On the Opinion Page: March 4, 2008


In which The Gay Recluse scores selected opinion pieces in The Times.

Bob Herbert/The $2 Trillion Nightmare

The Short Version: In financial terms, the war in Iraq is not cheap.

In his words: “The Bush administration has tried its best to conceal the horrendous costs of the war.”

Score: A-
Herbert delivers a column that resonates with truth, in prose that is for the most part direct and persuasive (yes, we were shocked, too); we have no problem believing that the costs of the Iraq war will be with us for quite some time, no matter how big the economy grows. Our only minor quibble with Herbert’s column is his unnecessary jab at Saturday Night Live, along with the implication that Americans are too preoccupied with the “fun” side of politics; this makes Herbert seem out of touch with the internet, where its understood that information and entertainment and — yes! — substantive political argument can be delivered in one package.

David Brooks/A Defining Moment

The Short Version: Even though I’m a conservative, I love Obama.

In his words: “Obama sounded like a cross between a social activist and a flannel-shirted software C.E.O. — as a nonhierarchical, collaborative leader who can inspire autonomous individuals to cooperate for the sake of common concerns.”

The Score: B (Benign)
Brooks gets a bit misty describing Obama’s appeal (and contrasting it with Clinton’s approach). There’s nothing particularly illuminating here, but Brooks writes cohesively and even lyrically; at moments like this we wish that he would just come out as a gay man progressive liberal.

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