"Get the Hell Out of Here With That Shit!"

|

That guerilla documentary of CPAC by The Nation's Max Blumenthal, which he told me about on Friday, is online here. Michelle Malkin comes off better than you'd expect, unless you realize that this is a pundit who deals with web video all day and knows how not to turn herself into a YouTube phenomenon. She does bolt from Blumenthal's interview, though.

Grist for the conservative-libertarian civil war: Bob Barr and Grover Norquist come off looking incredibly good.

NEXT: Hut of Darkness

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Can a “guerilla documentary” be a documentary?
    Does it educate anyone not predisposed (HotAir included on the right) to being a guerilla?

    With Max around, apeing “Sunshine in a Bag” Mike Stark, The Nation goes bi-weekly in 5-4-3-2…

  2. You know who looks good on this tape?

    Grover “I fought alongside the mujahadeen” Norquist. (Of course, in every other context, the left goes after old Grover for his drown-it-in-a-bathtub take philosophy of government.)

    The Black Republican interview was truly damming.

  3. So why is a Nation writer upset with Malkin’s defense of Japanese internment? Wasn’t it one of those “progressive” policies implemented by leftist Saints FDR and Earl Warren?

    Michelle handled it pretty well- not like it has been portrayed.She didn’t warrant the patriarchal epithet “hysterical”.

    What little applause Ann’s remarks generated was drowned out by the pained groans. Perhaps these new Conservatives can shout her down
    with the “Racist! Sexist! Anti- Gay…….”
    chants the libs are so fond of.

    Much better video than the damn eagle thing and the bloggingheads.tv cook-off.

  4. I don’t agree with her book, but she was quite calm and not hysterical in the least.

  5. Hysterical, no. Evasive, yes. She seemed to hem and haw around the moral high ground a bit, and realizing that Blumenthal wasn’t intimidated, she chose to scurry off into the shadows. Perhaps that was a wise thing.

  6. SIV, I think you mean “misogynist,” or “patronizing.”

    No, she’s not hysterical, but it’s interesting how, confronted with the human toll of what she’s advocating, she bolts. If she believes half of the crap she puts out there, she should have stood by it and signed the photo. In some ways, I would have admired her more for it. So she’s not hysterical–she’s just weaselly. Yay, Michelle Malkin.

  7. Michelle Malkin comes off better than you’d expect, unless you realize that this is a pundit who deals with web video all day and knows how not to turn herself into a YouTube phenomenon.

    For a slightly different take on bias, substitute Gillespie on the O’Reilly Show for Malkin

  8. Coulter in the video: “Well…thank you for respecting my right to privacy…”

    Coulter previously on the right to privacy:

    I know as much about the “right to privacy” as I know about any other made-up, nonexistent right…

  9. “So why is a Nation writer upset with Malkin’s defense of Japanese internment?”

    Because most of us don’t judge every bloody thing that happens by its partisan implications, Single Transparent Republican.

    “Wasn’t it one of those “progressive” policies implemented by leftist Saints FDR and Earl Warren?”

    No, it was one of those racist, reactionary, anti-freedom policies implemented by people from a long time ago, who still believed in or assented to policies that progressives deplore.

    Don’t be such a partisan.

  10. So, joe, I take it you will stop referring to Republicans as the party that stood against civil rights for blacks?

  11. joe,

    So long as we’re talking about progressive support for internment:

    I would be interested in knowing what the Nation thought about the evacuation and internment of the Japanese-Americans at the time it was actually going on. The Nation’s editor (Kirchwey) was fellow-travelling at the time, and the Communists supported the evacuation and internment. Not just Communists: Non-communist lefties like Warren, FDR and even Dr. Seuss (see the book *Dr. Seuss Goes to War*) were pro-internment.

    It’s not partisan to ask if the Nation, whose staffer is doing this “guerilla documentary” against an internment supporter and trying to tie internment to the conservatives, actually supported the internment while it was in effect.

    I agree that the internment was “a long time ago” and was “anti freedom.” So was the New Deal, carried out by the same Presidential administration. Why is the one an inspiring historical example of what progressives do and the other is irrelevant and unfair to bring up today?

    Unless you simply define “progressive” as “pro-freedom,” and dismiss anything bad progressives ever did as recrudescent conservatism, then incidents like the internment tend to blot the progressive escutcheon, and cast doubt on progressives’ claim to be morally superior to others.

    For additional embarassing, examples of policies supported by powerful elements on the left and which nowadays they try to pin solely on conservatives, see Jim Crow (check out the progressive Wilson administration’s stance), eugenics, the German Kulturkampf (Bismarck persecuting the Catholic Church in a bid for liberal support), etc.

  12. crimethink,

    I’ve never – not once – referred to Republicans as the party that stood against civil rights for blacks. I’ve often said that conservatism was the ideology that stood in opposition to civil rights for African Americans, but I’ve never disputed that there were such conservatives in both the Democratic and the Republican parties.

    No, no, the Republican alliance with racists and their appeals to racism came years after the civil rights movement.

    Mad Max,

    I’ve read “Dr. Suess Goes to War.” I didn’t anything about internmentin there. Are you basing that accusation on evidence from elsewhere? I’m not saying you’re wrong, just wondering.

    “It’s not partisan to ask if the Nation, whose staffer is doing this “guerilla documentary” against an internment supporter and trying to tie internment to the conservatives, actually supported the internment while it was in effect.” No, it’s partisan to say that a contemporary progressive is somehow supposed to support putting people in camps because of there race, merely because FDR was a Democrat and did other things progressives support.

    “Why is the one an inspiring historical example of what progressives do and the other is irrelevant and unfair to bring up today?” Because (many of) the actions taken in the New Deal conform to the principles of modern progressives, while the internment is contrary to progressives’ core beliefs.

    Is it really such a difficult concept to get understand, that belonging to the Democratic Party sixty years ago does not make every action a person took an expression of progressive principles?

  13. Did Reason support interment camps during WW2?

  14. Well said Mad Max

    Don’t forget the greatest progressive policy of them all………

    MARIJUANA PROHIBITION

    brought to you by FDR, the New Deal Congress and a bureacracy that was running out of things to do.

  15. Perhaps, Max, what you’re missing in that “progressivism” incorporates the idea of “progress.”

    Yup, lots of people progressives supported at the time did reactionary things. Many of these people are still held in high esteem by progressives, even as progress abhor their reactionary behaviors and policies. That’s because, to steal a phrase, “It’s getting better all the time.”

    Someday, progressives are going to look back at some of Russ Feingold’s positions and actions with horror, but he’s still going to be held out as a progressive model. That’s because it’s not called “anachronistic perfectionism.” It’s called “progressivism.”

  16. joe,

    I wasn’t referring to the Democratic Party, but to the sort of people who nowadays call themselves “progressives.”

    *Dr. Seuss Goes to War* has a cartoon about the ethnic Japanese on the West Coast, showing them lining up to spy on America. There’s some kind of spy establishment labelled “Honorable Fifth Column.” Needless to say, all the Japanese and Japanese-Americans in the cartoon have the kind of stereotyped features which nowadays only Chinese kung fu movies can get away with.

    By what standard do we tell which actions by the Roosevelt administration conform to the principles of progressivism? Progressives later repudiated some of these actions (and not others) but that doesn’t mean many of the perpetrators at the time weren’t progressives.

    For the Kulturkampf, not that you asked, I recommend the recent study *The War Against Catholicism,* which shows that anti-Catholicism, including the persecution of the church was a key idea of German liberalism. This is key because some liberals try to make it look as if Bismarck tricked the liberals into endorsing the persecution, as opposed to carrying out the persecution in a bid for liberal support. See

    http://tinyurl.com/34ornn

  17. FDR took the lead in pushing marijuana prohibition? Really?

    I guess that’s true, in the same sense that the Martin Luther King holiday was “brought to you by” Ronald Reagan – which is to say, not in any meaningful sense, to anyone who has even the most superficial understanding of the era.

  18. joe,

    Again, by what standard to you tell what’s “progressive” and what’s “reactionary,” if we can’t use the standard of looking at what “progressive” people have *actually done*? It seems that, once a policy actually carried out by progressives in past has become discredited, you would simply re-label that policy as “reactionary.”

  19. joe

    More wonderful things from “progressives”

    “scientific racism”
    regular Prohibition
    removing Native American children from their
    families and culture to force them to assimilate by beating them if they spoke their own language

    The Abolitionist flipside that Africans were a negative influence on whites and should be forcibly repatriated after emancipation

    of course American progressives were never as bad as their International bretheren with the crimes of Communists and National Socialists.

  20. FDR signed the Marihuana Tax Act into law
    With a lot more enthusiasm than Clinton signed welfare Reform.

  21. Wow, Blumenthal tries to insult her and Malkin responds not in kind, but defends herself in good faith. Whooda thunkit…

  22. Mad Max,

    Much like the Marxist defense that their has never been a Marxist State.

    Although those “Non-Marxist” states run by Marxists sure were “reactionary” when it came to Human Rights

  23. Come to think of it, why do so many on the left use the term “progressive” to describe themselves? Do they want to evoke the grandeur of a term which, historically, is associated primarily with:

    (a) The left-wing reformers of the early twentieth century who promoted eugenics and (when they came to power in the Wilson administration) applied Jim Crow to the federal government, and

    (b) The crypto-commies and com-symps of the New Deal and Cold War era?

  24. “By what standard do we tell which actions by the Roosevelt administration conform to the principles of progressivism?”

    By understanding the principles of progressivism, and evaluating the Roosevelt administration’s actions, to see if they are consistent.

    For example, progressivism repudiates racism and the use of the power of the security apparatus against people without just cause. Is the Japanese internment consistent with these principles? No; ergo, it was not progressive.

    How about Social Security? Progressivism endorses collective economic activity to provide greater security and to help the poor, and believes in taxation to provide the means. So creating Social Security was perfectly consistent with progressive philosophy.

    The trouble you seem to be having is in how you define “progressive.” Simply assuming that all of the actions of an historical figure that progressives admire must, therefore, be progressive is the substitution of personality and party for principles, and when you’re talking about a political philosophy, you need to look at its principles. Otherwise, you end up proclaiming that limited-access highways are inherently fascist.

    “Progressives later repudiated some of these actions (and not others) but that doesn’t mean many of the perpetrators at the time weren’t progressives.” Yes, progressives in previous eras did things that modern progressives dislike. Sometimes this is because those actions were reactionary or non-progressive at the time (people who come to power often display a degree of ideological flexibility much greater than that of political theorists), and sometimes it’s because progressivism, being progressive, moved beyond them.

    Many progressives admire Thomas Jefferson; he was considered a progressive (or the equivalent term from the era) at the time, and his progressive contribution is appreciated even today. Should we then pretend that progressives should endorse slavery?

    Well, if we’re a Republican troll seeking to fling poo at progressives, we sure as hell should!

  25. Not to defend the parade of tools at CPAC, but Blumenthal’s quasi-Michael Moore tactics come of as silly and lame. Was the hushed tone of the narration supposed to imply that he was a spy in enemy territory about to ambush the bad guys? Oy.

  26. Not to pile onto joe, let me throw down the gauntlet to some of the other H&R people:

    The term “progressive” is also associated with 19th-century liberals (proto-libertarians, some say) and their idea that human ingenuity was just going to make the world better and better, especially now that the human race had outgrown religion.

  27. Mad Max,

    “Again, by what standard to you tell what’s “progressive” and what’s “reactionary,” if we can’t use the standard of looking at what “progressive” people have *actually done*?”

    By understanding the principles and beliefs that define the ideology.

    ‘It seems that, once a policy actually carried out by progressives in past has become discredited, you would simply re-label that policy as “reactionary.”‘

    Progressive policies often become reactiony over time. That’s how progress works. Once upon a time, inhereted monarchy was a progressive idea. It liberated society from the established system of falling into civil war every time a despot dies. Today, it is considered the epitome of reactionarism.

    Single Transparent Republican,

    “FDR signed the Marihuana Tax Act into law.” Yes, and Reagan signed the MLK holiday into law. Hence, my comparison. Did you miss that?

    “Much like the Marxist defense that their has never been a Marxist State.” Except for the part where progressives do exactly the opposite, and do intentify various governments and movements as being progressive, you’re exactly right. You know; not even remotely close.

  28. “Many progressives admire Thomas Jefferson; he was considered a progressive (or the equivalent term from the era) at the time, and his progressive contribution is appreciated even today. Should we then pretend that progressives should endorse slavery?”

    Jefferson didn’t endorse slavery, he hated it, but he thought that the cure of immediate emancipation would be worse than the disease (he thought it would trigger a murderous race war). One thing Jefferson was able to do was help put an anti-slavery clause in the Northwest Ordinance.

    On slavery, Jefferson said he trembled for his country when he reflected that God was just, and that His justice would not sleep forever.

  29. Mad Max,

    I’d say that progressives adopt the term to differentiate themselves from their close cousins, us liberals. Progressives see the role of politics as producing broad changes in the organization and operation of society. They see us as being at Point A, and see politics as an effort to move us to Point B.

    Liberals, on the other hand, have much more modest goals. We’re not really working to change how society works in any fundamental manner, just to expand the benefits of the current system more broadly.

    It’s the difference between nationalized health care and a publicly-funded medical insurance; between “back to the earth” hippiedom as a solution for global warming vs. subsidies for hybrids and caps on CO2 emissions.

    There are a lot of differences between modern progressives and the earlier movements you mentioned, but what they all had in common was a belief in the reshaping of society.

  30. Mad Max,

    You comments on Jefferson’s beliefs about slavery make the FDR-internment comparison even better – both were willing to abandon their progressive principles out of a perceived necessity.

  31. joe,

    For history to conform to your theory, you would still have to show that, when progressives opposed “reactionaries” by proposing some change in the existing order of things, the progressive solution (once implemented) actually made the world better place.

    Test that theory with the eugenics example. The “progressives” wanted sterilization of the “unfit,” the “reactionaries” (like the Catholic Church) thought this was tampering with the order of nature. The progressives made many victories in many states and got sterilization implemented. Was their triumph over the “reactionaries” a good thing for humankind? That is to say, was the country worse off or better off for the progressives having meddled with things?

  32. I would be interested in knowing what the Nation thought about the evacuation and internment of the Japanese-Americans

    There were very few media outlets that took a principled stand against Japanese internment. The only one I am aware of is the much reviled (by the left) Orange County Register, which is often called various unpleasant names such as the OC Ragister.

    I would suspect that the Nation was silent. There was a lot of that going on in those days. At the time, few cared a fig if every Japanese was locked up, which of course, they were not.

  33. Mad Max,

    “For history to conform to your theory, you would still have to show that, when progressives opposed “reactionaries” by proposing some change in the existing order of things, the progressive solution (once implemented) actually made the world better place.”

    Why? Where did you get the idea that I consider progressives, and progressivism, to be infallible?

  34. Republican ?

    You say that like it is some kind of slur

    Well this is a libertarian blog’s comments
    and you know there is a libertarian “wing” of the Republican Party (not that I’m part of it)

    Despite the “fusionist” crap that floats around here sometimes, there are no libertarian leftists. Libertarianism is inherently Individualist while Leftism or “Progressivism”
    is COLLECTIVE.

    I’m not a fucking “Working Family” or “a Village” or “Society” I’m an individual citizen.

  35. Was FDR a progressive or a liberal?

    If I thought that FDR actually opposed race discrimination but accepted it reluctantly out of political expediency, I’d concede your point. However, I wasn’t aware that FDR was a big egalitarian on the racial front. At least not where Japanese were concerned.

  36. Actually, I just said it as if it was an accurate appellation.

    And I offer your last comment as evidence that I’m right.

    You’re a poo-flinging partisan; fine. Just have the stones to be up front about it.

  37. “Was FDR a progressive or a liberal?”

    Good question. I’d say he was a liberal who surrounded himself with progressives, and let them try all kinds of stuff.

    Like all political labels, these are inexact terms, and can often bleed into each other.

  38. Mad Max,

    I would call FDR “a big egalitarian on the racial front,” but he certainly allowed himself to be dragged rightwards by, for example, the military leadership and the large contingent of Southern racists in the Democratic coalition.

  39. Er, “wouldn’t call FDR”

  40. “Where did you get the idea that I consider progressives, and progressivism, to be infallible?”

    I don’t think I attributed that idea to you – sorry if I appeared to be doing so.

    One thing that “progressives” (or “liberals”) seem to have is lack of humility. When they want to impose some kind of “reform” by force (eugenic sterilization, for instance), they brush aside the complaints of the “reactionaries” and go ahead. They complain that the “reactionary” opposition is mere fundamentalist arrogance (as progressives said about opposition to forced sterilization). Then, when the policy is discredited, they say, “so what, we’re fallible!” It would have been nice to acknowledge fallibility at the very beginning, rather than using government force to impose untried ideas on people.

  41. Note that I limited my remarks about FDR’s racial attitudes to the ethnic Japanese, because I’m aware that he did egalitarian stuff with black people, at least when enough pressure got applied.

  42. That is absurd. Liberals surpass everyone in our humility. That’s what makes us better than other people.

    😉

    In all seriousness, a lack of humility is a common problem for most ideologues. Look at the hubris the architects of the Iraq War displayed in 2002.

    And, I’ll point out, “you don’t understand Econ 101” has been a popular libertarian brush-off for years.

  43. The problem is that too many libertarians got a B- in Econ 101 and thought that they’d learned everything there is to learn about economics.

  44. Haven’t read the thread, maybe I’m late with this:

    If Malkin had been on the ball, she would have signed the picture with the notation: “Wish you were here.”

  45. Partisan?

    You say that like it is a slur joe.

    Well there were some other partisans, over there in Europe, and they had to fling a lot more than “poo” at the (literal) jack-booted Storm troopers of a certain “progressive” strain of (national)Socialism founded by a typically atheist vegetarian “progressive”
    who saw “the role of politics as producing broad changes in the organization and operation of society”…. and you know who that was joe,
    a fella by the name of HITLER.

    (sorry I couldn’t resist)

  46. thoreau,

    Speak for yourself. I would’ve gotten at least a B+ if I’d bothered to show up for the final.

  47. Ahem, gentlemen – Godwin?

  48. Ahem, gentlemen – Godwin?

    And now we must get bloody drunk.

  49. People in all political philosophies have tons of arrogance. I would distinguish, however, between philosophies which take human fallibility into account as a fundamental consideration which should limit political adventurism, and philosophies which act as if fallibility is not a problem (at least not for *our* side).

    I’m a conservative, not a libertarian, but I like the libertarian enthusiasm for not meddling in people’s business (although this attitude isn’t always based on humility).

    At its best, conservatism (of the non-Bushian variety) thinks that “reshaping of society” should be something undertaken only rarely, incrementally, and only when we’re sure we know what we’re doing.

    The Bush philosophy (call it compassionate conservatism or Wilsonian liberalism) seems to suggest that America has the strength of 10 because her heart is pure. If you don’t think the Arab world can be reformed by force, you’re a racist!

    The progressive philosophy is that, guided by experts of the right political coloration, the government can and should mould society into something better – “some people dream of things that never were and say why not?”, that sort of thing. Basically, when progressives have an idea that feels good to them and seems to fit with their ideas, then the burden is on those who would oppose the idea. If the idea is untried, that simply means it’s untainted by tradition and superstition!

  50. The Bush philosophy (call it compassionate conservatism or Wilsonian liberalism) seems to suggest that America has the strength of 10 because her heart is pure. If you don’t think the Arab world can be reformed by force, you’re a racist!

    What’s particularly galling about that is seeing these accusations of racism coming from people who normally like to call for incinerating every Arab-majority country with nuclear weapons.

  51. You noticed that too?

    Odd isn’t it?

  52. Mad Max,

    That was a very nice articulation of the conservative brief against social engineering.

    I see this idea in vestigal form in National Review for a while, but it seems to be mostly a cultural signifier, something the boys from the club all say to each other. On policy, those eggheads have become as eager to mold society into something better as any 30 people at a Pete Seegar concert, overseas and domestically. They also seem quite comfortable with taking the gloves off to do it.

  53. joe,

    Perhaps you should study more conservative sources, such as *The American Conservative,* *New Oxford Review,* and the like.

    Not every conservative sleeps with a photo of George W. Bush under his pillow, dreaming of extra Medicaid benefits and more foreign adventures. Some conservatives actually oppose the President’s adventurism at home and abroad. Others are skeptical of the President’s agenda but don’t want to give aid and comfort to liberal Bush-bashers.

  54. “Good question. I’d say he was a liberal who surrounded himself with progressives, and let them try all kinds of stuff.”

    Yeah, and damn the Constitution. They at least shared that common bond.

  55. Mad Max,

    I’m not getting in the middle of who’s “more conservative,” Pat Buchanan’s mag, or Rich Lowry’s.

    Bah, coupla’ reactionaries is what!

    Oi!

  56. Mad Max,
    Not that I want to get in the middle of the scrum. Aren’t you merely doing the same thing you’re accusing joe of? You’re painting a wide brush with a very diverse movement, much like you accuse joe of doing with conservatives.

  57. Mo,

    If you mean that I’m accusing *all* leftists of being responsible for eugenics, Japanese relocation, etc. I hope I haven’t conveyed that impression. I’m talking about large numbers of leftists who supported these various projects. Specifically with the relocation program, you had liberals and conservatives on both sides.

    I was initially desirous of citing the Nation on what seems to be an attempt to pin internment on the conservatives. They’ll say, of course, that it’s only the conservatives who propose to revive internment or other horrors in the current war. Laying that aside, I strongly suspect that the Nation supported the ethnic Japanese internment during WWII, and certainly many lefties did so. Plenty of conservatives did so, too (there’s something of a blind spot with some conservatives as to using force for “traditionalist” purposes like war, protectionism, immigration, etc.).

    If the Nation spoke out against the internment, I’m so very sorry, but the odds are otherwise with Kirchwey’s editorship.

    joe,

    I still think you’re too ready to classify discredited policies, retroactively, as “reactionary” and non-progressive because they turned out to be bad, even if progressives or liberals advocated them *as part of their left-wing mindset.* Eugenics was so strongly linked with reformist, left-wing impulses, and the opposition was so associated with “reactionary forces” like the Catholic Church, that it would be too convenient to call eugenics reactionary.

  58. “What’s particularly galling about that is seeing these accusations of racism coming from people who normally like to call for incinerating every Arab-majority country with nuclear weapons.”

    What Arab country has been mentioned in the same phrase as nuclear weapons? Iran is not Arab. That leaves what, Egypt and Saudi Arabia? There have been some rumblings that they might start nuclear energy programs. They’re light years away from having the Bomb, and if they did it would be long after Iran did so and at that point, it would be pretty hard to blame them.

  59. From the *Nation* Web site, giving excerpts from articles from the 1940s, I found the following sentence from a June 6, 1942 editorial: “It is obvious that both the removal and the resettlement of loyal American citizens along with Japanese aliens have been badly bungled.”

    Without having the article itself in front of me, I can only guess what this means. Are they objecting to the fact of loyal citizens being relocated/interned, or are they objecting to putting the loyal citizens in the same internment camps as Japanese aliens? How does the magazine distinguish between loyal citizens and disloyal ones?

    The War Relocation Authority would make some attempt to have a separate camp for the most disloyal prisoners (disloyalty being determined by the government), but this doesn’t mean that the ones found to be loyal were released, just interned elsewhere.

    If they say the removal and resettlement of loyal citizens was bungled, that seems to imply that there’s a *right* way to go about it. I’m interested in looking up that editorial.

  60. Also, a quick search shows that Peter McWilliams, who joined the Nation in 1945 and became editor 10 years later, objected to the internment while it was going on, but he wasn’t with The Nation at that time.

  61. Can’t stand Ann Coulter, but I think Blumenthal’s question about her three broken-off engagements is hardly a “gotcha!” moment. If she claims to respect the sanctity of marriage, she’s clearly demonstrating that respect by not getting married to the wrong person. If she’d been thrice divorced, then he would’ve had her.

  62. Stupid thread!

  63. Blumenthal was out of line there. Snottiness doesn’t help ANY cause, including the cause of liberty.

    -jcr

  64. “What Arab country has been mentioned in the same phrase as nuclear weapons?”

    Umm… Iraq.

    Didn’t you hear about that? It made all the papers.

    -jcr

  65. SIV | March 4, 2007, 6:22pm | #
    “”So why is a Nation writer upset with Malkin’s defense of Japanese internment?””

    Does it matter? Every other internment historian who has reviewed it has a problem with it because it is so biased and slanted it is practically a work of fiction.
    Would knowing the Nation author’s critique really add anything comparable to what you have already ignored?

  66. A response by another internment camp history author and long-time critic of Malkin’s work, still waiting for any such correspondence or even acknowledgement of the existance of such academic criticism to occur.

  67. Again, by what standard to you tell what’s “progressive” and what’s “reactionary,” if we can’t use the standard of looking at what “progressive” people have *actually done*? It seems that, once a policy actually carried out by progressives in past has become discredited, you would simply re-label that policy as “reactionary.”

    Much like how the Soviet Communists became “right-wing” and “conservatives” after the collapse of Soviet Communism.

  68. Looks like joe’s progressivist zeal was bested by Mad Max’s patient reasoning and research.

  69. You mean people still read “The Nation”?

  70. The problem is that too many libertarians got a B- in Econ 101 and thought that they’d learned everything there is to learn about economics.

    As opposed to your typical lefty progressive, whose knowledge of economics is typically defined by how quickly daddy pays off his credit card bill.

  71. More damn thinking in terms of groups.
    The current staffers of the Nation are no more responsible for whatever support the staff during WWII may or may not have expressed for internment anymore than current Catholics are responsible for the damning of Galileo, or current white people are for slavery. Malkin, OTOH, has defended internment and should answer for that defense.

    It would be nice to see people discuss policies and ideas without first thinking, “Does this help my political home team?”

  72. As opposed to your typical lefty progressive, whose knowledge of economics is typically defined by how quickly daddy pays off his credit card bill.

    Perfect example. Define anyone with an opposing idea as part of some group, then make insulting generalizations about that group. Thus, we avoid engaging anyone’s ideas.

    BTW, I am familiar with the argument that the habit of thinking in groups is convenient. That’s really a way of saying it’s intellectually lazy.

  73. Mad Max,

    There’s alos the relevant detail that 1940s progressives, and others even further to the left, entered into a “Popular Front” movement that ranged from the center to the far left, and which encouraged those of different persuasions to set aside their beliefs in an effort to win the war. “Dr. New Deal” becomeing “Dr. Win-the-War” was only one example of this.

    There were, undoubtedly, progressives whe countenances, or even supported, internment sixty odd years ago. There were also progressives who endorsed city-busting style bombing. Their participation in the war effort doesn’t mark either of those positions as progressive.

    One needs to make the distinction between “Group X did this” and “Philosophy X endorses this.”

  74. Anonymous Communist,

    I don’t recall ever seeing the Soviets referred to as “right wing,” but during the reform era under Gorbachev, those who advocated for the status quo – a confrontational stance towards the US, against glastnost and perestroika – were commonly referred to as “conservatives” or “the old guard,” in the sense of their being opposed to liberalizing reforms.

    Conservative and progressive are both terms that can have very different meanings depending on the historical era and the speaker’s context.

  75. “It would be nice to see people discuss policies and ideas without first thinking, “Does this help my political home team?””

    Well spake. Would that it were so!

  76. AnonyCommie,

    That’s not really the case, the pro-Western “liberals” are considered right wing in Russia, hence one of the main parties name “Union of Right Forces”. But the whole political system (even more than most) isn’t really amenable to a left-right pseudoanalysis. There are the liberal and often-marginalized “right wing” parties Yabloko and SPS; the Communist Party, which has been competing against the secretly-government-founded Rodina party, which also is intended to pull votes from the xenophobic Liberal-Democrats, all pretty much overshadowed for the moment by the “party of power” (and no real ideology beyond that), United Russia.

  77. “What Arab country has been mentioned in the same phrase as nuclear weapons? ”

    Saudi Arabia. Or did you miss the calls to nuke Mecca just to show those Muslims.

    As for the Nation pinning internment on conservatives, I didn’t see that. He harassed Malkin because she wrote a book defending it.

  78. Ann C’s wiki entry is pretty funny right now. Check under personal.

  79. “More damn thinking in terms of groups.

    “The current staffers of the Nation are no more responsible for whatever support the staff during WWII may or may not have expressed for internment anymore than current Catholics are responsible for the damning of Galileo, or current white people are for slavery. Malkin, OTOH, has defended internment and should answer for that defense.

    “It would be nice to see people discuss policies and ideas without first thinking, ‘Does this help my political home team?'”

    What would my team be, exactly? Not Malkin, Coulter and other prominent conservatives who love the Iraq War and think civil liberties are a left-wing plot against America. Not the Nation, whose support for civil liberties is distinctly limited (property rights, for example, are not included). Not the libertarian secularists. Is there a team of Frank Meyer-style conservatives who have been sidelined by the current political discourse? Then I’d like to join that team.

    Should I balance out my criticism of the Nation’s ambush journalism with a disclaimer along the lines of “I disagree with Malkin, so please don’t be mean to me”?

  80. Perfect example. Define anyone with an opposing idea as part of some group, then make insulting generalizations about that group. Thus, we avoid engaging anyone’s ideas.

    Humorless, much?

  81. Mad Max,

    Maybe you should cease tarring people with accusations based on what other people did 60 years ago.

    It’s not as if Malkin’s grandfather had written a book in favor of race-based internment 60 years ago: Malkin herself wrote it a coupe years ago.

    Your attempt to smear the Nation’s current staff as her equivalents because maybe the Nation’s staff from six decades ago supported the internment is unfair.

  82. I thought I’d made clear that I was critiquing the ambush tactics of the guy in the video; his idea that internment is so self-evidently horrible (not to mentioin linked to conservatism) that you don’t have to debate Malkin on the merits, just bait her. Blumenthal is certainly a master baiter.

    If, in fact, internment was a policy supported by the Nation’s (current) political heroes, like FDR, Warren, and Hugo Black, then how does Blumenthal justify this sort of attitude?

    It kinds of takes the edge off the indignation if he were to tell Malkin – “we admitted our errors in supporting internment; why don’t you”? That doesn’t make for good footage, it doesn’t get the adrenaline rushing with good old-fashioned moral outrage, and (of course) it isn’t the most vivid illustration of the superior virtue of the progressives.

  83. Mad Max,

    “We?” When did Sydney Blumenthal, or anyone else who works at the Nation, support internment? Why should he apologize?

    You know why Sydney Blumenthal gets to act morally superior to Michelle Malkin? Because he doesn’t support throwing people into camps based on their ethnicity, and she does. I’d say that’s pretty good grounds, and the behavior of people Sydney Blumenthal never met is irrelevant.

  84. joe,

    Can I flaunt my moral superiority by going up to Sydney Blumenthal and asking him to sign a photo of an aborted fetus? Abortion is one thing he personally supports, and he doesn’t use the excuse of a war emergency to justify an abortion – he sees it as a regular peacetime thing.

  85. If we rule out discussing things from 60 years ago, we couldn’t use Hitler or Holocaust metaphors about our opponents. Wouldn’t that suck?

  86. “””Abortion is one thing he personally supports, and he doesn’t use the excuse of a war emergency to justify an abortion – he sees it as a regular peacetime thing.”””

    A distinction between the two on those grounds only makes sense if you believe that the war on terror actually adds anything in terms of justifying calls for Muslims or Arabs to have been locked up in US concentration camps for the past 5 years.

    Those 5 years are in the past. You can actually evaluate how justified, useful or even just plain old rational that position was now. If you thought that would help, that is.

    BTW, why do you assume his is a peace time postion on abortions? Clearly the war on drugs is still ongoing and abortions are just as justified and beneficial to that war effort as the internment example is to its.

    Since the Freakonomics guys made a better case (something) for the social benefits of abortion than Malkin made for the justification (based on racism) and benfits (nil) of the internment of Japanese and US citizens citizens, this during-war-time exception would appear to be equally valid for both.

  87. Whoa. How did Max (note: not Sydney) Blumenthal manage to make Michelle Malkin look intelligent, honest and sympathetic? At least compared to him during his attempt at playing gotcha-man.

    Maybe if he’d just made his point and quickly retreated with a cutting soundbite, instead of lingering and coming off as a badgerer trying to milk a little too much out of his sucker-punch, it would have come off better.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.