July 6, 2005

"A Pat on the Back"

Sarah Vowell has a refreshing op-ed in the New York Times today. I saw Vowell, best known for NPR's This American Life, speak like two weeks ago at the Columbia Publishing Course where I'm at about the books she's written, Assassination Vacation and The Cloudy Patriot. She's an incredibly funny person, and the op-ed is good for quite a few laughs as well as a decent point or two. Basically, the message is: give credit where it's due, and pick your battles. Vowell is able to praise Pat Robertson for his efforts to end poverty and AIDS in Africa (he even supports the use of condoms there!?) while also arguing that we Democrats should fight like hell for this Supreme Court seat:
On Monday, anticipating an epic dust-up regarding his new nominee for the Supreme Court, President Bush said he hoped that special-interest groups on both sides would "tone down the heated rhetoric." They shouldn't, though.

This is about the lifetime appointment of a person who will be making life and death decisions for millions of people for decades to come, not about some petty time waster like - come on, again? - flag burning. It's so important that we should agree to melt together on the slopes of a Kilauea of issue-ad spew.

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