Friday, May 11, 2007

Broderism Unclothed

A riveting Internet debate has been going on over the past several days between attorney /blogger /Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald and Joe ("Anonymous") Klein of Time Magazine. At the core of the debate, as we see it, are these two questions:

Is David Broder, the so-called "dean" of American political commentators, a ridiculous doofus? And, if so, What does that say about all of his beltway buddies who profess to hang on Broder's every word?

The debate is not to be missed. Pungent prose, to be sure, but also a compelling examination of whether the popular press is failing America.

The debate began with Greenwald's article, "All You Need to Know About the Beltway Journalist Mind." Long-time political commentator Klein replied. Now, Greenwald has replied to the reply. At every turn, Glenn Greenwald seems to have gotten the best of Klein.

This morning, though, things escalated when Greenwald accepted Klein's challenge to name something "defective" about Broder's work. We hesitate to spoil the ending; then again, this isn't likely to end for a while.

Not after this:
[T]o the extent that Klein is interested in Broder's defective "reporting," he should begin here. That is where Broder, after listening to what he thought was some clever phrasing by George Bush in a couple answers about Iraq which Bush gave at a February press conference, announced: "President Bush is poised for a political comeback."

Broder seems to have absolutely no idea that the country has turned against George Bush and his war to a historic and irreversible degree, and no cute and clever Rove-designed platitudes at a Press Conference will change that. Anyone remotely in touch with the political sentiments of "Americans" would know that.

Klein should also look here, where some of Broder's most out-of-touch and obtuse observations are collected -- including:

* Broder's 2005 canonization of Bush ("the quest for freedom . . . is a central purpose of his administration");

* his November, 2004 criticisms of Bush critics for what he said were misguided concerns that the Bush presidency was radical ("he will have to work within the system for whatever he gets. Checks and balances are still there");

* his November 1, 2004 proclamation that the country likes Bush personally far more than Gore and Kerry and that "the country is truly conservative";

* his April, 2003 decree that "there is little the Democrats can do to shatter the reputation for strong leadership Bush has built, and not much their presidential candidates can do to win equal reputations for themselves";

* his May 2003 confession that "I like Karl Rove" followed by a very moving reminiscence of the quality time he was able to spend with Rove in Austria when (just like the ordinary people): "Tom Mann of the Brookings Institution and I were assembling a cast of American politicians to address a group of 40 emerging political leaders from Western Europe, the former Soviet bloc, Asia and Africa, I suggested we invite Karl Rove to be one of the instructors";

* his October 2002 "report" where he explained how Don Rumsfeld personally invited him to the Pentagon to explain how Iraq is such a grave threat, and at the meeting, Rumsfeld "pulled out a pencil and drew me a simple chart -- a downward sloping line tracing the erosion of Iraq's conventional military strength in the decade since the Gulf War, and an upward sloping line showing its growing store of WMD - weapons of mass destruction." Based on Rumsfeld's crude and condescending scribblings, an obviously flattered Broder pronounced: "Rumsfeld left me with the impression that he is aware of the risks of war with Iraq, but confident they can be handled." And finally:

* his October 2002 attack against protestors trying to stop the Iraq War with meetings in Iraq: "It was all too reminiscent of Jane Fonda in Hanoi or antiwar protesters marching under Viet Cong flags."

In sum, Broder has propped up one of the most unpopular and corrupt presidencies in history, all after he spent years waxing hysteric over a deeply popular President and a sex scandal that Americans by and large thought was petty and inconsequential. Time and again, David Broder is on the wrong side of every critical political issue. His judgment proves again and again to be worthless and misguided. And his opinions could not be any more detached from the "ordinary Americans" he thinks he represents.
One can fairly conclude that George W. Bush, like Castiglione's Prince, could consider Broder "worthye to have him in his servyce." He makes a lovely courtier.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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