Political Wire, on how silly it can get, and so soon:
“I read The New York Times.”
— Jeb Bush, in a July 8, 2009 interview with Esquire.
“I don’t read The New York Times, to be honest with you.”
— Bush, quoted by Politico last week.
Apparently having "backbone" on immigration reform and Common Core does not preclude spinelessness on matters of seeming insignificance. I say seeming insignificance because … is it genuinely insignificant that Bush is either 1) lying, or 2) admitting to willful ignorance, or 3) revealing his intolerance of disagreeable ideas?
I suspect he's lying, although ignorance and intolerance are prideful traits among the right. I mean, what conscientious conservative could refuse the delightful ramblings of eminent truth-seeker David Brooks — whose "truth" always seems to nonetheless revert to National Review's — or the medieval Catholicism of the priggish Ross Douthat? I can certainly understand Jeb wanting to bypass Paul Krugman's macroeconomic expertise, since both modern economics and expertise of any sort are antithetical to cherished conservative fictions, and God knows Maureen Dowd is, in the Bush family, That Woman who shall never be named and absolutely never read.
Still, as noted, the Times does offer conservative catnip, which I read with addicted regularity. At times, I even agree with some of it, which can be tormenting. But how could I know if I agree or disagree if I don't fucking read it? How could I ever rattle my little intellectually comfortable world and question my beliefs and subject myself to Socratic self-examination if I remain at arm's length from anything that might make me think?
Far more critical, since he aspires to the Oval Office: How could Jeb?