Lucian Truscott posits that generals live up to, or down to, their wars.
Fastidiousness is never a good sign in a general officer. Though strutting military peacocks go back to Alexander’s time... Gen. David H. Petraeus has set the bar high. Never has so much beribboned finery decorated a general’s uniform since Al Haig passed through the sally ports of West Point on his way to the White House.Frank Bruni wonders if cyberspace makes it too easy for those with big heads to show off their, er, little heads.
The genius of General Petraeus was to recognize early on that the war he had been sent to fight in Iraq wasn’t a real war at all. This is what the public and the news media — lamenting the fall of the brilliant hero undone by a tawdry affair — have failed to see. He wasn’t the military magician portrayed in the press; he was a self-constructed hologram, emitting an aura of preening heroism for the ever eager cameras.
Like Tiger Woods and so many others before and after him, [Anthony] Weiner met up with what may go down as the greatest contradiction of contemporary life: how safe we feel at our touch pads and keyboards; how exposed and imperiled we really are.Bruni repeats some of the old bromides about how much more thought people put into their missives when it meant stroking Ye Olde goose quill across a freshly-scraped goat hide, but he also scores a few hits.
That’s the contradiction that David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell are now coming to terms with, and the oxymoron brought to mind by the imprudent escapades of these two — along with the Tampa socialite with diplomatic "inviolability," the other general with too much time for e-mail and the F.B.I. agent who made a mannequin sandwich of himself — isn’t "military intelligence." It’s "electronic privacy."
Be honest: when’s the last time you tossed off a snide aside about a colleague or a secret about a friend in an e-mail whose retrieval would cause you not just embarrassment but actual trouble? A week ago? An hour ago?Um, do tweets count?
Ross Douthat admits that Democrats won, that he doesn't like it, and that the Republicans are in trouble. Then spends a column saying that Democrats better learn to be more like Republicans.
Maureen Dowd is about two Sundays away from getting the George Will "I'm not ever going to bother to read this crap any more" treatment. Even when she has a kernel of something worth talking about, she insists on dressing it up in terms that wouldn't make a second rate episode of Gossip Girl. Quite possibly the laziest writing on a major editorial page.
Karen Cox looks at the pitfalls of being a southern liberal–it's not much fun when even your friends are firing at you–and says the maps obscure the reality of the divide between left and right.
Many people have labeled my home state of North Carolina a red state, but it’s much more complicated than that. In the very rural mountain county of Avery, for example, Mr. Romney won with a whopping 74.5 percent of the vote, yet in Mecklenburg County, which includes Charlotte, he lost to Mr. Obama by nearly 23 percentage points. ...Cox insists that even if the south now looks as solid for the Republicans as it once did for pre-Civil Rights Democrats, there are movements behind the scenes. However, just counting on demographic trends to do the trick won't be enough. Democrats need to follow Howard Dean's strategy and continue to build organization in all 50 states.
Similarly, in Fulton County, Georgia, whose county seat is Atlanta, Mr. Obama bested Mr. Romney with about 64 percent of the vote but lost in the state’s mostly rural counties. If Charlotte or Atlanta were the size of New York City, then perhaps we wouldn’t tag either North Carolina or Georgia as red states.
Yes, Southern voters (especially white ones) cast their lot with Mr. Romney. So, too, did voters in a large section of Western states. What do they have in common? They are states with largely rural populations that tend to be less diverse racially and ethnically, and they tend to vote more for conservative Republicans — the same trend found in the rural counties of the bluest of states.
To my chagrin, liberals living outside the South deny our existence, lump us all together by using rhetoric about the Confederacy and heap pity on us with a little condescension thrown in for good measure. They also seem to be unaware of nuance.David Ignatius provides the answer to the question "who is still in the Petraeus camp?"
The fact is, liberals everywhere live among people who don’t share their views. Are you listening Wisconsin, Arizona, Indiana and, yes, New York?
In the aftermath of the McCarthy investigations in the 1950s, when Americans wondered how responsible officials could have allowed such a reckless “witch hunt” that ruined reputations on the flimsiest evidence, Arthur Miller wrote a play called “The Crucible” about the Salem witch trials of 1692. The genius of the play was that it explained how sensible early Americans could have been swept up in a process of public shaming and destruction of character.So resigning for having an affair that at least potentially puts a senior official in an awkward position as regards national security is equivalent to private citizens being blacklisted because someone else says they were secretly "pink." Sure, David. It's just the same.
Jennifer Rubin says Benghazi. Several times. And scandal several more times. Forget what I said about Dowd being the laziest editorial writer.
Jim Hoagland has some advice for President Obama as he negotiates with Republicans in his second term. And a small part of it is advice that's actually worth reading.
For all your talents and discipline, you have not demonstrated in your first term a great gift for negotiating. ... Name experienced, able negotiators to head the State Department and Treasury and then let them do the essential lifting and hauling of bargaining. Reserve your prestige and power to be applied only at the final deal-making moment.You can skip over the rest of Hoagland's advice, which includes appointing Republicans to high positions, and you can certainly skip over the lengthy third-hand characterization of President Obama's foreign policy meetings. But what Hoagland is really asking is that the president give the Republicans a chance to save face rather than just putting a boot to their throats. Which isn't a bad idea. So long as the boot is handy.
You should not be wading into details from the outset and making success a matter of all-or-nothing, highly personalized triumph.
Leonard Pitts thinks about what Republicans think about America.
You are a moocher, a zombie, soulless, mouth-breathing, ignorant, greedy, self-indulgent, envious, shallow and lazy.I long ago thought Republican pundits would eventually hit bottom on their fear mongering, but like that kid in the Matrix pondering a spoon, I eventually learned the truth. There is no bottom. No shame, either.
The foregoing is a summation of “analysis” from conservative pundits and media figures — Cal Thomas, Ted Nugent, Bill O’Reilly and etcetera — seeking to explain Mitt Romney’s emphatic defeat....
Sometimes, they act — the Hannitys, the O’Reillys, the Trumps, the Limbaughs, the whole conservative political infotainment complex — as if this were all a game, as if their nonstop litany of half truths, untruths and fear mongering, their echo chamber of studied outrage, practiced panic, intellectual incoherence and unadulterated equine feculence, had no human consequences. Sometimes, they behave as if it were morally permissible — indeed, morally required — to say whatever asinine, indefensible, coarse or outrageous thing comes to mind in the name of defeating or diminishing the dreaded left.
Want to learn a new language? I mean, brand new language?
Where do new words come from? On Twitter at least, they often begin life in cities with large African American populations before spreading more widely, according to a study of the language used on the social network.