Here's why all this matters. A critical part of what's gone wrong these
past few years has been the tendency of a war president to bully
opponents, distort their meaning, use base emotional appeals when we
need far more rational discussion about how to counter a very complex,
terrifying Islamist threat. The kind of campaigns Rove ran in 2002,
2004 and 2006 made all this far harder. It reduced important debates
about priorities in the war, detention and interrogation policies, the
wisdom of long-term enmeshment in the Middle East, the difficulties of
securing loose nukes, the excruciatingly difficult calls on which
allies to trust and how - into dumb-ass contests about who is the
biggest bad-ass, who is a treasonous wimp and which opponent most
belongs in a French hair salon.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.
Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.