Thursday, December 20, 2007

Two posts ago, I waded into the waters past my height with, curious about some light in the distance. I wondered whether the right way to deal with Jonah Goldberg was to ridicule him mercilessly.
But, at the same time, I do think Healy could do a lot better than to punt the football back to the other side. There are serious arguments that Goldberg's book probably almost touches upon, and I think it would be better to draw a distinction in that same post to provide a bit of perspective.
After I had written that, Micheal Bérubé (who's book Rhetorical Occasions I liked a lot and whose What's Liberal about the Liberal Arts I liked only slightly less), wrote a third post about Goldberg. Three posts ridiculing a single new book in such short time is a lot. In the course of discussion over there, Micheal Bérubé pointed me to this post of his from some time ago:
Meanwhile, over at David Corn’s place, I find that Mark Crispin Miller seems to have passed along to his friends some very strange Internet material alleging that Corn is a mole or a space alien of some kind, and David is justifiably pissed. Well, you know how it is, David-- you say a few smart, pointed things about some neo-Stalinists here and some 9/11 conspiracy theorists there, and before you know it, you’re being denounced for your “excessive skepticism.” Look on the bright side: you weren’t accused of deviationism. Besides, you have to admit that the charges have some merit: the American hard left was doing just fine until you criticized it, and now they’re in all kinds of trouble, and it’s pretty much your fault. The only problem, as I see it, is figuring out whether the folks claiming that you’re a mole are themselves moles. Personally, this sort of thing keeps me up at night, which is why I prefer to distance myself from those who distance themselves from those whose distance themselves from those who claim that those who claim that independent lefties like you and me are moles are moles.

Ah, what to do? In any case, I will stand by my assessment that ideas similar to Goldberg's ought not to be dismissed as readily as Goldberg's. Because I have said so does not imply in any way that I am, as I've so often been accused, a right winger of some sort in sheep's clothing. But then, when people make that assumption...

Help me out folks.

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