Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I've Been Published!

This post is a sticky - I'm keeping it at the top for the rest of the day. Scroll down for the latest from SerandEz...

WELCOME OPINIONJOURNAL READERS! Please feel free to peruse the archives... some suggestions for Best of the Web/OpinionJournal readers - The Roe Effect and Roe vs. Gay, which are in the "Best of SerandEz" scroll bar to the left. Welcome, and enjoy!

The Wall Street Journal's online opinion section,, has published a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, Bush on Road to Success. I feel I should publicly thank James Taranto and the Journal for their interest and kindness.

Check it out!!

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Inner thought: WOOHOO!!! This is SO COOL! (And much egotism.) :)


  1. Great article at OpinionJournal, sir.

    I sent the following response to the editors: [ It includes a little negative feedback, but I'm assuming you can handle it :) ]

    I've been bullish on President Bush for five years now, so I agree with and appreciate Mr. Goldish's appraisal of the president's prospects and potential legacy.

    However, I would like to quibble with a remark Mr. Goldish makes in passing at the beginning of his piece.

    He refers to the "antiwar crowd celebrating" the occasion of the 2,000th American military fatality in Iraq.

    I don't know how many people were celebrating the death count, but I would be very surprised if it were more than a small minority of anti-war Americans. It detracts from Mr. Goldish's otherwise sharp column to resort to what can only be fairly described as a cheap shot.

    There are valid reasons to be against an aggressive strategy in Iraq and elsewhere. Mr. Goldish and I strongly disagree with those reasons, but we shouldn't allow ourselves to unfairly denigrate anti-war arguments or the people who make them.

  2. I had quite a laugh, reading your first published piece.

    Boy, are you ever a dreamer!

  3. Wow! Ezzie, Kol HaKavod! That's super impressive. How did you ever manage to pull this one off?

  4. I really can't wait to take on Iran and Syria. Let's finish off Putin before 2008 and then -- what the heck -- let's take on France.

    Wheel right and charge!

    You're a fool.

  5. Kol Hakavod on getting published! Hope it leades to many great things.

  6. Wow…just what we need…another Bush sycophant.

    President Bush will go down, not as the apologist’s mantra of “one of the most effective Presidents in history” but rather one of the WORST!!!

    Your fawning of him reminds us that ignorance is bliss.

  7. Matthew - thank you for both the compliments and criticism. As a response to your point about the anti-war crowd: I was in fact referring to a small minority of the left; however, much of the crowd that is demanding the US pull out of Iraq right away seemed to fit into this category. Most Democrats recognize that to pull out now would be foolish and destructive; this crowd does not. The "anti-war" crowd itself is only a small group - I was not referring to most Democrats.

    Anon1 - I guess we'll have to wait and see.

    Ze'ev - Thanks! Ask God. :)

    Copy Editor - Interesting. The piece you brought in your own post on the subject actually makes the same point as me - just chooses to lean to the pessimistic side: From the damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina to the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq, Bush faces a broader array of problems than most of these predecessors: It sometimes seems as if the White House is at the end of an assembly line whose product is grief.

    But the experiences of these past presidents still illuminate the opportunities — and risks — he faces.

    I stated the same idea: Bush has the opportunity to turn this bad stretch into a great one. Based on the piece you quoted, Mr. Brownstein seems to think he won't, or that may just be your interpretation; I think he will.

    IfYouWillIt - Thanks!

    Anon2 - Please, address specific points and why you think they are wrong. I'd be interested in understanding why you think that is the case beyond mere rhetoric.

  8. Thank you for responding on my page. I had planned to see your responses here, and thank you for them.

    I think it is important to strike a very cautious tone about this president, no matter one's politics. I am somewhere in the middle (with my poorly hashed out Iraqi thoughts posting on my blog at noon today) insofar as the war. I don't think it should have been waged, but the left has not provided anything of value. Based on the president's first year of his second term, I do not think he has a recovery in him.

    But, I hope I am wrong and you are right. Three years of a bad presidency is something we cannot afford. I look forward to reading more from you.

    Thank you for responding to critics in a thoughtful way.

  9. Thank you for responding to critics in a thoughtful way.


    I think it is important to strike a very cautious tone about this president, no matter one's politics.

    Granted. I am not suggesting blind faith, merely confidence. I understand your quite rational statement: Based on the president's first year of his second term, I do not think he has a recovery in him. However, I believe - based on his quite successful first term - that he will be able to turn this around to the country's benefit. When he was named Time's Man of the Year a couple of years ago, he had a wonderful quote, which I would have included in the article had I remembered it earlier: "I don’t expect many short-term historians to write nice things about me."

    Excellent point about the left not submitting any ideas. I think this is the primary reason why Senator Kerry was unable to capitalize on the strong base the left had. There were very few true proposals, and more bashing of the Iraq war.

    Thanks for your comments.

  10. Mr. Passeos,

    Thanks for the response - excellent points about the Israel/Palestinian conflict, which is one of the subjects I feel the most personal connection to.

    Your points are on the money - I was arguing from my perspective, which is that the US should have as little involvement as possible in the conflict. Israel has stated it will not deal with a government that is made up of Hamas; by staying out of it, the White House is allowing Israel to take a wiser stance. Involvement works both ways: If the United States gets involved on behalf of Israel, it likely will get involved in appeasement of the Palestinians as well.

    While the policy the WH has for Israel is far from perfect, it is far better than it has been in the past.

  11. Wow, tough crowd... Ezzie, congratulations on being published in the WSJ!

    My humble constructive criticism:

    1) Linking the death toll in Iraq to the antiwar crowd celebrating would have been more effective if you had been more specific about who those people are (ANSWER, for the most part, a particularly unsavory organization with a convoluted agenda)

    2) I think you got the rude "dreamer" comment in response to two points you made:

    The first was your analysis that "The Iraqi people... are progressing nicely" and "that this is a major success story, and somewhat unprecedented in history." The constitution passing was wonderful, but until the security situation is under control, the legal aspect is fairly unimportant. Also, there is an argument to be made that this is not unprecedented: dictators have been overthrown by force many, many times. You also said "after the war" which may rub some people the wrong way who feel, quite accurately, that the war is still going on.

    The second (arguably over-optimistic) point was that "if the president does begin cutting pork from the budget, the already decreasing deficit could disappear." That seems very unlikely given this administration's history of cronyism and making deals wherever it feels they're beneficial. Also, it is more Congress' responsibility to cut pork than the President's.

    Again, congratulations!

  12. Croaky, you've always been one of my favorite critics: Respectful and smart. :)

    I actually don't think most of the comments above were all that rude, but I'm an optimist, right?

    1) You are right, that would have been more effective. I'd also note the almost gleeful way some newspapers reported on it.

    2) a) I actually was referring to the constitution passing so quickly more than the rest of it. I don't know of a constitution in any country that was passed in such a short period of time from its previous ruler being overthrown.

    b) Notice the "if" - sadly, this is the least likely of the issues to be addressed, especially when one factors in the other part of my statement: The deficit is decreasing now despite the spending. However, Bush did note that there are alternatives to taxes in his speech after Katrina, and one can only assume he meant to curtail spending. In addition, it would be a great way to boost support - and while it is not his responsibility as much as Congress', a speech by the President on the subject would go far in getting it off the ground.

  13. Attention Critics of Ezzie

    Welcome to the club
    DovBear Founder and president.

  14. Congrats! Keep up the hard work!

  15. Mirty - thank you very much!

    Shoshana - thanks, and I will!

    I'd also like to add that I appreciate the comments and critiques of everyone who has posted. I welcome criticism, when done respectfully, and enjoy the discussion.

    My mother put this well in an e-mail regarding the responses on OpinionJournal and here: [edits]

    Interesting that your [blog] responses are longer and there are more than the other article [on OpinionJournal]. Perhaps you should be happy that even though the respondents don't always agree with you, they are at least literate and thoughtful. That's what you're going for. An intelligent debate. It's everyone's opinions.

  16. "U.S. deaths in Iraq hit 2,000".

    I think you're forgetting about all the non-military deaths. I can't believe a W follower is mis-stating the facts!!! Now I've seen everything.

  17. Looks like you are having a great day in the blogosphere.

    I am very impressed by how you are handling these comments. I'm definitely going to visit this blog to see the other side. ;-)

    Great GWB quote: "I don’t expect many short-term historians to write nice things about me."

    I couldn't agree more. The real question is what will the biographer in 2100 say.

  18. Will - thank you.

    Anon - True, I believe almost 600 were non-military, but I'm not sure that it affects my point...

    CopyEditor - Please, I'd be happy to have you back! Your (group?) blog is interesting as well.

    The real question is what will the biographer in 2100 say.

    Exactly the point of my article, though I was shooting for 2040-50 or so. ;)

    And I appreciate your update on your own site regarding my comments. Thanks.

  19. I am so proud of you! Welcome to big time. lol. I read your article, and it was well written, well thought, and well principled. A+! :)

  20. Well said, particularly the points about Saddam.

    I've always preferred an analogy: If an evil man, whom you know beats his family and shoots at his neighbors, threatens you and his neighbors - and refuses to allow you to see if the gun in his hand is loaded - what would you do? Would you wait until you have a "smoking gun"? No. If you wait until you see a smoking gun, odds are you've got a growing red dot on your chest.

    You don't wait to get shot to shoot back - you shoot first if there's a good reason to assume someone is a deadly threat. Whether it turns out to have been good intelligence or bad, you must act on the intelligence you have.

    Everyone had the same intelligence: Bush, Blair, Israel, Clinton. The Senate. Kerry. Everybody.

    Bush acted properly, however accurate the intelligence turns out to have been.

  21. Are you an idiot? Bush getting spending under control? That is the dumbest remark I have read from a 'conservative'. Bush will never tackle spending. He is too busy trying to get 'intelligent design' taught in schools and fighting stem cell research. He is a man with a vision.

  22. Anon - no name-calling on this blog.

    I'm keeping your comment only because you bring up real points, however poorly stated.

    As much as the media has discussed the issues you mention, Bush himself barely has. He expressed in an interview what he felt about ID, and has said little about stem-cell research. The issue itself is not really something he can affect, anyway. Regardless, those are (in my eyes) more minor issues than the ones I discussed.

  23. Your still and idiot. My point was, Bush has never serious considered spending as an issue. Instead, he expends political capital on issues like ID and str ... the biggest spender since LBJ

  24. The two subjects are not related: His spending is high, which I pointed out originally. On the reverse side, despite the spending, the deficit is decreasing pretty rapidly.

    Regarding political capital, I don't see how he's "spent political capital" on ID or SCR - I've barely heard him mention either. Even if he has, so what - it doesn't reduce his ability to carry out an issue in any area any more than just being George W. Bush does. The left will fight every issue, no matter what; he's been pushing through policies anyway.

  25. Mazel Tov on being published! Perhaps we should put this on OnlySimchas?!

  26. HAHA! Hmmm... my wife is already the "Queen" of OS, maybe this will establish me as "King"...?

  27. lol - -(now my boss wants to know what's so funny...)

  28. Heh. This is why I don't work. ;)

    Tell him to read my stuff!

  29. Mazel Tov to you. Keep up the good work! Now, when you figure out how to make money doing this...

  30. PT - Heh. (Now that's someone who makes money...)

    I'll be sure to let you know. I'm hoping it will at least help me land a job...!