March 21, 2004


The Bush and Kerry camps have both been sweating over this. Sweating like you would not believe. Understandably, because this is the one decision that could deliver the presidency to either candidate in an instant. Forget Iraq, unemployment, gay marriage, and flip-flopping; in the end, as always, it comes down to this:

Which man will earn Noam Chomskyís endorsement?

The great Noam has considered the merits and faults of the Democrat and the Republican; heís pored over speeches and policy announcements; two goats were executed by trained MIT goat assassins and their entrails examined by specialists from MITís Omen Analysis group. And now, at last, we have an announcement:

Noam Chomsky, the political theorist and leftwing guru, yesterday gave his reluctant endorsement to the Democratic party's presidential contender, John Kerry, calling him "Bush-lite", but a "fraction" better than his rival.

Professor Chomsky - a linguist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as a renowned chronicler of American foreign policy - said there were "small differences" between Senator Kerry and the Republican president. But, in an interview on the Guardian's politics website, he added that those small differences "can translate into large outcomes".

He describes the choice facing US voters in November as "the choice between two factions of the business party". But the Bush administration was so "cruel and savage", it was important to replace it.

There you have it. Bush has dodged the Chomsky bullet and is now assured of victory.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 21, 2004 03:10 AM

There you have it. Kerry wins by the butterfly effect.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at March 21, 2004 at 03:34 AM

Well if the Bush administration is "cruel and savage", what words would you have for the Baathist administration in Iraq? Wouldn't it be important to replace them too?

Oh wait I'm trying to mix logic and Chomsky

Posted by: Abe at March 21, 2004 at 04:17 AM

Logic + Chomsky? Abe, that's very, very dangerous:

The die-hard champion of the Khmer Rouge calls the Bush Administration "cruel and savage". See, perfectly logical to me.

Posted by: Spiny Norman at March 21, 2004 at 05:04 AM

It looks like the anti-semites are lining up for Kerry.

Posted by: mikem at March 21, 2004 at 05:54 AM

Why doesnít the article properly identify Noam Chomsky? Noam Chomsky is a long-time apologist for Pol Pot & the Khmer Rouge. Noam Chomsky once wrote an introduction for a book that denies the Holocaust. How is it that articles get written about him without mentioning his evils?

One may make the tired, familiar observation that the extent to which such questions sound tired & familiar is a gauge of societyís moral & intellectual decay.

Posted by: ForNow at March 21, 2004 at 05:56 AM

"...small differences 'can translzte into large outcomes.'"

Ah, he means the Kerry administration would exhibit chaotic behavior. Gotta agree with him there.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at March 21, 2004 at 07:34 AM

Is there anyone who takes Chomsky seriously? I just can believe there are people out there who think of him in terms other than a pretty sad joke.

Posted by: Quentin George at March 21, 2004 at 07:39 AM

Sir Winston said "there is nothing more exhilarating than being shot at and missed."

Yes there is. Being "shot at" by Noam Chomsky.

He ALWAYS misses, okay. But it still must be a bit of a thrill.


Posted by: SteveMG at March 21, 2004 at 08:51 AM

It's really kind of weird that Chomsky is so far off the deep end on politics. I took Natural Language Understanding (a computer course) many years ago, and Chomsky is a genius in his field.

Posted by: Graham Powell at March 21, 2004 at 09:59 AM

Alas, Quentin George, he has a whole cult who believe he has revealed the hidden knowledge which the blind masses are not privy to. You can see why his crap mainly appeals to 19-year-olds who've just left home.

Posted by: Mike G at March 21, 2004 at 10:27 AM


Weird, yes, and embarrassing. I have learned to carry Chomsky linguistics books in brown paper wrappers to avoid unwelcome attention from wierdos

Posted by: SteveW at March 21, 2004 at 11:41 AM

Tim, you may think that Chomsky's endorsement sinks Kerry. But don't forget, he's got Mahathir!

Posted by: Roger L. Simon at March 21, 2004 at 01:37 PM

John Pilger seems to agree with Chomsky. See this:
"A myth equal to the fable of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is gaining strength on both sides of the Atlantic. It is that John Kerry offers a world-view different from that of George W Bush. Watch this big lie grow as Kerry is crowned the Democratic candidate and the 'anyone but Bush' movement becomes a liberal cause celebre."
From The Unmentionable Source of Terrorism

Posted by: Angela Bell at March 21, 2004 at 03:17 PM

I keep looking for the cruel and savage reign of Bush around here, but then I wander into Home Depot and forget what I was looking for.

Posted by: ushie at March 22, 2004 at 02:33 AM


Prodigy Bobby Fischer, too. His anti-American anti-Semite politics are similarly one pawn short

Posted by: charlotte at March 22, 2004 at 02:38 AM

Next endorsement to watch for: Fidel Castro.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 22, 2004 at 06:45 AM

In all seriousness, I'm actually a bit surprised that Chomsky didn't endorse Nader.

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at March 22, 2004 at 07:31 AM

I'm surprised at all of you for misunderstanding Chomsky so. He really isn't anti-American at all. It's just that he's pro-anyone-and-any-regime-that-denigrates-and-blames-the-US-for (insert your angst here).

Learn your nuances and semantics, people. And get existential

Posted by: c at March 22, 2004 at 07:56 AM

As an IT person I've come to realise that the work of Chumpsky has added precisely zero to the art and science of IT.

He obviously has a civil service brain whereby he comes up with "I know it works in practise, but it doesn't work in theory" type's of comment all the time...

Posted by: Rob Read at March 22, 2004 at 10:16 AM