If you’ve been losing sleep over the genius glut in American punditry, rest easy. That threat’s a long way off.
To narrow the choices and give this pudding a theme, I’ve decided that 2013’s malicious listicle will focus on the perverse affinity for executive power of our alleged “Thought Leaders.” In a year when presidential incompetence and power lust ruled the headlines — when record numbers of Americans feared big government — the leading lights of the American commentariat clamored for more presidential power. Go figure.
5. Amitai Etzioni, “Why It Should Be Harder to Impeach a President,” The Atlantic (May 16)
Early on in President Obama’s summer of scandal eruptions, communitarian honcho Amitai Etzioni was incensed that anyone dared invoke the I‐word. After all, the president likely “did not know diddly squat” about IRS harassment of the Tea Party.
Only a constitutional amendment making it harder for Congress to impeach the president could save us, Etzioni insisted. But since we manage fewer than one presidential impeachment per century, how much harder could it be?
4. Maureen Dowd, “Barry’s War Within,” the New York Times (Sept. 7)
In this column, Dowd’s father figure disappoints her once again. Instead of “hurl[ing] a few missiles, Zeus like,” at Syria, Obama had been contemptibly weak: “When it came time to act as commander in chief, he choked,” reverting to “Barry, president of the Harvard Law Review.” Apparently, only a legalistic sissy would ask Congress to authorize a war.
3. Norman Podhoretz, “Obama’s Successful Foreign Failure,” Wall Street Journal (Sept. 8)
But Obama only looks weak, according to neoconservative godfather Norman Podhoretz. Going to Congress was part of his sinister Kenyalinskyite plan to destroy US hegemony. Even when he golfs, he’s hellbent on the “erosion of American power.”
2. Richard Cohen, “The NSA Is Doing What Google Does,” Washington Post (June 10)