The Corner

A Tired Ritual of Punditry

Reading Frank Bruni’s column is like helping a kid with a homework assignment: You slog through it dutifully even though you know you won’t learn anything. Today’s entry is about how “dispiriting,” “familiar,” “tired,” etc., the Iowa debate and straw poll were. This is of course itself a well-worn genre of political journalism — file it under “this is no way to pick a president!” — although Bruni betrays no awareness of the fact.

Bruni complains that the Republican candidates have been “dwelling on their opposition to gay marriage and trumpeting their anti-abortion credentials.” He then comments,

Those aren’t and can’t be the issues this time around. Not with the European debt crisis threatening to become a worldwide contagion, London burning, the Arab world convulsing, the Dow jackhammering and America’s crisis of joblessness grinding on and on. Not now.

It’s time for nobler, smarter, more substantive politics.

Roughly a quarter of the rest of the column is then spent on criticizing the candidates’ views on homosexuality, while the European debt crisis, London, and the Arab world are dropped as topics. Anyway: When Barack Obama told Planned Parenthood he supported taxpayer funding of abortion, do you remember Bruni, or anyone else in the Times, complaining about his wasting time on this distracting issue? Me neither. It’s almost as though . . . Nah, couldn’t be.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Great Mystery

Kevin Williamson disputes my characterization of his riposte. He writes: I wrote that people can choose what kind of work they want to do, and what kind of services they want to consume, without any help from Michael. Kevin then accuses me of being a stouthearted defender of the “Real America.” If ... Read More

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

It’s happened again. For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and ... Read More

An Insider’s Guide to Italian Insults

The tragicomic irony of Chris Cuomo’s pugilistic outburst earlier this week — cursing and physically threatening a man for taunting him with a reference to the movie The Godfather — is that the CNN anchor reinforced the usual tropes about Italian Americans. We are all wise-guys, goons, and Mafiosi, just ... Read More