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January 29, 2004

Andrew Sullivan knocks one out of the batter's box:

Josh Marshall has written an engaging and artful essay about the notion of an American empire for the liberal New Yorker magazine. I read it yesterday and then re-read it. Josh manages to write about the Clinton era "soft-imperialism" and the Bush era "hard imperialism" with nary a mention of a certain even that occurred on September 11, 2001. Maybe I missed something.

I checked out Marshall's essay. There in the nut graf, this apparently spectral sentence lurked:

After September 11th, a left-wing accusation became a right-wing aspiration: conservatives increasingly began to espouse a world view that was unapologetically imperialist.

It's pretty much the pivot upon which the entire essay turns.

I started wondering: do I really know what "nary" means? Maybe it means "not a lot, but at least one."

I checked the dictionary: "Not a single."

But who knows? Maybe my dictionary's broken.

Posted by Greg Beato at 06:46 PM
January 28, 2004

Jonah Goldberg thinks it's no big deal that WMDs have not been found in Iraq. Really, he explains, they were never that important in the first place, and it was the State Department's fault for emphasizing them too much as the main rationale for invading Iraq.

And that's an interesting concept when you think about it. After all, if we were saying that Iraq was a potential threat to us because it had all these horrifying WMDs that it was planning to use against us, imagine how much better the argument would have been if instead we had been saying that Iraq was a potential threat to us because it didn't have any weapons at all, and that its lack of them made the country especially desperate and unpredictable...

Or something like that. In any case, his post got me curious: what was Jonah Goldberg saying about WMD in the early days of the war? The answer:

So here's the deal: George Bush who has rightly been much more reluctant than Tony Blair to toss the U.N. a bone when it comes to the potentially lucrative prospect of rebuilding Iraq should make it known that if Coalition forces find no Iraqi WMD while we're in there, we will defer to the U.N. on how to run postwar Iraq...I am still confident we will find plenty of such weapons Saddam didn't buy those chemical suits and atropine injectors because Glamour magazine says they're all the rage...

I haven't seen any columns yet where he champions deference to the U.N., but I'm sure they're on the way.

Posted by Greg Beato at 05:08 PM
Glenn Reynolds Award

My favorite part of the Dennis Miller Bush-licking controversy is the incredibly vigorous sense of self-importance he displays in this quote: "I like him. I'm going to give him a pass. I take care of my friends."

Did anyone, for a nano-second, think that even if he were inclined to do so, hard-charging investigative journalist Dennis Miller, operating from the broadcasting powerhouse of CNBC, was going to be the guy to limn the excesses and errors of the Bush Administration in a way that was so damning the nation would finally have to take notice?

Karl, Dick, Scott, George, breathe easy: Dennis likes you. Keep on his good side, and you can keep running things...

Posted by Greg Beato at 08:37 AM
January 27, 2004
Crisis Averted

OK, the world can breathe easy. Glenn Reynolds is OK with not being the most important thing in the universe: "I think that InstaPundit will get steadily less important in the grand scheme of things as the blogosphere grows. My slice of the pie is getting steadily bigger, but the pie is getting bigger faster. I'm okay on that -- in fact, I think it's a good thing. InstaPundit's nice, and I enjoy it, but the blogosphere is more important than any blog, and I'm happy to see it growing, flourishing, and expanding."

Posted by Greg Beato at 09:33 AM