Magazine article The American Conservative

God and Blair at Yale

Magazine article The American Conservative

God and Blair at Yale

Article excerpt

The first thing to do when the words "Tony" and "Blair" swim into your head is to pray for the grace to be charitable and to avoid the sin of sarcasm (or "irony," as we call it in England). The second thing is to ask yourself: Where does this monkey get off? Can he be serious?

Apparently he can-so serious, in fact, that immediately before beginning his teaching stint at Yale he appeared on "The Daily Show." Only the most serious (and successful) people are invited to receive Jon Stewart's imprimatur.

It is true that Blair looked a bit uneasy, but he got on a lot better than Sarah Palin at the hands of Charlie Gibson. Mrs. Palin has not yet taken her county to war. Her only crime so far is to have made a public declaration of her opposition to abortion.

Maybe Blair looked awkward because it is beginning to dawn on him that his position is not altogether tenable. Here is a man, after all, who ran what was arguably the most anti-Christian government in the history of Great Britain, who led his country into an unjust and murderous war, and who, within months of leaving office, was received into the Roman Catholic Church without first making a public statement of regret for having so publicly promoted abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, and gay marriage.

Such are the contradictions in his make-up that it is hard not to suspect that he has some unresolved "issues." There are very often psychological explanations for bizarre behavior. With George W. Bush it's drink, I imagine; perhaps he is what alcoholics call a "dry drunk." With Tony Blair other influences could be at work.

He's always been a hard guy to figure out. Some of you will perhaps have heard of Mark Steyn, a Canadian polemicist and Bush-booster. He and I used to talk from time to time in the 1990s, when I was comment editor of the Sunday Telegraph and he was a contributor. What struck Mark about the early Blair was that he seemed a pretty effeminate sort of guy. Apparently in New Hampshire, where Mark lived, the good ole boys had noticed Blair's Bambi persona, his ingratiating smile, his curly hair, his English accent, and had concluded that he was "one of those."

Now it goes without saying that it was not funny to suggest that Blair is gay. Blair is not gay, and even if he were, it would not be something to laugh about. …

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