The Atlantic “Ideas” issue is every bit as silly as you would imagine, a predictable combination of truisms (the financial crisis was bad, the Catholic sex scandals are bad), standard conservative clap-trap (shit harder on teachers, return to Hooverism), a 5000 word whine-athon about how women are taking over the world (written by a woman, of course), along with one or two interesting pieces (because they still employ James Fallows). But I have to give the magazine credit for this piece arguing that terrorists are nitwits. It’s an important point and they make it well.
One thing I have never fully understood is why conservatives, who believe that all the smart people in the world will go on strike if we raise the marginal tax rate by 1%, think that there is endless supply of geniuses ready to devote their lives to pointless, low-paying suicide missions. Some of it is that conservatives love of the idea of evil, but I don’t think that explains it all.
I suspect that there’s not that much difference between jihadists and teahadists, that the main difference between the Times Square would-be bomber and the guy who tried to take over the courthouse in Tennessee is that the Times Square has a harder-to-pronounce name, and that makes him see more evil genius and less delusional loser.
Update. On further reflection, the piece about how women are taking over the world isn’t that bad once you come to grips with the ridiculous cowboy sperm guy opening and the silly pop culture ending.