in a city of the future
it is difficult to concentrate
Yglesias is on a roll.
Nice. This part particularly struck me:"Such was the mood of late 2001. On October 20, The New York Times reported that “many Democrats who once dismissed Mr. Bush as too naive and too dependent on advisers to steer the United States through an international crisis are now praising his and his advisers’ performance. Some are even privately expressing satisfaction that Mr. Gore, who tried to make his foreign affairs experience an issue in the campaign, did not win.” Gore “may know too much,” said one anonymous former Senate Democrat quoted by the Times."I remember expressing similar sentiments to you soon after September 11; how unbelievably horribly wrong I was.
To be fair to the Senate Democrats, many of them said this because they believed that, if Gore had been President, the Republican attack machine would immediately have blamed him and Clinton for the attacks. (Yglesias undoubtedly knows this explanation, but elided it for space reasons in the article.) The ensuing hostile political climate would have utterly hijacked the national dialogue and derailed the administration's policy apparatus for years.By contrast, the Democrats gave Bush their full-throated support, for the sake of national unity in a time of crisis. However, Bush used that mandate in such a staggeringly opportunistic and inept manner that the results have been far worse than what a besieged Gore administration would have produced. I've always been deeply suspicious of Bush, but even I'm surprised with the sheer magnitude of the fuck-up.