of the Cold War and the end of liberalism, really, because liberalism--conservatism is in disarray, but liberalism is really in disarray. So we've lost our two common enemies.

LAMB: When could you get a good fight going among the four of you sitting down just talking about any issue?

Mr. BROOKS: Well, during John McCain, that was good enough because Bill Kristol and I thought John McCain was the better candidate for a number of reasons. Fred Barnes did not. He--he thought George W. Bush was a better candidate--on intellectual grounds, not just who would win in November--and Andy Ferguson's ideas were, as usual, very subtle and secretly forceful.

LAMB: Secretly forceful.

Mr. BROOKS: Yeah, Andy's not someone who comes out as much as some
of the rest of us and just baldly declares something. His--his writing--he's a much better writer than I am, a more supple writer, and his writing leads you in different feints and the power of the
writing is sometimes not clear until you read it carefully.

Mr. Ferguson, quite the best political columnist going, offers a pluperfect example of his style in this week's column, Spotlight on Dean Reveals His First Blemishes (Andrew Ferguson, 11/10/03, Bloomberg News). It's only with the final sentence that he slips in the chiv.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 11, 2003 5:08 PM

As clumsy, and then cowardly as Dean's week turned out to be, had he said these things in April instead of now, how would the Republicans attacked him? Ferguson's last sentence is a scalpel, but only because the thralldom of the other Democrats exposed Dean and forced him to shrivel up.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 12, 2003 4:54 AM

"It's only with the final sentence that he slips in the chiv."

A nit to pick - I think that the slang for a switchblade is spelled "shiv."

Posted by: Henry IX at November 12, 2003 10:04 AM

No entry found for chiv.

2 entries found for shiv.

shiv n. Slang

A knife, razor, or other sharp or pointed implement, especially one used as a weapon.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 13, 2003 8:07 PM