Tuesday, May 11, 2004

THE ROYAL "WE." David Brooks is no more responsible for the quagmire in Iraq than Andrew Sullivan is. Still, it's interesting to see how the New York Times columnist takes (that is, doesn't take) responsibility for his failure to think things through as opposed to the blogger/essayist's squarely wrestling with his conscience.

Sullivan's lamentations, which I flagged yesterday, were filled with the first person singular. By contrast, here is an emblematic passage from Brooks's column this morning:

We were so sure we were using our might for noble purposes, we assumed that sooner or later, everybody else would see that as well. Far from being blinded by greed, we were blinded by idealism.


We didn't understand the tragic irony that our power is also our weakness. As long as we seemed so mighty, others, even those we were aiming to assist, were bound to revolt.

As Tonto explained to the Lone Ranger, "Who's 'we,' Kemosabe?"

DRIVING US AWAY. You could look it up (I don't feel like it), but Media Log has predicted on at least several occasions that this July's Democratic National Convention will be a five-alarm disaster for anyone who lives in, works in, or even thinks about Boston.

Yet now that Anthony Flint is reporting in today's Boston Globe that operations to shut down I-93 each day will begin as early as 4 p.m., I'm ready to make a counterintuitive prediction. I now think everyone has been so thoroughly freaked out by months of apocalyptic scenarios (can I take just a little bit of credit?) that everyone is going to take the week off and the locals are going to barricade themselves inside their homes.

Media Log's newest prediction: this is going to be the easiest week for driving around the city since just after the invention of the automobile.

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