Jewish World Review Nov. 8, 2004/ 25 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765

Wesley Pruden

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And why shouldn't we gloat? | George W. Bush offered to pray for the soul of Yasser Arafat yesterday when he was told of the Associated Press bulletin, later withdrawn, reporting that he was dead.

A good thing, too, because when Yasser gets to the gates of Islamist paradise, peeking in to see how many virgins may be drooling at the prospect of entertaining his moves, he'll need at least one presidential character reference.

The president's premature prayer demonstrates that his heart is in the right place, though it might take stronger medicine than a born-again Methodist can make to get a heavenly pass for the man who rivals Osama bin Laden as the regional distributor of mass murder.

But if the president can show a little sympathy for Yasser, the rest of us should undertake to feel a little of the pain of the wonderful folks in mass mourning this morning over the prospect of four more years of George W. as the commander in chief of the armed legions of the Great Satan.

Hysteria is the blowout flavor of the week everywhere. Some of our British cousins are as unhinged as our colleagues at the New York Times and in The Washington Post. Someone could make a tidy bundle arranging one-way flights out of Dulles International for the despairing Democrats who are threatening to leave America once and for all to find suitable accommodations elsewhere. Immigration authorities in both Canada and the United Kingdom have taken the precaution of warning that it's not necessarily easy to swap American citizenship for a green card in London or Montreal.

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A columnist in the Guardian, the newspaper voice of the leftmost fringe of Old Blighty, which published a rant the day before the election suggesting that assassination might be the only way to get rid of the American president, is at it again. A columnist quotes a "clinical psychologist," who is on a waiting list to have his head examined, as telling her on the dreary morning after: "I was too depressed to even speak this morning. I thought of my late mother, who read 'Mein Kampf' when it came out in the 1930s and thought, 'Why doesn't anyone see where this is heading?' "

You can't blame a columnist for thinking the sky is falling when his newspaper's editorial page is already littered with pieces of sky as big as Buicks. The ghosts and boogers the Guardian sees bearing down on us are scary enough to frighten any man, woman or child: "limiting and marginalizing dissent still further, flirting with the notion of declaring the U.S.A. an explicitly Christian, English-speaking nation, seeking in all things to construct the conservative Republican hegemony for which Karl Rove has long dreamed and schemed." ("Limiting dissent" is defined here as requiring essayists to limit their published dissents to 900 words.)

Tina Brown, an exile from Old Blighty who appears to freeload full time at froufrou Manhattan dinner parties where ptomaine is the plat du jour, is thoroughly spooked by the goblins and demons of the dreaded red states who were so seduced by the mysterious George W. that they never figured out what he stands for. "It's not so much a culture war as a culture chasm developing between the heartland and the coasts," she writes, and even "the coasts are not really a place anymore."

Maureen Dowd once aimed her venom in the New York Times at George W. and his WASP family with the obsession of an Irish lass dreaming of blowing up a British post office. Then Dick Cheney became English enough to hate. "Only Dick Cheney can make 'to serve and to guard' sound like 'to rape and pillage.' " Now she's mad at everybody else. "The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule."

The shock and awe will subside, of course, and the elites, big-time losers all, already have a recipe for closing "the chasm." All the winners have to do is adopt the agenda of the losers, and everything will be buff again.

George W. Bush has demonstrated in his first four years that he has no appetite for a poisonous elixir offered by enemies trying to persuade him to "grow." What the elites mean by "growing" is stiffing his friends and becoming more like them. Disdained by the elites as a moron with an IQ to match his shoe size, George W. knows who he is and how he got where he is.

The elites of the newsrooms and the faculty lounges will get over their snits, and until they do we can gloat. And why not? We earned it. We deserve it.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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