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WaPo’s Richard Cohen: Great Columnist, Or Greatest Columnist?

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The only thing that would cheer us up if Bill Kristol loses next year’s Pulitzer Prize for commentary would be a victory for Washington Post “moderate liberal” columnist Richard Cohen instead. If you haven’t been following this guy recently then you know NOTHING. Oh, the prose-poetry of his sentences! One gorgeous conjunction masterfully gives way to a brilliant proper noun, brought to life by an effervescent transitive verb and wrung to a world-historical clincher with yet another brilliant proper noun. Recently, Cohen has told us about his “keen eye” and the wretched “tattoos” plastering our children these days. In today’s column, Cohen shares the following: John McCain is a maverick, while Barack Obama is a youth!

OMG he is so gay for old John McCain:

Just tell me one thing Barack Obama has done that you admire,” I asked a prominent Democrat. He paused and then said that he admired Obama’s speech to the Democratic convention in 2004. I agreed. It was a hell of a speech, but it was just a speech.

On the other hand, I continued, I could cite four or five actions — not speeches — that John McCain has taken that elicit my admiration, even my awe. First, of course, is his decision as a Vietnam prisoner of war to refuse freedom out of concern that he would be exploited for propaganda purposes. To paraphrase what Kipling said about Gunga Din, John McCain is a better man than most.

Obviously, Obamatards are Obamatards. They know nothing about anything beyond their television sets. The academic community is in lockstep behind Obama, sure, but that just reinforces the point: Obama is Hitler. John McCain may not have any actual policy proposals beyond a budget-busting tax plan and Victory In Wars, but — and thank you Richard, Richard Cohen, for making this point — he is a prisoner-maverick like Gunga Din.

Obama argues that he himself stuck to the biggest gun of all: opposition to the war. He took that position when the war was enormously popular, the president who initiated it was even more popular and critics of both were slandered as unpatriotic. But at the time, Obama was a mere Illinois state senator, representing the (very) liberal Hyde Park area of Chicago. He either voiced his conscience or his district’s leanings or (lucky fella) both. We will never know.

In other words: Obama lied about the Iraq War somehow. We do not know how he lied, and we probably never will. But he definitely lied so shutup already.

All politicians change their positions, sometimes even because they have changed their minds. McCain must have suffered excruciating whiplash from totally reversing himself on George Bush’s tax cuts. He has denounced preachers he later embraced and then, to his chagrin, has had to denounce them all over again. This plasticity has a label: pandering. McCain knows how it’s done.

Sponsored Intermission

Preachers and W.’s tax cuts — on these two issues alone has McCain changed his stance. And it hurt his feelings when he did it so lay off goddamnit.

The Washington Post pays Richard Cohen actual money to write columns in its newspaper.

Obama the Unknown [WP]

About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell


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  • demtard

    Holy shit, it’s Colonel Sanders!

  • NotUrEvryDayWEzl

    I thought the Washington Post no longer had actual money? OH, you mean FIAT money! Jim, you need to work on your proper nouns!

  • Serolf Divad

    That’s it. Cohen’s convinced me. I’m formally endorsing John McCain. Here’s my official endorsement.

  • N8Ma

    That’s GREATESTESTESTEST columnist ever. Bill Kristol can shampoo his crotch.

  • Spence

    Cliche cliche cliche, baseball metaphor, cliche cliche, “pop culture” reference, cliche cliche.
    Dead tree media payz me one million dollazzzzzzz~!

  • SayItWithWookies

    Holy crap — Richard Cohen has a doubt! I’ll be hiding under the bed until the Lord clears this up for us.

  • Canmon (the Inadequate)

    As for Obama’s acomplishments, he helped remove the asbestos at Altgeld Gardens. He also, . . . Well, isn’t that enough?

  • Monsieur Grumpe

    They don’t print his words on paper do they? Cause that would be a crime against trees.

  • elfranko

    remember when cohen replied to colbert’s 2006 presnit/media love-fest thingie by saying HE (cohen) knows a thing or two about humor? i thought this column was an example of his “humor.”

  • captainjuice

    I just finished reading this post, and now Mr. Cohen is on Hardball with that Chris Matthews stand-in talking about how Obama just came onto the political scene “yesterday”. His glasses remind me of the owl from the Tootsie Roll Pops commercial.

  • nietzscheprojectile

    [re=47164]demtard[/re]: Orville Redenbacher.

  • Anita Cocktail

    [re=47164]demtard[/re]: or Orville Redenbacher.

  • Dave J.

    To paraphrase what Kipling said about Gunga Din, John McCain is a better man than most.

    This is the kind of shit the young people today will eat with a spoon. McCain needs to hire this ambitious young scribe for his campaign.

  • Texan Bulldoggette

    He’s on Hardball right now being a cranky putz–no wonder he likes McCranky!

  • PeteJayhawk v2.0

    I love that he tries to paint Obama’s state senate district as some sort of latte-sipping liberal enclave.

  • ManchuCandidate

    That’s my boy, Blue!

    “I close my eyes, only for a moment and the moment’s gone!”

  • Volumptuous

    I loved his movie “the big lebowski”.

  • bigbluewreckingjew

    on the other hadn, Richard Cohen is a known commodity.

    like plastics.

  • bigbluewreckingjew

    on the other hand, Richard Cohen is a known commodity.

    like plastics.

  • SayItWithWookies

    [re=47173]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]: Not to mention that it’s a crime against words.

  • captainjuice

    Cohen on Hardball just called Obama’s non-canned answers “fresh”….fresher than a bag of Orville Redenbacher’s just out of the microwave?

  • fuzzo

    c’mon people! i know it’s tuesday afternoon, but these comments are awful.

    go to the bar and don’t come back ’til you can flame this infidel to the depths of his very soul.

  • Cape Clod

    Thank you for your ‘opinion’, Richard Cohen. Now what the fuck are you saying?

  • Tawmn

    [re=47168]Serolf Divad[/re]: if he’s going to bring a lot of hot asian women over here then he has my vote too.

  • The Brothman Prophecy

    [re=47176]nietzscheprojectile[/re]: [re=47187]captainjuice[/re]: how dare you besmirch the splendorous redenbacher name.

  • RuperttheBear

    [re=47164]demtard[/re]: Cross-bred with Orville Redstatenbacher.

  • sezme

    I like to picture Richard Cohen and William Kristol discussing Kipling at their very private gentleman’s club. Anyhow, I like how the surviving conservative intelligentsia is reduced to postulating that McCain is preferable to Obama because the latter may very well not be quite as godlike as he appears to be.

  • slavojzizek

    [re=47199]sezme[/re]: Hey–Cohen is not a conservative. He is a moderate liberal. All moderate liberals support McCain. Just ask Joe Lieberman. The only people who support Obama are the ideological types who have completely taken over the Democratic party, and forgotten how to take moderate positions, like supporting the war in Iraq. Supporting the war in Iraq may have been stupid, but it was the moderate thing to do. Anyone who didn’t support it cannot be trusted.

  • Hominidx

    I once asked a Republican what he liked about McCain and he said HE WAS A WAR PRISONER AND THAT MEANS HE’S GOD WHO ALSO WAS A WAR PRISONER.

  • Scarab

    You know what’s sad? You just know Cohen studied a whole contact sheet of photos and chose THAT ONE because it made him look the least like a douche bag.

  • AnnieGetYourFun

    [re=47175]captainjuice[/re]: Dude, you totally nailed it.

    How many licks does it take to get to the center of Obama’s heart, I wonder?

  • Not_So_Much

    Uh, HELLO MORAN?!?! This here is ‘Murka and all that fancy talk just pisses us off.

    Not hard to find, ‘Dick’:


    In about 3 seconds you can see that he was for minimum wage increase, against lobbying sleaze, working on securing nukes. Obvsly, Hitler reincarnated…

  • Godot

    “pandering. McCain knows how it’s done.”

    Boy does he.

    hey guys who wants to not pay taxes on shit lol i’m such a controversial maverick

  • lumpenprole

    That went way over my head. Which one’s more like Batman?

  • The Incomparable Tiny Valdez

    All this is making me bitter, and more inclined to just cling to my porn and arugula.

  • shortsshortsshorts

    “Barack Obama is a politician.
    John McCain is a politician.
    They have both done things that are different and the same sometimes or at other times.”

    THANKS GENIUS. Seriously, shoot me in the fucking head.

  • thefrontpage

    Richard Cohen is still writing? He lost his mind about 25 years ago.

  • anabellum

    Richard Cohen is paid to be inconsequential…

    think of him as the Sammy Davis Jr. of the column writing ‘rat pack’…

  • nietzscheprojectile

    [re=47244]anabellum[/re]: More like a Joey Bishop…

  • Mahousu

    [re=47193]Tawmn[/re]: I understand these fine people currently hold the mortgage on my house. I may need to renegotiate terms with them soon.

  • shortsshortsshorts

    [re=47258]Mahousu[/re]: Damn you now I have S.A.R.S. in my eyes!

  • donner_froh

    [re=47167]NotUrEvryDayWEzl[/re]: Fiat money?

    Oh, you mean that other fiat money…

  • Tawmn

    [re=47258]Mahousu[/re]: That’s all I’m sayin’ is all…

  • Mahousu

    [re=47262]shortsshortsshorts[/re]: That’s why you should always leave loan negotiations to trained professionals.

  • HomoPolitico

    Ya know, if jews like me are supposed to be running the media, you’d think we could do better then this.

  • SP

    Ohhhhhhhhhhh, I have hated Richard Cohen for more than 20 years now. What I love about this is that he has to modify the actual quote (“You’re a better man than I, Gunga Din”), because it’s not as though anyone — war hero or not — is a better man than Richard Cohen. No! But he is a better man than, you know, other people.

  • Mahousu

    [re=47258]Mahousu[/re]: By the way, and because I do not want to think about Richard Cohen any more, the picture comes from this article. My prediction: pole dancing will be an Olympic event by 2020.

  • anabellum

    [re=47251]nietzscheprojectile[/re]: you are correct…Joey Bishop is so inconsequential that i forgot about him entirely…

  • Mahousu

    [re=47292]Mahousu[/re]: … and the medalists will all be 12-year-old girls.

  • anabellum

    [re=47292]Mahousu[/re]: shit, now the chinese are going to take over the stripper industry as well?…

  • WonkaBee

    [re=47282]SP[/re]: You’re a better man than Cary Grant, John McCain!

  • anabellum

    [re=47294]Mahousu[/re]: anyone ever told you that you might be prescient?…

    got any market tips?…

  • Mahousu

    [re=47299]anabellum[/re]: anyone ever told you that you might be prescient?
    What the … ? That bastard Edwards! He told me he had a vasectomy!

  • rocktonsammy

    is he related to Leonard, he seems to be a prick too.

  • regisgoat

    When Roger Rosenblatt gets too edgy, or Andy Rooney gets too trenchant and hurts my feelings with his needling wit, I know I can always turn to Cohen now to upbraid my tattoos and remind me that McCain is a seasoned trooper who went to Asia, without falling off the world’s edge.
    And people wonder why the newspapers are expiring…

  • Lazy Media

    [re=47279]HomoPolitico[/re]: Hey, could you get your fellow tribe members together, and find out what the fuck is with all this Obama hatin’ by teh Joos? I know Jews don’t hate blacks, but I get the feeling a lot of otherwise liberal-types of the Hebrew persuasion are WAY too hung up on the dude’s Ayrabish name, knowhudImean?

  • kirkaracha

    First, of course, is his decision as a Vietnam prisoner of war to refuse freedom out of concern that he would be exploited for propaganda purposes.

    Second, of course, was his decision to sign a Vietcong propaganda statement that said, “I am a black criminal, and I have performed the deeds of an air pirate.”

  • liquiddaddy

    I hear that Cohen fella is a serial goat fucker. He has a pair of custom made waders and everything. Since he won’t deny these degenerate crimes of nature, then they must be true. Why do you rape goats, Dick?

  • shortsshortsshorts

    [re=47352]liquiddaddy[/re]: I hear Cindy is a duck fucker too. Why doesn’t Childers say anything?

  • populucious

    That Barry is such an infant he can’t even PANDER as well as Master McCain. I mean, seriously, how can you expect to be taken seriously as presidential material if you haven’t sold and bought and sold your soul to dozens of televangelists and Fibbies disguised as Saudi oil men?

  • shortsshortsshorts

    [re=47386]populucious[/re]: DO NOT TALK BADLY ABOUT LORD SAUDI OIL, MM K?

  • Quacker

    That’s the worst picture of Wolf Blitzer I’ve ever seen.

  • Lionel Hutz Esq.

    So, if McCain is such a great leader, why is he running such a bad campaign? Do you really want someone to run the country who can’t even run a campaign?

  • Lionel Hutz Esq.

    You have to love the conservative intelligentsia who come up with arguments like this, or that Obama did poorly when he went abroad since he got glowing reviews overseas and attracted a large crowd in Berlin.

  • shortsshortsshorts

    [re=47407]Lionel Hutz Esq.[/re]: He is not creating an argument, but merely spewing mothballs out of his many orifices of TRUTH.

  • Bipartisan Bridge

    Whether we’re talking abour Richard Cohen or any other columnist, the issue of their political and/or ideological orientation is always relevant. That is especially true these days of cable news “journalists”, or, increasingly often, “editorialists”. The Bipartisan Bridge (www.BipartisanBridge.org) has addressed this, at least as it pertains to televised news, in one of its postings. Visitors are welcome to review the proposal, titled “Media Neutrality: The Blind Trust Network” at http://www.bipartisanbridge.org/S7C24.html and are also encouraged to post their own bipartisan ideas on the Your Bipartisan Ideas tab.

  • WonkaBee

    Whether we’re talking about Richard Cohen or any other columnist, the issue of their choice in farm animal fucking is always relevant. That is especially true these days of cable news “journalists”, or, increasingly often, “editorialists”. The Goatfuckers Bridge (www.GoatfuckersBridge.org) has addressed this, at least as it pertains to televised goatfucks, in one of its postings. Visitors are welcome to review the proposal, titled “Species Neutrality: The Blind Fuck Network” at http://www.GoatfuckersBridge.org/S7C24.html and are also encouraged to post their own ideas (and pictures!) on the “Your Goatfucking Ideas” tab.

  • WonkaBee

    The 5:47 article has been identified as in need of Wonkification. Wonkification is the art of making an article fit the Wonkette “style”.

  • AfghanVet

    Let’s call it like it is…Liberal or Conservative…the old people are scared shitless that they are going to become irrelevant if Obama wins.

  • RuperttheBear

    [re=47481]AfghanVet[/re]: Old age is the universe’s way of saying you’re irrelevant. Vaginal dryness? Enthusiasm for napping?


  • Fear of a Black Reagan

    Here’s a preview of Richard Cohen’s next column. It’s a wistful, semi-fictionalized account of how, as a young man, he met the great War Winner. McCain’s identity is cleverly concealed under the pseudonym “Ike Thomas”.


  • Mr. Herpes

    Calm down everybody. It’s just the OLD GUY SYNDROME. I know I am one. Just this morning, while Cohen was taking his usual 20 minutes to pee (that’s the average at his age) he started fuming about Obama being young and vigorous. We get resentful when all the young, energetic people get excited about, well, a young energetic person. All those hot babes don’t even see us anymore, it’s like we’re invisible. So we demand to know, just what the young guy has done that is so hot? In Obama’s case it is obvious — just watch any McCain commercial. Sen. Obama IS NOT JOHN MCCAIN. He doesn’t want to keep US troops in the Sand Box forever and ever! He doesn’t want to drill everywhere looking for more heroin, ooops oil. He’s the future, and that’s what we hate most of all.