Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah

Now that the election is over and the pundits and op/ed writers are rummaging around for things to mull over and write about, their output has largely become tortured ruminations and boring blah-blah-blah. Tom Friedman is a classic example. From his halcyon days of being considered a dynamic force in the future of the middle east--his 2006 trip to Syria and subsequent columns on how to handle Syria, for example—through his spiraling down into ego-centered rants and nonsense, now today he is pontificating about Barack Obama possibly choosing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and telling us of his “worries” on that score. “Is Obama considering Mrs. Clinton for this job in order to get her off his back or as a prelude to protecting her back?” Friedman asks. (Among other deadly failings, Friedman glories in his turns-of-phrase and stand-up comic one-liners.) Then he tells us that he, Tom Friedman, knows more than anyone about what a relationship between a Prez and a Secretary of State should be because he covered James Baker when Baker was GHW Bush’s SOS. The world must be aware, Friedman says, that an SOS speaks for the Prez. An SOS and Prez must be totally in each other’s back pocket, their world-view must be identical with nary a disagreement between them...ever. And Friedman, from his high perch as know-all-see-all sage relates his concerns. Journalists and talking heads must not be allowed to see “daylight” between the Prez and SOS or they will jump on the flaw and tear them to shreds. “When it comes to appointing a secretary of state, you do not want a team of rivals.” Why not? one wonders. Who is Friedman to assume that the Baker-Bush model is the optimum form that must be followed? Who is Friedman to assume that two smart people cannot have different ideas and also arrive at a consensus that will indeed change things for the better? When will Tom Friedman realize he's become a has-been hack? Once again, Tom Friedman has fed 750 words into his laptop, emailed them to the NYT and gotten a check. And blah-blah-blah.


Barry Schwartz said...

I would find it hard to read Friedman without first getting a shot of procaine to each eye to kill the pain. You know, Tom Friedman and Al Franken went to the same high school; maybe this explains why Franken transferred to a private school.

I’ve been disgusted by all the veiled hinting that Hillary Clinton is a megalomaniac who can’t do another person’s bidding. I mean, for heaven’s sake, this week I heard Lee Rayburn and Robert Parry, I think it was, talking this way. What the?

I myself can’t imagine giving up a Senate seat in my second term to become SoS, unless I didn’t really enjoy being a senator. What’s more, ‘First Lady’ could also be called ‘Consort of the Head of State’, and so probably constitutes experience for SoS, in a way that ‘Consort of the Head of Government’ did not qualify her for Head of Government (except when she controversially ran a health insurance task force at 60 mph into a bridge abutment).

Barry Schwartz said...

Wait, what am I talking about? The hinting hasn’t been veiled.