Thursday, June 01, 2006

Off With His

Jeff Goldstein has been one of my regular reads for a long time. I don't always agree with him, but he's a smart writer who has a sense of fun with words. And he always bothers to make the argument. None of this, "I don't know whether X is a good idea or not, but I sure am glad to see Y getting screwed as a result." It comes from his academic background.

On most matters he seems to me to break to the libertarian-influenced "South Park" center-right. But he arrives there by his own pathways. There's not a knee-jerk Republicanism behind it.

But while he doesn't have party-line clout like Powerline or Hugh Hewitt, he's far more reviled than either of these, in the most revolting and bitter terminology, by bloggers on the left.

I always wondered why. So did Ace, who finds an answer in one of Goldstein's own posts:

I’d simply add that I think one of the prime reasons the Western left, for all its purported “progressivism,” is so concerned with punishing Israel is that Israel, like, say, Michael Steele or Thomas Sowell, has wandered off the progressive plantation and rejected the narrative assigned it by those who presume to speak for a larger identity agenda. Which is to say, kibbutz culture has given way, over the years, to a strong capitalist system—and so Israel is considered by many on the left to be a traitor to the cause of worldwide socialism, just as surely as Steele and Sowell (among others) are considered race traitors for rejecting the political narrative assigned them by those who have assumed the mantle of “authentic” blacks.

If you're a smart guy, who can write lucidly about postmodernist literary theories, you're supposed to be one of them. But he's not. And that makes them nuts. It shatters the conceit that only stupid people don't hate Bush and identity is more essential than ethics. Ace writes:

This is, I believe, why lefties get visibly angry or astonished to learn that someone within their social group -- whom they had previously considered a nice, normal, college-educated and upstanding citizen -- may hold conservative views or vote Republican on occasion.

To which Ace adds, "I don't bother the left at all, because they consider me a moron. Don't snigger; they think the same of you."

Intellectuals, professional intellectuals, are supposed to be progressives. The only other blog personality I can think of on the right who regularly gets bathes in leftist vitriol the way Goldstein does is Michelle Malkin -- an Asian-American woman. She's supposed to think of herself as a victim of America's racism and fascism. She doesn't; another one who slipped the plantation.