Saturday, April 20, 2002

Good golly Miss Molly!

Posted on Sat, Apr. 20, 2002

That ethical vision chart looks pretty blurry

AUSTIN - When in the course of the usual reasoned, civil debate on public affairs - conducted always with courtesy and good cheer - one finds one's self snarling,
"Oh, shut up!" one has, I fear, been reading too much George Will.

Being instructed what to think by the peerlessly pompous Mr. Will, perched upon his superiority and apparently in a permanent state of dudgeon over everybody
else's stupidity, is reminiscent of being bullied by a snotty teacher. One is tempted to respond with the classic, frozen-faced Texas inquiry, "No bull?"

Will is often worth reading, if only so you can figure out why you disagree with him. Lately he has been leading an entire phalanx of right-wing commentators in full cry
over President Bush's loss of "moral clarity" in the Middle East. The sheer implausibility of finding moral clarity in the Middle East does not deter them. Better minds
than Bush's are defeated by that challenge, but the moral-certainty crowd admits no shades of gray.

Since Bush himself is fond of moral certainty - it's good-doers vs. evildoers in BushWorld - he must be uncomfortable with what Will magisterially dismisses in a
recent Newsweek essay as the "intellectual confusion and moral miasma ... that now permeate U.S. policy and media coverage concerning the Israeli-Palestinian