Wednesday, February 05, 2003

I hadn't yet read this excellent dismissal of Instapundit's McCarthyism by Max Sawicky before now, but having now read it, it's linkable if anything is.

The purism of IP and many others in re: ANSWER is wholly selective. In the case of Reynolds himself, it could not be more obvious that the basis for this selectivity is a determination to delegitimize anti-war sentiment. (On, he pretends to perform a neutral public service by providing a list of web sites pertaining to the war. Nearly all of them support the coming war.) Glenn Reynolds and others practice politics by the use of libel. Evidently they do not feel their arguments are good enough to carry the day. I don't blame them.
The reason why this whole thing is McCarthyite is not specific linkages, but intent. The intent is to discredit one's opponents by linking them with what one considers an evil ideology, so as to achieve one's policy goals. Glenn is doing this: transparently so. The problem, of course, is that communists simply don't fit the bill as "evil" as easily as Glenn attempts to argue: in a world where the Russians themselves are divided over Stalin's legacy and the legacy of Communism and are deeply disappointed in its successor, to try to push this sort of line is not only indicative of weak arguments (as Max says), but shows that Glenn is a rather surprising throwback in his positions. Glenn, red-baiting went out with the reds. If you're going to bash demonstrators for being something, I'd suggest Anarchists, not Stalinists.

As for the war itself... honestly, I'm increasingly of the opinion that a U.S. president could start a war with any country on the globe, given the resources and strident advocacy support that Bush enjoys. People have been asking how the same people who consider Bush an idiot could consider him dangerous. The answer, of course, is that support... Bush would be powerless without his pet newspapers, magazines, talk radio blowhards and CNN talking heads and everybody knows it. It isn't that the American people are stupid (they aren't, although the Kangaroo Jack thing is deeply disturbing), but that it'd be difficult for anybody to get out from under that barrage.

Still, it's a house of cards. Remove the neo-conservative support of the regime, and BushZilla becomes little Shrub once again. The second the liberal left pries the neo-conservative right away from its deathgrip on the political media, the pendulum is going to swing so far back to the left the U.S. will look like Sweden.

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