Thursday, January 06, 2005


This is my letter I wrote to William Safire the day before the elections:

Dear Mr. Safire,
Two comments in your column today reflect the facile, lazy, Coulter-inspired Republican pseudo-logic in which you have indulged quite a bit of late. First, Bin Laden's comment about Bush's 7 minute delay in responding to the news that the nation was under attack was not a reference to Michael Moore's movie, and I find your drawing that conclusion patently offensive. Bush's inexplicable delay, and his absorption in a child's book while the Trade Center fell victim to Al Qaeda, was a event that was known and discussed in this country long before Moore's movie. Moreover, your insinuation that Michael Moore somehow aided and abetted Bin Laden by simply pointing out the President's incompetence is idiotic and doesn't help your cause. Do you really imagine that Bin Laden watched and/or took pointers from Moore's movie? Bin Laden hates us indiscriminately- I think his terrorist actions have made that clear. What does he care for our partisan bickering? He will continue to be a danger during the upcoming Kerry administration (although I have little doubt that Kerry will handle him much more effectively than Bush has).
Second, your comment that Bin Laden was using Kerry's logic to attack Bush is more offensive still. Mr. Safire, John Kerry is challenging George Bush in the presidential election! What he is doing goes to the root and the object of the democratic process! You start to sound a bit like Zell Miller when you imply that Kerry's criticisms of Bush, made during a legitimate political race, are aiding the enemy. How dare you make the comment, implicit or otherwise, that giving voice to dissent makes us somehow unamerican? Have YOU no sense of decency, Mr. Safire?
Chicago, Illinois

And here's his automated response:

Dear Reader:
As you can imagine, I've been swamped with e-mails responding to my column in recent months. I read them all, most assuredly, including yours. But I cannot begin to answer them individually or I would have no time left to write a column that delights, illuminates, stimulates or infuriates.
Ergo this automated response. (Curious how "automated" has replaced "automatic." And why do I use "ergo" when "therefore" will do? )
Don't take offense, and don't stop writing. I'll keep reading what you send me.
William Safire

Look at how sure I was that Kerry was going to win! And how passionately mad I was at Safire! (honestly, I had used to like him, conservative though he was, but his election-era columns were really getting on my nerves)- now I am a Jane Austen-retreating, sad and apathetic version of my former fiery self.


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