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Mark Steyn trashes John Kerry but is too kind to the Old Left

My nuanced prediction a week ago to the effect that President Bush is going to win huge and that Kerry is going to be put through the electoral mangle is starting to look rather (if you will pardon the expression) silly. It is not so much that the prediction is wrong, more that it is looking more and more obvious by the day. I sold my few remaining Kerry stocks when the Kerry graph was already in free fall.

In addition to the insights I offered in my earlier US election posting – that Bush is clever at suckering his enemies into ground of their choosing, but also of his, and then killing them, and that he is doing this just now (a) in Iraq to the Baathist/Islamofascist/Moonbat tendency and (b) in the USA to Kerry and his cohorts – there are about another two dozen reasons why Bush will win, most of them to do with all the many different ways in which Kerry is a stupid, ignorant twat. Every time he opens his mouth the Anyone But Kerry vote gets that bit bigger.

And since so few people actually seem to like the guy, the fact that he is conducting himself so ineptly in all the pseudo-crises, that must necessarily be heaped upon a non-incumbent Presidential candidate to check out how good he is in actual crises (and the more crass these tests are the more of a test they are), becomes yet another reason not to vote for him, which only intensifies the larger crisis that his entire campaign has now become. He is losing, and do we want to vote for a loser to be President? No. Anyone but Kerry.

I always enjoy reading what Mark Steyn has to say about things in general, and about John Kerry and his supporters in particular, but this piece, of course also linked to by Instapundit which is how I got to it today, is especially fine. Quote:

What a small, graceless man Kerry is. The nature of adversarial politics in a democratic society makes George W. Bush his opponent. But it was entirely Kerry’s choice to expand the field, to put himself on the other side of Allawi and the Iraqi people. Given his frequent boasts that he knows how to reach out to America’s allies, it’s remarkable how often he feels the need to insult them: Britain, Australia, and now free Iraq. But, because this pampered cipher has floundered for 18 months to find any rationale for his candidacy other than his indestructible belief in his own indispensability, Kerry finds himself a month before the election with no platform to run on other than American defeat. He has decided to co-opt the jihadist death-cult, the Baathist dead-enders, the suicide bombers and other misfits and run as the candidate of American failure. This would be shameful if he weren’t so laughably inept at it.

And here is what Steyn has to say about all the many Ratherlets who still infest the US mainstream media. Instapundit picked these paragraphs out too, but they deserve all the copying and pasting anyone can give them:

They’re six feet from Iraq’s head of government and they’ve got not a question for him. They’ve got no interest in Iraq except insofar as they can use the issue to depress sufficient numbers of swing voters in Florida and Ohio.

Who’s living in the fantasyland here? Huge forces are at play in a world of rapid change. As the prime minister said, ”We Iraqis will stand by you, America, in a war larger than either of our nations.” But the gentlemen of the press can barely stifle their ennui. Say what you like about the old left, but at least they were outward-looking and internationalist. This new crowd – Democrats and media alike – are stunted and parochial, their horizons shriveling more every day.

The question I would have asked Ayad Allawi is: What do you reckon to the idea of only holding elections in those parts of Iraq which are now secure, and holding off in the parts where things are still bad? Did anyone ask him that? If they did, what did he say? I guess he is still gung-ho for elections everywhere, and if he is, I daresay he is right.

Only one thing in Steyn’s piece bothered me. Whenever someone is putting the boot into the Cretin Left they usually include something small but nice, just to show that they are capable of seeing the good in them, but this sop is usually wrong. The pattern is repeated by Steyn here. As soon as I read the sop to the current Cretin Left about how “outward-looking and internationalist” the old Cretin Left used to be, in a way that at least suggested that they were not complete scum-of-the-earth scum, I started to say to myself: no, they were complete scum too, and if anything even worse.

And they were. They looked outward, but misunderstood everything of importance that they saw, and they were “internationalist” only in believing that the world’s entire Cretin Left ought to unite to make the world a massively worse place. They achieved excellence only in the cunning and ferocity with which they pursued their disastrous internationalist agenda. Had those monsters had been a whole lot more “stunted and parochial”, how much better a place would the world now be. The present Cretin Left, at any rate in the USA (over here it is a very different story), is actually quite an improvement on the old Cretin Left, in that it is now so stupid and ignorant and incompetent.

In other words, I recommend that the only Steyn bit about the old Cretin Left that we should really go with is where he says “say what you like” about them.

Meanwhile, what of the current USA Cretin Left? By which I mean: after the Bush trashing, then what?

The British Cretin Left got a trashing in the 1980s, basically because the British economy reached the stage a quarter of a century ago where it could not afford such people having serious influence. The US economy, in contrast, can carry just about any parasite that climbs onto it. It took 9/11 to create a situation where the USA could not afford having its own Cretin Left at the heart of its governmental arrangements either. So only now is the USA’s Cretin Left getting its trashing.

But once trashed, they will, like our Left, and very possibly by taking lessons from our Left, get less cretinous – less “stunted and parochial” and more “outward-looking and internationalist”. And when they do, they will be ready to inflict a whole new batch of miseries upon the world, along the lines of what is happening here and in Continental Europe now.

As President Bartlet said in the West Wing episode I have just watched (and what a charming parallel universe refuge from their current electoral miseries that must be for US leftists!): “Welcome to the show that never ends.”

7 comments to Mark Steyn trashes John Kerry but is too kind to the Old Left

  • D. Timmerman

    Unrelated (mostly), but did anyone else run across this tripe?


    Apparently the world thinks they should have a say in how we run our country, our foreign policy, and protext our citizens (by telling us that we have no right to any of the above).

  • drscroogemcduck

    I bought my President Bush stocks at ~57 and they are at around 68 at now. 🙂

  • Verity

    Brian, with respect, I think you misread St Mark. He said what he said about the old left to further diminish today’s crop of appeasing, blinkered lefties. He has nothing but unalloyed contempt for the old left. He was driving the hammer home.

  • I dunno, Verity. I read it more the way Brian did. In any case I disagree with Brian and you on your claim that the Old internationalist Left had no good in it. Perhaps that’s because I was once a mild member of it. I often reflect that I moved over to libertarianism because it had all the nice principles (liberty, the pursuit of happiness, no one being wretchedly poor, cooperation, a belief that human lives should be meaningful rather than means to an end) I wanted when I was a lefty but without the unworkable and nasty stuff about forcing people to do things.

  • Would it have been so much better if the Left had been “stunted and parochial”? Of course, a lot of them were – they were known as the Nazis.

    But it is interesting that there seems to a fracturing occurring in the Left right now between those who are pro- and anti-Islamist. Or, perhaps, I should put that another way, between those who hate the West so much that they want it totally destroyed and are totally indifferent as to what destroys it and what replaces it – and those who don’t. The Nihilists vs the Somethinghilists, perhaps.

  • llamas

    Mark Steyn hits the nail on the head – as usual.

    Brian Micklethwait, have you seen the Bush campaign commercial called ‘Windsurfing’ yet? A perfect example of your suggestion that President Bush knows how to draw his opponents onto a battleground of his choosing – and then crush them. Senator Kerry (and his wife) provide so much of this sort of ammunition, much of it so custom-tailored to specific-interest voters, that it must be hard for the Bush campaign to know where to start.



  • The Old Left were indeed internationalists — they supported the spread of Communism all over the world.

    When they weren’t, they went back to doing what the Left does so well: oppressing their own people.