Monday, December 20, 2004

In Praise Of Mark Steyn

It's certainly good to see a Mark Steyn column of recent vintage. His website has had a message about a hiatus of sorts for some time that had me and others concerned. If you don't know his work, you should take some time to browse around the site. Few writers on Election '04 filled me with anticipation the way Steyn did. Here's Steyn from November 5th:

If you had to pick a picture that summed up what went wrong for Kerry, it would be the shot of [Michael] Moore and Jimmy Carter in the presidential box at the Democratic national convention. All you needed was P.Diddy, aka Puff Daddy (or vice-versa), of the Vote or Die mythical youth movement and it would have been the Democrats' equivalent of those Roosevelt-Churchill-Stalin wartime summits. That picture is the Dems in a nutshell: yesterday's politicians, today's show-biz colossi.

Steyn is a former DJ and author of a book about musicals, among other things; he columns appear more places than I care to name (those interested can find out on his web site). I prefer to pay tribute with a few more choice excerpts.

On the election campaign: "I've been covering politics for 53 years, and that's just since John Kerry's convention speech. "

On the subject of Bush-hating: "In Britain and Europe, there seem to be two principal strains of Bush-loathing. First, the guys who say, if you disagree with me, you must be an idiot - as in the Mirror headline "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?" Second, the guys who say, if you disagree with me, you must be a Nazi - as in Oliver James, who told The Guardian: "I was too depressed to even speak this morning. I thought of my late mother, who read Mein Kampf when it came out in the 1930s [sic] and thought, 'Why doesn't anyone see where this is leading?'"

On the Democratic field pre-nomination: "It's odd that when something big happens, as on Sunday, the Democratic candidates seem irrelevant to the story, like asking a lacrosse expert what he thinks of the Super Bowl. They get interviewed and they trot out their lame clich�s, about the need to "internationalize" Iraq, by which they mean not Tony Blair, John Howard, the Poles and Italians, but Kofi Annan, The Hague, the French, the Guinean foreign minister, all the folks who proved unwilling and unable to deal with Iraq before the liberation and who have given no indication of being likely to do any better after. "

Finally, Steyn on Oil-For-Food: "Oil-for-Fraud is everything the Left said the war was: it was all about oil - for Benon Sevan, the UN, France, Russia and the others who had every incentive to maintain Saddam in power. Every Halliburton invoice to the Pentagon is audited to the last penny, but Saddam can use Kofi Annan's office as a front for a multi-billion dollar global kickback scheme and, until it was brought to public attention by the tireless Claudia Rosett of The Wall Street Journal and a few other persistent types, the Secretary-General apparently never noticed."

Often funny, always caustic, but nearly always right on the issues: that's Mark Steyn in a nutshell.

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