July 11, 2008

Bernard-Henri Lévy says why Barack Obama will be President.

The French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy is writing about America again, getting things wrong, of course:
Then there is ... the American art of "junk politics," especially as practiced by the Republicans, and its unpredictable, often devastating effects. When will the below-the-belt stuff begin? On what Internet site will the first photomontages appear of Barack Obama tricked up as a radical Islamist? How many other pastors à la Jeremiah Wright will we see paraded out by "527s," groups on the fringes of the principal parties that are allowed, without bearing any moral or financial responsibility, to launch all kinds of slanderous campaigns?
Can you get things wrong with questions? Why, yes you can! Note the sleaziness of implying that Republicans will begin the "below-the-belt stuff" at some point, when we know that below-the-belt stuff has already happened and it came from that Democratic source known as the Hillary Clinton campaign.

And this notion of "other pastors à la Jeremiah Wright" implies that Wright was just some pastor unfairly associated with Obama and not the religious leader Obama chose and stuck with for 20 years. And 527s have no financial responsibility? They're responsible for paying for their own ads. Presumably, Lévy's referring to their independence from the legal restrictions that apply to the campaigns. And as for "moral responsibility" — we all have moral responsibility, and if there is actual "slander," there can be lawsuits to hold 527s responsible.

Anyway, Lévy identifies 3 reasons why he thinks Obama will win:
1. America has changed. ... America is no longer a Protestant, Anglo-Saxon country, European by tradition and white by vocation, that cannot seriously imagine a black man running for the presidency....
Not much of a reason why he will win. Obviously, Obama's success to this point establishes that Americans can "seriously imagine" him running. Lévy is so stingy about saying anything complimentary about Americans that he won't make his own point more strongly. He could say: a large proportion of Americans love the idea of a black President.

But Lévy pads out his first point with verbiage about the America that went "far right" after 9/11 and opposes abortion and Darwinism. Without establishing that people with such opinions are racist, Lévy simply decides that they are giving up. He tells us that he perceives their efforts as "the shock and desperate mobilization of an America that knows it is dying but is trying nonetheless to delay the moment when it realizes it must surrender." The Frenchman exhibits pride in his sharp, early perception of the need for surrender. That's rich.

Point #2:
2. Obama is not a typical African-American. Unlike, say, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or Condoleezza Rice, he does not carry with him the heritage of slavery or the memory of segregation because he was born of a Kenyan father.
Note to Lévy: Men don't bear children. Your pretentious locution is generating ludicrous errors. (Note to commenters: Spare me references to the "pregnant man.")
The difference is enormous, because the mirror he holds up to America is no longer one that reflects those dark times, no longer one of unbearable ancestral culpability. Barack Obama can win because he is the first African-American to take, by the grace of his birth, a step away from the two sides of a deep divide--and the first who may now play the card--not of condemnation or damnation--but of seduction, and--as he says over and over--of reconciliation.
So point #1 is that we're not racists anymore, but point #2 is that we still kind of are. And these are 2 of the 3 reasons Obama will be President? Lévy could make point #2 more strongly, and why doesn't he? The point is that white Americans love the idea of transcending race, and Obama has cleverly exploited that hope. But, as Jesse Jackson reminded us the other day, that can be a tricky enterprise. So #2 could be a reason that Obama will win, or it could be a reason why he's come this far but will be tripped up in the end.

So there's one more reason left. This better be good:
3. He is good.
Ha ha. It is good!
What I mean is that he is not only the most charismatic but also the most gifted politician produced by the Democratic machine in a long time.
Charismatic and gifted? Has such an amazing combination ever been seen before? Good lord. Did you know that Obama is also tall and has impressive height? Simultaneously!

So, yeah, anyway, okay, Obama is charismatic and gifted. We know that. It's gotten him very far. He defeated Hillary. But is there no limit to what you can do with charisma?

IN THE COMMENTS: Simon says:
All of this is designed to set up the narrative that if Obama loses, it's because we're a racist country. Cut away the fluff, and that's the clear purpose of this an a million similar commentaries advancing the same idea. To say that Obama will win because we aren't racists any more is to claim - or at least set the stage for the claim - that if he lost, the opposite is true.

"On what Internet site will the first photomontages appear of Barack Obama tricked up as a radical Islamist?"

It's true that the Rethuglican noise machine does things like that. Remember the last Senate election in Connecticut, when Republicans depicted then-Democratic Senator Lieberman in blackface? Oh, wait... Hold on, that wasn't the Republican party, it was the left.

Ann said...
"[I]f there is actual 'slander,' there can be lawsuits to hold 527s responsible."

Indeed. There is a reason why Senator Kerry has never sued anyone over the so-called swift boat veterans' claims.
Exactly.

Revenant said:
Obama is not a typical African-American. Unlike, say, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or Condoleezza Rice

If the guy wasn't a Frenchman unfamiliar with American society I'd be tempted to call him out for racism. Referring to Sharpton and Jackson as "typical African-Americans" is an insult to black people. For that matter, the term "typical African-American" is suspect to begin with.

What I mean is that he is not only the most charismatic but also the most gifted politician produced by the Democratic machine in a long time.

So has Bill Clinton officially lost his status as "charismatic and brilliant politician", or does Levy think it has been "a long time" since the 1990s?
Ha ha.

The Drill SGT said:
The difference is enormous, because the mirror he holds up to America is no longer one that reflects those dark times, no longer one of unbearable ancestral culpability. Barack Obama can win because he is the first African-American to take, by the grace of his birth, a step away from the two sides of a deep divide--and the first who may now play the card--not of condemnation or damnation--but of seduction, and--as he says over and over--of reconciliation.

Forgive me for thinking that Colin Powell could have had the Republican nomination for the asking and likely the WH if Alma Powell hadn't said no.
So Lévy managed, in short order, to forget Bill Clinton and Colin Powell.

Henry said:
I was wondering why anyone cares about this guy and found out that Wikipedia is not a fan:

Critics of Lévy are not limited to pie-throwers, however; French journalists Jade Lindgaard and Xavier de la Porte, in a biography of the philosopher, claimed that "In all his works and articles, there is not a single philosophical proposition." The book is contested, however, and Lévy sought legal action against the authors.

You can see why Lévy doesn't like America. It's harder to sue your critics here.
Oh, so then he does know about defamation lawsuits. He likes to bring them for mere insults. So that's why he thinks the 527 are not held accountable? In America, we get to insult each other with impunity. I can say John Kerry is not a war hero and there's not a damned thing he can do about it.

By the way, LOL at "Wikipedia is not a fan."

Former law student said:
Don't be so hard on his "born of a Kenyan" locution; note that the article was Translated from the French by Sara Sugihara.
Oh. Good point. So maybe he didn't say "surrender" either. This "translated from the French" business is frustrating to textualist bloggers like me. If that is supposed to be a defense, I will counter with a new attack: How can this man purport to instruct us on the subtleties of American political discourse if he doesn't write in English?

115 comments:

garage mahal said...

Don't insult Republicans. I hate Hillary. Yawn.

AllenS said...

Ya, you bet, charismatic and gifted, not to mention clean, except in the morning when, as Michelle tells it, he's kinda stinky.

Robert Burnham said...

I know of two Frenchmen who have written books about the United States that are worth reading: Alexis de Tocqueville and Jean-Francois Revel.

The rest? Well.....

Chip Ahoy said...

Excuse me, Bernard, you said something? Oh. America. I see. Here, pull up a chair and I'll tell you all about the French political scene.

Rich B said...

About as exciting as a French rock musician.

Simon said...

All of this is designed to set up the narrative that if Obama loses, it's because we're a racist country. Cut away the fluff, and that's the clear purpose of this an a million similar commentaries advancing the same idea. To say that Obama will win because we aren't racists any more is to claim - or at least set the stage for the claim - that if he lost, the opposite is true.

"On what Internet site will the first photomontages appear of Barack Obama tricked up as a radical Islamist?"

It's true that the Rethuglican noise machine does things like that. Remember the last Senate election in Connecticut, when Republicans depicted then-Democratic Senator Lieberman in blackface? Oh, wait... Hold on, that wasn't the Republican party, it was the left.

Ann said...
"[I]f there is actual 'slander,' there can be lawsuits to hold 527s responsible."

Indeed. There is a reason why Senator Kerry has never sued anyone over the so-called swift boat veterans' claims.

Chip Ahoy said...

That Tocqueville book, Democracy in America, is a slog and a half. Things didn't work out too well for him on his return to France.

Tocqueville

Revenant said...

Obama is not a typical African-American. Unlike, say, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or Condoleezza Rice

If the guy wasn't a Frenchman unfamiliar with American society I'd be tempted to call him out for racism. Referring to Sharpton and Jackson as "typical African-Americans" is an insult to black people. For that matter, the term "typical African-American" is suspect to begin with.

What I mean is that he is not only the most charismatic but also the most gifted politician produced by the Democratic machine in a long time.

So has Bill Clinton officially lost his status as "charismatic and brilliant politician", or does Levy think it has been "a long time" since the 1990s?

The Drill SGT said...

The difference is enormous, because the mirror he holds up to America is no longer one that reflects those dark times, no longer one of unbearable ancestral culpability. Barack Obama can win because he is the first African-American to take, by the grace of his birth, a step away from the two sides of a deep divide--and the first who may now play the card--not of condemnation or damnation--but of seduction, and--as he says over and over--of reconciliation.

Forgive me for thinking that Colin Powell could have had the Republican nomination for the asking and likely the WH if Alma Powell hadn't said no.

Oh and did I mention he's the self-made son of immigrants who led the most equal (really equal) opportunity institution in America, the Army?

So Frog, what's your point again?

Henry said...

I was wondering why anyone cares about this guy and found out that Wikipedia is not a fan:

Critics of Lévy are not limited to pie-throwers, however; French journalists Jade Lindgaard and Xavier de la Porte, in a biography of the philosopher, claimed that "In all his works and articles, there is not a single philosophical proposition." The book is contested, however, and Lévy sought legal action against the authors.

You can see why Lévy doesn't like America. It's harder to sue your critics here.

You can also see why he's a philosopher. He has no problem descrying "moral responsibility" but he's fuzzy about legal responsibility (such as the definition of slander).

This free speech thing is so declasse.

chuck b. said...

It's always fun to read Althouse deconstruct.


Even if Obama wins, I expect more essays about American racism.

Henry said...

Can someone set up a debate between Jesse Jackson and Bernard-Henri Lévy? Let's have Bill Clinton moderate.

The Drill SGT said...

minor correction, Powell was CJCS, not CSA

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I don't see the opening graf about Republicans engaging in "junk politics" getting things wrong so much as it's blatantly biased. Everything he said was true, he just didn't bother to mention that Democrats do it too. That might be "wrong" in the sense that it's not fair, but he's not "getting it wrong."

Bissage said...

Aah haz to ahgreee wiz zee pheelozofer maahn an aah hohpe to wheetness zee beelow zee behlt faahting stuhff raaht ahway eef nawt soonhaar.

Hahw, hahw, hahw!

Fen said...

If the guy wasn't a Frenchman unfamiliar with American society -

But..he's multilingual, so surely he has an understanding of American society...

The Frenchman exhibits pride in his sharp, early perception of the need for surrender.

Nicely done.

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

The only french I like is Frenchs yellow mustard that I like to put on my frank.

I like franks. Big juicy franks. Stuffed in a bun.

Yummy.

former law student said...

The Clintons are Republicans, duh. Who else favors free trade and wanted to end welfare?

Don't be so hard on his "born of a Kenyan" locution; note that the article was Translated from the French by Sara Sugihara.

Finally, I know a number of extremely gifted people with no charisma at all, so I suspect that there are charismatic people with extremely limited gifts.

rhhardin said...

Obama has so much charisma that he erases credit cards.

The Drill SGT said...

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...
The only french I like is Frenchs yellow mustard that I like to put on my frank.


French Fries?
French Toast?
French Bread?

Revenant said...

The only french I like is Frenchs yellow mustard

It should be illegal to call that stuff "mustard". It might even qualify as hate speech.

Original Mike said...

The Clintons are Republicans, duh. Who else favors free trade and wanted to end welfare?

I'll give you free trade (if we're talking Bill, which isn't the same as "the Clintons"), but end welfare? He was forced to do that.

Paul Snively said...

Althouse: But is there no limit to what you can do with charisma?

Given that Lévy continues to have a career, apparently not.

Original Mike said...

It should be illegal to call that stuff "mustard". It might even qualify as hate speech.

Here! Here!

I love mustard. That stuff barely qualifies.

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

I can not have any of that. I have the sugar so I have to watch what I eat. A nice juciy frank at the game is the only treat I let myself have. Thats the only french that I have in my life.

Anthony said...

It reads like a college newspaper piece written by a freshman.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Actually, I think the three funniest parts of Lévy's analysis are:

(1) His observation that American Presidential Elections are decided by "microscopic local issues" like "offshore oil drilling"

(2) The exclamation point next to Caroline Kennedy's name (Caroline Kennedy!)

(3) The mixed metaphor in the final paragraph: Obama as a "meteor" who "will will very soon be the face of the United States."

That image should go on the dollar bill.

And wait, a meteor? Is Obama going to burn out or crater?

Original Mike said...

Ahh, that's probably "Hear! Hear!", isn't it?

1jpb said...

The NRC and McCain, may not push the sleaziest stuff.

But, HRC didn't sling sleaze like the right wing attackers, who are Republicans. Even if you believe Insight, which claims that it was HRC's folks who made up, and planted the Madrasa story, there have been a lot of Rs spreading this (and other) email lie(s.)

It is undeniable that plenty of Republicans do pedal false sleaze. Look at some of the baseless hyperventilation from commentators in the post about the interview with the kids. I'm especially intrigued by the folks who believe with absolute certainty (but not knowledge) that they know what BHO thinks.

And, how do they know this? Well some of them are simply making a logical assessment because they've seen a few minutes of youtube clips of his pastor from times when BHO wasn't in church, and they've seen a few out of context sentences from hundreds of pages from his books, and they know that over decades he came across tens of thousands of people and he crossed paths a few times and was friendly with a neighborhood professor who used to be a terrorist and is still nutty, etc., so of course they know what he thinks. It's easy to find this sort of non-fact based character assassination (and worse in some venues) online, on radio, and on the tube.

That said, Levy did get a lot wrong. I give him a 0.5 (of 100) on the Tocqueville insightful-French-guy scale.

Original Mike said...

Henry, if Obama is a big meteor, he may destroy life as we know it.

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

Well if you like mustard like you say, why do you like a young man who can not cut the mustard, Frenchs or Guldens?

I mean I could just see him trying to open one of those little packets. He tries to squeeze it, can not do it. He tries to rip it, can not do it. He puts it in his mouth to tear it. It opens too quick and spills all over his face and lips. All over his shirt and little tie.

I think he should just hand the package to his wife. I bet she could cut the mustard.

Joaquin said...

French Fries?
French Toast?
French Bread?

French Kiss?

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

I am a good Christian woman. Shame on you.

Roger J. said...

What did Orwell say about stupid things that only intellectuals believe? Other than a good ball park frank, nothing is as turgid as a French Philosopher!

downtownlad said...

McCain will win, because the Dow is up a whopping 300 points since Bush took office.

Bull market.

downtownlad said...

And Fox News started the Rev. Wright stuff, not Hilary. So it was the Republicans.

paul a'barge said...

So maybe he didn't say "surrender" either

What? A Frenchman not saying surrender?

What will they think of next?

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

The Republicans are ketchup. Not mustard.

The Democrats are mustard. And salsa.

AllenS said...

"Translated from the French by Sara Sugihara."

Sounds like Lévy needs to learn a second language. Obama should tell Lévy to learn Spanish.

The Drill SGT said...

Oh. Good point. So maybe he didn't say "surrender" either

Paul beat me to it. The French have about 20 words for surrender, so the many French to one American word doesn't indicate a mis-translation.

Revenant said...

Fox News started the Rev. Wright stuff, not Hilary.

The first person to publish stories about Barack Obama's close personal and religious ties to Reverend Jeremiah Wright was... Barack Obama. All Fox News and Hillary did was run stories about who Jeremiah Wright *was* and what he really believed.

1jpb said...

mind reader alert

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

How did you know I was thinking about hot dogs?

Wurly said...

He's a face, he's a meteor, and he's crashing into the U.S.

Here is the perfect sculpture to capture the spirit of Obama.

Al Swearengen said...

Repeating what other people have just said is a sign you are getting old chief.

bearbee said...

Lévy is so stingy about saying anything complimentary about Americans...

You can see why Lévy doesn't like America...

This Charlie Rose interview of Levy goes back a few years in which he says many complimentary things with no indication that he dislikes America.

Yes, there are many aspects he dislikes: Guantanamo, death penalty, poverty, Creationism, the war and , i suspect, the Bush Administration, but he admires the strong democratic spirit, the energy and vitality of its civil/political debates, the generosity of Americans for those in crisis.

He suggests that American democracy remains a model for Europe.

Kirk Parker said...

Rev,

"Excuse me--do you have gay poupon?"

Everyone else,

OK, maybe it's not the most blatant bit of nonsense, but don't you think "white by vocation" merits at least a mention? :-)

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

I think its grey poupon. Gay poupon is what they wave at the gay pride parade. At least thats what that nice boy Titus always said.

He didnt like mustard either. He liked his hot dog raw.

Cedarford said...

In France, Levy is famous as the philospher from the highest levels of "born into it" money and power who started as a Jewish Marxist, then became French Neocon (like the US ones except for the hatred of capitalism), then a world-trotting "philosophe`" and writer. He has been "connected" to French leaders and other Elites of the EU for decades.

His place as one of the wealthiest men in France is thanks to his former family businesses of logging rare and valuable timber - mainly African rain forest stuff. (Since the early 50s, if you had yacht wooden trim or nice furniture in Europe, before IKEA and birch came along, the Levy Family got it's cut.)
In France, he is regarded as the most narcissistic man in the nation - no small feat - and known as BHL. His French critics sometimes call him "BHV", after the French Walmart knockoff that sells anything and everything on the cheap. They loved learning that his trademark "man of the people" open collar white shirts were exclusively made for BHL by a high fashion clothier who designed the shirts do the collar would never sag or roll underneath the jacket and cost up to 400 francs each.

BHL has been the victim of numerous "pie in the face" attacks by French anarchists in recent years despite his always moving about with bodyguards and a stylist.

A Gallic combination of Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Martin Sheen political activist level notoriety, and the "rock star" writer and journalist that no one quite likes to read.

From a Guardian Review:

"BHL had hoped to sell himself to the United States with American Vertigo, in which he travels the United States “In the footsteps of Tocqueville.” No one is buying.

American Vertigo reminds me of that old movie, If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, about American tourists hip-hopping Europe in great haste. BHL’s account of his lightening-quick stops in various parts of the country—chauffeur and translator in tow—is receiving universally bad reviews, especially in the cities he visited, whose local newspapers have made a sport out of pointing out how he got it wrong. Meanwhile, the book’s bric-a-brac of dime-store observations has been widely ridiculed. In the front page of the New York Times Book Review, Garrison Keillor skewered BHL for “the grandiosity of a college sophomore, a student padding out a term paper,” adding, “There’s no reason for [the book] to exist in English, except as evidence that travel need not be broadening.” "

I read "In the Footsteps of Tocqueville" when it was serialized in Atlantic Magazine -thinking that a Frenchman could maybe repeat the nobleman's great insight. It was fucking awful, each segment as bad of worse than the preceeding one. I wrote the editor, suggesting a voluntary pay cut for failed "due diligence" in serving as The Atlantic's crap filter. They got hundreds of others like mine.
One of the better ones was the French neocons don't bother to mask the sneers and comtempt they feel for the American public and their Christian, patriotic values - unlike the American neocons.

P. Rich said...

Granted, for the sake of shortening this comment, that Obama is a "gifted politician":

What, exactly, is a gifted politician, and

Why, exactly, would we ever want one as president?

There must be several hundred mindless assumptions fertilizing the belief that being a gifted politico is a positive. I question them all.

Kirby Olson said...

Kathleen Parker had a good editorial a few days ago in the local paper entitled Courage Under Fire. She says that General Wesley Clark's nonsensical iteration that it is not enough to be shot down in a plane to be president shows that the Democrats don't understand what part of McCain that Americans like. It's not that he was shot down, it's that he didn't sell out his comrades at the first convenience.

Obama on the other hand threw his pastor and grandma under the bus the moment they became inconvenient.

McCain stuck with his homies even when it cost him an arm and a leg.

BO sold out his own family members, the people who raised him, in order to get votes.

MLK said we should look at a person's CHARACTER, not their race or gender or class. Obama is an opportunist. McCain isn't.

McCain's a stand-up guy even he's having his legs broken by fiendish communists.

I'm not sure BHL quite understands that we tend to think a lot about character in this country, and words don't matter so much for us. McCain is a hero who stands by his fellows.

Obama is more like a French person: all flowery rhetoric and underneath that, clueless, and a little stinky, like weird cheese, or like Pepe La Pue.

Although BHL does seem to understand that Marxism is "inherently corrupt," as he once put it, he doesn't seem to understand that race, gender, and class are Marxist constructs.

They're superficial. Most Americans understand that character has nothing to do with superficial demographics or with flowery rhetoric.

French people are too dumb to get that which is why their country is just a museum with a yogurt stand.

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

My sister makes me eat that yogurt that makes you go potty. You know the one that nice lady who was on the show with the nice Jewish boy who complians a lot. He was very nervous all the time. Shes old now like me and I guess she has a little trouble with number 2. So she eats her special yogurt and its all good.

Richard Fagin said...

Didn't Obama give a big "merci beaucoup" to his French supporters in a speech the other day? Oh, wait, that was Obama admonishing us to teach our kids Spanish! Cabron! That enough Spanish for you, Senator?

Of course, with Obama as President, Mr. Levy won't have to worry about those hyper-puissant Americans sending their planes over French airspace to bomb Tehran after the Iranians send a few of their new Shahab missiles to Paris.

Roger Cain said...

The French are such whiners.

Here is an interesting article from John Derbyshire of National Review on Bobby Jindal:

Patsy Jindal [John Derbyshire]


What do I have to say about Louisiana Governor Jindal signing the Louisiana Science Education Act? Very little more than I said here back on June 20.

Whether or not the law as signed is unconstitutional per se, I do not know. I do know, though — as the creationist Discovery Institute that helped promote the Act also surely knows — that the Act will encourage Louisiana local school boards to unconstitutional behavior. That's what it's meant to do.

Some local school board will take the Act as a permit to bring religious instruction into their science classes. That will irk some parents. Those parents will sue. There will be a noisy and expensive federal lawsuit, possibly followed by further noisy and expensive appeals. The school board will inevitably lose. The property owners of that school district will take the financial hit.

Where will the Discovery Institute be when these legal expenses come due? Just where they were in the Dover case — nowhere! What, you were thinking that those bold warriors for truth at the Discovery Institute will help to fund the defense in these no-hope lawsuits? Ha ha ha ha ha!

Helping to defend creationist school boards in federal courts is not the Discovery Institute's game. Their game is to (a) make money from those spurious "textbooks" they put out, and (b) keep creationism in the news so that they don't run out of lecture gigs and wealthy funders. So far as those legal bills are concerned, Discovery Institute policy is: Let the dumb rubes fund their own stupid lawsuits.

Or, as the Discovery Institute's John West put it in an interview with a New Orleans news service:

"This bill is not a license to propagandize against something they don't like in science," West said. "Someone who uses materials to inject religion into the classroom is not only violating the Constitution, they are violating the bill."
See, the Discovery Instutute does not want any Louisiana school boards bringing religious instruction into science lessons. Heaven forbid! They would never encourage that. Absolutely not! Why, that would be wrong.

All they do is encourage state legislators to pass, and clueless governors to sign, laws that tempt local boards to unconstitutional behavior. The sucker school boards are then on their own, stuck with spending their taxpayers' dollars on the defense of hopeless lawsuits. But, you know, the Discovery Institute had absolutely nothing to do with it. Nothing! Not a thing! All they did was offer some mild support to a perfectly harmless bill. Heck, they didn't even lobby the Governor. From that same news story:

At the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that promotes intelligent design and backed the new education act, senior fellow John West said he and his colleagues did not directly lobby Jindal.
The creationists have pulled off their little stunt once again, and Bobby Jindal has been their patsy. I know there is a pro-Jindal factor among my colleagues here on The Corner, and I'm not stepping on toes for the fun of it. I must say, though, I can't see voting into national office a guy who is duped as easily as this into acting against his voters' interests. I'd prefer that my President or Vice President not be such an easy mark for a gang of sleazy confidence tricksters.


07/09 09:14 AM

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

Somebody told me that girl was born with a winkie that they had to cut off. I know her daddy was a movie star. I think it was some Eyetalian fella. Maybe Dean Martin. That must have made him sad. A daughter with a winkie. Just like our vice president.

ricpic said...

Je suis un twit.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"I think he should just hand the package to his wife. I bet she could cut the mustard."

LOL. Haven't heard that term ....cut the mustard...in years.

former law student said...

I just read the original on the lepoint.fr website. It's a pretty clunky translation, being literal where it should be paraphrased and vice versa: it should read "son of a Kenyan father," and "Obama will soon look like America." But the basic outline is correct:

Why I'm Betting on Obama's Victory

It's not a sure thing:
- McCain is a formidable opponent.
- The Republicans have yet to crank up their sleaze machine, including 527s that can say anything they like without fear of a libel suit.
- Obama has to win a majority of state electors, not popular votes. Swing state majorities often turn on purely local issues, that matter to only a few thousand voters, a million miles from the core themes that have made Obama's campaign irresistable.

Reasons Obama will win:
- America has changed... Although it's been in a headlong rush since 9/11 and it's been putting off the time for calm reflection and withdrawal (from Iraq, I assume). I think "surrender" way overstates what Levy is saying here.
- Born of a Kenyan father, Obama doesn't force Americans to ponder their legacy of slavery and racism.
- He is good... Not to mention pioneering a special committee (led by, if I can say, by the last member of Camelot!) to help choose his future vice president... there is, in the very idea, of this political siege engine shown off in front of all America, the most skillful, most clever, and ultimately the most profitable tribute paid to the inescapable weirdness of the American electoral system.

ricpic said...

Can someone set up a debate between Jesse Jackson and Bernard-Henri Levy?


Jackson: I'll cut off your balls, you fairy froggy hebe!

Levy: Ooh la la, quelle expressione drolle, authentique et veetahl du Ameraycahn Afrique. Bien sur Monsieur Jahksone, vous avez raison. S'il vous plait acceptay mes apologays pour les mauvais choses les blancs a fait aux noirs. Je kees vous ahss.

XWL said...

There was a puff piece in the LAT in advance of that crappy book he wrote about America. The tone was to suggest that he was one of America's biggest fans in France, and that we were so lucky that he deigned to travel our horrible country.

I let him have it for not liking Los Angeles, but there was also this bit in the beginning of the piece,

"While rolling west near Battle Creek, Mich., on Interstate 94, the French celebrity intellectual stopped to relieve himself at the roadside. A state highway patrolman zoomed up with lights flashing and a culture clash ensued: Parisians accept public urination even in nice neighborhoods, while Americans see it as an activity confined to drunks, vagrants and madmen

Battle Creek, home of Kellogg's, he figuratively (or even possibly literally if it was in a field of some grain destined for human consumption) pissed in our collective cereal bowls.

Merde.

(see, Obama, some Americans know more French than just "merci beaucoup)

Randy said...

Parisians accept dogsh*t all over the sidewalks as well. Never seen a greater accumulation of cigarette butts absolutely everywhere (sidewalks, gutters, parks, roads, bushes).

pct said...

Obama is 'produced by the Democratic machine?" Apparently BHL feels Obama bears no responsibility for his own success, but is simply the product of the machine, which appparently has had a recent tune-up.

blake said...

: How can this man purport to instruct us on the subtleties of American political discourse if he doesn't write in English?

You should read it in the original French, you embarrassment to Barack.

Emptyman said...

Actually, if Obama loses, it probably will be because of racism. McCain is senile, crazy, corrupt, and promising to extend for four more years the policies of the least-popular administration since Hoover. The Democrats should be able to elect a tuna-salad sandwich this time around... but did you see the exit interviews from the West Virginia and Kentucky primaries? Do you fully appreciate the depth and breadth of racism and ignorance in the United States? I have spoken to lots and lots of people who swear that they will never vote for Barack Obama -- and when asked why, virtually none of them propose a policy-based reason.

To be sure, there are good, noble, policy-based reasons not to vote for him. But if you question voters on policies, not personalities, Democratic policies outpoll Republican ones by about 2:1. Therefore, the fact that Obama is not leading in the polls by about 30 points is based on something other than policy. Let's give McCain ten points for those who prefer senility over inexperience, and ten points for those who believe that Jesus Christ commands them to vote Republican, no matter what... and you're still left with ten points worth of racism.

garage mahal said...

Kathleen Parker had a good editorial a few days ago in the local paper entitled Courage Under Fire. She says that General Wesley Clark's nonsensical iteration that it is not enough to be shot down in a plane to be president shows that the Democrats don't understand what part of McCain that Americans like. It's not that he was shot down, it's that he didn't sell out his comrades at the first convenience.

McCain in his book said he contemplated suicide upon his father finding out he gave information to the Vietnamese that he would disprove of, such as, number of aircraft in his flight, information about rescue ships, and the order of attacks that would take place . Is that courage under fire? The Vietcong called him "PW Songbird". He received 28 medals for being in enemy territory less than 20 hours. Compare that to infantry grunts that spent thousands of hours in the jungle and I bet his son of an Admiral cell would look pretty good.

Randy said...

Emptyman, I won't say I will never vote for Obama, but I'll happily give you three policy reason I probably won't vote for him:

1) His Iraq policy (intransigent)

2) His support for card-check union elections

3) His proposal to raise capital gains taxes back to pre-Clinton levels.

I could give you even more policy concerns that people I know have (who may or may not vote for him), but I doubt you really care. I also suspebt that your sample size is much smaller than my small group of acquaintances, leaning heavily to disappointed Hillary supporters.

The Drill SGT said...

Victoria discussed this yesterday in a fashion

To hear them speak of America, as television channel France2 did with the Clinton-Obama campaign, as they gleefully reported the rejection of Obama by voters "because he was black" (and giving no other reason), you would think such a scolding attitude belies a nation which has no such problems.

Why, if a French black man were to run for President of France, he would win in a landslide! Right?

Actually, a black presidential French candidate is so unthinkable today, as to be almost laughable. His chances for Elysée consideration stand at exactly nil.

There is but one black representative in 555 sitting in the French National Assembly. There are 11 minorities in total. There is no black Senator. There are no black mayors in France amongst 36,000. There are no black French CEOs. The very first black newsreader was elevated to his position two whole years ago.

In short, the French power structure is lily-white.

Much much more than America's is, or ever was.

Al Swearengen said...

General Custer made his mistakes and he paid the full measure for them. But trust a San Fransico cocksucker to be certain sure he would know what to do when he cant even figure out how to put on his boots of a morning.

ricpic said...

Ooh ees le cocksuquer du Freesco?

blake said...

Who else favors free trade and wanted to end welfare?

I'll give you free trade (if we're talking Bill, which isn't the same as "the Clintons"), but end welfare? He was forced to do that.

But Obama is happy to claim that he's against NAFTA--but not really--and that he was for welfare reform, even though he opposed it.

True, Clinton pulled off the same thing, but that was 15 years ago, pre-tubes, basically.

MadisonMan said...

I think B-H Levy will be right (does he have a proven track record of predicting Presidential outcomes in the US? Doubt it) unless McCain wrestles that microphone away from Senator Phil Gramm.

Al Swearengen said...

Frenchmen are best used to make toilet water and excuses for why they failed. They just like to piss and moan. Even old Napoleon died of a bellyache.

MadisonMan said...

Al, I don't think I'd like toilet water made out of a frenchman.

Al Swearengen said...

It comes from their sweat. The dew offa their lily. Smells like lavender and daisy. Ask the widow when she isnt spooning down the laudanum or making the beast with two backs with the sheriff. You know he looks suspiciously like a Frenchmen.

MadisonMan said...

...although I admit it would like have a certain, shall we say, je ne sais quoi.

Fen said...

Emptyman: Actually, if Obama loses, it probably will be because of racism

Yup. Dr Cone, Obama supporter and champion of Obama's "madrassa", pointing to Trinity church as the archetype for Black Liberation Theology which "will only accept the love a God that participates in the destruction of the White enemy"

Obama worshipped at a racist altar for 20 years. One of many reasons I'm voting against him. He's a racist pig.

Al Swearengen said...

Talk American. I have enough trouble with Wu.

Fen said...

BTW emptyman, why are you supporting such racist scum? At best, Obama is an enabler.

Do you also crave "the destruction of the White enemy"?

Al Swearengen said...

Doc prescribed a white enema when I had the gleets. He stuck six fresh hen eggs up my mudhole. I couldnt wait to get rid of them.

MadisonMan said...

There must be a blog somewhere that uses a different language each day. If it's Friday, it must be French. (Finnish? Kiitos!)

Original Mike said...

Interesting, Drill Sgt. Thanks for the info.

Al Swearengen said...

It the same language every day young man, its just the understanding of it thats lacking.

Fen said...

The Republicans have yet to crank up their sleaze machine,

It should be noted that Obama is already knee-deep in sleaze attacks, the first being his distortion of McCain's speech, implying that McCain wanted to fight a war in Iraq for 100 years, when what he was talking about was maintaining a presence in the region much like we did in Germany, Japan and Korea.

MadisonMan said...

If you don't understand it's because you're not listening.

Al Swearengen said...

Oh I am listening never you doubt that young man. But what stock should I put in a young coporal who hasnt even run the livery for more than a month. I as soon as listen to my horse, if I had one. Which I do not. At least in this race.

Revenant said...

But if you question voters on policies, not personalities, Democratic policies outpoll Republican ones by about 2:1.

There are Democratic policies? Is Obama planning to say exactly what they are anytime soon, or is he still "refining" them? :)

Revenant said...

including 527s that can say anything they like without fear of a libel suit.

The only way to speak without fear of a libel suit is to not say anything malicious and demonstrably false about anybody. 527s enjoy no special protection. Realistically speaking they enjoy even less protection than the official campaigns do, since Presidential candidates routinely tell malicious lies about their opponents and have (to the best of my knowledge) never been successfully sued for it.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Emptyman's explanation for how Gore and Kerry managed to avoid beating Bush by 20 points each is bound to be fascinating when it comes along by and by.

Palladian said...

BS about BHO from BHL.

Al Swearengen said...

It not real substance on TV, it's BHO.

Nick said...

There's no western culture more racist than France's. A less obliging translation would be "Obama is no ordinary black, and not just because he's mixed race..." I swear you could write a French op-ed by sticking the words "audacieux," "hélas," a "ne...que," and, what the heck, "incontournable" into a database that spits them out at random.

Ernst Blofeld said...

The pissing incident showed BHL's cluelessness in multiple ways. BHL built it up as an example of paranoia and prudishness; the cop tells him to "keep moving" and BHL wonders if he will be arrested for "loitering with intent" or if this is some national security measure.

The simple fact is he was parked on the shoulder of a freeway; everywhere in the US parking on the shoulder of the freeway is not allowed. The cop told him to unpark his ass and move along before his car got rear-ended by a drowsy semi driver.

BHL was being both ignorant and wildly pretentious.

former law student said...

what [McCain] was talking about was maintaining a presence in the region much like we did in Germany, Japan and Korea

One main difference is that we regarded Germany and Japan as evil. Here, Saddam and the Baathists were evil, but we look at the population as basically good -- that we liberated Iraq rather than conquered it. So really, Iraq should be treated as we did France.

But if we do treat Iraq as we did Germany after the war, I would recommend sharing the responsibility for the occupation with other countries (as we did with England and France, not as we did with the Soviets), and disarming the populace. Even the cops were disarmed well into the 50's.

Korea is McCain's strongest argument for continued occupation. We did not have a coherent plan for occupation, made a number of dumbass moves, but the worst thing we did was pull out prematurely, which left a power vacuum filled by the Chinese-backed North Koreans. The Korean War was basically fought to clean up the mess we made by early withdrawal of occupation forces.

bearbee said...

I read "In the Footsteps of Tocqueville"...

I located the article online, published in 2005 covering his 2004(?) trek across the US.

I skimmed a few pages of "In the Footsteps of Tocqueville" and, surprise, on page 4 he has written about Barack Obama, The Black Clinton.

So began his fascination with/adoration of, Obama.

Without saying as much, does he continue to view Obama as The Black Clinton?

Dr Dre's Underpants said...

Yo, George Clinton is black.

JM Hanes said...

Sorry Béo, but you are so last year's news! Joe Biden has been there/done that:

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."

In fact, cher, your remarks bear a suspicious resemblance to his. It's the irony!

Dr Dre's Underpants said...

What do a french dude know anyway. You know Barack is gonnna win anyway. Why fight it with your old ass white man. Give it up bitch.

Kevin said...

Votes I get: 1
Votes Lévy gets: 0

I can't tell you how infinitely more important my opinion is than his, because mathematically speaking, division by zero is undefined.

Michael McNeil said...

Since Alexis de Tocqueville and his Democracy in America have been one of the side topics here, it’s perhaps worth mentioning that Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once called Tocqueville’s work one of America’s “Crown Jewels.”

Unlike the real jewels which make up the “crown jewels” of monarchies, America’s crown jewels are composed of a slim set of documents, including such as the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and the Constitution. Potter Stewart’s view was that Tocqueville’s big fat book belongs amongst that select set — and I agree.

Another thing that ought to be of considerable interest to Tocqueville aficionados is that the travel diary of his visit to the fledgling U.S. has been published, under the title Journey to America, a most interesting book which you can find several instances of available here.

A fascinating excerpt from Tocqueville’s Journey to America, known as “A Fortnight in the Wilds,” can be read here.

somefeller said...

Fen says: Obama worshipped at a racist altar for 20 years. One of many reasons I'm voting against him. He's a racist pig.

Ah, but Fen, let's remember, you voted for him in the primary, and thus in your own small way you helped place him where he is today. I voted for Hillary, which means that as of today you've voted for Obama for President one more time than I have, and on Election Day, we'll just be even.

And oh, yes, I plan on ribbing you mercilessly about that in these comment boxes if Obama wins the Presidency. :)

blake said...

No, no, he voted for Barack for Presidential candidate. Big difference.

Ron Paul makes a fine candidate Hell, RuPaul makes a find candidate.

Hmmm. RuPaul for President...

The Exalted said...

The Frenchman exhibits pride in his sharp, early perception of the need for surrender. That's rich.


what are you, 15 years old?

The Exalted said...

kirby,

as i understand it, the code of conduct prevented mccain from accepting release prior to those captured before him.

further, in your paean, you might note he made an enemy propaganda broadcast which, should a democrat have so acted, no matter the hardship, would be shouted from the rooftops by the GOP at every opportunity, including by you.

but yes, obama seems french. hahahahaha, how pithy!

Al Swearengen said...

I believe that they both have an affinity for cheese. Much like these people from Wisconsin. Squareheads.

Fen said...

somefeller: Ah, but Fen, let's remember, you voted for him in the primary, and thus in your own small way you helped place him where he is today.

Uhm...

[Damn]

Nice shot.

Al Swearengen said...

I will not make any cheese eating surrender monkey comments as they might be misconstrued if taken out of context.

Can we call them cheese eating surrender weasels to be politically correct sir?

William said...

"When will the below the belt stuff begin?" How about when Jackson comes out with a threat of castration emphasized with a snipping motion. The only thing more phony than Jackson's apology was Obama's acceptance of that apology. Obama should take as much umbrage at castration threats as he does at Imus's bad jokes....BHL would probably characterize my distrust of these two politicians as racist. How would he characterize his mistrust of Americans who like McCain?

Po said...

BHL doesn't like America?

Here's the rest of the story from the highway in Michigan that xwl quoted and linked to:

The patrolman told Levy he was in trouble. Tensions escalated. Then Levy explained he was on a modern-day version of the journey that his countryman Alexis de Tocqueville recounted in the 1835 “Democracy in America.”

“[The officer], who for all I know was getting ready to book me for inappropriate behavior, public sexual display or, in any case, ‘loitering with intent,’ looks at me with sudden affability and begins to ask me what, in my opinion, remains valid in Tocqueville’s analysis,” Levy writes. “What better reply to those who keep telling us that America is a country of backward cowboys and uneducated people?


About American racism, he said this on NPR a couple of years ago:

"I spent a lot of my time in the South. I came there with the cliché of the stupid redneck white man: racist, drunk...and racist. I had this idea of the South--idea coming from the cliché, and also idea coming from the literature…Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, to quote the best and the highest.

“My surprise was to what extent the fight for the Civil Rights has succeeded. The message of Martin Luther King has succeeded today. I don't say that there is no longer one racist in the South, of course not. But it is another South. Forty years ago they were bragging, now they are on the defense. You might have no more racists in Alabama and in Tennessee than in France, or in Germany."

somefeller said...

Nice shot.

Thanks. It's hard to resist a good clean hit. And your response was the gracious one. In any case, November will be an interesting month.

Po said...

Also, here is an op-ed he published in Le Point in 2003, shortly after the invasion of Iraq. (The translation was done by Cinderellabloggerfeller, and posted on his now defunct and deleted blog.)



Will Chirac and de Villepin have the courage to disown the current wave of anti-Americanism?


Of all the questions I posed last week, of all those the West is going to pose itself now that the war in Iraq is over, that of relations with America is probably the most urgent.

I am not going to return to the question of knowing who was right out of those (in Washington) who wanted this war at any price and those (in Paris) who, until the very last minute, believed they could topple the tyrant of Baghdad without a war.

I am not going to return to the nuanced position which was, in any case, my own and which led me to write, in this very column, on February 14, that this war was "morally right" (who would not rejoice to see a dictator chased out of power?) but "politically laden with dangers (clash of civilizations etc.)

The real problem today, the most burning, the one I doubt which is being taken with the necessary seriousness at the Elysee Palace or the Quai d'Orsay and within the political class, is that mad, unbounded, Pavlovian anti-Americanism which is currently surging across the world and in which one sees with alarm, here and there, France taking up the role of the standard-bearer.

Must we repeat what this phobic hatred of America has represented in our political culture?

Must we repeat how, from the extreme right to the extreme left, this hatred has always been one of the points of contact with the worst French ideology has been seen to produce?

Must we be reminded, taking the 1920s and 1930s alone, that it is the hatred of America for itself, which is the central article of the first French fascist programme, that of Georges Valois? Must we be reminded of the Anglophile Drieu falling into degradation the precise moment he chose to recognize, in Anglo-Saxon culture, the evil virus of the Aryan spirit? Must we return to the history of our national communists meeting the other extreme, even fusing with it, each time they yielded to the temptation to sum up in the mere word "America" everything they found detestable in this world? Must we call to mind the dark times of that other Berlin-Moscow-Paris axis which, at the moment of the French defeat, was already preaching the rejection of an America which had become another name for Jews and black music, cosmopolitanism and wops, nascent Gaullism, democracy and liberty?

In a certain way, that's where we are at.

Not that the real America does not deserve to be criticized, called into question, even confronted--and roundly.

But the hatred of the other America, the one which is in our heads and is turning them feverish, is currently rediscovering, not only in France but in the whole world, its role an attractor of the worst, as a magnet for the very darkest elements in the passions of the moment.

Globally, the times are returning when, when hysterical crowds burn American flags or effigies of George Bush, it is not Bush they have in mind, nor the policies of the State Department, but an "internal America" (the phrase is from another French fascist of the 1930s, Robert Brasillach) where everything the fanatical haters of the West execrate with the utmost virulence is concentrated.

The times are returning, yes, of an anti-Americanism which is no longer a theme like any other participating, with others, in one ideology or another, but an ideology entire in itself, maybe the last, in which, as in a cauldron, all the scattered remains of the most disturbing discourses of the moment come to be fused: Islamisms, anti-Semitisms, various historical denials, hatred of the other and of the distant, sovereignisms and chauvinisms, anti-globalisms, the regressions of identity politics.

And I believe that France, in the matter, obviously has a role to play--I believe that our country which knows, better than any other, to what it is returning would do itself an honour, on this point, to speak against the current.

Having oneself applauded at Algiers is very nice [referring to Chirac's trip to the Algerian capital]. Having the confidence of the Arab world is very nice. And so much the better, really so much the better, if we manage to reintroduce the United Nations into the great game of post-war Iraq.

But at the same time we must say to those who are listening to us: beware of anti-Americanism; beware of that terrible, murderous passion, which we know so well because we invented it; let the people beware of the bad shepherds who, rather than buckling down to the tasks of the new century, have not done with reinventing that all too convenient scapegoat, the alibi for their own failures, their abnegations, their acts of cowardice; and let these demagogues know, in any case, that there exists another France, that of the Enlightenment and the rights of man, to which their dubious crusade cannot lay claim.

There is another Pandora's box here which will not be closed for a long time. But may we at least expect French diplomacy to take stock and to say once more loud and clear, with the seriousness of which we know it is capable, where its allies are and what are the values it defends.


He also discussed anti-Americanism in this interview, conducted shortly before the invasion of Iraq.

vbspurs said...

The DrillSGT wrote:

Victoria discussed this yesterday in a fashion

Gosh, thanks for the linkage and thought, DSGT! :)

Yes, my blogpost centered on a black French rapper (Monsieur R, please, that sounds like a hip young chef's name) possibly being imprisoned or at the very least fined for daring to speak ill of France.

He sang:

"France is a bitch, don’t forget to f*ck her 'til she’s exhausted/You have to treat her like a slut, man."

And then for good measure:

"Moi, je pisse sur Napoléon et le général de Gaulle."

I have no idea where a man like BHL gets off criticising the USA, AGAIN. As if his horrific travellogue in the "footsteps of de Tocqueville", called American Vertigo, had not been enough -- he displays the same ridiculous lack of insight but passes himself off as some kind of expert on the American zeigeist just the same.

A lot of the comments above were brilliant. And let me say that Althouse is at her absolute best when she's deconstructing an opinion piece like this.

It's terrier-like in persistence, tied to a rapier logic which only a legal mind can have.

Loved it.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Àpropos to that book I mentioned, American Vertigo:

For insight into America, he went to LA to interview Sharon Stone, and then just about kissed Charlie Rose on his neck in hommage.

You guys should really read it (via the Public Library, of course), because it is truly awful.

You know how awful? When beloved Prairie Home Companion raconteur, Garrison Keillor that even the left-leaning radio star cannot find anything good to say about the French dude who rags on Bush.

An excerpt from his NYT review about the book (this is the best bit):

And good Lord, the childlike love of paradox - America is magnificent but mad, greedy and modest, drunk with materialism and religiosity, puritan and outrageous, facing toward the future and yet obsessed with its memories. Americans' party loyalty is "very strong and very pliable, extremely tenacious and in the end somewhat empty." Existential and yet devoid of all content and direction. The partner-swapping club is both "libertine" and "conventional," "depraved" and "proper." And so the reader is fascinated and exhausted by Lévy's tedious and original thinking: "A strong bond holds America together, but a minimal one. An attachment of great force, but not fiercely resolute. A place of high - extremely high - symbolic tension, but a neutral one, a nearly empty one." And what's with the flurries of rhetorical questions? Is this how the French talk or is it something they save for books about America? "What is a Republican? What distinguishes a Republican in the America of today from a Democrat?" Lévy writes, like a student padding out a term paper. "What does this experience tell us?" he writes about the Mall of America. "What do we learn about American civilization from this mausoleum of merchandise, this funeral accumulation of false goods and nondesires in this end-of-the-world setting? What is the effect on the Americans of today of this confined space, this aquarium, where only a semblance of life seems to subsist?" And what is one to make of the series of questions - 20 in a row - about Hillary Clinton, in which Lévy implies she is seeking the White House to erase the shame of the Lewinsky affair? Was Lévy aware of the game 20 Questions, commonly played on long car trips in America? Are we to read this passage as a metaphor of American restlessness? Does he understand how irritating this is? Does he? Do you? May I stop now?

America is changing, he concludes, but America will endure. "I still don't think there's reason to despair of this country. No matter how many derangements, dysfunctions, driftings there may be . . . no matter how fragmented the political and social space may be; despite this nihilist hypertrophy of petty antiquarian memory; despite this hyperobesity - increasingly less metaphorical - of the great social bodies that form the invisible edifice of the country; despite the utter misery of the ghettos . . . I can't manage to convince myself of the collapse, heralded in Europe, of the American model."

Thanks, pal. I don't imagine France collapsing anytime soon either. Thanks for coming. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. For your next book, tell us about those riots in France, the cars burning in the suburbs of Paris. What was that all about? Were fat people involved?


You know, BHL is married to Laeticia Casta, whose face graced "La Marianne" for a while. The equivalent of a famous American beauty's face being chiseled unto the Statue of Liberty every few years.

I'm trying to find an equivalent couple in American terms.

Maybe Jane Fonda and Ted Turner (...or Roger Vadim...or Tom Hayden).

Elitism personified.

Cheers,
Victoria

Rich Rostrom said...

Someone should tell BHL that there are no Republican-affiliated 527 organization. McCain doesn't want any, and has threatened retaliation against anyone who starts one.

The Democrats, now...

Neil said...

"...the most gifted politician produced by the Democratic machine in a long time." 16 years is usually thought of as a long time in politics. It only seems like yesterday because the wounds he inflicted still feel so fresh.