The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, April 16, 2002  


At The Rittenhouse Review we pay scant attention to professional sports. Not for us those pretentious discourses on the elegance of baseball and the spurious paeans to the noble Chicago Cubs. (In any event, that ground has been mercilessly, relentlessly, and painfully covered already. George Will, please call your office.)

However, the family of our esteemed editor is originally from New York City. That being the case, somewhere along the way the necessary decision (putting aside, for now, the Dodgers and the Giants) was made by a prior generation, and the Yankees were selected over the Mets. It is a determination with which we remain well pleased.

There is something about the Mets -- and more specifically, Mets fans -- that grates on the nerves and on the soul. Mets fans are a loud and boorish lot, typically coarse and unkempt, unruly and incorrigible. Cheering their perennial also-rans, Mets fans hold steadfast to their ideology and pine for the glory days that really never were, telling and retelling the same story (something about a non-Marian miracle in Flushing circa 1970) to anyone within earshot. The team's logo is ugly, the team's uniforms are ugly, even the stadium is ugly.

For these reasons, among others, we at TRR are certain that John Podhoretz, son of the perpetually cranky Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter, is a Mets fan.

In today's New York Post, Podhoretz the Lesser continues with the seemingly endless string of rants, tirades, jeremiads, jihads, and bilious emissions that are the foundation of his career.

At least Norman can write: clearly, cleverly, forcefully, elegantly, even persuasively. Even when we disagree with Podhoretz the Greater, which is less often than you might think, we enjoy the experience of reading his thoughtful prose. We as a society owe him a great deal for his writing and agitation about American foreign policy during the late 1970s and 1980s (the subject of our editor's thesis).

With respect to Midge, well, we're not sure anyone outside the clan has truly gotten over the psychotic episode known as "The Boys on the Beach" (Cf. Commentary, September 1980, pp. 35-48. Fourteen pages!).

As for the Podhoretz family's Mini-Me, he's fired up!

Stand back and duck for cover: "American Jews have been awakened anew to the crazed, homicidal quality of the anti-Jewish hostility we are blessedly spared here in the United States.

"Arab apologists in the United States like to speak of the terrifying power of the pro-Israel lobby. The fact is that this supposed super-lobby has simply not had the influence it once did because American Jews haven't been all that passionate about Israel."

And finally, like a deranged Mets fan, overweight, shirtless, and drunk on three-dollar drafts, hollering from the upper decks, Podhoretz concludes with this rousing cheer: "The Jewish community's message to Hussein Ibish and James Zogby and all those Arab-Americans who make their living standing up against the Jewish state: We're back, baby!"

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