Wednesday, April 05, 2006


A few items I wish to mention before I forget:

1 Congratulations to A.C. Kleinheider for somehow turning blogging into a real job.

2 I waited until the last day, before getting my mention on the Crunchy Cons Blog, plugging Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette.

3 Scott McConnell read Rebel-in-Chief by Fred Barnes so you and I don't have to:

But for readers who might wonder what it is like to be North Korean and required to read formulaic biographies of great helmsman Kim Il Sung and his son, an afternoon spent with Rebel-in-Chief should provide a proximate answer.

In Barnes’s defense, the book is a representative product of a large neo-Republican publishing industry that has sprung up in the past five years to tap the market for conservative books aimed just below the middle of the brow--gifts to give the friend or parent who is an avid Hannity and O'Reilly watcher, to be thumbed through perhaps more than read. This is a large market, previously underserved.

In his acknowledgments, Barnes tells of writing an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal on George W. Bush as an "insurgent" president. Many would find this an unlikely designation for a man who was essentially anointed as heir apparent by Republican elites, a very fortunate son who floated from business partnerships where he did no real work into the Texas governor's mansion, a man who unlike anyone else you've ever known suffered no adverse professional consequences for being an alcoholic with no real accomplishments at age 40. But for Barnes, this experience was the perfect training for the president "as rebel," enabling him to disregard conventional Beltway knowledge, the tiresome stuff of diplomats, science advisors, and other "experts."

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