Sadly, as this passage shows, Luskin remains unable to get it:
The defense? First, that there is no civil way to talk about the Bush administration's lies and policy failures. Huh? He acts as if those topics themselves were uncivil, thus completely ducking any accountability or even an examination of how those topics have been discussed.Once again Luskin dodges Krugman's real point. Krugman has argued extensively that the actions of the Bush administration aren't remotely civil, and he (and others) have done a pretty good job of explaining why. Considering how dangerous and harmful he is, why on earth should Bush's opponents remain "civil" as well? Krugman called it when he said:
In the months after 9/11, a shocked nation wanted to believe the best of its leader, and Mr. Bush was treated with reverence. But he abused the trust placed in him, pushing a partisan agenda that has left the nation weakened and divided. Yes, I know that's a rude thing to say. But it's also the truth.Why isn't he allowed to say that, and, indeed, what is so "uncivil" about it?
What does Luskin believe that "civil" means? If he is pushing the Krauthammer theory that anybody who has a serious problem with Bush hates him? The same response would apply to him that applied to Krauthammer: there are hundreds if not thousands of reasons why one can legitimately loathe Bush's policies, and since he is the person responsible for them, what exactly is irrational about loathing the man responsible for them?
If not that, then what? Is it about so-called objectivity? Should Krugman roll over and create a false "objectivity" between radicalism and reality? That just allows the right to move the center- they can easily paint any strong response to Bush as "extremism", even from centrists who are put off by Bush's radical agenda.
Well, actually, I know the definition: whatever fits Luskin's own agenda is "civil". Whatever doesn't support (or directly challenges) that agenda is "uncivil". Stalking Krugman is "civil", but saying "Bush betrayed his trust" is "uncivil". Making vague intimations that Krugman is evil and (I kid you not) Hitler-like in one entry is "civil". Calling him on that, like Atrios did, is "uncivil" and "not for the faint of heart".
It's fortunate that nobody takes Luskin seriously. Except, maybe, as a source of merriment.
Edit: Luskin should really proofread his blog before he makes comments like this. You want civility? Look at one of the sites that Luskin linked to a day beforehand. Let's survey his thoughts on the good Professor, hmm? Lessee:
-"shooting star for wrong-headed left-wingers"
-"Krugman... can be compared to the remnants of Saddam's regime"
-"The remnants of a dying orthodoxy"
-the source of "increasingly obnoxious bombs"
and that's just from the one entry. What this yahoo has written in the past would make your toes curl.
So, if you'll permit me to be a little "uncivil" for a moment: Luskin, you hypocritical ass.