I don’t have to write anything today, because the professionals have done my job for a change. Eugene Robinson, Frank Rich, and Maureen Dowd, who are all political pundits I regularly rake over the coals, surprised me yesterday with Sunday columns in their respective papers that quit beating around the bush and gave it to us straight.
Eugene Robinson, who hails from the same small town in South Carolina where I grew up, finally found his way home today with a piece that extols the virtues of the Obama Administration without tacking a qualifying disclaimer on at the end.
“This is a radical break from journalistic convention, I realize, but today I'd like to give credit where it's due -- specifically, to President Obama. Quiet as it's kept, he's on a genuine winning streak.”
Robinson even praised President Obama for standing up for the Constitution. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this. But they say you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, so “thank you, Mr. Robinson.”
Frank Rich, who earned the headline “Frank Rich Must Have Been Smoking Crack Yesterday a few months ago on my personal blog, displayed a level of original thinking so startling in its clarity that my eyes instinctively jumped back to the top of the page to see if I was reading someone else’s work by mistake. Thank you, Mr. Rich.
“So virulent is the Islamophobic hysteria of the neocon and Fox News right — abetted by the useful idiocy of the Anti-Defamation League, Harry Reid and other cowed Democrats — that it has also rendered Gen. David Petraeus’s last-ditch counterinsurgency strategy for fighting the war inoperative. How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?”
I must even trumpet some praise for Maureen Dowd, whose efforts I regularly malign with great zeal, for a piece that contained many solid, well thought out statements yesterday, with only a bare minimum of punches thrown below the belt at President Obama. Thank you, Ms. Dowd.
“The country is having some weird mass nervous breakdown, with the right spreading fear and disinformation that is amplified by the poisonous echo chamber that is the modern media environment.
The dispute over the Islamic center has tripped some deep national lunacy. The unbottled anger and suspicion concerning ground zero show that many Americans haven’t flushed the trauma of 9/11 out of their systems — making them easy prey for fearmongers.”
It was the equivalent of a journalistic solar eclipse, with these political pundits lining up real facts with simple Aristotelian logic to blot out, at least for a moment, the misguided ignorance and unnecessary fear that seems to blanket America these days the same way the sun’s rays do every morning.
All I can say today to these three is “thank you” for giving me the day off.