Overlooking the obvious


Over at Vanity Fair, deputy editor Bruce Handy has apparently decided to pick a fight with New York Times columnist and conservative attack dog William Kristol:

I haven’t read much Voegelin either—or any, actually—but I have read Kristol over the years, and I couldn’t help thinking, Gee, if only he had actually taken Buckley-Voegelin’s warning about ideologues to heart back when he and Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan, Douglas Feith, and Lawrence Kaplan were suggesting that the U.S. cakewalk itself through Iraq so that lovely democracies could sprout like daisies across the Middle East.

Make things a lot worse? Check. Deprive us of freedom? Check. (Depending on who’s reading my email today).

This raises questions: Does Kristol have no sense of irony or self-awareness? His success as a public intellectual and a ubiquitous cable-news presence suggests he has at least the latter quality in abundance. Does he then, like many pundits (and politicians), write with the operating assumption that the public has no memory? But let’s say that in his heart of hearts, he believes the Iraq War has been a splendid success, or that it will become so very very soon; I’m still surprised he’d groove such a big fat pitch down the middle of the plate for us non-visionary partisan carpers. Cocky!

I would think the answer is obvious, that the man simply has no real sense of shame.

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