Could Michael Kinsley possibly be any more predictable? His review of George Bush's "Decision Points," appearing in today's Sunday New York Times, is precisely the smug piece of sneering partisanship you would expect in this paper and from this quintessential liberal MSM elitist.
As the headline indicates, Kinsley flatly accuses W of "stealing" the 2000 election. Kinsley offers no proof, but surely most of the people who will read this review require none. They take it as a matter of deep partisan faith. Speaking of faith, the former Crossfire man is mocking of Bush's. Consider this excerpt:
"[H]e stopped drinking with the help of God, who spoke to him while he was out jogging. (I make light, but this part of his story is actually fascinating, gutsy and very well told.) Thirteen years later, after he had made a quick fortune buying and selling a baseball team and then had been elected governor of Texas, God told him to run for president."
If Kinsley admired Bush's telling of how his faith helped him to stop drinking, why then would he "make light"? Could it be that he needs to remind his audience and himself that they are way too sophisticated to take this religion stuff seriously?
The review is littered with insults:
- Father and so Bush "smugly" refer to each other as 41 and 43.
- Even at 64, W is still "callow."
- H.W. is a "grandee-with-a-switchblade."
On Iraq, hear the sneer in this excerpt:
"Bush’s other error, of course, was those weapons of mass destruction. His defense is that virtually everyone — including his predecessor, Bill Clinton, and his 2004 rival, John Kerry — also believed there were such weapons, or the ability to build them. Bush is enraged by the slogan “Bush lied. People died.” He wasn’t lying! "
Bush's defense seems pretty sound. And indeed, Kinsley doesn't attempt to refute it. He presumably just trusts that readers will take his mocking tone as a subliminal signal that he and they somehow know better.
Finally, consider how Kinsley ends his review. Despite having professed admiration for the way in which W gave up alcohol, Kinsley takes one last puerile poke: "Although Bush is admirable for stopping, he probably was more fun when he drank."
Kinsley's review ultimately says less about W and more about himself--and the kind of audience for which he surely saw himself writing.