The Assumptions Of Peter Canellos

Peter Canellos is the Globe’s Washington Bureau Chief. Every week he writes a column called National Perspective, tagged as ‘his weekly analysis of events in the capital and beyond.’

Today’s column contained this paragraph near the beginning of the piece, discussing the two faces of politicians, focusing on the feud between Mitt ‘The Mitten’ Romney and Rudy ‘Mr. G.’ Giuliani, but starting higher up the food chain for some reason:

There is, for instance, only a small distance between the friendly George W. Bush with whom many Americans would like to have a beer, and his bad-faced twin, the smirking frat boy. Likewise, there is only a small difference between the Bill Clinton who really cares about people’s problems, and the Bill Clinton who is so eager to be liked that he will say or do almost anything.

First things first. I’d like to sit for a beer with Bush, but not to listen to his driveling insanity. Nope, I’d just like the opportunity to throw beer at him and punch him in the smirk.

But really, Peter, what’s this about Clinton? Perhaps I was out of the country the day he said or did almost anything to be liked. Where does that come from? Really, did you create this whole column just so you could slip in an unsupported slur on Clinton?

Leaving Clintonia behind, further on Canellos notes:

Romney’s political appeal was well in evidence in his rise to the front ranks of GOP presidential contenders.His perfectly groomed appearance marks him immediately as one of life’s winners.

I once worked as a prison guard in a juvenile max lockup. We had this one kid who was fastidious about his grooming, his clothes, everything about his appearance. He was the most vicious little bastard in there.

Perfectly groomed people, people who pay such narcissistic attention to their appearance, need to be kept at arm’s length, Petey. They tend to be con men, narcissists, or sociopaths. Or big business guys who are con men, narcissists, or sociopaths. One thing they can never be trusted to be is honest.

Which brings us to Petey’s comment on Giuliani, undoubtedly the most overrated national politician of this and last century.

Giuliani is an authentic playground fighter, raised in Brooklyn, who can be at his best in combat. When the combat is purposeful – such as his efforts as US attorney for Manhattan in the ’80s to crack down on rich, white-collar criminals – Giuliani can seem confident and impressively clearheaded. When the combat is imposed on him, as in the 9/11 attacks, he can be downright courageous.

Ah, yes, the myth of Mr. G and 9/11. To this day no one has come up with a good answer about what he did then to deserve such praise for his courage or leadership. In fact, a solid evidential case can be made that his actions before 9/11 contributed to the depth of the tragedy. And his vaunted (he vaunts it, but outside his organization there aren’t a lot of vaunters) experience in fighting terrorism comprises failing to attend any of the Iraq Commission’s meetings. He was a member of the Commission. Couldn’t be bothered to show up.

So, Petey, where’s the courage you’re assuming for Mr. G ? When did you decide that an expensive suit marks a winner? You’re assuming things that aren’t in evidence. Not a good thing for an analyst.

But it’s nice that you closed the column with “But voters looking for someone to be presidential were probably looking elsewhere.”

Especially since the only man mentioned who can claim to being presidential  is Bill Clinton. And you slurred him without offering any evidence. You could have said he was an adulterer. Fine. No argument. But there’s no case to be made that he’s a sycophantic suckup. Maybe you confused him with the fools around Bush and Cheney, eh? Too long in Washington, Peter? Maybe you can’t tell the players apart anymore?

Shape up, dude. You’re in the big leagues. Wipe those assumptions off your page.

P.S. Of course The Lion gets to make assumptions whenever he wants because he’s a small-time blogger toiling in obscurity with the primary goal of keeping his blood pressure from blowing the top of his head off as he reads the daily newspaper. Sorry, Peter. You want to play in the big leagues, you can’t play by the rules of the sub-minor leagues. That’s my turf, dude. Yowsah!


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