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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Right’ a redundant read

    Right a redundant read

    If you don’t think highly of our president, or think that the Republican Party has gotten a little out of hand, or think the Iraq war was a bad idea, you doubtlessly feel very alone. After all, no one else agrees with you on those things, especially not in America.

    Fear not: Arianna Huffington’s “”Right is Wrong”” is here to help.

    Huffington, founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, has written a book that reads like it was artificially assembled out of mushed-up printouts from – well, The Huffington Post. In her entire book, Huffington manages not to make a single original assertion, or come up with any notable insight.

    What she does do, usefully enough for anyone who has never read a newspaper or owned a television or a computer, is explain why the Bush administration is bad. It is guilty of “”imperial hubris,”” she declares, crippled by a “”siege mentality,”” surrounded by a “”brick wall of obstinacy.””

    “”Right is Wrong””
    Arianna Huffington
    $16.47,amazon.com
    1 star

    Senator John McCain, we learn, has “”sold his soul to the Right.”” President Bush is guilty of “”playing politics with our safety.”” As for this year’s election: “”The Democrats are all looking to the future while the Right remains mired in a Neanderthal past.””

    This astonishing book’s jaw-dropping chapters include “”Iraq: The Beginning of a War Without End,”” “”Torture: America Loses the Moral High Ground”” and “”The Right’s War on Science.”” Most astounding of all, I felt, was “”The Media: Equal Time for Lies.”” Who knows what mind-blowing truths might be told in that chapter?

    In Chapter 14, Huffington turns her baleful eye on the religious right. “”I’ve got a hunch Jesus wouldn’t be too thrilled with what the Right has been doing in His name,”” she informs us. You don’t say!

    Is there no end to the stunning stream of revelations issuing from this prophet’s mouth? Sadly, there’s only 331 pages’ worth of them.

    As you may have gathered, not a single original phrase manages to penetrate the brick wall of obstinacy that is Huffington’s prose. She relies entirely on the dull, empty phrases that mark nearly everything that has ever been written about the Bush administration.

    This kind of automatic writing does a disservice to any subject, but it is especially dangerous when dealing with a subject as important as the Bush administration. It risks boring us – and, therefore, making us not care.

    Huffington, who apparently used to be a self-described conservative, writes like someone who’s still astonished by everything she writes about. Unfortunately, she lacks the ability to convince us why we should be astonished. There’s nothing in her book that you couldn’t learn from any number of other “”far better written”” sources.

    Occasionally Huffington decides to remind us of her pedigree – she’s a Cambridge graduate – by drawing a clever, original historical parallel, like comparing President Bush to the Emperor Nero. At one point she compares Iraq to the Peloponnesian War. Then she explains what the Peloponnesian War was by citing Wikipedia. Wikipedia.

    That would be enough to flunk Huffington in any respectable history course. Since this is only a book review, all we can do is award her a very low grade.

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