January 1, 2008

Someone please argue against me...

Jonah Goldberg expresses the same frustration I've felt for years. Yeah, I know, he's flying at a much higher altitude than I am. But the problem is exactly the same.

Not surprisingly Matt Yglesias is vexed by the Times' "kind treatment" of my book. I've gotten into habit of ignoring what Yglesias says about me and I don't see much reason to kick that habit. But I should at least contradict him on one thing. He writes that "The reviewer, David Oshinsky, does concede that Goldberg's main thesis is false but that didn't seem to bother him."

Oshinsky in fact doesn't deal with my "main thesis" at all. As Ramesh notes, Oshinsky actually concedes that fascism is a phenomenon of the left. As for where Oshinsky does disagree with my thesis, it is so poorly supported and so unrelated to what I actually write, I'm still a bit flummoxed as to how to respond to it, save to thank the man for his kind words and hope some other liberal actually reads the book and offers a sustained argument against it. Honestly: I would actually like to read such a review. So far the reaction from Lefty blogs has been simply inane or deranged. I am sincerely interested in a serious liberal's — or leftist's — argument against what I have to say. And if Matt can put aside his animus towards me, maybe he's the guy to do it. But I'm not holding my breath.

I'll bet if I could ask him, Jonah would not be able to point to any occasion when a lefty critic gave him a really good counter-argument. One that caused him to lose sleep worrying about what reply he could make to such a well-reasoned criticism. I've been blogging since 11/2001, and it has yet to happen to me. (My libertarian-type readers do so now and then.)

It's all evidence for my thesis that "liberals" (most of them) aren't liberals at all any more. They are wearing lefty politics like the Invisible Man wore bandages, to give himself some sort of form or shape. They don't really believe any of it. They've been "hollowed-out", like certain church-goers we are all aware of, who recite the Creed every Sunday without believing it. They are nihilists.

(Also evidence for the proposition that political correctness lowers your effective IQ.)

Posted by John Weidner at January 1, 2008 7:27 AM
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