When Broder Attacks

It's a good thing Time pays Joe Klein the big bucks since amateur bloggers couldn't deliver insights like this:

I know it's become common practice to slag David Broder in the blogosphere. But let me say this in David's defense: he is not an armchair pundit. Even now, at the age of 236, or thereabouts, he goes out and really does his homework, riding the buses and hitting the living rooms of voters in the crucial states. If you've ever wondered why people like me revere Broder, it's his work ethic--and not just his kindness, civility, judiciousness and institutional memory.

And given Broder's civility, it is really noteworthy when he hauls off and delivers a column like this about Hillary Clinton.

It is noteworthy that the mild-mannered Broder launched what is, for him, a vicious attack on Hillary Clinton. But does this, as Klein seems to think, indicate that Clinton did something seriously wrong? Clearly not. What she did was fail to ask David Petraeus questions at the Senate Armed Services hearing -- instead she gave a little speech. Considering that the subject under consideration was the deployments of tens of thousands of additional soldiers to Iraq, it's obviously the case that the seriously bad thing that happened there was either that some Senators supported this consequential decision or else that most Senators opposed it. You'd have to be a moron to think that the important thing that happened was Clinton's failure to ask questions. But Broder isn't a moron. And Broder isn't given to really attacking people. So what's going on?

Well, one might think a veteran political reporter -- author of a book on Bill Clinton no less -- might recall that Broder has a longstanding animus toward the Clinton family based, it appears, on his detrimental effect on the country club atmosphere of the Washington Establishment.