In which tank?

It’s very interesting that so many Republicans have decided to supprt Obama. Colin Powell; a number of talking heads including Peggy Noonan; a lot of conservative newspapers. Fox News is in a constant state of worked-up fury at the putative fact that the media are all in the tank (as they like to say) for Obama. Well maybe they are, but if they are, I’m pretty sure that is not purely for party-political reasons. In fact it’s pretty obvious that it’s not just for party-political reasons. It has an enormous amount to do with plain competence, and especially with respect for competence. We know what the other thing is like, and Katrina is the one-word sign for that. It is firing all the experts and replacing them with political hacks and then being caught with your head up your ass when a major American city fills with dirty water like a blocked toilet. It is having an emergency management agency that can’t even get water to flood victims in almost a week of horror. It turns out that even some Republicans find that idea too disgusting to bear. I am glad to know this; I have been wondering for years how prosperous ambitious meritocratic Republicans could stand the cult of ignorance and Just Plain Folksism that enabled Bush II to win two elections.

If McCain does lose [mutters rapid prayer, or curse], it appears the choice of Palin will have been a big part of the reason. I thought and said at the time that it showed he had 1. appalling judgment and 2. a ruthless lack of responsibility, but I had little hope that many Republicans would (openly) agree with that view. I’m very pleased to be wrong.

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