14 Responses to Washington Times heats up Attention Deficit Democracy

  1. W Baker March 26, 2006 at 12:33 pm #

    Mr. Bovard,
    You’ve obviously struck a nerve with Mr. Gancarski. He will allow and even second any secondary argument regarding the efficiency of the Federal government, but to question the legitimacy of the power-bloated Executive and Congressional offices is heresy.

    The real ad hominem issue for Garcanski and Blankley is their employer, a man who claims to be the Son of God. Just how much credibility can one bring to an argument when one keeps that sort of company? What sort of epistemological base does one claim in this situation? Facts and logical conclusions or that one got it straight from the mouth of God’s son? If there ever was a case for the cliche, ‘people in glass houses…’, I think this one might qualify!


  2. Jim March 26, 2006 at 12:40 pm #

    Mr. Baker –
    Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

    Yes, the Moon issue…. Perhaps because of space limitations, the book review did not refer to the discussion of Rev. Moon’s coronation in a Senate office building in 2004. Here’s the bit from the “Big Picture Myopia” chapter:

    One of the biggest Big Picture delusions in Washington is that congressmen understand what they are doing most of the time. However, many congressmen blunder through their days as haplessly as a Nebraska tourist wandering downtown Washington fruitlessly searching for the Washington Monument. For instance, on March 23, 2004, a dozen members of Congress attended a ceremony in a Senate office building at which the Rev. Sun Myung Moon was crowned as “humanity’s Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent.

  3. Steve March 26, 2006 at 1:25 pm #

    1.) it will help you with your book sales.

    2.) Isnt that Blakney guy the Gingrich stooge with the snotty accent? Sounds like a good enemy to have…

  4. Jim March 26, 2006 at 1:41 pm #

    Blankley is British. He has gone from vouching for the character of Gingrich to vouching for the character of Bush. This is progress, Washington-style.

  5. W Baker March 26, 2006 at 1:57 pm #

    I realise that the American population, by and large, are enthralled with the Queen’s English – at least the sound of it, although perhaps not the proper use of it – but is Washington politics so destitute that it has to import Cockneys by way of California as intellectual gatekeepers? (I ask out of ignorance because fifteen years of abjuring the realm has left me ignorant of the minutiae in Rome on the Potomac.)

    If you’ll pardon a little more ad hominem: I’ll take a Yorkshire accent any day over Mr. Blankley’s cockney twang!

  6. Jim March 26, 2006 at 2:04 pm #


    Actually, I would expect the typical Washingtonian to be unable to distinguish a Scottish accent from an Australian accent – must less a Cockney accent from a Yorkshire accent.

    I suspect that many Washingtonians mentally grovel at the sound of almost any western European accent. Who knows how much his guttural German accent added to Kissinger’s reputation for profundity?

  7. W Baker March 26, 2006 at 2:25 pm #

    I think Steve is correct; a Washington Times ‘take out’ piece on your book will only help sales. I’m in the book trade, albeit rare and antiquarian types; but I’m convinced that what passes for conservatives (by that I mean neocons) do not read anything outside their own school of thought (much like modern academicians and pretty much most modern “authorities”). Summa works for many of these types are Ann Coulter, David Limbaugh and the like. If they’re really “scholarly”, they’ll crack open Fukuyama! Perish the thought!

    As for accents, I think you’re right. Commonwealth and most Saxon accents will probably do the trick. On the other hand, through in a French “R” or a non-aspirated “T” and… well, your up a proverbial creek without a paddle!

  8. Jim March 26, 2006 at 2:49 pm #

    Good point on the French accent. It is surprising to see how easy it was for the Bush team and their media allies to whip up anti-French hysteria.

    Luckily for the Bovards, they got kicked out of France 300+ years ago. Theological differences.

  9. Jim March 26, 2006 at 4:34 pm #

    I added a blurb from today’s review to http://www.jimbovard.com. It is the second entry under the “Comments & Reviews” section (after the links to recent articles).

  10. Larry Ruane March 26, 2006 at 4:41 pm #

    It’s ironic that Garcanski criticizes you for not realizing that the U.S. was founded as a republic, not a democracy (as if the U.S. hasn’t lunged toward democracy in the meantime), given that his man Bush’s goal is to impose democracy (not republicanism) on the rest of the world.

  11. Steve March 26, 2006 at 5:43 pm #

    Fukuyama has been inetresting lately to say the least. Didnt know the old man still had it in him.

  12. Jim March 26, 2006 at 6:34 pm #

    Larry – I was amused by the reviewer’s comment because I explicitly talked about this in the book:

    In the second chapter, I wrote, “The Founding Fathers did not share the contemporary adoration of democracy. The word ‘democracy’ was mentioned only twice in annual State of the Union messages between 1789 and 1900. But the word was invoked 189 times between 1901 and 2000.”

    In the final chapter, I wrote:

    “America was born as a republic — with limited government powers, carefully crafted checks and balances, and distinct roles for the people, for legislators, for judges, and for the executive branch. Americans these days are supposed to be content with “democracy

  13. Tom Blanton March 29, 2006 at 12:14 am #

    I also found the review by Mr. Garcanski amusing. I can picture him snarling and breathing heavily as he struck back at the assasin of Bush’s character.

    The tirade over the word “democracy” was also a bit overdone. Perhaps Garcanski isn’t aware that America ceased being a constitutional republic long ago. The majority rule aspect of America is apparent by the fear and loathing Democrats and Republicans have for each other. In a republic that protects the rights of individuals from the tyranny of the majority, it should hardly matter who rules.

    I’m thinking of marketing a product for character assassins that will intensify their message and cause apologists for the target to react like madmen.

    The product is a bag of Iraqi dirt. Since the defenders of Bush find it unforgivable to criticize their leader on foreign soil, critics can simply stand on the bag of Iraqi dirt as they launch into their “character assassinations”.

    There is nothing that drives them crazier than criticizing “America” (as they confuse the nation with Bush) on foreign soil.

    P.S. – I enjoyed the talk in Richmond and thanks again for signing my book

  14. Jim March 29, 2006 at 9:32 am #

    Tom –
    Thanks for coming to the talk in Richmond and thanks for buying the book!

    Your idea about the bag of Iraqi dirt is a good one. I forwarded it to the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad for his consideration.

    As for driving critics crazy – it doesn’t seem to take much these days. There are folks I have dealt with who ignite – and sometimes self-destruct –  on contact.