This is what weenie-punditry looks like, from a corporate weblogger-for-hire, one who is apparently held in high regard by some of my favorite linkmongers:

Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell and most of the opinion media have done everything in their power to scare the daylights out of Americans, going so far as to invent links between Sept. 11 and Saddam Hussein. And it hasn’t worked. The people are smarter than that, even though they may be largely ignorant about key facts. This does not mean that they won’t support a war when it finally comes. I will too. But that support will be shallow and will start to dissipate in the war’s aftermath with the (inevitable, according to the CIA) terrorist attacks against us and the expensive and probably unsuccessful attempt to build an Iraq more to our liking afterward.

Let’s gingerly step past, as it were a steaming pile of dogshit on the sidewalk, the smug and squishy statement that Americans may be ignorant, but dammit they’ve got good common sense. It’s tougher to avoid the internal logic of his assertion:

a) this war is being justified by lies and fear-mongering

b) but once the shooting starts, I’ll fall right into line

c) even though I’m pretty sure it’s going to go horribly wrong (and you’ll be sure to hear from me once we’re past the point of no return)

No wonder so many Americans regard the term “liberal” with such contempt. Mealy-mouthed unprincipled pandering, wrapped in empty, oppositional-sounding rhetoric. Alterman should consider running for office as a Democrat.

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