James Fallows at The Atlantic weighs in on William Kristol's introductory effort at the NYT.
I'm saying nothing about the content here. Indeed the subject -- how the GOP should run against Barack Obama -- is one on which readers would want to hear a well-connected Republican's views.
I am talking instead about the breathtaking banality of expression.
A single clichéd phrase, like the last sentence of the first paragraph, can be effective. A whole string of clichés, like the second paragraph, is effective only in raising questions about the author's skill and quality of thought. The passage might serve as a test for prospective copy-editors. For instance: "What is avoidably awkward about the sentence beginning, 'After all, for all his ability..'?" Or, "How could the author express his thought without clichés?"...
The other regulars on the Times op-ed page have their tics and strengths and weaknesses. But I have a hard time imagining any of them putting together this lazy a sequence of words.
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