Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Mad Dogs, Zinsmeister, and God
A perfect fit, that was my impression when I read about Karl Zinsmeister, new chief domestic policy adviser to President Bush. What he wrote as editor in chief of the American Enterprise Institute's magazine, as reported in the Post, leaves no doubt about his qualifications. "Bill Clinton is a "virtuoso deceiver" and Hillary Rodham Clinton a "true chameleon" guilty of "self-serving behavior, comparative radicalism, and dubious personal morality. Al Gore is a "mad dog" known to "foam at the mouth." John McCain is given to "showboating." And Jacques Chirac, Nelson Mandela, Gerhard Schroeder and Kofi Annan are all "feckless fools."
- For a dozen years until his appointment, Zinsmeister held forth on all manner of issues and personalities as editor in chief of the American Enterprise Institute's magazine. With a sharp pen, he skewered the left, taking special aim at environmentalists, anti-globalists, feminists, contemporary artists, university faculties, Hollywood, Broadway and particularly the media, composed mainly of "left-wing, cynical, wiseguy Ivy League types, with a high prima donna quotient."
- A review of years of articles reveals a formidable thinker with a powerful sense of what he considers right and wrong. As Zinsmeister sees it, racial profiling by the police makes sense; the military, if anything, treats terrorist suspects too gently; and casual sex has led to wrecked cities, violence and "endless human misery." In a "soft, often amoral, and self-indulgent age," he warned, some children "will be ruined without a whip hand," and he assured that "things generally go better with God."