Michael Kinsley may have trouble getting his editorials into print, but his first of what will be a weekly column ran today on the L.A. Times op-ed page. Headlined "The Trouble With Optimism," the piece submits that the Reaganesque legacy of leaders and candidates claiming the trait of "optimism" is, at the least, overrated.
Thanks to Reagan, optimism is now considered an essential ingredient of any presidential candidate's public self-presentation...
Could there be an emptier claim made on behalf of someone hoping to lead the United States of America than to say that he is "optimistic"? Optimism may or may not be part of the American character, but it is pretty insufficient as either a campaign promise or a governing principle. If the objective situation calls for optimism, being optimistic isn't much of a trick or a distinction. If the objective situation calls for something closer to pessimism, the last thing we want is some Micawber whistling past the Treasury Department.
Columns from the new Editorial and Opinion Editor will usually run on Fridays, according to a note in today's Times.
Andrew Sullivan says: "Good for him" on Kinsley spiking his first try at an editorial. It's a new medium to Kinsley, as blogging is for all of us, so "cut us some slack."