Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tripe at the Wall Street Journal

I opened my copy of today's WSJ this evening hoping to find something to entertain myself over dinner. Instead I find this exquisitely excruciating op-ed by Peter Berkowitz claiming that, get this, "[t]he American right is a cauldron of debate; the left isn't".

Uh-huh... right.

What the hell is the WSJ doing publishing this crap? Let's start with the premise, which any halfway intelligent person should recognize is a totally unsupported by anything even remotely resembling reality. There's ample evidence of debate on both side of the aisle; that the WSJ is comfortable publishing sweeping, and demonstrably wrong, generalizations on its opinion pages makes me wonder why anyone gives them the time of day, much less any sort of credibility. But I digress; this isn't a rant about the WSJ, but rather a particular dollop of pablum found therein.

In support of his main thesis he offers the following:

But on non-standard issues - involving dramatic changes in national security and foreign affairs, the power of medicine and technology to intervene at the early stages of life, and the social meaning of marriage and family, the partisans show a clear difference: the left is more and more of one mind while the divisions on the right deepen.
God, where to start?

First, why all the unnecessary circumlocutions? If you want to say "the war in Iraq, abortion, and the homosexual menace" you should just come out and say it. Stop hiding behind noble generalities when you've got a specific beef. You're not fooling anyone, especially when you trott out your pet issue in the guise of an "example" in the very next paragraph.

Now on to the meat of his argument, to which I reply "Umm... yeah... duh. What's you're point?". He has conveniently selected, as his sampling of "non-standard issues", questions which progressives discussed and resolved eons ago, but which conservatives are just now starting to grapple with thanks to people like St. Rudy. It's not the progressives' fault that we've moved on to other issues: global climate change, immigration, poverty, etc. To say that there are no divisions within the progressive community on these issues is, again, a totally baseless assertion.

Then he goes on about his pet issues for awhile, throws in some Strauss and Hayek, and calls it a day. All of which might be interesting reading if his basic premise wasn't so blindingly ignorant.


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