Friday, January 23, 2009


Yesterday, Marc Thiessen published a Washington Post op-ed in which he counted up the consecutive days on which foreign terrorists had not killed Americans on U.S. soil during the Bush years (stopping just short of a particular rather unpleasant day when terrorists did in fact kill a number of Americans), and hinted darkly that President Obama might not be able to match his predecessor's stellar (one day excepted) record.

Today, for National Review, Thiessen kicks the rhetoric up a notch, asserting that "Obama is already proving to be the most dangerous man ever to occupy the Oval Office."

So who is this Thiessen?

In the Post, he's identified as someone "who served in senior positions at the White House and the Pentagon from 2001 to 2009, [and] was most recently chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush." At NR, we're told that "Marc Thiessen was chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush."

But prior to the Bush years, Thiessen had a different job, which might help explain the tone of his rhetoric: Foreign Relations Committee spokesman for Senator Jesse Helms from 1995 to 2001.

Those were fun times. Among other things, on behalf of Ol' Jess, Thiessen snapped at William Weld ("It's another example of William Weld speaking before he thinks") when Weld complained about Helms bottling up his nomination to be ambassador to Mexico; declared the International Criminal Court "the the most dangerous threat to sovereignty since the League of Nations"; and, bizarrely, defended Helms's call for a Justice Department investigation of the Baltimore Orioles because the team maintained a policy of not signing Cuban defectors ("Unfortunately, for [Orioles owner Peter] Angelos, being friends in this country with Fidel Castro doesn't put you above the law").

So if there's an unneutered-pitbull quality to Thiessen's rhetoric, well, he apprenticed with a master.

No comments: