All I want for christmas is to write like Mark Steyn:
…Kerry didn’t show up for Allawi’s visit to Washington — he was in Ohio again, which is evidently becoming the proverbial Vietnam-type quagmire for him. Nonetheless, barely had the prime minister finished than the absentee senator did a daytime version of his midnight ramble and barged his way onto the air to insist that he knew better than Iraq’s head of government what was going on in the country. One question from his accompanying press corps was especially choice:
”Prime Minister Allawi told Congress today that democracy was taking hold in Iraq and that the terrorists there were on the defensive. Is he living in the same fantasyland as the president?”
It would be nice to think this was a somewhat crude attempt at irony, but given America’s Ratherized media this seems unlikely. Just for the record, Allawi is not living in a fantasyland. He’s living in Iraq, and he begins his day with a dangerous commute across Baghdad’s ”Green Zone.” John Kerry’s regular commute, by contrast, is from his wife’s beach compound at Nantucket to his wife’s 15th century English barn reconstructed as a ski lodge in Idaho. Nonetheless, he’s the expert on Iraq and the guy living there 24/7 is the fantasist, and he’s happy to assure us the prime minister doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s all going to hell, forget about those January elections, etc.
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.
Still, you can understand why, inside the Democrat-media cocoon, the senator’s bet on the collapse of a free Iraq doesn’t sound quite as revolting as it does to the average Iraqi. On Thursday, President Bush held a press conference at the Rose Garden with Allawi. You know the way these things go. The Norwegian prime minister happens to be visiting Washington and they hold a joint press conference and Norwegian issues aren’t terribly pressing at the moment so the press guys ask Bush about prescription drug plans for seniors and increased education funding while the visitor from Oslo stands there like a wallflower at the prom. But Iraq’s the No. 1 issue in American right now, and they’ve got the go-to guy right in front of them, and what do the blow-dried poseurs of the networks ask:
”Mr. President, John Kerry is accusing you of colossal failures of judgment in Iraq . . .”
NBC guy: ”A central theme of your campaign is that America is safer because of the invasion of Iraq. Can you understand why Americans may not believe you?”
CNN: ”Sir, I’d like you to answer Senator Kerry and other critics who accuse you of hypocrisy or opportunism . . .”
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. …
It was neither Kerry’s nor the media’s finest moment.