January 29, 2006


An Act of Hygiene: Democracy fells yet another anti-American government. (MARK STEYN, January 29, 2006, Opinion Journal)

Remember the conventional wisdom of 2004? Back then, you'll recall, it was the many members of George Bush's "unilateral" coalition who were supposed to be in trouble, not least the three doughty warriors of the Anglosphere--the president, Tony Blair and John Howard--who would all be paying a terrible electoral price for lying their way into war in Iraq. The Democrats' position was that Mr. Bush's rinky-dink nickel-and-dime allies didn't count: The president has "alienated almost everyone," said Jimmy Carter, "and now we have just a handful of little tiny countries supposedly helping us in Iraq." (That would be Britain, Australia, Poland, Japan . . .) Instead of those nobodies, John Kerry pledged that, under his leadership, "America will rejoin the community of nations"--by which he meant Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder, the Belgian guy . . .

Two years on, Messrs. Bush, Blair, Howard and Koizumi are all re-elected, while Mr. Chirac is the lamest of lame ducks, and his ingrate citizenry has tossed out his big legacy, the European Constitution; Mr. Schroeder's government was defeated and he's now shilling for Russia's state-owned Gazprom ("It's all about Gaz!"); and the latest member of the coalition of the unwilling to hit the skids is Canada's Liberal Party, which fell from office on Monday. John Kerry may have wanted to "rejoin the community of nations." Instead, "the community of nations" has joined John Kerry, windsurfing off Nantucket in electric-yellow buttock-hugging Lycra, or whatever he's doing these days.

It would be a stretch to argue that Mr. Chirac, Mr. Schroeder and now Paul Martin in Ottawa ran into trouble because of their anti-Americanism. Au contraire, cheap demonization of the Great Satan is almost as popular in the streets of Toronto as in the streets of Islamabad. But these days anti-Americanism is the first refuge of the scoundrel, and it's usually a reliable indicator that you're not up to the challenges of the modern world or of your own country.

Which holds true for our own anti-American Left as well.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 29, 2006 4:54 PM

Who? Who does the Left have that can write on politics that trenchantly and humorously? Gary Trudeau? Please.(Trudeau once made fun of John Kerry's ego--now Kerry makes fun of his. We now know what a comic strip would look like if only alZaquari had been able to "Draw This Pirate!")

And speaking of failed Canadian prime ministers, Steyn was probably good for a few points in the recent election.

Posted by: Noel at January 29, 2006 6:30 PM

Remember the conventional wisdom of 2004? Back then, you'll recall, it was the many members of George Bush's "unilateral" coalition who were supposed to be in trouble

Has there ever been a verified instance of conventional wisdom being right about anything? As in: We have a substantiated example in which all the elites and pundits predicted Result A, and Result A actually occurred?

Or is it like that psychic who had a tape made in which she "predicted" the assassination attempt on Reagan after he'd already been shot?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at January 29, 2006 7:55 PM

...anti-Americanism is the first refuge of the scoundrel.

Alas, all too true. (The globalization of fools?)

And there are a lot of scoundrels out there, it would seem---though to be charitable, many of them are merely well-meaning dupes---for which the media, and others of influence who ought to know a whole lot better, have a lot to answer.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at January 30, 2006 2:58 AM

Should be "anti-globalization of fools".

Posted by: Barry Meislin at January 30, 2006 7:42 AM