Jennifer Rubin's Pavlovian performance on yesterday's "This Week" (I do believe I saw George Will slip her an under-the-table Kibble when she punctuated one admirably ear-scratching talking point) inspired me to venture a peek at her latest Post. Of this, I am glad, for though I hereupon realize that I am tragically slow on the uptake, my larger realization answers the question: How could any member of the august Beltway commentariat be so giddily unoriginal as Ms. Rubin?
There it is, again, this time in an intellectually naked, black-and-white cyberspace piece contradictorily titled "Romney's foreign policy" (the possessive is the contradiction), which runs about--with helpful numeration!--brooding prosaically on President Obama's "real cuts in defense to help fund the explosion in domestic spending," on President Obama's "weakness and indecisiveness," on President Obama's "embolden[ing]" of "Vladimir Putin" (yeah, that's right, you read that right: Vladimir, as in Soviet bear) and on President Obama's "pick[ing] on allies," such as Israel. (Israel, mind you, whose hegemonic self-determination has proceeded absolutely U.S.-unfettered.)
But quake no longer. For against all this Democratic vintage and Obamian indulgence there now comes a man of true principle and Reaganite puissance, the latter of which, according to Ms. Rubin, is "militarily prepared, stands by allies, denounces despotism, and promotes ... the development of human rights and democracy."
Voila. The coerced neoconservatism of captive Mitt Romney is magically transmuted into Reaganism, which of course the neoconservatives despise, but George Will still likes, hence to Ms. Rubin's careerist mind it is all of one big happy doctrinal species.
In her tidying-up characterization of whatever the hell Mitt Romney may actually believe, she echoes the GOP nominee himself: it is "calm, credible, consistent and contentious"--with itself.
Ah, but no matter. Ms. Rubin has provided continuity to the intellectually unbridgeable merely by conflating two conflicting foreign policy approaches and hoping that on the right no one notices but everyone approves. Thus she gets another Kibble from George, and another from the neoconservatives, and yet another from the nominee.
Perchance to dream; speechwriting, Noonanesquely, for Mitt the ultimate chief executive; then a secure rathole, Wall Street Journal editorial board; and then guaranteed appearances on "This Week," forevermore.
So, why Ms. Rubin's stunning unoriginality wrapped in colliding platitudes? This I have asked myself. And now I can answer: Because it pays, stupid.