The Rittenhouse Review

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

Thursday, January 30, 2003  

Hanging With the Right Wingers

“THE LOONS! THE LOONS!”: Here’s the mad dolphin aficionado and single-for-too-long Peggy Noonan on the president’s latest speech:

You always hope a State of the Union address will be a sleek and handsome ocean liner cutting through the sea. Often they start that way and then turn, inevitably, into a greasy old barge riding low in the water, weighed down by policy cargo. It blows its horn proudly but the sound is more impressive than the ship; in fact it highlights the ship’s inadequacy.

No, Peggy, not often, only when you’re writing them.

Oh, and by the way, Dr. Freud, please call your office.


CROCKED & DEFROCKED: All this is rather new to me, but some visitors to the pretend news service that has adopted the grandiose name “World Net Daily” may wonder why that outfit expresses so much hostility toward the Episcopal Church.

Just today, in fact, the nuts at “WND” published a piece, “Episcopal Bureaucrat Threatens WND,” which while lacking a byline, betrays all of the fingerprints of the infamous Lester Kinsolving, a WND hanger-on and former Episcopal priest who was suspended of his priestly duties in July 1978 and ultimately deposed by his bishop in January 1979.

A little bitter are we, Mr. Kinsolving?


A DRUDGE MATCH: What is it about other people’s personal lives that gets Matt Drudge into such a lather?


IT’S ALL JUST MAKE BELIEVE: Here’s Michael Kelly, the laziest columnist in America (No mean feat, that!), writing about writing about the war he can’t wait to begin:

I spent half an hour or so on Monday interviewing, with some others, a “senior administration official,” as the White House ground rules dictate the nomenclature.

Okay, so, like, no one really believes this, right? I mean, a whole half hour?! Thirty minutes?!


CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE: Norah Vincent breaks with her right-wing colleagues and other Bush apologists on the issue of legacy admissions preferences (“Affirmative Action for Bluebloods”):

Defending legacy admissions is a mistake, not just because it is inconsistent with opposition to affirmative action but also because legacy admissions are indefensible.

They make a mockery of merit, granting special status to the applicant whose only virtue is an accident of birth and whose achievements, as in the case of our C-student commander in chief . . . are modest at best.

They further privilege the already privileged, turning college admissions into a loathsome, nepotistic enterprise that, according to one admissions director, admits children of alumni at “up to twice the rate of the general pool.”

Worst of all, they do all this not in the name of noble ideals like diversity or social justice -- as affirmative action purports to do -- but for the simple reason that money has changed hands. . . .

It’s the most detestable kind of unabashed corruption -- quid pro quo -- and it has no rightful place in any admissions office. Conservatives who defend it while opposing affirmative action are properly charged as self-deluding racists and elitists.

I have reason to suspect Vincent hates my guts and the feeling is well, the feeling. But it’s important to give credit where credit is due.

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