The Dean Of Wankers

5 comments April 26th, 2007at 07:32pm Posted by Eli

Atrios flashes us back to 1969, when Broder was just a 40-year-old run-of-the-mill wanker:

If there are any smart literary agents around these days, one of them will copyright the title… “The Breaking of the President” for the next big series of nonfiction best-sellers. It is becoming more obvious with every passing day that the men and the movement that broke Lyndon B. Johnson’s authority in 1968 are out to break Richard M. Nixon in 1969.

The likelihood is great that they will succeed again, for breaking a President is, like most feats, easier to accomplish the second time around. Once learned, the techniques can readily be applied as often as desired – even when the circumstances seem less than propitious. No matter that this President is pulling troops out of Vietnam, while the last one was sending them in; no matter that in 1969 the casualties and violence are declining, while in 1968 they were on the rise. Men have learned to break a President, and, like any discovery that imparts power to its possessors, the mere availability of this knowledge guarantees that it will be used.


There is still a vital distinction… to be made between the constitutionally protected expression of dissent, aimed at changing national policy, and mass movements aimed at breaking the President by destroying his capacity to lead the nation or to represent it at the bargaining table.

The point is quite simple. Given the impatience in this country to be out of that miserable war, there is no great trick in using the Vietnam issue to break another President, you have broken the one man who can negotiate the peace.

But… what if the president was already broken when he took office? And what if he considers “negotiate” and “peace” to be synonyms for failure?

Atrios also links to a Begala column with some additional perspective on Broder’s rampaging wankery.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Media,Wankers,War


  • 1. LJ/Aquaria  |  April 26th, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Given the impatience in this country to be out of that miserable war, there is no great trick in using the Vietnam issue to break another President, you have broken the one man who can negotiate the peace.

    What fucking horse shit.

    Who negotiates the peace, in reality, is the State Department. Think any President is gonna be involved in all the whereases and whyfors?

    If Broder is actually trying to say, the person who will give the marching orders to be genuinely serious about negotiating a peace is the President–yeah, that I’ll give him. It wasn’t Nixon in Paris. It was Kissinger. The Secretary of State. Probably not the best example, but you know what I mean: Very few Presidents get in the trenches and hammer out treaties. They make their goals known, and then they say yea or nay to whatever the other side has in mind, until it all gets ironed out and he can agree/disagree. That’s it.

    This is really not that difficult.

  • 2. Eli  |  April 26th, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    It’s a pretty patronizing view of the presidency, that a president can be “broken” by dissent. If anything “broke” LBJ, it was the knowledge that he was largely responsible for one of the biggest and deadliest clusterfucks in American history.

  • 3. LJ/Aquaria  |  April 26th, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Yeah, but look what happens when we get one who is completely oblivious to it.

    It’s a fine line, ignoring dissent because not everyone’s going to agree with you…and listening to a different viewpont because maybe–just maybe–they have something valid to offer.

    If he’s broken, it’s more likely to be because he refused to acknowledge that the other side has a valid point, maybe even the better point (hi there, Chimperor). And that would go against everything Broder is advocating. He wants us all to march in lockstep behind the leader he so generously chose for us.

    So kind of him. I’d bow to his superior wisdom, but I can’t stop trying to put my foot up his ass for his fuckwittage.

  • 4. Eli  |  April 26th, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Bush can never be “broken” in Broder’s sense of the word (although he’s broken in just about every other sense of it), because he just doesn’t give a shit. The only thing that might break him is if enough Republicans turned against him to end the war against his will.

    Which kinda defeats Broder’s whole thesis.

  • 5. smartalek  |  October 7th, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Of course, by this logic, the biggest shits in the world would have to be the Republican Congressthings and Senators who attempted to “break” Pres Clinton. No doubt, Broder was utterly scathing in his denunciation of same, and unwavering in his support of Big Dog. Anything less and he’d be a complete and utter hypocrite.
    Funny thing, though — my Google can only find Broder columns supporting impeachment (eg, 2/9/99, “Don’t hide behind censure”). Guess my Google must be broken, cause the “Dean” could never be such a blatant 2-faced liar.

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