I’m sorry, but I’ve got to chortle one more time at the backfiring of the ultra-liberal U.K. newspaper The Guardian’s Operation Clark County–that letter-writing campaign that was supposed to persuade undecided voters in that swing county of a swing state to cast their ballots for the Euro-favorite, John F. Kerry, come Nov. 2. (See my Our European Admirers, Oct. 19.)
Seems that the residents of Clark County didn’t really care to have high-minded Brits telling them how to vote. The Guardian was hit with a barrage of letters and e-mails from Americans using such phrases as “Limey pansies,” calling attention to the substandard food and dental hygiene in our sister-English-speaking country across the Atlantic, and tastelessly reminding their Brit betters that America had bailed their country out of disaster in two world wars. “We don’t need weenie-spined Limeys meddling in our presidental election,” one American wrote. “If it wasn’t for America, you’d all be speaking German.” Once CNN caught wind of the campaign yesterday, the Guardian became a coast-to-coast U.S. laughingstock.
The funniest aspect of Operation Clark County was a Guardian web page titled Dear Clark County Voter, in which a Brit literary trio, John le Carre, Antonia Fraser, and Richard “I’m Smarter Than You Are” Dawkins, who bears the title of Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, lectured the Ohio dimwits on why President George W. Bush was the most frightening and also the stupidest human being they had ever enountered in their lives. Here’s Dawkins on Bush:
“An idiot he may be, but he is also sly, mendacious and vindictive; and the thuggish ideologues who surround him are dangerous.”
As Mark Steyn wrote in yesterday’s U.K. Telegraph:
“This is excellent news for the President, who in recent days had been looking a little wobbly in Ohio. But there’s nothing like a barrage of mail from condescending Guardian readers to send the locals stampeding into the Bush camp. If the editor of the Guardian’s up for it, fifty quid says Bush will win a higher proportion of the vote in Clark County on November 2 than he did last time.”
Steyn also pointed out that Dawkins had made the tactical mistake of comparing Bush to Tony Martin, the English householder who shot dead a burglar he encountered at night in his home in 1999–and then was sentenced to prison ‘cuz in England self-defense is a crime. The Professor of Public Understanding seemed to think that the American public would side with the poor dead burglar just as he and his fellow hand-wringers did. Steyn set the prof straight:
“[I]n America, Tony Martin’s regarded as the fall-guy for a vindictive nanny state that punished him for exposing its uselessness and incompetence. My neighbour in New Hampshire is a loyal Democrat, he spent the weekend packing his freezer with meat from the bear he shot, and I wouldn’t advise any Guardian columnists canvassing for Kerry voters to be caught prowling round his porch at night. As for Ohio, Article I Section 4 of the state’s constitution reads: ‘The people have the right to bear arms for their defence and security.’…
“[I]n Clark County I’m glad to see they’re keeping a stiff upper lip as John le Carr’, Antonia Fraser and fellow sufferers of Bush Derangement Syndrome flood the mailboxes. Linda Rosicka, director of the county’s Board of Elections, thinks the rampaging Brits will have little effect. ‘The American Revolution was fought for a reason,’ she remarked drily.”
Oh, I just can’t stop laughing.