Give me all your liberal policies or I will kill you

Chunky Bobo has a strange column about the Norway terrorist attacks. It begins with a few Al-Gore-is-fat jokes and then segues into sympathizing with Anders Behring Breivik’s concerns:

For decades, Europe’s governing classes insisted that only racists worried about immigration, only bigots doubted the success of multiculturalism and only fascists cared about national identity. Now that a true far-right radical has perpetrated a terrible atrocity, it will be easy to return to those comforting illusions.

But extremists only grow stronger when a political system pretends that problems don’t exist. Conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic have an obligation to acknowledge that Anders Behring Breivik is a distinctively right-wing kind of monster. But they also have an obligation to the realities that this monster’s terrible atrocity threatens to obscure.

We’ve seen this before from Chunky Bobo. When George Tiller was murdered, Douthat said that conservatives would keep killing abortion doctors liberals agreed to overturn Roe v. Wade. Now he’s saying that madmen will continue to gun down school children until immigration policies are changed.

It’s a creepy argument and it goes to what I said yesterday, that too many (not all) in the conservative movement are happy to use right-wing terrorism as means to an end. Adopt conservative policies or be killed by conservative terrorists. Those are the choices.






137 replies
  1. 1
    beltane says:

    Upper-class Conservatives like Douthat are far more disturbing than their raving skinhead counterparts. They are all like the Nazi-sympathising aristocrats in the book/film Remains of the Day. Nothing worse than smug, gentrified evil.

  2. 2
    Bulworth says:

    And if you hurt our fee-fees we will kill the economy with a default.

  3. 3
    trollhattan says:

    You can’t make me get off the boat to read it but I trust your excerpt and evaluation. Now other countries are supposed to adopt our Real ‘murikan prejudices in order to fix themselves? Glory be!

    I’m willing to bet Norway’s one of many European countries with inadequate birthrates to maintain a workforce, i.e., must encourage immigration to reasonably survive. I suppose they could recruit right here in the States.

    “Wanted: white folks who love lutefisk”

    Screw Chunks with a rusted roll of barbed wire.

  4. 4
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    It’s too bad he didn’t drown when he was skinny-dipping with William F. Buckley.

  5. 5
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    Absolutely the right tag to use. We are governed by sociopaths, and that’s just as true in my country as it is for you guys south of the border.

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    Yeah..chunky, al and ted were best friends. Once again if chunky had taken the time to read Ted’s manifesto he might find out that he and Ted could be best friends.
    In fact the degrees of separation between Ross and Ted are not that great.

  7. 7

    Is this not the logical conclusion to the right’s “hostage taking” of the debt ceiling?

  8. 8
    El Cid says:

    Somebody here has to have already linked to Pat Buchanan noting that the Norway shooter has a point.

    …None of this is to deny the presence of violent actors or neo-Nazis on the European right who bear watching. But, awful as this atrocity was, native-born and homegrown terrorism is not the macro-threat to the continent.
    __
    That threat comes from a burgeoning Muslim presence in a Europe that has never known mass immigration, its failure to assimilate, its growing alienation, and its sometime sympathy for Islamic militants and terrorists.
    __
    Europe faces today an authentic and historic crisis…
    __
    …As for a climactic conflict between a once-Christian West and an Islamic world that is growing in numbers and advancing inexorably into Europe for the third time in 14 centuries, on this one, Breivik may be right.

  9. 9
    Turgidson says:

    Doubt That and Bobo are quite a pair this week. I hope they enjoy the nice little flat in hell that is being prepared for them right now. Fucking soulless wankers.

  10. 10
    cyntax says:

    There really isn’t any sort of conversation one can have with these people, about immigration, the debt, whatever.

  11. 11
    Brachiator says:

    It’s a creepy argument and it goes to what I said yesterday, that too many (not all) in the conservative movement are happy to use right-wing terrorism as means to an end. Adopt conservative policies or be killed by conservative terrorists. Those are the choices.

    Damn, Chunky Bobo is an idiot.

    What can you learn from crazy people who slaughter innocents? Not a goddam thing.

  12. 12
    bemused says:

    El Cid beat me to it. Those two creeps are on the same nasty wavelength. A pox on both of them.

  13. 13

    They’re not even trying to hide it anymore, are they? There are times when I genuinely fear that we stand at the dawn of a Fourth Reich.

  14. 14
    freelancer says:

    That’s a nice newspaper column you got der. Be a shame if sumptin’ wer to happen to it.

  15. 15
    Turgidson says:

    @El Cid 8:

    Sweet merciful crap. I…uh….wtf. It’s not like Pat Buchanan being a racist cancer on society was any secret, but, wow. Words fail.

  16. 16
    Dennis SGMM says:

    The conservatives have adopted the politics of extortion. “Nice little society ya’ got there. Be a shame if something happened to it.”

  17. 17
    JGabriel says:

    A few days ago, I was one of the first to speculate that this was a conservative terror attack on the basis of the target and that he was wearing a uniform:

    Likes to dress in costumes symbolizing authority and shoot at lefties? Sounds like this attack might be from the Norwegian equivalent of tea partiers.

    Today, we get this in the NY Times:

    Mr. Breivik, who had asked for an open hearing to explain his actions and his views about Muslims and to wear some sort of uniform, was denied on both counts. [Emphasis added.]

    It’s almost diagnostic at this point: if a person doing something violent and crazy is also wearing a costume or uniform, then the odds that they are a conservative of some variety approach 1:1.

    .

  18. 18
    replicnt6 says:

    So let me get this straight: Muslim kills people: fault of Muslims, White Christian kills people: fault of Muslims. I think I’ve got it.

  19. 19
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .

    Adopt conservative policies or be killed by conservative terrorists. Those are the choices.

    Fortunately, we can put our most fiercely historical negotiator on the job to come to a “meet ’em halfway, fuck the firebagger purity trolls” bipartisan agreement of some kind. The man has demonstrated himself to be a miracle worker.
    .
    .

  20. 20

    But this doesn’t mean that conservatives need to surrender their convictions. The horror in Norway no more discredits Merkel’s views on Muslim assimilation than Ted Kaczynski’s bombs discredited Al Gore’s views on the dark side of industrialization. On the big picture, Europe’s cultural conservatives are right: Mass immigration really has left the Continent more divided than enriched, Islam and liberal democracy have not yet proven natural bedfellows and the dream of a postnational, postpatriotic European Union governed by a benevolent ruling elite looks more like a folly every day.

    So he was crazy, but crazy for all the right reasons? fuck me…

  21. 21
    Thoughtcrime says:

    “A regime, in our case all the cultural Marxist regimes of Western Europe, cannot be defeated without devastating/paralyzing the fundament of the regime. The primary fundament of a regime is its economy. Of course, a shock attack will contribute to weaken a regimes economy but specific and advanced sabotage missions aimed at weakening a regime economically is an essential requirement in order to eventually defeat it. No regime in history has ever been overthrown before it has first been considerably weakened through multiple shock/sabotage attacks. The reason is that the people will not rise and fight for their ideals as long as we live in economical prosperity.”

    The above reflects the views and strategy of:

    A. The Norwegian terrorist
    B. The Republican Party
    C. Both A. and B.

    If you’re having difficulty answering, just change “cultural Marxist regimes of Western Europe”” to “government currently headed by the other party”.

  22. 22
    JonF says:

    I’m guessing Douhat is a pussy like everyone who makes these arguments?

  23. 23
    opal says:

    The horror in Norway no more discredits Merkel’s views on Muslim assimilation than Ted Kaczynski’s bombs discredited Al Gore’s views on the dark side of industrialization

    Facile doesn’t begin to address this fuckery.

  24. 24
    beltane says:

    Imagine if any mainstream media personality expressed this amount of sympathy for Muslim terrorists who murdered 80+ young people? It would be shocking, and rightfully so, and the person who wrote such a column would lose his job. Why does the terrorist sympathiser Douthat still have a job?

  25. 25
    danimal says:

    There is a dangerous utility in Right-Wing terrorism that I can not simply ignore. As long as they benefit from RW terrorism, all of the incentives remain as they are, with ‘respectable’ writers staying above reproach while making reprehensible statements about how the rest of us need to adapt to the terrorists’ demands.

  26. 26
    chopper says:

    jesus, what is with these guys and muslims? they sound like the freaks in texas screeching about nonexistent ‘sharia law’.

  27. 27
    Thoughtcrime says:

    As someone who’s grandparents came from Norway, and knowing someone that had two cousins murdered by McVeigh, I’m getting seriously pissed off at these motherfuckers.

  28. 28
    hhex65 says:

    Hey, it beats workin’ for a living.

  29. 29
    El Cid says:

    By the way, there are no limits to the number of serious threats to people and the biosphere which are well known and often greatly feared.

    Shooting or blowing somebody up in a terrorist attack against civilians is not an indicator that one understands such issues, or that they are serious issues.

    The point is pretty obviously that analytically proficient or not, the killer(s) concluded that by doing this killing, something would happen to address those issues in his/their preferred ways.

    (Which is not to suggest that some such serious issues affecting those feeling a need to shoot dozens of people might include the threat of tiny flying pyramids interrupting the killer’s thoughts with non-stop soap opera theme songs.)

  30. 30
    beltane says:

    @Chuck Butcher: Douthat is like those Holocaust deniers who claim that while the Holocaust was greatly exaggeration, the Jews had it coming to them. If he is supposed to be a “reasonable” Conservative, I’m afraid that Conservatives are just not decent, moral people.

  31. 31
    Chyron HR says:

    Wow, we almost got through 20 whole posts before a True Progressive showed up to remind us that child-killing terrorists are nothing compared to the evil of Barack Obama.

  32. 32
    Trentrunner says:

    Sorry to be graphic, but:

    The entire VRWC is working in concert to achieve one end: The sight of Michelle manically wiping bits of Barack’s brain off her dress.

    That’s their only goal. And I’m afraid they will achieve it.

  33. 33
    danimal says:

    @ JGabriel #17–Especially if the uniform is a wetsuit…

  34. 34
    beltane says:

    @Chyron HR: I think they’re all over at GOS posting Obama Sux diaries.

  35. 35
    The Moar You Know says:

    Adopt conservative policies or be killed by conservative terrorists. Those are the choices.

    There are better choices. Some of us liberals are more than happy and willing to shoot back. Rather die on my feet than live on my knees and all that.

  36. 36
    Jennifer says:

    Shorter Chunky: “If all those Jews hadn’t been in Europe in the first place, Hitler wouldn’t have murdered them.”

  37. 37
    Caz says:

    Most domestic revolutionaries/terrorists are left-leaning than right-leaning, and this is because of the underlying mindsets of each. Conservatives generally support individual responsibility and accountability, while leftists generally want collective salvation and a centralized govt. So while conservatives generally go about their day worrying about their own lives, leftists go around worrying about a govt that should be worrying about everyone’s lives. The left is far quicker to engage in revolutionary acts, as they usually stem from a “the govt must act!” mentality. Conservatives are generally content to be left alone by the govt and they don’t like to meddle in others affairs.

    Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a rule.

    This Norway guy apparently found solace in the unabomber’s writings, which are staunchly anti-technology, anti-capitalist rantings – that’s a far cry from a conservative mindset, which generally embraces capitalism.

    So I don’t know how you call this nutjob a conservative or a right-wing terrorist. I guess when you’re living in a fantasy world, you need to keep adding more fantasy to it, so if it makes you happy, liberals, go on thinking this guy is one of many, many righty terrorists out there, all conspiring to kill people in the name of individual responsibility and accountability.

    Or you can wake up and smell reality. Or not.

  38. 38
    El Cid says:

    By the way, that time when Bill Ayers didn’t blow up anybody, it corrupted all of American politics and made us all implicitly left wing terrists and even just being on a panel with him as nominated by a Chicago mayor, it makes it infinitely necessary for Obama to pledge that he’s not a Kenyan terrorist.

    On the other hand, it’s really irresponsible how people are loosely throwing about all these connections between mass shooter and bomber Breivik and all these people merely yelling that the Muslim hordes are about to conquer Europe again and that all our politicians and major institutions are plotting to impose Shari’a law.

  39. 39
    Lit3Bolt says:

    Ross Douthat is a terrorist sympathizer. Pass it on.

  40. 40
    slag says:

    But they also have an obligation to the realities that this monster’s terrible atrocity threatens to obscure.

    And Chunky Bobo has an obligation to the assholery that this terrible sentence threatens to obscure.

    Conservatives have been toeing this line forever: If only those folks weren’t so darned uppity…

    It’s always been about blaming the victim when the victim is someone that they don’t like.

  41. 41
    opal says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Just out of curiosity, did you get off your dead-end PUMA ass and contact any of your local government representatives today?

  42. 42
    RSA says:

    @ replicnt6: I noticed that, too. I seem to recall people who suggested that 9/11 should make us think harder about U.S. foreign policy being called traitors or worse, and by the same people making excuses for Breivik today.

  43. 43
    pragmatism says:

    FSM dammit i hope that chunky reese witherspoon chins doubtthat to death

  44. 44
    beltane says:

    @Lit3Bolt: He certainly is a terrorist sympathizer, if not an outright advocate for terrorist causes. Why is a terrorist sympathizer on the NYT’s payroll?

  45. 45

    It’s amazing what a gun to the head can do.

  46. 46

    a True Progressive

    Dumbass … UCT trolls for whatever reason.

  47. 47
    Ol' Dirty DougJ says:

    So I don’t know how you call this nutjob a conservative or a right-wing terrorist.

    Actually, Douthat does this himself explicitly, I’m not putting words in his mouth. Take up your complaints with him.

  48. 48
    Cackalacka says:

    So I don’t know how you call this nutjob a conservative or a right-wing terrorist.

    Um, because he ascribes to those views, posted them, and his targets all happened to be children of liberals. Is stated proof of motive good enough, sweetheart?

  49. 49
    cyntax says:

    @Caz:
    Jeebus you’re a tool. Here’s Breivik in his own words:

    “send a strong message to the people and cause maximum amount of damage to the Labour Party to stop its recruitment” and to stop “a deconstruction of Norwegian culture and mass-import of Muslims”. He added: “I had to save Norway and Western Europe from a Muslim takeover. The purpose of the assassinations was to give a symbol to the people. The Labour Party have betrayed the country and the people. The price for this they had to pay yesterday”

    So he’s attacking the labor party of his country cause he’s a leftist? You know you can take classes to improve your reading beyond the 4th grade level?

  50. 50
    Violet says:

    Douthat creeps me out. I wouldn’t let a child near him. I shudder to think he has one of his own that can’t get away.

  51. 51
    El Cid says:

    To have some ahistorical nitwit come here suggesting that if you aren’t “pro-capitalism” — i.e., anti-modernist nihilists as there have been so many — you simply can’t be on the right.

    After all, “conservatives” now by some definition must be in favor of capitalism.

    And, none of that Mad Max capitalism, that don’t count.

    The vast majority of domestic terrorists are left-wing because they just are and it doesn’t matter how many actual cases there are of who does what because SHUT UP.

    After all, Ted Kaczynski said some shit about nature therefore he is left wing. By definition, no conservative could ever be a violent or terrorist person because, um, he, uh, couldn’t proclaim a need to defend the purity of nature, even if it was based upon a belief in the Edenic purity of nature which had to be defended from fallen secular man?

    I guess now, every nutter who rants about the world abandoning the Old Testament and becoming too materialist and how God’s flaming sword needs to strike down all the non-believers are, by definition, leftist.

  52. 52
    Reality Check says:

    Tick..tock…tick…tock…six days left…

  53. 53
    Caz says:

    It doesn’t seem to matter to liberals what motivates these murderous nutjobs – they always seem to jump the gun and claim that they are right-wing, usually from the outset before any facts are available, and usually even afterwards, irrespective of what facts come to light.

  54. 54
    Turgidson says:

    Teatards still prattle on about how they’re all about “personal responsibility”??? Remarkable.

  55. 55
    Reality Check says:

    Six days left and Obama has two options: institute real spending cuts, or be the first President to let this country default. His choice!

  56. 56
    aimai says:

    He should be fired for that column. And the Catholic Church should call him up and repossess his soul for it. Its a disgrace to the god damned universe.

    aimai

  57. 57
    NonyNony says:

    Feh. I like this:

    Most domestic revolutionaries/terrorists are left-leaning than right-leaning, and this is because of the underlying mindsets of each.

    Really. Name three.

    I’ll start with three right-winger terrorists in the USA. Tim McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, and Scott Roeder. Your turn.

  58. 58
    Samara Morgan says:

    well, if i can return to point i was making just prior to my last banning–
    I got thrown into a timeout before I could explain the EDK/Anders Breivik connection.
    So here goes, juicers.

    Boehner==EDK==Breivik
    For a thousand years anglosaxon/norman/spanish xianity held a global hegemony. A fraction of the global population controlled the bulk of humanity. But those days are done.
    Immigration and the spread of representative government has allowed the dilution of the western democratic electorates.
    Conservatives are all defending the status quo, and they all believe they have a RIGHT to do absolutely ANYTHING to accomplish their goals.
    The reason they believe this is because all the young people, or all the cool people, or all the smart people, or all the dark people are on the otherside.
    It is, in their estimation, UNFAIR.
    So Boehner can tell whoppers and crash the economy, EDK can fake reasonableness or a conversion narrative to get an audience for conservative eumenes like the “freed” market, and Breivlk can slaughter 100 co-citizens (92 of them between 14 and 18) to try to change the immigration policy of his elected government.
    Why, you ask?

    For a thousand years Christendom has been the global dominant paradigm, enabling a fraction of the world’s population to command a disproportionate share of global resources.
    That is changing now, because of social media and the internets. The rest of the world can organize against the “benevolent” tyranny of Big White Christian Bwana.
    Now immigration and representative government are LOCALLY changing the demographics of western nations– now anglosaxon xians are being outbred in their local electorates, not just globally.
    Boehner feels he can say anything with impunity– like the jello remark– because Obama is a black man.

    Both sides are not the same.
    And its not just red/blue genetics and social brain hypothesis– its that the otherside feels ENTITLED to use any tactic to force or scam their agenda. Again, this is a selective advantage of the EGT strategy of xianity– no doubt. they have no doubt….they believe their philosophy is the best and only way to restore America’s/the West’s/Norway’s global supremacy.

    America is in decline….like the Romans and their vomitoriums.
    We hold eating contests while a good part of the world’s humans starve.
    This is empirically true.

    Ed Marshall says.

    It’s not fair at all to call him crazy. He knew exactly what he was doing in targeting that camp. Those kids were the best and brightest of the politically active social democrats. He wiped out a generation of leaders and he knew it. As evil as it was, it was far from crazy.

    This what EDK’s anti-teacher’s union stance is all about.
    This is what the Texas schoolbook commitee is all about. This is what vouchers and creationism class and private schools are all about.
    And approvingly linking EDK as a “reasonable” voice is stupid and wrong for a liberal blog.
    Its no different than linking Douthat or even Jennifer Rubin.

    DougJ, you mused about a “jihaadi gene”. That was stupid and im glad that you admitted that.
    This is a memetic virus. And its the same meme virus that killed George Tiller passed the Arizona anti-hispanic law. Its the counterjihaadi movement of Pam Geller, Robert Spencer, Gates of Viennna blog, the Tea Party, the EDL, neo-nazis and Klanners.

    And like i said, you aint seen nothing yet. You will see men bark like dogs and speak in tongues in the runup to 2012. The specific gravity of wingnuttery is increasing, and soon all your libertarian homies will be pulled into the gravity well.
    Do you know who else said he was a libertarian?
    Anders Breivik is who.

  59. 59

    @Caz

    It doesn’t seem to matter to conservatives what motivates these murderous nutjobs – they always seem to jump the gun and claim that they are jihadists, usually from the outset before any facts are available, and usually even afterwards, irrespective of what facts come to light.

    Fascinating.

  60. 60

    @Caz:

    Most domestic revolutionaries/terrorists are left-leaning than right-leaning, and this is because of the underlying mindsets of each … Conservatives are generally content to be left alone by the govt and they don’t like to meddle in others affairs.

    Reality FAIL.
    Eric Rudolph, Scott Roeder, Tim McVeigh, the MLK Day attempted bomber, James Earl Ray, Byron De La Beckwith and countless Klan members called, and they want you to acknowledge their existence.

  61. 61
    The Moar You Know says:

    Caz: No True Scotsman.

  62. 62
    pragmatism says:

    is anders a cudlip?

  63. 63
    Reality Check says:

    One of the worst domestic terrorists of the last 40 years–the Unabomber–was a radical leftist academic.

  64. 64

    Anyone notice Caz and Realty Checks showing up at the same time?

  65. 65
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ @ Top:

    … too many (not all) in the conservative movement are happy to use right-wing terrorism as means to an end. Adopt conservative policies or be killed by conservative terrorists.

    Additional data to confirm this was an attack on the center-left, not Muslims per se:

    Asked if the rampage was aimed at the Labor Party, or at Muslim immigrants, Mr. Lippestad [Breivik’s lawyer] said, “This was an attack on the Labor Party.”

    Breivik’s manifesto confesses a hatred of the center-left and multi-culturalism going back to his mid-teens. The anti-Islam prejudice probably came later, slotted into his weltanschauung as he discovered and devoured conservative eliminationist rhetoric on the internet.

    This was an attack on the center-left. Adopt conservative policies or be killed by conservative terrorists, indeed.

    [Edited to add link for NY Times quote.]

    .

  66. 66
    cyntax says:

    @Caz:

    It doesn’t seem to matter to liberals what motivates these murderous nutjobs – they always seem to jump the gun and claim that they are right-wing, usually from the outset before any facts are available, and usually even afterwards, irrespective of what facts come to light.

    You mean the way Rubin et al said the terrorist was a Muslim? Yeah that jumping the gun thing sure sucks.

  67. 67
    replicnt6 says:

    @Caz:

    It doesn’t seem to matter to liberals conservatives what motivates these murderous nutjobs – they always seem to jump the gun and claim that they are right-wing Muslims, usually from the outset before any facts are available, and usually even afterwards, irrespective of what facts come to light.

    FTFY

  68. 68
    Hugh says:

    It is a weird column. He ostensibly owns the idea that this is a right wing guy but he has to find a way to bypass the horror to affirm what is really a prejudiced worldview.

    BUT

    It’s too bad he didn’t drown when he was skinny-dipping with William F. Buckley.

    It bugs me to see comments like this. The guy wrote a dumb and offensive column. Write a letter or something.

  69. 69
    Reality Check says:

    We can be happy for one thing though–Norway’s strict, draconian gun control laws sure prevented the massacre from happening, didn’t they?

  70. 70
    trollhattan says:

    @62.Reality Check – July 26, 2011 | 5:23 pm · Link

    One of the worst domestic terrorists of the last 40 years—the Unabomber—was a radical leftist academic.

    It goes without saying–but here goes–you have it exactly wrong. Kaczynski hated “lefties.” Quelle surprise!

  71. 71

    @Reality Check:

    One of the worst domestic terrorists of the last 40 years—the Unabomber—was a radical leftist academic.

    Unabomber casualties – 23 injured, 3 dead.
    Timothy McVeigh – 680 injured, 168 dead.

    Clearly, that DFH was one of the worst.

  72. 72
    pragmatism says:

    if the unabomber was a leftist, why did he write a manifesto attacking leftists? you need a check up from the neck up, RC.

  73. 73
    slag says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: And before that, the anti-abolitionists (mostly in the confederate states) were some of the worst homegrown terrorists this country had ever seen. They pretty much defined terrorism in America–not counting what whitey did to the Native Americans, of course.

  74. 74
    Reality Check says:

    One of the Unabomber’s favorite books? “Earth in the Balance” by Al Gore.

    BTW, fun site:

    http://www.crm114.com/algore/quiz.html

  75. 75
    Lit3Bolt says:

    The Right’s bleats for nuance and citations of the First Amendment regarding this terrorist incidence were amusing at first, but I am steadily becoming more and more enraged.

    Here’s James Joyner wishy-washing his way through an article where it’s kinda obvious he plainly wants to defend his conservative brethren but some wisps of integrity within him keep him somewhat balanced. Still, he quotes fools like Joshua Foust who demand a direct chain of causation between rhetoric and bombs before he’ll believe right-wing terrorism exists.

    Joyner ends the article with a plea for civility and free speech in a “both sides do it” vein, as if the only possible motive for liberals in condemning rightwing hate-mongers is political advantage. I’d suggest that liberals are more interested in stopping GODDAMN RIGHTWING TERRORISTS FROM SHOOTING CHILDREN IN THE FUCKING FACE.

    Conservatives somehow don’t want to talk about that.

  76. 76
    opal says:

    @Caz:

    Most domestic revolutionaries/terrorists are left-leaning than right-leaning

    Lets save some time here: Nazis loved defense spending.

  77. 77
    Reality Check says:

    The National Soc1alists were left-wing.

  78. 78
    cyntax says:

    @Reality Check:

    The Unabomber who killed three people and wrote this is one of the “worst” and a “leftist”?

    The first sections of the text are devoted to psychological analysis of various groups—primarily leftists and scientists (groups that he criticizes strongly)—and of the psychological consequences for individual life within the “industrial-technological system”,[46] which has robbed contemporary humans of their autonomy, diminished their rapport with nature, and forced them “to behave in ways that are increasingly remote from the natural pattern of human behavior.” The later sections speculate about the future evolution of this system, argue that it will inevitably lead to the end of human freedom, call for a “revolution against technology”, and attempt to indicate how that might be accomplished.[47]

    Your trenchant argument carries the day–again.

  79. 79
    JGabriel says:

    @Reality Check:

    One of the worst domestic terrorists of the last 40 years—the Unabomber—was a radical leftist academic.

    As trollhattan notes, Kaczynski despised the left. The most accurate description of his ideology is: right-wing environmentalist.

    .

  80. 80
    pragmatism says:

    “right wing enviro” will not compute with RC.

  81. 81
    darkmatter says:

    @Samara Morgan

    Piss off M_C. Nobody needs your bullshit excuses anyway.

  82. 82
    wrb says:

    @Reality Check:

    One of the worst domestic terrorists of the last 40 years—the Unabomber—was a radical leftist

    He was a radical libertarian anarchist, upset about government limiting his freedoms. Much of his manifesto attacked leftists

    Which is why it is unsurprising that our latest right-wing terrorist chose to plagiarize him.

    In his opening and closing sections, Kaczynski addresses Leftism as a movement and analyzes the psychology of leftists, arguing that they are “True Believers in Eric Hoffer’s sense” who participate in a powerful social movement to compensate for their lack of personal power. He further claims that leftism as a movement is led by a particular minority of leftists whom he calls “oversocialized”:
    He gives various tactical recommendations, including avoiding the assumption of political power, avoiding all collaboration with leftists, and supporting free trade agreements in order to bind the world economy into a more fragile, unified whole.[47]…
    He concludes by noting that his manifesto has “portrayed leftism in its modern form as a phenomenon peculiar to our time and as a symptom of the disruption of the power process” but that he is “not in a position to assert confidently that no such movements have existed prior to modern leftism” and says that “[t]his is a significant question to which historians ought to give their attention.”[6}

  83. 83
    JCT says:

    @69 Reality Check the brain-stem prep

    We can be happy for one thing though—Norway’s strict, draconian gun control laws sure prevented the massacre from happening, didn’t they?

    Sure, just like those “everyone can carry a gun” rules in Tucson made sure there was no loss of life in January.

  84. 84
    Reality Check says:

    Face it, the Unabomber would have been right at home in the Earth Liberation Front or the Sierra Club. The lefties he criticized weren’t far-left ENOUGH for him.

  85. 85
    El Cid says:

    Actual leftists never had a problem identifying another leftist as a leftist but proclaiming him a traitor, or fool, or robot following an incorrect tendency.

    Communists might have been dismissing the bomb-throwing wing of anarchist movements as dangerous fools who didn’t understand class conflict etc., but their dismissals weren’t primarily on them not at all being within the range of tendencies within which Communists were slotted.

    Fucking man up, admit the fool and killer was a flat-out run of the mill anti-Muslim paranoid right winger except for the shooting-the-kids-up part, and insist that that list bit is really important.

    This is a pretty fucking clear case. A Kaczynski comparison is weak sauce. TK wasn’t a leftist because ‘the left’ didn’t want to claim him as a leftist; he just wasn’t a leftist, in the sense that there were enough leftist-seeming things to distinguishing clearly as a leftist or rightist or anything else. It really is OK to note that some shooter or bomber free-sources his justifications from around the ideological or even hallucinatory spectrum.

    You get tricky things like Mussolini, famed early soshullist leader, then specifically re-defining soshullism to mean the opposite of any of what anyone had been using the term to mean, you know, something to do with Marxism, and class consciousness, and the working class, and exploitation by other classes, and proletarian revolution. So when he then writes clearly on why he is not a soshullist and he hates and will crush the Marxists, it’s okay to notice that; you’re not weakly trying to distance yourself from soshullism, you’re observing the reality of what Mussolini did.

    If that difference is a big one to you, then emphasize it. That’s what Pat Buchanan just did. He’s saying, ‘look, the things the guy thought about the dangers of all these Muslims were right,’ but that in no way should any person out there decide to individually address the dangerous Muslim hordes by violence.

    Today’s pseudo-intellectual right proclaims things like “big government is leftist,” and then makes conclusions upon that assertion, such as “X was for big government, therefore he was a leftist”.

    This brilliant argumentative style thus demands you cede the argument to them by accepting their premise, which, of course, is the actual subject matter under debate.

  86. 86
    JoshA says:

    “Brevik described himself as a conservative Christian in his Facebook profile.”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43.....ity-loner/

    Caz, I would certainly agree that one political group in the US claimed to immediately know the identity and motivation of the attacker, and has subsequently been proven to be completely wrong.

    “there is a specific jihadist connection here…as the attack in Oslo reminds us, there are plenty of al-Qaeda allies still operating.” Jennifer Rubin, Right Turn.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/....._blog.html

  87. 87
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @40 pyrite

    Just out of curiosity, did you get off your dead-end PUMA ass and contact any of your local government representatives today?

    I’ll thank you to keep your creepy and uninformed comments off of this blog. You are known Republican ratfucker.

    Sincerely,

    Uncle Clarence Thomas
    .
    .

  88. 88
    Samara Morgan says:

    And El Cid, Breivik is a fan of yours too.

    See?

    Thus, on Breivik’s video, potted vignettes of Charles Martel, El Cid, Richard the Lionheart and – unusually – Vlad the Impaler alternate with pictures of the Crusades as an inspiration for a new Knights Templar offensive aimed at ‘decimating’ the Cultural Marxists and driving Muslims from Europe.
    This new knightly order is embodied by Breivik himself, the ideal of the ‘Perfect Knight’. In the last section of the video, comic-book illustrations of sword-wielding knights cut to photographs of the steroid-taking comic-book crusader, posing for posterity as a Freemason in some kind of military uniform covered in medals, and action-man style in a wetsuit with a machine-gun.

  89. 89
    Fang says:

    Yeah, pretty much he’s enabling terrorism. What else can one say?

  90. 90
    Thoughtcrime says:

    Reality Challenged @ 77, wrong as always:

    The concept of “left” or “left wing,” and “right” or “right wing” political parties originated in the French Assembly in the 19th century where people and groups were labeled by where they sat in the meeting hall. In Weimar Germany, while there were often as many as 30 parties on the ballot, there were a group of larger and more important parties. These parties were identified by names and initials related to their names in German. The most frequently used initials were:

    Initial German English Translation:
    D Deutsche German
    D Demokratische Democratic
    S Sozialistische Socialist
    Z Zentrum Center
    K Kommunistische Communist

    In the Weimar Republic the left consisted of the Communists (KPD) and the Social Democrats (SPD). The Center consisted of the Democratic party (DDP), the Catholic Center Party (Z) and the People’s Party (DVP). The right consisted of the German Nationalist Party (DNVP) and the National Socialist Party (NSDAP-Nazi). Unlike American political parties, German political parties had narrower bases of support generally based on class, occupation and religion. They were therefore less inclined to compromise and more inclined to have programs based on clear sets of ideas (ideologies).

    The parties on the left were strong supporters of progressive taxation, government social welfare programs, labor unions, equality and economic opportunity for women. They were less nationalistic, militaristic and antisemitic than the parties on the right. They favored greater government involvement in—and control of—business and industry, and were to varying degrees anti-religious. Still, there were strong differences and major conflicts between the two major leftist parties. The Social Democrats were strong supporters of the Republic and democracy while the Communists were opposed to both, favoring a Russian style communist dictatorship. The parties on the right were strongly nationalistic and supported large military. They were opposed to social welfare programs, labor unions and progressive taxation. They favored an economy directed by industrialists and landowners with large estates. They were antisemitic and favored traditional roles for women. The Nationalists were a more traditional Conservative Party, while the National Socialists were a radical party wanting revolutionary change. Both parties publicly supported the Churches and the role of religion in society but some elements in the Nazi Party harbored hostility to traditional religion.

    http://www2.facinghistory.org/.....endocument

  91. 91
    yeahyeahwhatevs (Studly Pantload, once upon a time) says:

    Because killing children is such a clearly political statement.

    Fucking hack and the fucking fuckers that employ him.

  92. 92
    opal says:

    @Reality Check:

    As has been pointed out many times, the nomenclature was a calculated move.

    But, hey…you’re a teatard. Facts don’t matter.

  93. 93
    cyntax says:

    @Reality Check:

    Or not:

    He goes on to explain how the nature of leftism is determined by the psychological consequences of “oversocialization.” Kaczynski “attribute[s] the social and psychological problems of modern society to the fact that society requires people to live under conditions radically different from those under which the human race evolved and to behave in ways that conflict with the patterns of behavior that the human race developed while living under the earlier conditions.”

    Maybe some kind of weird anarcho-libertarianism, but from what I’m seeing, not leftist. Of course if you’ve actually got some quotes for us…

  94. 94
    El Cid says:

    The National Soshullists weren’t left wing; they didn’t hold a model of class conflict or of exploitations of the working classes. Just ask them. Not just about how they described themselves, but how they defined the core ideologies of their movement, and how their organization and actions bore that out.

    Mussolini’s fascism wasn’t soshullist. He was pretty clear about it.

    You can’t just redefine “proletarian” as meaning “less industrialized nation state” and the nation-state as a super-organism which could brook no division between classes no more than tissues and organs could dissent against the body, and therefore proclaim your hatred of leftists, and your turning out of the military and paramilitaries and gangsters to bust unions and kill any leftists, and form directorates of industries based on the military, the fascist party, the owners, and a token and fake union rep, and expect it to be defined as “soshullist” by degenerate lazy pinheads decades later.

    Either that or terms like “left” and “right” have no arguable historical meaning (even despite countless contradictions) and we’re just supposed to wait around for conservatives to tell us what they’d prefer to use those terms to mean, and then it’s our job to play along because they like it better that way.

  95. 95
    Amir_Khalid says:

    It’s not just in the West that you get wingnuts who insist that multiculturalism is harmful to their society. I know. I see it all the time in Malaysia. Here, we have Malays (my own ethnic group) who still refer to non-Malay Malaysians as “the foreign races” (bangsa asing) and consider themselves the real Malaysians.

    Wingnuts, wherever thay are, hate diversity in their society — ethnic, cultural, religious or any other kind. They fear that diversity will disestablish their rightful primacy in their own country. They hate the people whose presence brings about that diversity. And they blame those whom they hate for being hated.

    Ross Douthat (ptui!) has learned to express that hatred in a manner oblique and genteel enough for the New York Times’ house style. Shame on him, and shame on NYT.

  96. 96

    @El Cid: Don’t bother, EC, he’s just cribbing from Jonah Goldberg’s wretched attempt at rewriting history.

  97. 97
    Samara Morgan says:

    The Unabomber was a self-declared libertarian, just like Breivik.
    His issues were different, and his RWA tendency expressed itself in enviromental concerns, where Breivik imagined himself a counterjihadi crusader of christendom.

  98. 98
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Aw fer goodness sake, just pie Reality Check and get on with it. He’s lost touch with reality and no one will take a check from him.

  99. 99
    yeahyeahwhatevs (Studly Pantload, once upon a time) says:

    @Bounced Check

    You are just so adorable when you try to be inflammatory! Granted, it’s a pitiful kind of adorable, like when a raccoon gets its little head caught in a Big Gulp cup. But endearing, just the same.

    =0D

  100. 100
    trollhattan says:

    @83.JCT

    Sure, just like those “everyone can carry a gun” rules in Tucson made sure there was no loss of life in January.

    You know the drill: “An armed society is a polite society.”
    /Ole Perfesser

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....gs25m.html

    Wait, who gave the brown people guns?!?

  101. 101
    Samara Morgan says:

    @darkmatter

    excuses?
    why was i banned again? i just spoke the truth.
    there is no difference between Rubins post and Kains initial post.

  102. 102
    opal says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Listen: you can keep your creepy hooker-in-the-basement persona to yourself.

    How would that settle with your 50+ virgin self?

  103. 103
    quannlace says:

    It’s a creepy argument

    Creepy? It’s downright fucking psycotic!

  104. 104
    Samara Morgan says:

    Creepy? It’s downright fucking psycotic!

    not creepy, paranoid.

    In his classic study of the American right, The Paranoid Style in American Politics, Richard Hofstadter once observed a tendency towards “heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy” to which the American right was particularly prone.
    In Hofstadter’s formulation, “The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms — he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization.”

  105. 105
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    You were banned because you sit beside a table lamp turning it off, on, off, on, off…

    You have the tenacity of bathroom mold and almost as much charisma.

    And now you’re pied again as well.

  106. 106
    El Cid says:

    __

    And El Cid, Breivik is a fan of yours too.

    Clearly, he knows nothing of El Cid.

    The real El Cid was more than happy to fight alongside Moors, in fact it was very profitable. When El Cid fought for “Christian kingdoms”, it was because of the money, land, etc.

    When El Cid fought for Moorish kings, well, it wasn’t for religion then, either.

    His army comprised Christians, Moors, and plenty of those whose religious affiliations were less clear than the number of weapons and horses being brought to service.

    When he got the chance to seize for himself an area of Moorish Valencia after the famed siege, he ruled the mixed Christian-Moorish-Jewish-whateverish population and had a similarly mixed army — and he could do so in part because he had treated the Moorish population better than its then-Moorish rulers!

    I, on the other hand, am not using the name of the man so much as the name of the poem, which is fun to read and has many beautiful turns of phrase, however ahistorical such medieval literature tends to be.

    I think Breivik was thinking more along the lines of the Charlton Heston movie.

    I’m pretty sure that any self-respecting Islamophobe and anti-Shari’a warrior who knew anything of the history of the old merc would avoid citing El Cid as a role model. Maybe I’m wrong. Hitchens liked Andalusia, but I haven’t seen too much praise for that mixed society in the ‘Atlas Drugged’ crowds.

  107. 107
    Ash Can says:

    Caz and Reality Check are well-known to be wackos around here, but they seem to be having an unusually difficult time dealing with reality on this particular issue, aren’t they?

    I wonder why.

  108. 108
  109. 109
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Caz has received the shoeing he/she/it deserves, but I’ll join in for this part:

    Conservatives are generally content to be left alone by the govt and they don’t like to meddle in others affairs.

    Beyond the simple backatchas — the number of conservatives who really do enjoy meddling in the affairs of non-conservatives — we can just look at the number of “sovereign citizen” conservatives who declare, unilaterally, that being ‘left alone by the govt’ allows them to disregard the law, and who get all meddlesome and shooty when it’s suggested otherwise.

  110. 110
    jl says:

    What a vile column. First half was weaseling around about how badly this contaminated the current mutated version of conservative thought, with a disgusting compare and contrast catalog of earlier right wing terrorism. Self concerned much, Douthat?

    Then the excuse mongering is based on this stream of assertion, with no facts, no history, no argument, and no links to any, either:

    “Mass immigration really has left the Continent more divided than enriched, Islam and liberal democracy have not yet proven natural bedfellows and the dream of a postnational, postpatriotic European Union governed by a benevolent ruling elite looks more like a folly every day.”

    Douthat is a jackass, and by the US conservatives own previous arguments and attacks, as applied to liberals, is objectively apologizing for and sympathizing with terrorist murder.

    A really vile column.

  111. 111
    jharp says:

    Religious crazies here in Indiana tried the same goddamed thing with planned parenthood.

    “Either quit performing a 100% legal medical procedure (abortions) that conflicts with my crackpot religious beliefs.”

    “Or we’re pulling the plug on health care for poor women and some are going to die.”

    I really can’t stand these fucking assholes.

  112. 112
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Amir_Khalid: Malaysia’s an interesting case. The semi-famous big study (by World Bank/IMF?) that found an inverse link between political support for social provision in general and transfer payments in particular on the one hand, and the homogeneity or heterogeneity of the state, had a big section on Malaysia.

    I’ll see if I can find a link.

  113. 113
    El Cid says:

    @ pseudonymous in nc: Those conservatives who prefer to be left alone and not meddle in the affairs of others are those who don’t run for office or head conservative blogs and publications and think tanks and such.

    Why on Earth is anyone like you or me worried about that second group, instead of all those quiet and ordinary conservatives going about their lives, but who are not at the moment threatening default because of their anarcho-capitalist hostage taking?

    Why would we be talking about Eric Cantor instead of some guy we don’t know in a house a few miles away? After all, aren’t the latter the “real” conservatives?

  114. 114

    At first, I was growing increasingly angry with Reality Check’s idiocy (along with this virtual masturbation over the murder of the children of liberals), but then I reminded myself of what was important: As long as Reality Check is here, trolling us, he’s not out prowling the neighborhood, looking for children to molest or something. Because I’d bet good money that’s the kind of sick freak he is.

  115. 115
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Found it. It wasn’t the IMF study, but it was quoted therein:

    Public Expenditure In Multi-ethnic Societies (Pdf)

  116. 116
    Samara Morgan says:

    @jl, this is standard Douthat.
    surely you have not forgotten Douthat’s classic “Liberals Killed Dr. Tiller Because They Refuse to Overturn Roe.”
    Those young AUF Camp norwegians FORCED Breivik to shoot them.

    @el Cid.
    i agree that Breivik did not know el Campeadors actual history, but swagger portraits are featured in the video Breivik made.
    Breivik also admired Vlad the Impaler for some reason, and included him in the video.

  117. 117
    SRW1 says:

    For decades, Europe’s governing classes insisted that only racists worried about immigration, only bigots doubted the success of multiculturalism and only fascists cared about national identity.

    That fucking dimwit doesn’t have a clue how clueless he is. Maybe he could start by Googling ‘Leitkultur’.

  118. 118
    El Cid says:

    __

    Breivik also admired Vlad the Impaler for some reason, and included him in the video.

    Are there any good poems about him?

    He launched a war against the Ottoman Empire, and without this there would be little justification for a Dracula Versus the Muslims movie.

  119. 119
    Jay C says:

    “Strange” is certainly the word for this execrable column: even by the low standards applicable to Ross Douthat’s oeuvre. His start is more than just “Al-Gore-is-fat-jokes”, I recall all those chortling links to the “Al Gore v. The Unabomber” crap – I imagine one would search in vain for any condemnation of it by Mr. Douthat; he seems the type more to link approvingly heh-indeed-Instacraphead style – he does go on the admit that “the right” owns Anders Breivik: but then, can’t seem to help but fall right into the cesspool of “but….”. In this case, “Shooting scores of kids dead is wrong, of course, but….: he just can’t help a call-out to consider (carefully and intellectually, no doubt) the “problems” that motivated ABB to execute his murderous rampage.

    And this clown is the “house Conservative” at the NYT?

  120. 120
    trollhattan says:

    @119.Jay C – July 26, 2011 | 6:53 pm · Link

    And this clown is the “house Conservative” at the NYT?

    Am recalling “back in the day” the resigned collective sighs of relief the vacant chair didn’t go to McMegan. I can’t say this option is working out any better.

  121. 121
    slag says:

    @Amir_Khalid:

    Ross Douthat (ptui!) has learned to express that hatred in a manner oblique and genteel enough for the New York Times’ house style. Shame on him, and shame on NYT.

    Yeah. Pretty much. A pox on both their houses. Well, in this case, it’s the same house. Too bad that the NYT has brought this pox on itself.

  122. 122

    […] I mean, come on. Elias Isquith is a freelance journalist, blogger, sometimes music critic and employee of a nonprofit social justice think tank. He considers Bob Dylan and Walter Sobchak to be the two great Jewish thinkers of our time; he thinks Kafka was half-right when he said there was hope, "but not for us"; and he considers much of modern philosophy to be bunk — except, of course, that of The Bunk. He can be reached through the twitter via @eliasisquith and via email at eliasisquith at gmail dot com. The opinions he expresses on the blog and throughout the interwebs are exclusively his own. Cancel reply […]

  123. 123
    Ed Marshall says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    He was big with the “anti-jihadist” crowd. Shitty, dark age, history with heroes slaughtering the Muhamaddans is the art form they work in, like a mental patient works in his own feces. I can’t believe one of those whimshit, cowardly, D&D pretending, fabulists actually put down the Cheeto’s and did something.

    If I was writing a script about one of those idiots pulling off a terrorist attack and I had the guy playing dress-up in a military uniform, I would have torn it out as me just being cruel to them.

  124. 124
    AnotherBruce says:

    Reality Check- fail.

    Some of you are making intelligent and cogent arguments to refute his comic book view of reality. I’m not saying you shouldn’t make those arguments, I’m not saying they’re a waste of time. But as long as you understand that not one beam of light will penetrate the thick bone that encases his small brain, you should keep making them, they’re good healthy exercise.

  125. 125
    Matt says:

    Now he’s saying that madmen will continue to gun down school children until immigration policies are changed.

    I dunno, what about taking him at his word? Since practically any sort of positive social change seems to provoke RW terrorism, clearly the only solution is to reclassify conservatism as a violent mental illness and treat it appropriately.

  126. 126
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @102 offal

    Listen, Republican ratfucker – You may be almost as sharp as a bowling ball, but you are fully the creepiest creepy creep on the internet. I mean to say, take your hate screech somewhere else, monkey. Oh, wait – on second thought, keep trolling me right here, so we know that you’re not out roaming the public streets in search of children to hurt, you perverted ratfucker.
    .
    .

  127. 127
    Samara Morgan says:

    LOLOLLLOLOL!
    look DougJ got a link from the LoOGies.

    hahaha
    how the mighty have fallen.
    :)

  128. 128
    Nutella says:

    A terrorist is someone who uses violence or threats of violence to frighten people into supporting his politics. By saying that not changing our policies to what the right wants will lead to further violence, what is Douthat doing? He is using threats of violence to frighten people into supporting his politics.

  129. 129

    Conservatives are generally content to be left alone by the govt and they don’t like to meddle in others affairs.

    Unless others’ affairs involve LGBT people, recreational substance use, or women seeking reproductive control through technological means, among other things.

  130. 130
    Rome Again says:

    @El Cid:

    Somebody here has to have already linked to Pat Buchanan noting that the Norway shooter has a point.

    Turn the lights out, and don’t worry about the flag. I think we’re done here.

  131. 131
    Thymezone says:

    #127 — Hey, don’t get yourself perma-banned. Your main role here has always been to make me look good. Which is no mean trick.

    Behave yourself … for the Gipper.

  132. 132
    AAA Bonds says:

    I guess if we don’t kick all the Muslims out of Norway then we have only ourselves to blame when children get murdered

  133. 133
    Samara Morgan says:

    wow….BJ alum Elias Isquith just godwinned DougJ.
    is this revenge for when DougJ pranked the LoOGies with “two questions for conservatives?”
    or the beginning of the end for the LoOG/BJ neoliberal/liberaltarian libertarian kumbayah circle jerk of clueless wankage?

  134. 134
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    I don’t recall such a defence of the fanatics who brought down the twin towers. Does Chunky think we have an “obligation to the realities that [those] monster’s terrible atrocity threatens to obscure.”?

  135. 135
    Samara Morgan says:

    @pragmatism

    is anders a cudlip?

    LOL, no, mistermix is a cudlip for linking “neoliberal-liberaltarian” EDK posts on a liberal blog when Kain is just Jennifer Rubin with a swinging dick on the Utoya massacre.
    and DougJ is a cudlip for banning me when i pointed that out.
    :)

  136. 136
    dude says:

    I once was in contact with a guy who basically said, “Well if the mayor doesn’t like getting death threats, then he should stop disagreeing with people like me about politics.”

    Then this doucheturd got upset when I told him that was terrorism, and accused me of hating white people, even though I told him some of my best friends and all of my family members (and me) are white.

  137. 137
    silverhat70 says:

    Commenters are right to insist on the right-wing orientation of Breivik. But this post does not really interpret the column fairly. Douthat may be wrong in worrying “about immigration … multiculturalism and … national identity” as well as Islam and the EU–at the very least I think these cultural fears are overblown, and often misplaced entirely–but he doesn’t say atrocities will keep happening unless his preferred policies are adopted. The closest he comes is by saying extremism grows stronger when problems are neglected.

    This is, in the abstract at least, true and fairly uncontroversial. (Many people have written, for instance, that FDR forestalled the possibility of some sort of revolution, or at least “saved capitalism,” by taking the needs of the poor and jobless seriously in the New Deal.) A fair criticism of the column would be that he hasn’t proven these vaguely referenced “problems” exist, or that a conservative approach to whatever problems he has in mind is the right one. The real flaw in the column as I see it is not that it is somehow terrorist-sympathizing but that it sidesteps the task of making a case for his underlying positions–hard to do in a short column, but harder still when you digress about Gore and the Unabomber (although he’s done some of that case-making in his other writing).

    In the end, I think we would have a lot more credibility if we admit that some of his columns are good or make claims modest to the point of banality. When we have the grounds for criticism, which happens pretty much whenever he writes about gender, for instance, we should make the case, and be more circumspect when we don’t. Otherwise we just look driven by emotion or ideological biases. If there *are* other flaws in this column that I’m missing, I’d love to see them pointed out.

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  1. […] I mean, come on. Elias Isquith is a freelance journalist, blogger, sometimes music critic and employee of a nonprofit social justice think tank. He considers Bob Dylan and Walter Sobchak to be the two great Jewish thinkers of our time; he thinks Kafka was half-right when he said there was hope, "but not for us"; and he considers much of modern philosophy to be bunk — except, of course, that of The Bunk. He can be reached through the twitter via @eliasisquith and via email at eliasisquith at gmail dot com. The opinions he expresses on the blog and throughout the interwebs are exclusively his own. Cancel reply […]

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