Writing political opinion for The New Yorker magazine cannot be easy. That journalistic cliche "Hot Off the Press" just doesn't apply at The New Yorker. The longer lead time that the magazine requires between the writing of an article and its arrival on the newsstand means that the opinion will never be the most current nor fresh. But when Hendrik Hertzberg is the author, it will often be the best.
Writing of the looming Senate vote on the bill outlawing Desecration of the Flag, Hertzberg explains why its passage would be "almost utterly dispiriting." He ends his piece brilliantly:
"Providence," Lord Bryce,... "has under its special care children, idiots, and the United States of America." The kids are still all right, but unless thirty-four senators hold firm Providence may no longer be able to indulge the second without harming the third."
Hertzberg would never be so inelegant as to call U.S. Senators idiots. Everytime you read one of his pieces, your conclusion the childish spittle spewed by a David Brooks is just a waste of paper and ink, can onlky be reinforced.