Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Why George Will Doesn't Do Much For Me

He gets all kinds of credit for being a deep thinker from the right of American politics. Indeed he is almost treated like the intellectual's intellectual. Often times smartish people confuse verbiosity with erudition, muddled thinking with complexity, and lack of clarity with nuance. Look at the higher culture popularity of someone like David Mamet, for example. Will is an individual who skirts all of those lines, and ends up the the wrong side all too often, in my opinion. His most recent column for Newsweek is a good example. Peter Schramm at No Left Turns writes of Will, charitably, "Sometimes, perhaps often, his pen can be so nimble that the reader doesn’t get what he is up to. This might be one of those times."

Read the Will column. The argument is that the Democrats might win in this year's congressional elections, unless they don't. Even if they do, it might not be good for them, unless it is. And the popularity of the president is important in midterm elections, except when it isn't.

The only thing missing from the column is an unclear baseball reference, unless a baseball reference would help, in which case it would not be missing. Unless it was. And so on....

1 comment:

dcat said...

I try to separate my views of what Will writes from my views of who Will is. I think he is a foppish, wispy little quasi-intellectual whom you describe to a tee. (Or is it a "t"?)
Sometimes i agree with him -- I've found myself more and more in accordance with his views of this administration chiefly because, well, I don't like this administration and I am glad to see a man of the right criticize him. But too often his tone just infuriates me.
Baseball is the classic example -- we both share a love for baseball, an almost irrational exuberance about the sport. I'm sure I'd enjoy watching a game with him and watching him get pissed on half a Lite beer. Yet I find his writings on baseball like I find his writings on lots of things -- too clever by half, not as wise as he thinks, and oftentimes devoid of substance. I also lost all respect for him, however begrudsging that respect was, when he became one of the mosr ardent advocates of socialism imaginable when it came to baseball. he was right, but it wqent against everything he had ever criticized others for, even when those others were making stands slightly more noble than for multimillion dollar athletes and multibillion dollar owners.