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12.01.2004

I Hope You Can See This, Because I'm Doing It As Hard As I Can

Today's edition of The Editor's Cut, Katrina vanden Heuvel's occasional wheeze at The Nation, is typical. Apparently the editor of America's Best Communist Weekly didn't recognize the regrettable irony of this opening:
A Russian friend once said to me, "You Americans are an odd people. You love our liberals, but you don't like your own liberals." He added, "You should support your local liberals too."
If this makes sense to you, you are from the Moon. To be momentarily peremptory, if you can't distinguish between an American liberal and a Russian one, you have no business writing about either. Of course, one pities vanden Heuvel's Russian friend, since a lifetime spent under Soviet communism would tend to soften the brain. For vanden Heuvel, only contempt. Wordless, astonished contempt.

The next two paragraphs are rich:
My friend's words came to mind this past week as I watched the extraordinary street protests in Ukraine. Anyone who cares about citizens fighting corrupt regimes can't help but be moved by scenes of thousands of demonstrators, many of them students, standing for hours in Kiev's Independence Square in sub-zero temperatures--waving banners, chanting and protesting what they believe is a rigged election.

When the Bush Administration rushed to celebrate the protesters' courage and tenacity, I thought--what rank hypocrisy. These same officials have shown no respect for American pro-democracy protesters, and, if they have their way, they'll probably lock their political opponents out of central Washington when Inauguration Day rolls around.
Then the piece gets tedious. A bit about how Bush has stolen two elections. Questioning the authenticity of the protests because they have had American support. Read it for yourself. And then remind yourself that she has used the term "pro-democracy" to describe protestors whose core agenda enjoy so little support that they have to get 300 discrete causes together to have a 600-person protest. On one hand you have people who refuse to be defrauded in an election and on the other people who wish to impose an unpopular agenda on an unwilling majority, and will break every Starbucks window in the country if that's what it takes. And to Katrina vanden Heuvel they're all pro-democracy protestors. To paraphrase Bill Guarnere in Band of Brothers: We've got an editor with her head so far up her [obscenity] ass that lump in her throat is her [profanity] nose.

-D. Brown
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