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Bachrach biting


Judy Bachrach of Vanity Fair has won her 15 minutes of fame in the left-wing blogosphere for her diatribe on FOX News about the supposed "extravagance" of the Bush inaugural. (iFilm is hosting the video here .)

Bachrach wrote a scathing piece last year on John Ashcroft—and her magazine is hardly a cheering gallery for the Bush administration—so it's a little surprising that Bridgette Quinn was blindsided by the attack.

Say Anything has a superb takedown of Bachrach's comments:

The left side of the blogosphere seems to be going nuts over this Fox News clip …. It shows Brigitte Quinn interviewing Judy Bachrach from Vanity Fair who does little more than recycle a bunch of nonsense, left-wing talking points. If anything the clip is notable for Quinn’s apparent inability to respond to such idiotic rhetoric.

The two biggest points made during the clip are:

    1.      FDR scaled back his inaugural celebrations in 1945.

    2.      Bush shouldn’t be celebrating so “extravagantly” while the troops are in Iraq without enough armor, etc.

To respond to the first accusation we need to put FDR’s 1944 election into some historical context. Lets remember that it was his fourth election victory meaning that the celebration he scaled back was his fourth run through inaugural festivities. After being elected three times I’d probably be a little tired of celebrating too. His first three inaugural celebrations were also right in line with the elegance and “extravagance” such occasions are known for despite the fact that they took place with the Great Depression in the background. I’m not criticizing that, I’m just expanding the background of an offered comparison.

It also might be worth keeping in mind the fact that FDR died four months after the 1945 inauguration. It is widely known now (though not back in 1944) that FDR’s health had been deteriorating for some time. Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us at all that he wouldn’t feel up to celebrating his fourth inauguration with the typical extravagances.

To address the accusation that it's “improper” for a President to celebrate an inauguration “extravagantly” during war time one has to ask, “Why are they only using FDR as an example? Why aren’t they mentioning any other Presidents? America has elected more Presidents during war time than just FDR, why not mention them?”

Well, it's because FDR is the only President to ever scale back inauguration festivities during war time, and the reason he scaled them back probably didn’t have anything to do with the war as I pointed out above.

And as for the troops and their armor … why is it that we only hear these armor complaints from left-wing demagogue looking to score some political points? As far as I’m concerned the Humvee armor issue was being addressed back before the soldier even asked Sec. Rumsfeld that now-famous question and the situation was entirely resolved shortly afterward. And even if the problem weren’t already addressed it still wouldn’t be the President’s fault because Congress, not the White House, is responsible for handing out funding for the military budget. If there’s a problem with troop armor we should be calling our Senators and Representatives on it, not the President.

Apparently Quinn was a little taken aback by Bachrach’s launch into attack mode and couldn’t come up with any of this. Her responses were lame and, by comparison, made Bachrach come off looking shrewd which probably explains the popularity of this clip.

I'd say Bachrach ends up looking more shrewish than shrewd, but evidently for the trendoids of Condé Nast stridency is the new wit.

Posted by Rodger on January 21, 2005 at 08:13 PM | Permalink


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