Man Without Qualities

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Davis Descending XXXI: Getting Arianna - Muddle Instead Of Politics

Who is Arianna Huffington? Anyone who thinks he knows that she is some megalomaniacal author, syndicated columnist, Picasso-basher, reborn-progressive political chameleon just doesn't understand who she really is.

Arianna Huffington really seems to be Ralph Nader in the year 2000 - the worst kind of spoiler. Polls indicate that this could be a very close race between Messrs. Bustamante and Schwarzenegger - which means that fringe candidates on the left like Ms. Huffington are now a big problem for the Democrats.

Or at least that's one way of construing the emerging intense animosity towards Ms. Huffington in parts of the left. Of course, it's no big deal that deranged leftist columnist and putative Huffington friend Robert Scheer trashes her in his Los Angeles Times column. That could happen to anybody. Is there much doubt that Robert Scheer would dearly love to sleep with a gun under his pillow, but his wife absolutely forbids it because she knows what he's like when he wakes in those fevered midnight sweats? Of course not.

But when the apparatchiki like Susan Estrich turn quill to paper, you know you've become a non-person of the left, especially because Estrich is coming after your children:

Arianna Huffington has been recalled as a mother.

Her children have voted with their feet. They didn't want her to run for governor of California. She ran anyway. On the day she announced her candidacy at "A Place Called Home," in South Central Los Angeles, her children moved out of hers in Brentwood and into their father's. "Our oldest daughter has been devastated by it," her dad said.

"A Place Called Home," according to its Web site, was created to give inner-city kids somewhere to go after school to do their homework, watch TV, play with their friends and "be with people that care about them -- basic rights that all kids should have." That's what most kids get from their mothers. ....
Huffington has no chance of winning. Never did. The only reason to run was her ego, self-aggrandizement, attention -- at the expense of her kids.

She is running on a platform she didn't even believe in a few years ago. Nor is it one she lives by.

How could she do that to her children? my own children ask. .... In truth, I find her charming .... It is the people supporting her whom I find utterly inexplicable -- or, rather, indefensible. She doesn't pretend to have principles. But don't they? .... But when it costs you your kids, when the kids ask you not to do it, when they move out . . . whew.

If you don't get that right, Jackie Kennedy used to say, what difference does anything else make? You're only as happy as your least happy kid, one of my friends always says.

I guess that's not true of Arianna Huffington. She looks pretty happy these days.

Is that hate? Isn't it only Mafia dons who pointedly allude to the well-being of the children of people whose cooperation is needed? Of course not - this is business. Alright, alright - the reader is probably asking right now: So what? Why should anyone care what Susan Estrich says - or, worse, writes on commission? Isn't she one of those people who humiliated themselves in public by arguing that California law did not allow voters to choose a new governor - only to turn out Gray Davis - with his successor automatically being Cruz Bustamante?

Yes, yes, of course she is. That's the point. Susan Estrich is a willing apparatchik. She provided support to Mr. Bustamante's ascension because someone told her to do it. Ms. Estrich never believed such pap - and when she now writes of Ms. Huffington: Don't people care that just 10 minutes ago, she railed against everything and everyone she now embraces? - one can sense that Ms. Estrich is speaking from personal experience. When the apparatchiki turn against you in public - when your opera is poorly reviewed in the Leningrad papers - you're on your way to non-personhood.

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