On the Opinion Page: April 14, 2008


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

Paul Krugman/Crisis of Confidence

The Short Version: The United States is in a bad mood!

In his words: “The question is, can the next administration end America’s malaise?”

Score: D (Depressing)
Krugman certainly touches upon a widely held perception that we’re completely fucked as a country, but he doesn’t really get at the reality that not enough people care to do anything about it. In short, because “American” and “Americans” have become practically meaningless terms in this kind of discussion, we need a more nuanced analysis than the nationalistic “We” provides; class is one reasonable place to start.

William Kristol/The Mask Slips

The Short Version: Obama is an elitist communist!

In his words: “He’s disdainful of small-town America — one might say, of bourgeois America?”

The Score: F (Funny!)
Kristol delivers hilarious McCarthyesque insinuations and an almost campy degree of indignation about Obama’s recent “comment-gate,” as if the Republicans of the past forty years have been the true friend of the small-town working class.

Roger Cohen/Obama’s Indonesian Lessons

The Short Version: I love Obama, even if he is a Muslim!

In his words: “Only by uniting disparate threads could he become whole under the name of Barack Obama in a world experienced as defined by divergent truths.”

The Score: D (Dopey)
This column is basically a barf sandwich that has about as much relevance as one of those “up-close-and-personal” spots you see on teevee during the Olympics.

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