Memo to Romney-Ryan speechwriters John McConnell, Lindsay Hayes, and Stuart Stevens: Watch your back around this guy Matthew Scully! Scully, who with McConnell is credited with writing Paul Ryan’s crowd-pleasing convention speech, is a former White House speechwriter and author of a well-regarded book, Dominion, that urges humans to show greater respect for the animal kingdom. The animal Scully most emulates is the black widow spider.
I went on a bit of a rant yesterday wondering why, even in ostensibly enlightened circles, it’s only respectable talk about banning assault weapons after a tragedy like Aurora, not, you know, all guns. It turns out that a friend of TNR made the same point on The Washington Post op-ed page about five years earlier—and he made it far better than I did. An excerpt: Guns are good because they provide the ultimate self-defense? While I’m sure some people believe that having a gun at their bedside will make them safer, they are wrong.
I'm about three-fourths of the way through Sarah Palin's new book, and it's clear that the woman is convinced numerous conspiracies were launched against her--by the national media, by the McCain campaign, by disgruntled Alaskan loudmouths, by Katie Couric and Nicolle Wallace. But one conspiracy theory in particular sticks out to me for its, well, bizarreness: the plot to undermine meat-eaters. Palin extols the virtues of meat a lot, whether it's caribou, moose, or more common fare. We're talking dozens of mentions throughout the book.
Better pieces of journalism have been produced in the past year (and the last 500 words are cringe-inducingly bad--more on that later), but Matthew Scully's not-yet-available-online Atlantic takedown of Michael Gerson is an enormously fun and interesting read. Scully is a former Bush speechwriter and animal-rights defender, and Gerson is also a onetime Bush speechwriter and now a Washington Post columnist. Scully alleges that Gerson repeatedly misled and lied to reporters about his role in crafting the president's speeches.