I wanted to say something about my friend Ted Cruz, the new Texas senator. He is very optimistic about what can be done — way too optimistic, many conservatives say. I think I know a reason for his optimism.
When he ran for the Senate, people told him — and I mean experienced people, political veterans — that it was impossible. He had no chance. He’d embarrass himself. He had never run for office before. For the Republican nomination, he was up against the state’s lieutenant governor, a self-financer. Ted could never win.
And yet he won. Therefore, when people say, “This is impossible,” Ted is apt to say, “Really? Are you sure?”
Anyway, there’s one interpretation for you.
Since Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009, I have had many occasions — too many — to recall JFK’s famous putdown of Richard Nixon: “No class.” I thought of this again, when Obama used the occasion of the 50th anniversary of MLK’s “Dream” speech to give a convention-style speech in which he tarred his political opponents. No class, no class.
We were told, when he was running (in ’08), that he had a “first-class temperament.” As I’ve often said, I think his temperament may be worse than his ideas.
(I should say, too, that there was good in Obama’s anniversary speech. But the partisan stuff just soured it for me.) (Then again, I don’t think Obama intended the speech for me. Is he conscious of being president of all Americans?)
You may wonder why the Muslim Brothers in Egypt, when they’re mad at the military, attack Christians and burn down their churches.
My answer: Because there aren’t Jews and synagogues left.
I’m on the mailing list of the ANSWER Coalition. “ANSWER” stands for “Act Now to Stop War and End Racism.” They say, “Nationwide protests planned to oppose U.S. war on Syria: ‘Hands Off Syria!’”
Yes, because Syrians are enjoying such a lovely life, without American hands on them. (They’ve got Assad’s hands, Iran’s hands, Hezbollah’s hands, Russia’s hands . . .)
I was reading an article in the New York Times that began, “The French, it seems, are falling out of love. Not with free health care, or short workweeks, or long vacations in August. But with bread.”
A nice opening. But may I just object that health care is not “free,” exactly?
When I was a kid, I saw a movie called A Little Romance, and, like millions of others, no doubt, fell in love with a girl named Diane Lane. Now I read that she’s to play Hillary Clinton in a movie.
Without undue offense to HRC: No. No.
Earlier this week, I had a “Salzburg Journal,” here at National Review Online. In Part I of that journal, I wrote,
The airport in Salzburg is the W. A. Mozart Airport. Its code is SZG, for Salzburg. I’ve always thought it should be WAM (pronounced “wham”). A cool code.
A colleague writes me to say that “WAM” is taken — by the Ambatondrazaka airport in Madagascar.
You know what I’ve long been sick of hearing? That American portions — food portions — are big. Huge. But, you know? It’s kind of true. You notice, when you return after a while away.
When Bill Buckley was here, I’d sometimes see Peter Flanigan, a friend of his. (Almost everybody was a friend of Bill’s.) Flanigan was an old Wall Streeter and Nixon aide who dedicated himself to the improvement of education in the inner city. I loved seeing him and talking to him. Such a cool, dashing gent — sort of aristocratic (in a good way).
Something happened a few years ago: I saw him in Salzburg. There he was, big as life, in the Sacher Hotel. Seemed so out of context! Turned out he had married an Austrian.
In any case, an obituary is here. Thanks for joining me today, Impromptusites. I’ll catch you later.