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Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered

When I read this piece by Walter Shapiro, I had much the same reaction as John Weidner did:

You were besotted with Edwards because he was (or was pretending to be) a liberal Democrat. And Edwards almost certainly paid flattering attention to the guy who was writing a book about his campaign. You dolt, Edwards and his wife almost certainly coldly planned how to woo you, and knew what your weaknesses are. That's what trial lawyers do with a jury. They study every scrap of information available on each juryman, and, like chameleons, tailor the message, and paint their very selves, to fit them. (I know about this stuff; my dear wife's on the other side, the good side, fighting scoundrels like Edwards every day.)

Everybody who retained any objectivity could see that he was a phony, and were not surprised by this. When a guy talks populism and green-ism while building the biggest mansion in the county, there's a 99% chance that he's a sham. When a guy spends minutes in front of a mirror fluffing his hairdo, there's a 99% chance that he will not resist the sexual temptations available to a celebrity.

These media love affairs with (liberal) politicians constitute journalistic malpractice. They gave us the corrupt Bill Clinton, from whom, had any of them had done their job and looked into Arkansas history back in 1992, the nation could have been spared. Glenn Reynolds has asked, after the obvious biased non-reporting in the John Edwards case, what else are they deliberately hiding from us? And at least Walter Shapiro, if not the rest of the swooners, should now be asking himself, "by what other politicians am I letting myself be fooled and beguiled?" For instance, how about the inexperienced phony about to be nominated in Denver that is this season's "it" girl for the media?


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Bill Maron wrote:

It's teh narrative!!! It sounded so good, he's a liberal Dem, it HAD to be true.

He wasted that whole article and the above 2 sentences cover what the article does.

Now, we have a redux with BHO.

Jonathan wrote:


Clues to the real nature of guys like Clinton and Edwards and Obama are usually available to anyone who is willing to read MSM stories with a critical eye.

Carl Pham wrote:

C'mon, it's not that simple. Everything is clear in hindsight, huh? The clues that a certain Austrian corporal would bring genocide and world war to the planet if allowed to freely peddle national socialist pipe dreams to an exhausted and betrayed German middle class in 1925 were present, too -- how could we have missed them?

Because unless you know the outcome in advance, it's difficult or impossible to know which small events and characteristics are "clues" and which are mere random noise. You might as well hope to pick out winners in the stock market from the slight "clues" to a company's eventual success found in their early years. We know how well that works out in general.

Besides, we're all susceptible to belief in a Messiah, to the religious fervor that if only this idea is implemented, that enemy is utterly crushed, or he is made The Great Leader, then all wordly ills from injustice to pollen allergies will be cured. It's human nature.

And the only cure is a certain hefty dose of cynical realism; the expectation that nearly any massive wonderful plan for Fixing Everything will go wrong, because they always have gone wrong, since Julius Caesar first crossed the Rubicon with the noble intent of setting Rome back on the right path once and for all.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on August 14, 2008 11:46 AM.

Politics, Not Geology was the previous entry in this blog.

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