Eulogies for David Broder are still tumbling from the fingertips of friends and fans. He was the dean of political journalists, a man both generous and gracious, a reporter’s reporter. Humble.
All true. But what I haven’t heard him called yet is sweetie pie. He was that, too. A sweetheart — a kind, unpretentious presence in a world increasingly bereft of such qualities.
NEW YORK — Now would be a very good time to be a cartoonist. Or perhaps not. As the late cartoonist Doug Marlette frequently lamented, “How do you cartoon a cartoon? We’re living in ‘Toon Town.’ ”
On the other hand, sometimes only a cartoon character will do. There’s hardly any way to treat seriously the goings-on in Toon Town’s capital city, Washington, D.C.
Let’s just say, Central Casting’s stable is full.
NEW YORK — He didn’t say it. That word: “exceptional.” Barack Obama described an exceptional nation in his State of the Union address, but he studiously avoided using the word conservatives long to hear.
It’s a funny thing, this focus on a single word that isn’t much heard from this president, but that tumbles so easily — and adamantly — from the lips of Republican contenders for his title.
NEW YORK — As a longtime champion of greater civility in public discourse and one who has led the charge for dialed-back rhetoric, may I respectfully take most of it back?
OMG, as we mutter quietly to ourselves. Heaven forbid we should say something offensive or slightly provocative, or, gasp, use a metaphor that slips the grasp of the mentally challenged.
NEW YORK — It befalls the columnist this time of year to look back and recap; to assign blame and shame, while offering the obligatory mea culpa; and, of course, to resolve.
It befalls the mature columnist (23 years and counting) to sigh in protest: Oh, must we?
NEW YORK — Words matter.
Just ask Google, which now has arranged for anyone to search millions of books online and track how many times a particular word has been used through the ages, thus suggesting how much we think about (and, by inference, value) certain things.
NEW YORK — Two words: Narrative, schmarrative.
Democrats have talked endlessly about the importance of narrative — missing in President Obama’s case. We’ve heard over and over about the lack of smart messaging and the president’s failure to communicate. If only Obama could better express himself, all would be well.
NEW YORK — Fair is foul, and foul is fair. There’s something witchy in the air.
Perhaps ’tis the season, but womankind is suffering a froth of frivolity.
NEW YORK — If you haven’t been humming tunes from “Les Miserables,” you haven’t seen “Inside Job,” the new documentary about how our economic crisis evolved.
The most forgiving American will want to seize a pitchfork and march on Wall Street. Or Harvard Square. Or in front of the White House. There are so many despicable parties, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Is it time to reconsider the Axis of Evil?
NEW YORK — The suicide of an 18-year-old Rutgers University student following an unimaginable invasion of his privacy has launched an overdue examination of casual — and possibly criminal — disregard for others’ personal space.
Freshman Tyler Clementi walked onto the George Washington Bridge the night of Sept. 22 and jumped over the edge. A few days earlier, authorities say, his roommate, Dharun Ravi, and a female friend, Molly Wei, had placed a webcam in the dorm room Clementi and Ravi shared, filmed Clementi in an intimate encounter with another man, and posted it online for all to see.
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