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Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (National Review Edition)

National Review tells us that sometimes supporting democracy requires canceling elections:

National Review Online : Some critics blame the president's blindness here on his evangelical Christianity.... In the actual Bible, we learn of Jacob, who fought for his birthright, and of his brother Esau, who sold his for a mess of pottage. Now as then, the world has many brothers willing to sell the human birthright of freedom for an equally human dream of unlimited dominance over others.... Now as then, the ratio of Jacobs to Esaus varies greatly from one place and time to another... it varies in America too.

To pretend, as the president and his fellow neocons sometimes do, that it is "racist" to recognize and act on the reality of these differences, is to display the kind of unconscious racism we saw in late-to-the-party liberals of the 1970s, who claimed to love all Black people, but couldn't see the difference between brave democrats like Martin Luther King Jr. and racist thugs like the the Black Panthers.

Bush and Rice are... wrong to insist that support for democracy... [is] support for elections. In reality, supporting democracy... means supporting democrats.... In countries where [democrats] speak for substantial numbers of their fellows as, Walesa and Havel did, it makes sense to press for elections. In countries where they are more akin to lone voices, crying in the wilderness, it does not.

Hitler, after all, was elected, and elections %u2014 especially free elections %u2014 in places like Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories are bound to produce similar monsters.

The level of Bible criticism is also lower than one would expect even from National Review--even after taking account of the fact that the intellectual level of National Review is lower than one expects. Esau's sin is not to "sell the human birthright of freedom for an equally human dream of unlimited dominance over others." Esau's "sins" are that he works hard as a hunter, plays along with his brother Jacob (who he thinks is making a stupid joke), and is trusting and so falls prey to the machinations of his mother, Rebekah.

Next week: John Podhoretz explains that war is peace, William F. Buckley explains that freedom is slavery, and Michael Novak explains that ignorance is strength.