True punditry, thy name is Billmon
Sometimes, I write something and read it and pat myself on the back. Other times I read what someone else has written and think to myself, "Why do I bother to do this when someone else has already done it so much better than I ever will?" Sometimes that someone is Hemingway or Shakespeare or Bob Dylan or Raymond Carver. Sometimes it is Billmon. If you are one of the few people who read this blog that doesn't also read the "Free thinking in a dirty glass" at Billmon's Whiskey Bar, go smack yourself upside your own head and get wise.
When he is on, he is one of the best writers on current affairs you'll ever read, not just on the internet, but anywhere. For sheer elegance in turning a phrase and clarity of thought and expression, I'd put up against any of the TV talking heads and current newspaper and magazine opinion columnist. He could kick David Brooks' sorry ass and eat a dozen Friedmans for dessert. Comparing him with the lamer-than-lame bleating of James Lieks or the cognitive dissonance on parade that is The Corner, would be tooling up with a helicopter gunship for a knife fight against a double amputee.
"None of this babbling makes any sense, in other words. Nor is it remotely in scale with the size of the Cheney administration's failure in Iraq. Part of me thinks it's all being driven by the need of beltway journalists and think tankers alike to have something new to say about Iraq, something that isn't a variation on: "Yep. We're still fucked." But there's obviously a hard edge of real desperation -- if not despair -- behind this. America's ruling elites have had things largely their own way for the past couple of decades. But now they're looking at a bottomless quagimire that may have a much bigger disaster (like loss of access to Persian Gulf oil) hidden somewhere in the mud. And they don't
have a clue about what to do. They've lost control, which is the last thing any ruling elite can afford to admit."