The Corner

Include Me Out

Re that NR editorial, I would like, politely, to dissent from my colleagues’ dismissal of Perry and Bachmann.

In the former case, a handful of poor debate performances should not disqualify a man from executive responsibility: Our age’s veneration for men with “nothing to do but think and talk” (in Churchill’s words, on the sort of chaps he didn’t want in his war cabinet) is one reason why the Western world is sliding off a cliff.

In the latter case, Congresswoman Bachmann has fought a principled, conservative campaign with only one significant misstep — her overreach on the Gardasil business. Again, that shouldn’t be a disqualification. Nor should having more chiefs of staff than she has foster children (I speak as a guy who believes citizen-legislators shouldn’t have chiefs of staff, anyway). To be sexist about it, President Bachmann at her best would be another Thatcher and at her worst another Merkel — and Chancellor Merkel currently presides over the least worst Western economy. What’s not to like? Go, Michele!

As for the assertion of our more hysterical commenters that being reluctant to support a man with an office on K Street and a retainer from Freddie Mac is a sure sign that NRO is full of Beltway cocktail-sippers angling for cosy sinecures in the Romney administration, yeah, sure, whatever: Fellows who try this line of attack on me have failed as spectacularly as it’s possible to fail. But, just for the record, in recent years I’ve visited Washington, D.C., once every 18 months or so, and plan to cut it down to once every 24 months in the next half-decade. And I have no interest in serving as Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary of the Department of Paperwork under Mitt or anyone else. Anyone who thinks that sentient beings require an ulterior motive to be wary of a Newt nomination should have an herbal tea and lie down in a darkened room for half an hour.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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