April 27, 2003

IF IT WAS A PRIZE FIGHT, THEY'D STOP IT

He's Out With the In Crowd (MAUREEN DOWD, April 27, 2003, NY Times)
Washington has a history of nasty rivalries, with competing camps. There were Aaron Burr people and Alexander Hamilton people; Lincoln people and McClellan people; Bobby people and Lyndon people.

Now, since Newt Gingrich aimed the MOAB of screeds at an already circumscribed Mr. Powell, the capital has been convulsed by the face-off between Defense and State.

There are Rummy people: Mr. Cheney, Mr. Wolfowitz, Mr. Feith, Bill Kristol, William Safire, Ariel Sharon, Fox News, National Review, The Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal editorial board, the fedayeen of the Defense Policy Board - Richard Perle, James Woolsey, Mr. Gingrich, Ken Adelman - and the fifth column at State, John Bolton and Liz Cheney.

And there are Powell people: Brent Scowcroft, James Baker, Bush 41, Ken Duberstein, Richard Armitage, Richard Haass, the Foreign Service, Joe Biden, Bob Woodward, the wet media elite, the planet.

Setting aside for the moment the hawkishness of Mr. Powell and Mr. Armitage themselves, one needn't be a hawk to recognize that these sides are awfully unevenly matched in intellectual terms. It is, in effect, a battle of the bright (with the exception of Mr. Gingrich) vs. the bureaucrats. That's not necessarily a good thing for the Right or for the nation--intellectuals are a dangerous bunch, regardless of their political orientation--but it is conspicuous. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 27, 2003 8:00 AM
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