Monday, March 12, 2007

Robert Novak's Ongoing Senior Moment

I think this may be the first time Joe Klein and I agree on something:

Robert Novak has always been an old man.

Why is this well-known and well-established fact suddenly relevant? Let me explain:

When I was in high school, a horrifying phase of life that Novak apparently avoided, I was certainly one of the most politically liberal (and loudest) voices on campus. Yet--and here I would rather admit to a secret past life in pornographic films--my favorite novel at the time was Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead (not to mention We the Living).

I also professed to be heterosexual then, and my enjoyment of books by the uber-conservative Ayn Rand, every one of which I had read, was directly related in no small part to the literary tastes of my first (and penultimate) girlfriend. Hormones are evil things.

Similarly, anybody who's been through adolescence would understand that the opening passage of Novak's latest column is just "foolish" (to use Klein's term):
While Hillary Rodham Clinton came out second best to Barack Obama in their long-range oratorical duel at Selma, Ala., the real problem with her visit there a week ago concerned her March 4 speech's claim of her attachment to Martin Luther King Jr. as a high school student in 1963. How, then, could she be a "Goldwater girl" in the next year's presidential election?

The incompatibility of those two positions of 40 years ago was noted to me by Democratic old-timers who were shocked by Sen. Clinton's temerity in pursuing her presidential candidacy.
Now, about those films...