The Irish in America: Still making hay in every way

Michael Ledeen Rides Sy Hersch’s Infinate Loop

Over at NRO, Michael Ledeen has, with the help of an eagle-eyed reader (do we love the internet? Yes, we do!) brought into clear focus the infinite loopiness of Seymour Hersch’s latest “factual expose.” Ledeen wonders if Hersch is using a template.

I think Ledeen is off track, there. I am convinced that Hersch has gotten sloppy in his old age and has become entirely too dependant upon the aid of Clippy, the MS Word assistant: Hello! It looks like you are writing another hit piece on President Bush and Sec’y Rumsfeld! Do you need some help?

Read the Ledeen piece. You’ll like.

A Story of Two Mad Irish Boys

Perhaps it is because I am currently reading James Webb’s excellent book Born Fighting but I can’t help noticing that two Sons of the Olde Sod have been the subject of such boundless scrutiny and controversy. Two polar opposites and lightening rods descended from what my grandmother (Scots-Irish) always called “those mad Irish.” Or, perhaps they are not such opposites – both believe what they believe, no matter how uncomfortable they make others. Both will stubbornly move ahead to bellow those beliefs regardless of obstacles. Both are geniuses of marketing. Both model extremes in their own way: one is an extreme example of “Black Irish” Celtic beauty, and the other…the sad and doughy example of Celtic Sloth.

The press has lumped them together for a solid year, which has been equally horrifying to us Gibson fans, and to Moore’s rabble. Let’s just call them modern examples of what the Irish have ever been – comers from the Land of Sinners and Saints.

I Don’t Know What to Make of This Shameful Irishman, Though

The man is simply a disgrace to the memories of his better brothers. “There is an old Irish Chestnut,” my Granny would always say, (she knew a lot of Chestnuts, from every culture) “you come in with the face God gives you, and you go out with the face you’ve earned!” I think of it every time I see Ted Kennedy’s ruddier-than-a-cherry face and blue-veined nose, and then remember him as young, handsome, wearing a neck brace and reading a statement with trembling voice, as he put the spin on the watery death of a young woman, and his inaction as she died. He’s concerned about torturing prisoners by means of “water-boarding” these days, you know. And he is having trouble making a distinction between what might properly be understood to be “lies” and what are simply choices made, based on erroneous information the entire world believed. Egad.

The Irish in America: The scholarly Ledeen, the Sinnery Saints Gibson and Moore, the sad, stereotypical, feckless Kennedy. Born Fighting? I think James Webb is on to something. I’m proud to be part of the whole stinkin’ brood! :-)

UPDATE: The Astute Blogger nails Teddy Kennedy and nails him, good. Enjoy. Hattip: Lorie at

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About Elizabeth Scalia