November 14, 2007 § Leave a comment
I will be in Berkeley Thursday and fri. Back on Saturday.
Sid Ankles Pundit Gig for Hill Flack Pact
For the past five years, no one else has written about the current political dispensation with a brilliance more consistent, and a scorn more magnificent, than Sidney Blumenthal. Taken together, Blumenthal’s weekly columns—appearing on Salon.com and in the Guardian, the great British liberal daily—constitute an unparalleled running history of the ideological and moral squalor of the George W. Bush Administration. (A fine collection, with a long new introduction, was published last year; another will come out next April.)
Blumenthal’s current column, which teases out some astonishing resonances between the regimes of Bush and Musharraf, is one of his best. But then I almost always find myself thinking that his current column is one of his best. His synthesizing ability, analytic power, stylish writing, controlled passion, and deep knowledge of the ideological, historical, and political background make his satisfying, often exhilarating pieces the very opposite of the sordid ephemera that serve as his points of departure.
Next week’s Blumenthal blast, alas, will be the last for a while. He is joining the Hillary Clinton campaign, presumably as some sort of combination of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and James A. Farley. It had to happen eventually—he’s a Clinton man from way back, having served on the between-the-Bushes White House staff as a confidential counselor to both halves of the First Couple, an experience he chronicled at Tolstoyan length. Hillary’s gain is literature’s loss. But he’ll be back—maybe in three months, maybe in a year, maybe in five years, maybe in nine.
Blumenthal, aka Sid, is a dear friend of mine. This may sound like “full disclosure,” but I consider it bragging.