Across the great divide

Bart Gellman is a Pulltzer Prize winning reporter for the Washington Post. He is also the author of Angler, a study of the Cheney vice presidency. In fact, he won his Pulitzer Prize for a series (written with Jo Becker) in the Post about Cheney. I posted several times about that series.

A few months ago, I was quite surprised to receive an invitation to Bart’s book party at the home of the Washington Post’s publisher. I decided to attend out of curiosity and a sense that it would be “gutless” not to, given my frequent criticism, by name, of Post reporters and columnists.

At the party, Bart expressed his interest in having a dialogue with Cheney’s admirers, among whom he correctly placed me. Bart noted that his book signings tend to be dominated by people for whom the only question is when the Cheney impeachment proceedings should begin. Bart thought it would be fruitful for him to engage with someone on the other side of the Cheney divide.

To this end, I am participating in a discussion of Angler on TPMCafe Book Club. In addition to Bart, the other participants are Jacob Heilbrunn, Steve Clemons, Spencer Ackerman, and David Greenberg — in short an eclectic group of Cheney-bashers. I’m reminded of the Charles Bronson line in “The Magnificent Seven” –“I admire your notion of fair odds mister.”

Actually, with apologies to Bronson, it’s not my intention to debate the Cheney vice presidency; rather I plan to focus on Bart’s book. Of course, the two are intertwined.

Here is Bart’s initial post.

Here is mine.

JOHN adds: I’d say the odds are just fine, but the comments on Paul’s first post are hilarious. Paul may be the first non-Kool Aid drinker who has ever written on TPM, and the natives don’t know what to make of it.

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