Kristol: Generation Obama? Perhaps Not.

In case you were wondering what Bill Kristol would get wrong next, he’s got a new opinion piece up at the New York Times:
Generation Obama? Perhaps Not.

Kristol failed to fact-check before spreading the apparently incorrect rumor that Obama was present at a particular sermon given by controversial pastor Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. He has acknowledged that error now in an update to the page, so I won’t give any further grievance on it. I hope in the future he’ll do a bit more checking before posting such errors, after all, that’s the sort of thing he gets paid for.

However, I do object to Kristol trying to make an issue out of something as ridiculous as the name given to a youth organization of the campaign; followed by his own ridiculous suggestion:

Now I’m actually a believer in the next generation, which one might call the 9/11 generation. Many of its members seem more serious and impressive than we baby boomers were when our elders were foolishly praising us, 40 years ago, as the best-educated, most idealistic generation ever. Many of the best of this young generation are serving their country — either in the military or otherwise. Some are in politics, working for various causes, liberal and conservative, and for various candidates, Democrats and Republicans. But surely there’s something creepy about a campaign claiming them as “Generation Obama.”

C’mon Bill. If there can be “Pepsi Generation”, then we can all live harmoniously with a “Generation Obama”; after all, isn’t who we elect to be president a little more substantial than which soda one elects to drink (I prefer Coke, by the way; when Afri-Cola is not available, that is). Let’s recognize “Generation Obama” for what it is– a catchy title the campaign website is using to attract and organize their younger supporters, and let’s not bemoan what it is not– a historical claim meant to identify a generic cohort or time period in America.

And what an awful and conceited suggestion is “the 9/11 generation”, as if the only only formative event of our generation (note as I deftly inject myself into the slightly younger crowd; I’m hip… I’m with it) was the terrorist attacks of 9/11. No, Bill, 9/11 casts a shadow over everything you and your neoconservatives do, or at least, you attempt to use to cast such shadows in order to launch ill-advised campaigns to civilize the world. And one thing is for sure: the youth generation of today is by far and wide not part of your neoconservative movement.

If there is anything formative in the development of the current youth generation… it will be a rejection of neoconservatism, and all such cynical attempts to justify everything by invoking the magical spell of 9/11. 9/11 may not be soon forgotten, but its psychological effect will fade away in due time, just as will the failed neoconservative agenda.

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