George F. Will, Second Witness

The doubters among you who didn’t want to believe me that Mitt Romney is on the ideal trajectory to the presidency, may want to check George Will’s analysis in today’s Washington Post.

Will argues that Jim Allen’s self-destruction in Virginia limits the field of serious Republican contenders to John McCain and Mitt Romney. According to Will, Romney benefits more because McCain needs the right wingers to split votes.

Of course, there is a lot that can happen until the primaries but for now things couldn’t be better for Romney.

You can re-read my analysis of why even the Christian right will support Romney here.

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45% of British Muslims believe 9/11 was US/Israel conspiracy…

…according to this link.

We battled a few days back about the root causes of British (i.e. your standard pub-crawling, footie-loving, Fawlty Towers-watching British) anti-Americanism. I argued that the most basic causes are deeply irrational and built around distorted views of America and American foreign policy fostered and perpetuated by clowns like Noam Chomsky who is viewed in Britain (indeed in all of Europe) as a respectable voice on such issues.

So what to do with this 45% problem? I’d argue that it’s connected to the first problem. These 45% live in a world where the primary outlets for news, information and current events analysis make next to no effort to fairly represent America and American motivations. The vaguest shadows of Halliburton merit a lengthy BBC news piece (which will carefully avoid mentioning that Halliburton’s current government “super contract” was signed by the Clinton administration in 1999, thus making it possible to quietly conclude that Dick “Sinister” Cheney’s ties to the company are somehow driving American foreign policy in order to benefit his good ole boys ). The BBC paints every American event, crisis or otherwise, in the least charitable view possible. The BBC and other British and European news outlets thus enable hatred of the West and with it (rather ironically) themselves by creating a news environment where it requires very little effort to believe the very worst that can believed about America, Israel and Tony Blair.

Discuss.

Adieu, Maryland

America has this smell, you know. It’s aromatically neutral and you only notice it when you land at an American airport, but it’s there all right. Off the plane…sniff…ah America!

Four years ago I caught my first whiff of Maryland. It was a steamy summer’s evening. I had two suitcases and a bike and was ready to begin my life in Baltimore. Lutherville, actually, but Baltimore will do.

I have a few memories of those first weeks. Catching the Orioles at Camden Yards welcomed me to America at her best; a little later, the Washington Sniper welcomed me to the worst. Soon, I will be leaving for Europe, a welcome change, but one that leaves me with a pang of anticipated homesickness for the great state of Maryland.

Some of it is personal. We came here with Jacob and added two more, so Maryland will always be synonymous with our young family, the happy memories of young children. My Jacob is almost seven; he was two when we arrived, barely potty-trained. Now he seems so grown-up. Ditto William. And our Maryland Mary with her US passport will always be our most vivid American souvenir. This golden age belongs to 11 Nightingale Way, Lutherville, and I am desperately sad to say goodbye.

Some of it is Maryland. Here’s what I love: the northern Baltimore corridors, all colonial mansions and wide lawns; the Inner Harbor glitz; the rolling hills of Appalachia; the feeling of freedom as you escape over the Bay Bridge to the Eastern Shore; the rickety boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach (Delaware, but close enough); the proximity to legendary places like DC, Philly, New York.

I have grown fond of Maryland, of America. When the sun shines on Americans, I think they have the best life in the world. I drove down the mainstreet of Myersville, Maryland yesterday (a town at the foot of the Appalachian Trail) and felt a nostalgia for something I have never even experienced. I thought of prom queens and summer parades, ice cream and barber shops. It’s a happy thing to have lived in America, to have breathed that smell, even if it is sometimes only a dream, an illusion. The United States has many problems and her leaders do not always act in her best interest, but I wish her well. America has a friend in me.