October 24, 2007


A couple of unrelated items from "The Week", in the print edition of NR (Nov. 5 issue) that I thought were well stated:

-- As Americans contemplate making Senator Clinton their president, they would be wise to consider the company she keeps. Sandy Berger, the disgraced former national security adviser, has reportedly hitched his star to her candidacy. Berger, you may recall, is a crook. As Bill Clinton’s liaison to the 9/11 Commission, he was given access to classified documents in the National Archives. He stole many of these, destroying some — a felony, even if the Bush Justice Department let him off with a guilty plea to a misdemeanor. As our Byron York has reported, some of the destroyed documents may have been scathing criticisms of the Clinton administration’s efforts to fight terrorism. Which reminds us: Sandy Berger was a rotten national security adviser, too. Bill Clinton failed to respond forcefully to the bombings of the Khobar Towers and the USS Cole largely because Berger made serious misjudgments about the Iranian regime and al-Qaeda. That Hillary would turn to him now is evidence of her unfitness for the presidency.


-- On the campaign trail, Obama told an enthusiastic audience that he hoped to be “an instrument of God.” Fine and dandy. So should we all. But can you imagine if a conservative Republican had said that? Can you hear the cries of “Theocracy!”? There are different rules for different parties. Speaking before the Democratic convention, Jesse Jackson can say, “God is not finished with me yet.” (He can also compare Dan Quayle to Herod — one of the lowest blows in recent political history.) President Bill Clinton can wave his big, fat Bible at the cameras, as he enters and exits the Foundry United Methodist Church, the Rev. J. Philip Wogaman, presiding. But a conservative Republican had better keep his head down. There is separation of church and state in this country, you know.

We don't need to conjure an imaginary Republican for this thought experiment. George W. Bush has been mocked and derided for years for suggesting that he was following God's plan for his life, acting as His "instrument". And the double standard for campaigning from the pulpit has been in force for years too.

Posted by dan at October 24, 2007 11:12 PM