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Today’s Paradoxes


Various Norwegians are said to be miffed that Laureate Obama snubbed the traditional lunch with their King Harald. Are they surprised? Presidential bows these days are reserved for non-European royalty, whether the Japanese emperor or Saudi monarchs; Western kings and queens, whether Norwegian or British, get snubs as befitting various past European oppressions. (Did they ever really read Dreams From My Father?)

Very odd to see the outrage over the Washington Post’s publication of Sarah Palin’s dissent on climate change and Copenhagen. It is one thing to refute it, but quite another for her critics to allege that a former vice-presidential candidate should have no right to express her political views in a major daily. If one were to argue that someone should not be allowed to opine, then the Left should have turned their animus on the Guardian, who published Charles Booker’s infamous 2004 “kill George Bush”: op-ed (e.g., “On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod’s law dictates he’ll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. — where are you now that we need you?”) I don’t remember any of Palin’s present critics saying much about that call for assassination.

The Trumanization of Bush? A Public Policy poll lists that an astounding 44 percent of those interviewed said they would now prefer George W. Bush to President Obama. Bush’s post-9/11 security protocols kept us safe, Iraq will probably work, and his regrettable deficits and big spending proposals like No Child Left Behind and the prescription-drug benefit, in comparison to the ongoing $1.7 trillion deficts and the $9 trillion more slated to come in the next few years, make Bush seem almost fiscally sound. Maybe the public also sees Bush’s post-presidential magnanimity quite in contrast with Obama’s tawdry whines about the prior administration. In other words, I think Obama will have to drop “Bush did it” — since it seems to be creating nostalgia in comparison to the current alternative of bows, deficits, apologies, and Chicago cronyism — and far more still to come.


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