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It's Always 9/11, Except When It's Not

 Bill Kristol on the Specter defection:

On May 24, 2001, I wrote an op-ed for The Post in the wake of Vermont Sen. James Jeffords’s party switch. I argued that the switch, which cost Republicans control of the Senate, could well turn out to be good for President Bush.

Not entirely for the reasons I speculated on in the op-ed, I turned out to be right. Bush was still able to get enough cooperation to govern over the next year and a half, and he was also able to run successfully against the Democratic Senate in the fall of 2002. The GOP regained control that November.

Yes, and it's not as though anything politically consequential happened between May 24, 2001 and the fall of 2002.

This is perhaps what I find most irritating about Kristol as a writer propogandist. It's not the big distortions, but the innumerable little ones, the inability to just say "of course the spirit of bipartisan cooperation that prevailed after the 9/11 attacks had something to do with it, but Bush also..." Given the choice between making an honest case that would be 10 percent less airtight (though considerably more credible to anyone paying real attention) and sneaking in another hamfisted little fib or omission, he just can't help himself.

--Christopher Orr