Steve Benen and Kevin Drum agree that she had to go. Jonathan Chait says she shouldn’t have, but in a very backhanded way; actually the object of his post seems to be blarging at Tony Judt specifically, and at anti-Zionism generally (such uncharacteristic reticence at not conflating it with anti-Semitism, though; Chait’s next paycheck will do doubt reflect Marty Peretz’s and AIPAC’s displeasure).
Matt Yglesias, a slippery one, doesn’t say yay or nay, though he does seem to make the sapient point that no self-respecting professional blogger like, say, Matt Yglesias, with a veteran’s experience and battle-tested ninja skillz would ever “cut loose with” such “serious nonsense.” Heh, indeedy:
AFTER THE LATEST DEPRESSING news from the Middle East I think we have to start asking just how inhumane it would be for Israel to just expel the Palestinians from the occupied terroritories. The result would probably be out-and-out war with the neighboring Arab states, but Israel could win that.
All forced population transfers are humanitarian disasters, of course, but so is the current situation. It’s not like there’s not any room in the whole Arab world for all these Palestinian Arabs to go live in, it’s just that the other Arab leaders don’t want to cooperate.
posted by Matthew at 4/01/2002 06:05:00 AM
Ooops, sorry, that’s apparently not nonsense. It is more or less an endorsement of the forced ethnic cleansing of what the entire Village and all wingnuttia considers Bad People… so, well, someone give that boy a job! Hey, someone did! Anyway, Glenn Greenwald has more to say about the double standard.
Josh Marshall who, unlike those mentioned above, is actually a reporter (as well as a blogger), says he wanted to ignore the whole thing “[b]ut now since she’s retiring and was presumably forced out, I don’t feel right not addressing it. I’ve heard numerous attempts to, if not excuse, than at least mitigate her comments. And they don’t fly.” He makes the same, obvious, point I did about what was offensive in her commentary — the “to Germany and Poland” part was nasty — but then shows what he really thinks by slagging on the Euros and presumably, everyone who thinks the Zionist effort in Palestine is immoral; back in introspective mode, he sadly notes the consequences of senescence and concludes by basically saying that since both Jews and Muslims have suffered there for a long time now, everyone should forget history and work on a Green Line solution. He must have felt this post was too tame because a few hours later he pastes some absolutely righteous — by which I mean, morally and intellectually righteous, the kind that matters, not blood- or tribally- or religiously-righteous, the kind that is indefensible but quintessential among Israel’s apologists — objections from those whom he characterizes as the “screechy sectarian left.”
These guys* all have other things more or less in common. No, it is not their ethnic background, and I’m not talking about race and gender. One thing is that they all are Liberal Hawks and support or supported the Iraq War. No, not because of Israel. Because their political and ideological instincts are so similar to each other and, most importantly, to the Villagers — and, except for Marshall, who built his own thing, they owe their professional standing precisely to that fact. My teeth aren’t set on edge so much by the beneficiaries of Krugman’s Law above as by the people who make excuses for them, as if they have some precious, utterly unique value to the liberal blogosphere which cannot be replaced** by about a thousand bloggers*** out there who have consistently demonstrated better instincts and judgment about things that really matter. One can’t complain about the Village and at the same time cheerfully accept as brethren these Junior Villagers hired by supposedly netroots-friendly and most definitely netroots-supported institutions. Consider the above’s credentials, bear in mind the speed with which they were offered jobs and by whom, then ask yourself why Roy Edroso and Digby, who can write circles around all of them and whose political instincts have proven to be far more sound, were passed over for so long****. Why is that? And why would any netroots-type person not be bothered by it?
Troll Prophylactic: This isn’t about purity, this isn’t about perfection; anybody can diverge or dissent from this or that netroots belief. I’m talking about instinct and pattern, demonstrated over considerable time, that far more resembles acute Villageritis than any other particular trait. Even with regard to something so singularly important as getting the Iraq War right from the start… well, getting it wrong can be forgiven (though under no circumstances should getting it wrong be rewarded yet remember Krugman’s Law: getting it wrong is a necessary criterion for acquiring paid pundit gigs). For instance, in the cases of John Cole (who was wingnut) and Johann Hari (who, though a journalist and not a blogger is exactly the person to whom all the excuses proffered for Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein actually apply). Read Cole and Hari over time, appreciate the consistency, observe their sincere remorse, watch how they have learned — they are not gonna flip-flop between progressive and “centrist” positions for careerist, whichever-way-the-wind-blows reasons — then compare to those above.
* Along with Ezra Klein, but he hasn’t written about Thomas (yet). And I’m not sure of Mark Kleiman’s opinion on the matter, but he usually agrees with the rest of them and has made the same predictable mistakes; however, I can’t be bothered to check because I can’t stand reading him after I found out he’s still sucking giant green slimy goat balls.
**Except for Marshall, who is unique because of the difference explained above.
**And I’m not including myself in this because I don’t write well enough or often enough; many do, however, and some of them are my comrades here, commenters and bloggers.
*** Glenn Greenwald is an exception, was offered a job fairly quickly, but then he has legal expertise and is an utterly indefatigable arguer; he could not be denied.
Dept. of Corrections adds: Steve Benen has informed us via email that he never supported the invasion of Iraq War. HTML Mencken, putz that he is, thought he had a Carpetbagger Report post bookmarked in which Benen admitted to being briefly pro-war, and since he couldn’t find said bookmark to confirm as much while writing this post, he went with his own drug-addled memory. Mencken still believes that Benen suffers from Villageritis, but nothing can excuse Mencken’s stupid mistake, which he sincerely regrets. As punishment, S,N! orders HTML Mencken to refrain from all progressive activities (including recreational abortion, Ba’al worship, drug abuse, gay recruitment drives, flag burning, and bible stomping) for at least two full hours. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.