Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ad hominems

As I've said many times, one of the formative political experiences of my life was the run up to the Iraq war, and the treatment of those of us who opposed the invasion. It was an education: the endless denigration of us as naive, reflexively anti-American, abjectly pacifistic, cowardly, unprincipled, unpatriotic, supportive of a dictator, dismissive and unfeeling towards the plight of Iraqis, and generally every shade of shiftless and deluded. Few publications waged this campaign of marginalization with more zeal or more self-righteous piety than The New Republic. (I'd love to pick out a few choice examples, but TNR's website has been such a historical clusterfuck that navigating its archives is painful, painful business.) At the extreme of this behavior, though only part of a coordinated and years-long campaign, was Peter Beinart calling for a cull of anti-war leftists from the coalition of American liberalism, which is about as ad hominem as you can get.

So for Jon Chait of TNR to turn around and complain about ad hominem used against supporters of the Libyan war-- scratch that, people who are at least thinking hard about opposition to the Libyan war-- is nothing short of shameless. Mr. Chait: you had considerable ability to oppose ad hominems in the run up to Iraq, and you did nothing to discourage them. So please-- shut the fuck up. Your war mongering, chicken hawk publication has used ad hominem to attack people who don't leap to push for war for your entire long tenure there. Neither it nor you has any credibility to talk about personal insults, and your hypocrisy is enormous.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not even sure who's the pot and who's the kettle anymore.

Freddie said...

Do you see me complaining about ad hominems? No. I'm complaining about hypocrisy. Search my archives, please, and more to the point-- do better, troll. I don't know what's worse, your cowardice in your anonymity or the fact that your aggrieved, drive-by complaints are so limp. Try harder. Do better.

Bob B. said...

I'm with Freddie. It was ridiculous his taking such umbrage given his and TNRs track record. Everyonce in a while it's nice to see somebody say so.

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