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David Broder of the Washington Post has long had his head so far up Washington’s ass that he is incapable of understanding that there are opinions in America beyond the ten Beltway insiders he gets his talking points from. (An affliction from which much of the D.C. press corps suffers, though generally not in as advanced a state as Broder’s.) In his latest column, he attacks writer John Judis for having opinions that Broder deems out of the mainstream — meaning anything to the left of, say, Senator Blanche Lincoln. Specifically, he endorses Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs’s recent criticism of “the professional left,” or those who are “prematurely finding fault with President Obama” for his failure to pursue reforms favored by liberal groups.
The column itself is a typical Broder snoozer, but what made it interesting was the addendum he tacked on lamenting the passage of Ted Stevens, the late senator from Alaska, and Dan Rostenkowski, the former congressman from Chicago. Both, he said, “cultivated reputations for being tough, combative so-and-sos, but…were boon companions for a lot of us. “
Of course they were. Broder has no time to consider opinions more than a shade different than his own, but he’s “boon companions” with a corrupt former chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means who did prison time and with Stevens, who was just as crooked but was spared prison due to the bungling of prosecutors.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature