William F. Buckley's latest column begins:
In a private forum the question arose, Why do they hate Bush so? And ... what will they do with that hatred? How far can they carry it? How will it affect the next presidential election?
A couple of paragraphs later, Buckley tries to answer the first question:
The answer, as agreed upon in this improvised study, was: 1) He is not legitimately president of the United States. The other guy got more votes. Bush slipped in because of capricious conduct by the courts. 2) Bush is a Christer. He takes every opportunity to inform the American people that he is in touch with the Lord and therefore that, by deduction, what he does is the Lord's work.
3) He gravely miscalculated the onus of what he set out to do in Iraq. The consequences of that miscalculation are deaths unending, and more money spent than King Solomon dreamed of. 4) The economy lacks the kind of resiliency it might have shown if more resourcefully tended. 5) His truckling to the rich in his tax cuts shows a callous disregard of civil adjudications between America's poor and America's rich.
And finally, 6) He is a liar. He specifically informed the public that Iraq had in hand instantly deployable weapons of mass destruction. These, it proved, did not exist.
After this summation, he moves on to the other two questions. But here's the weird part: the summation is careful, surprisingly accurate, and sarcasm-free, and after he completes it he never tries to refute any of its particulars. He never tries to belittle our complaints or suggest that we have a poor grasp of the facts.
Do you think he's trying to tell us something? Do you think, just possibly, he kind of gets it?