Given a week of stories about an imaginary Christmas in Cambodia that was seared–SEARED–on the memory of a presidential candidate and a postmodern married-with-two kids-but-bisexual New Jersey governor in New Jersey, you’d think Mark Steyn would have lots of fun writing about such stuff.
And you’d be right on the money:
“My truth is that I am a gay American,” announced Gov. James McGreevey to the people of New Jersey last Thursday.
That’s such an exquisitely contemporary formulation: ”my” truth. Once upon a time, there was only ”the” truth. Now everyone gets his own — or, as the governor put it, ”One has to look deeply into the mirror of one’s soul and decide one’s unique truth in the world.” For Jim McGreevey, his truth is that he’s a gay American; for others in the Garden State, the truth about McGreevey is that he’s a corrupt sexual harasser who put his lover on the state payroll in a critical homeland security post, and whose I-am-what-I-am confessional is a tactical feint that distracts the media sob sisters from the fact that, as his final service to the Democratic Party, he’s resigned in such a way as to deny the people an early vote on his successor.
We’ll see whose truth prevails in the fullness of time.
In politics, it’s helpful if whatever ”unique truth” the consultants have run past the focus groups bears at least a passing relationship to the real, actual truth — not the whole truth, but at least a grain of it. That was what was so ingenious about Bill Clinton’s ”60 Minutes” appearance in 1992. He didn’t come clean — he was, as usual, full of it — but he set in motion his designated ”unique truth” — flawed but human. It was designed to get him past Gennifer, but it wound up also getting him past Paula, Monica, Kathleen, Juanita. . . . Whatever goods you got on him, it fit ”his truth” as he sold it to us on CBS that day. As his attorney Cheryl Mills put it during the impeachment trial, Bill Clinton, along with Jefferson, Kennedy and Martin Luther King, ”made human errors, but they struggled to do humanity good . . .”
Which brings us to John Kerry.
(Yes, it’s time to read the whole thing.)
By the way, Steyn manages to write a column titled “Democrats peddle their own unique truth” without even mentioning the 800 (or more) pound postmodern gorilla who was in the presidential box at their convention. Amazing!
Update: Speaking of truth, Jeff Jarvis has some thoughts on why McGreevy really resigned.