We’ve been following with high amusement the ham-fisted efforts of the U.K. Guardian, Britain’s ultra-liberal newspaper, to sway the U.S. presidential election away from George W. Bush and toward Euro-fave John F. Kerry. First the Guardian launched a letter-writing campaign in which Guardian readers sent pen-pal missives to individual voters in Clark County, Ohio, bearing the message Bush bad, Kerry good. The campaign backfired–and the Guardian became a worldwide laughingstock–when Ohioans and other Americans started firing back e-mails to the Guardian pointing out that they had fought a revolution over just such activity, and also calling attention to the poor quality of food and dental hygiene in the United Kingdom.

The Guardian abruptly called off the project, although Guardian editor Ian Katz blamed the usual vast right-wing conspiracy and maintained that most Clark County voters actually had a benign and “good-humored” reaction to their liberal Brit brothers and sisters. But as the Guardian’s rival paper, the U.K. Telegraph, couldn’t help noting:        

“‘Good-humoured’ headlines in the local newspaper, the Springfield News-Sun have included ‘Butt Out Brits, voters say’ and ‘Trashing letter campaign’ — a reference to the fact that the first woman to receive a letter from a Guardian reader, Beverly Coale, threw it away, fearing it was from a terrorist.”

Perhaps frustrated that genteel anti-Bush persuasion wasn’t doing the job, the Guardian, or at least its television columnist Charlie Brooker, now seems to advocate a new strategy: Just kill Bush instead.

On Saturday, Brooker’s column, ostensibly a review of BBC tapes of the recent Bush-Kerry debates, issued a call for Bush’s assassination. Here’s what Brooker wrote:

“On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod’s law dictates he’ll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr — where are you now that we need you?”

By yesterday, the Guardian had evidently pulled Brooker’s column from its website, for when you click to the Guardian link you get this instead (update: Brooker, with the Guardian’s blessing, now says he intended merely an “ironic joke” and he’s sorry he’s offended “some people”). Nonetheless, you, dear InkWell readers, can read the entire column for yourselves here, as cached by Google.

What’s amazing about this piece of writing isn’t just Brooker’s apparent homicidal intentions laid out for all the world to read. It’s the evident derangement in his thinking. For example, although Brooker doesn’t believe in a deity, he does seem to believe in the liberal urban legend of the Bush “bulge,” that filmed protrusion on his back during the first debate that the paranoid left decided was a wired mechanism through which Karl Rove fed Bush the answers to questions. Here’s Brooker:

“The internet’s a-buzz with speculation that Bush has been wearing a wire, receiving help from some off-stage lackey. Screen grabs appearing to show a mysterious bulge in the centre of his back are being traded like Top Trumps. Prior to seeing the debate footage, I regarded this with healthy scepticism: the whole ‘wire’ scandal was just wishful thinking on behalf of some amateur Michael Moores, I figured. And then I watched the footage.

“Quite frankly, the man’s either wired or mad. If it’s the former, he should be flung out of office: tarred, feathered and kicked in the n-ts.”

Elsewhere, Brooker’s column sputters formlessly as Brooker tosses off such random, even scatological, vituperations as these:

“Throughout the debate, John Kerry, for his part, looks and sounds a bit like a haunted tree. But at least he’s not a lying, sniggering, drink-driving, selfish, reckless, ignorant, dangerous, backward, drooling, twitching, blinking, mouse-faced little cheat.”

“[Bush] looks like he’s listening to something we can’t hear. He blinks, he mumbles, he lets a sentence trail off, starts a new one, then reverts back [sic] to whatever he was saying in the first place. Each time he recalls a statistic (either from memory or the voice in his head), he flashes us a dumb little smile, like a toddler proudly showing off its first bowel movement.”

“Toddler”? The “first”? Is Brooker so out of touch with reality that he’s never changed a diaper?    

Sorry, but this is way below any level of reasoned discourse, even reasoned polemic. It suggests to me that the left has simply gone starkers, as the Brits would say. Yet the Guardian has editors, and those editors saw fit to publish under their imprimatur a column that not only sounded like the ravings of a madman but came close to soliciting murder.

I’ll let National Review’s Jonah Goldberg have the last word (scroll down):

“When you think about it, the most pathetic thing about this idiot’s comments isn’t the fact that he wants someone to assasinate the President of the United States. It’s that he doesn’t have what it takes to do it himself. All of his cliched leftist’s courage at declaring God dead is revealed as so much false-bravado. If it would really save so many lives, if it would really be such an un-questionably good thing for a Lee Harvey Oswald to murder George W. Bush, why doesn’t this yutz do it himself? Or at least try (and then, God-willing, get caught by the Secret Service and get interrogated thoroughly at Guantanamo). That said, I’m delighted he doesn’t, of course. But the talk is so pathetic.”