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ABC Smear Piece

Andrew Sullivan links to an article at ABC News that he calls a vile little smear story about Howard Dean.

A state trooper named Dennis Madore is apparently a domestic abuse case. He was also in charge of Howard Dean’s security.

I read the entire piece very carefully. And I can’t for the life of me find any evidence that Dean did a single thing wrong.

Just below the headline, in typical Watergate fashion:

What Did He Know About Abuse Allegations; When Did He Know It?

According the article, Dean didn’t know anything. It’s guilt by association.

Vile little smear piece indeed.

Quote of the Day

Dennis Miller:

I’ve always been a pragmatist. If two gay guys want to get married, it’s none of my business. I could care less. More power to them. I’m happy when people fall in love. But if some idiot foreign terrorist wants to blow up their wedding to make a political statement, I would rather kill him before he can do it, or have my country kill him before he can do it, instead of having him do it and punishing him after the fact. If that makes me a right-wing fanatic, I will bask in that assignation.

Via Glenn Reynolds.

Why We Went to Iraq

Some say we went to Iraq to get Saddam Hussein’s weapons. Others say we’re there to establish a foothold of democracy in the Middle East. A smaller number say it was our exit strategy from Saudi Arabia.

All those reasons are valid. A good decision is rarely right for one reason alone. Good decisions can be justified on all manner of different grounds.

Still, there is one over-riding reason we went to war in Iraq, and it’s the one reason hardly anyone wants to talk about. It isn’t even remotely politically correct or nice or diplomatic. But that’s just too bad. Life isn’t a game of Model UN.

The real reason can be explained in two ways. First, here is Banagor (via Winds of Change).

The reason we are fighting this war is not because nineteen hijackers crashed into a burning building and a handful of others cheered, but because the entire Muslim world not only cheered, but then turned around, pointed at “The Jews” and said that it was their fault, denied they ever did it, denied that it ever could be them, screamed that they hated us anyway, danced in the streets, printed up posters about the heroes who did the deed all while denying they ever really did, and then increased their threats to tell us that if they didn’t get more capitulations that it would happen yet again.

And here is Thomas Friedman in Slate.

The real reason for this war—which was never stated—was to burst what I would call the “terrorism bubble,” which had built up during the 1990s.

This bubble was a dangerous fantasy, believed by way too many people in the Middle East. This bubble said that it was OK to plow airplanes into the World Trade Center, commit suicide in Israeli pizza parlors, praise people who do these things as “martyrs,” and donate money to them through religious charities. This bubble had to be burst, and the only way to do it was to go right into the heart of the Arab world and smash something—to let everyone know that we, too, are ready to fight and die to preserve our open society. Yes, I know, it’s not very diplomatic—it’s not in the rule book—but everyone in the neighborhood got the message: Henceforth, you will be held accountable. Why Iraq, not Saudi Arabia or Pakistan? Because we could—period. Sorry to be so blunt, but, as I also wrote before the war: Some things are true even if George Bush believes them.

Yeah, I know. This is dangerous bloodthirsty warmonger stuff penned by everyone’s favorite New York Times punching bag. That doesn’t make it not so. Some things are true even if Thomas Friedman believes them.

We have Gaddafi capitulating over weapons of mass destruction. The Iranian mullahs and the nutcase in North Korea are backing down (at least in public) on their own weapons procurement. And now via Roger L. Simon we learn that Syria’s Bashar Assad splits with Hezbollah and offers to negotiate with Israel without preconditions.

It isn’t at all likely that Boy Assad would suddenly cave if Saddam Hussein had successfully stood down America.

Fighting a war in Iraq may very well prevent us from fighting other wars someplace else. Getting tough gets results.

And as Dennis Miller recently said on CNN:

I feel more politically engaged than I’ve ever felt in my life because I do think we live in dangerous times, and anybody who looks at the world and says this is the time to be a wuss—I can’t buy that anymore.

Tilting At Blandsville

When I was a teenager in sleepy Salem, Oregon my friends and I (who are still my friends today) stirred up trouble to break the ennui.

We rigged up complicated traps for cars in our residential neighborhood. They involving fishing line, beer cans, and a lawn sprinkler. (Don’t ask.) We dismantled street signs (I know, I know) and tore up the rival school’s football field with the parents’ Thunderbird.

I can’t do stuff like that anymore. Well, I can, but I’m married, have a professional job, and live in a house with a yard and two cats. So I try to act like an adult whenever that’s possible.

Sometimes I miss the days when I could get away with being a prankster. We were busted by cops for every above infraction and more, but not much ever happened to us. I wouldn’t go back, but still.

Christopher Hitchens likes to go back. In his own way.

Is Fun City turning into Blandsville? So says rumpled Vanity Fair scribe Christopher Hitchens, who laments the mayor’s quality-of-life initiatives as the product of “the tiny Bloombergian mind.”

Hitchens, a British-born gadfly and barfly who once penned a takedown biography of Mother Teresa, spent a recent afternoon trashing all sorts of city and state laws, an account of which appears in the issue available Wednesday.

Wearing a disheveled suit and shades, Hitchens squatted on a milk crate in the subway, rode a bike without his feet touching the pedals, fed Central Park pigeons and puffed his way across the city in wheezy protest of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s smoking ban.

For all this lawbreaking, he received nary a warning.

Bloomberg’s staff shot back that most of the laws Hitchens ridiculed were passed before the mayor took office in 2002.

“This current Niagara of pettiness and random victimization may well be Bloomberg’s attempt at a wannabe reputation as heroic crime-fighter and disciplinarian,” writes Hitchens. “One of the world’s most broad-minded and open cities is now in the hands of a picknose control freak.”

Some people will probably look at this and think Hitch is just getting attention. I think he does it because it’s fun.

UPDATE: Michele Catalano has more on the Bloombergian mind.

Mainstreaming the Fringe

Wesley Clark is supposed to be the alternative to Howard Dean. He’s the man with a military uniform who projects an image – an image – of credibility on national security.

Here is Jay Nordlinger:

In a recent column, I attributed the following comment to [Wesley Clark]: that President Bush “is more concerned about the success of Halliburton than having a success strategy in Iraq.” The Associated Press reported that Clark had said it; Reuters reported that his spokesman, Chris Lehane, had said it. It seems that it was Lehane.

Either way, the remark is in perfect harmony with current Clarkian rhetoric.

The general has told us, “I’m one of those people who doesn’t believe in occupying countries to extract their natural resources. I think you buy them on the world market.”

I agree with Wesley Clark. We should never occupy countries to extract their natural resources. I mean, for crying out loud, what kind of person could support such a policy? Thank goodness I’ve never heard a single person say they do, never read a single column by any writer supporting anything like it.

The problem, of course, is that Wesley Clark is obviously implying that some people do think we ought to invade other countries to steal their resources. And we all know who that is. Iraq was all about ooooooil. According to Wesley Clark.

But let’s not photoshop a tin-foil hat onto the general just yet.

I don’t believe for a minute that Wesley Clark has bought what he’s selling. This is a cynical Say-Anything-To-Get-Elected moment. He’s trying to siphon votes from Howard Dean.

That’s what politicians do. But he’s mainstreaming the fringe while he’s at it.

Try to imagine mainstream Republican candidates ranting about Satanic Darwinists on school boards and black helicopters in Montana. The moderate middle would scramble to the left as fast as you can say boo!

The 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston was really something. This was where Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan declared a fundamentalist Culture War on America. Blame Ross Perot on Bill Clinton’s ’92 victory if you want to. But that turkey show in Houston kept me and a lot of other people out of the GOP for a decade.

Wesley Clark and his rival Howard Dean are doing what the Republicans did twelve years ago – stirring up the fringe for votes and attention. They are letting loose forces that will not soon vanish, that cannot be accomodated, that will be their own undoing.

I know of so many people who have never supported Republicans who are shaken and disillusioned by what is happening to the Democrats. I don’t know of a single person, anywhere, who is moving the other direction.

The damage will last a long time.

UPDATE: Mithras says I took Clark’s quote out of context. Here is the full context. Okay, so Clark was referring to the occupation rather than the invasion. Still, saying we are occupying Iraq to extract resources is hardly less batty than saying we invaded Iraq to extract resources. Either way, I still don’t think Clark believes what he’s saying. He’s pandering. And he’s pandering to the fringe.

Oliver Willis thinks that because I found Clark’s quote from Jay Nordlinger my entire argument is invalid.

Michael Totten masters alchemy in the act of extracting the idea from stone that Democrats are becoming extremists – get this – from a National Review story…Newsmax says Tom Daschle eats baby’s brains. It must be true.

The same quote can be found at clark04.com. Oliver, you may not like National Review but they aren’t in the habit of making up quotes from scratch.

UPDATE: Nathan Hamm and Randal Robinson comment.

Unilateralism to the Rescue

Here is Victor Davis Hanson on the fruits of American unilateralism in 1973.

Thirty years ago, during the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, most of the Europeans of the NATO alliance refused over-flight rights to the United States. We had only hours in which to aid Israel from a multifaceted surprise attack and were desperately ferrying tons of supplies to save it from literal extinction. In contrast, many of these same allies allowed the Soviet Union — the supposed common enemy from which thousands of Americans were based in Europe to protect Europeans — to fly over NATO airspace to ensure the Syrians sufficient material to launch and sustain their surprise attack on the Golan.

American “unilateralism” in those days meant acting alone not to let Israel perish. Had we gone “multilateral” and listened to our NATO allies — Germany, France, Greece, and Turkey all prohibited American planes from flying supplies in their space in transit to Tel-Aviv — there would be no Israel today at all.

Whoops

Via Dr. Frank and Mary at Exit Zero comes this “story” in the Washington Post.

AP Kills Limbaugh Painkillers Story

The Associated Press

Saturday, January 3, 2004; 5:06 PM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Please kill the story Limbaugh-Painkillers, V9991.

Rush Limbaugh has not been charged with doctor shopping.

A kill is mandatory.

Make certain the story is not used.

This is posted at the Washington Post as a news article. Who knows how long it will be there? But it’s there at the time of this posting.

Mistakes like this can happen even at the best newspapers. What’s really downright strange about this is that the “story” has a dateline, and a copy-editor actually put a headline on it.

History and Total War

When I was a teenager and first learned about the Holocaust, something precious and small, not hope but perhaps faith, slipped away and was lost to me forever.

I have read about it in books. I have seen it in movies by Polanski and Spielberg and Benigni. My maternal grandfather was shot (but not killed) by the Nazis. My mother went to grade school on an American base in Germany during de-Nazification. Still, almost everything I know is third-hand. I’ve never met a Holocaust survivor, at least not knowingly. It was not so long ago, but it was before my time. It feels remote, though it is not.

Our country is still embroiled in the moral arguments of war. For some of us, the Holocaust hangs around out back. The Islamofascist jihad has already killed millions (not thousands) in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, and Sudan. Most of us didn’t notice so long as far-away foreigners were the ones doing the dying. But when it arrived with apocalyptic fury in the heart of our own cities, we had neither cause nor the right to remain neutral or passive.

We’re still arguing about Iraq after the fact. And sometimes this discussion seems so petty. Compared to other people and ourselves in other times, we are spoiled. The Holocaust informs my view, but what we have suffered is nothing – nothing – nearly as bad as that.

Even if you opposed intervening in Iraq, surely you realize that some moral good has come out of it; a tyrant is gone. And we didn’t need to nuke Baghdad to get him out.

The perceived immorality of our action may weigh heavily on your soul. But it’s nothing compared to what we might have to face if our goal of limited war for democracy fails.

Do you want to know what a truly terrible moral dilemma looks like? Read this interview with left-wing Israeli historian Benny Morris in the liberal Israeli daily Ha’aretz. (Via Allison Kaplan Sommer and Roger L. Simon.)

“Ben-Gurion was a transferist. He understood that there could be no Jewish state with a large and hostile Arab minority in its midst. There would be no such state. It would not be able to exist.”

I don’t hear you condemning him.

“Ben-Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did, a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it. Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here.”

Benny Morris, for decades you have been researching the dark side of Zionism. You are an expert on the atrocities of 1948. In the end, do you in effect justify all this? Are you an advocate of the transfer of 1948?

“There is no justification for acts of rape. There is no justification for acts of massacre. Those are war crimes. But in certain conditions, expulsion is not a war crime. I don’t think that the expulsions of 1948 were war crimes. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands.”

We are talking about the killing of thousands of people, the destruction of an entire society.

“A society that aims to kill you forces you to destroy it. When the choice is between destroying or being destroyed, it’s better to destroy.”

There is something chilling about the quiet way in which you say that.

“If you expected me to burst into tears, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I will not do that.”

So when the commanders of Operation Dani are standing there and observing the long and terrible column of the 50,000 people expelled from Lod walking eastward, you stand there with them? You justify them?

“I definitely understand them. I understand their motives. I don’t think they felt any pangs of conscience, and in their place I wouldn’t have felt pangs of conscience. Without that act, they would not have won the war and the state would not have come into being.”

You do not condemn them morally?

“No.”

They perpetrated ethnic cleansing.

“There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing. I know that this term is completely negative in the discourse of the 21st century, but when the choice is between ethnic cleansing and genocide – the annihilation of your people – I prefer ethnic cleansing.”

And that was the situation in 1948?

“That was the situation. That is what Zionism faced.”

That is what total war against a jihad looks like. That is the terrible moral equation we Americans might one day have to face if our morally attractive liberation strategy doesn’t work.

We in the West have not seen total war since the defeat of the Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. We have not had to explode nuclear weapons. We have not had to firebomb large urban centers to make a ferocious enemy capitulate.

But war is part of the world, and total war may be in our future again. Total war is being waged as we speak by Palestinians against the Israelis. Don’t be so sure we are finished with it forever.

Some Americans and many more Europeans have convinced themselves that total war is a thing of the past, that we in the modern world have moved beyond such nasty necessities. But human nature is eternal. History does not stop. As Robert Kaplan put it in the opening of a recent book: There is no modern world.

UPDATE: Benny Morris visited Berkeley recently to give a lecture. The Berkeley crowd has swooned over Morris in the past, but they were not very happy with him this time. Judith Weiss has the details.

Homage to Catalonia

In the next post down is a mention of George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. You can read the entire book online here if you have that much patience.

Dean Hate

Over-the-top Bush-hatred is matched by over-the-top Dean-hatred.

In the new Club for Growth ad, a farmer says, “Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading …,” as his wife finishes, “… Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs!”

Last year I voted (kicking and screaming) for a local tax increase for schools that lost money due to the recession. (Oregon got hit hardest of all 50 states.) I drink at least one latte a day. I eat sushi once in a while. I like Volvos and I read the New York Times. I also think Hollywood makes some of the best movies ever (along with some of the worst). I’ve never been to Vermont, but it is often compared to my own state of Oregon which I truly and dearly love.

So count the number of ways people just like me were screamed at in the new anti-Dean ad. Count the number of ways the right’s new bigoted ad disgusts me.

From the same article:

As to the shocking latte-drinking charge, it should be noted that Vermont has just two Starbucks stores. Iowa has eight. Texas, the home state of President Bush, has 395.

Downtown Portland alone has 395 Starbucks, which is not quite enough as far as I’m concerned. Free advice to GOP strategists: Don’t play that ad in my state.

(Via Jeff Jarvis, who just keeps getting linked around here.)

Martian Ground

One of the sharpest images ever taken on the surface of Mars, via the Washington Post.

Purging as Damage Control

Ideological lockdown is a symptom of a movement in decline.

Witness:

Jeff Jarvis mentions in passing that he is a Democrat, and out came the witch-hunters saying he isn’t actually a liberal at all.

Oliver Willis says in the comments

Seriously, stop presenting yourself as a “liberal” by any stretch of the imagination Jeff.

Jeff answers him further down.

Who the hell made you the holder of the definition of liberal?

And how dare you put yourself above to decree who and who isn’t liberal? That’s really quite haughty. Very unliberal, I’d say.

Want to hear what I say about health insurance… abortion… gun control… welfare… and, most importantly, human rights (even the rights of Iraqis).

Hell, I’ll bet on many scales I’m more liberal than Howard Dean.

You don’t know what you’re talking about because what you’re talking about is me. So don’t presume to label me, mister. I find that insulting and offensive.

Jeff’s detractors are annoyed that he isn’t a party-line team player. But you know, folks, politics isn’t a game of football, nor is it war. It is okay if you think the other side is right once in a while (most people do, after all), and it’s also okay for a writer, any writer, to focus on whichever topics he or she chooses. Just because Jeff would rather write about new media and foreign policy instead of conventional liberal domestic issues doesn’t mean he doesn’t hold liberal views on those questions he puts in second or third place.

Regular readers of this site know that I can relate to Jeff’s experience and frustration. And the end result of all this has been for me to finally agree and say to heck with it, I’m not one of you after all. I’m an Independent now. And despite the fact that I still hold several liberal opinions, I no longer feel any sense of loyalty or affection for the Democratic Party.

Purging non-conformists might make you feel good, but it doesn’t help your side an iota.

I can’t help but think the intended audience for public heretic-banishing isn’t the target him or herself. It’s the heretic-banisher’s comrades. People on the losing side of political arguments know their support is bleeding away, so dissidents are furiously denounced as an object lesson for anyone else who might waver. It’s a form of damage control, which is why they don’t care if the tactic doesn’t make them any new friends.

UPDATE: Jeff Jarvis has more here, and he’s not very happy about it.

UPDATE: Armed Liberal jumps in, too. He asks the heretic-banishers to read George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, one of the best books ever written about the left by a leftist. What does Orwell’s book have to do with this political scrap? (Hint: It’s about left-wing anti-fascists, the Spanish Civil War, and the purge of dissident leftists by Josef Stalin.)

UPDATE: Photodude (who takes and posts better pictures than I probably ever will) joins the fray as well. He once invited me to join his Fence Party, and I accepted because the people in the middle make the most sense to me. At least for now.

UPDATE: Jeff at Caerdroia also prefers the middle. Unlike me, he was driven to the center by the excesses of the right.

Editors Wanted

2003 was a great year for writing. I fired up my blog in the second week of January and it took off far beyond what I expected. One of my articles was published in the Wall Street Journal’s online Opinion Journal, and Nick Shulz was kind enough to let me write a series of pieces for him at Tech Central Station.

I am tremendously grateful to all the other bloggers who link to my site, to the editors who took a chance and published my work, and most of all to everyone who shows up to read what I have to say.

This year I’d like to ramp it up. I have plenty of time to write. Who says I need to clean the house? (Um, your wife — ed.) And I’d like more of my work to appear in print and in other online publications.

Make no mistake. I still plan to write for Tech Central Station as long as Nick Shulz will have me. He is a terrific editor and I’m not looking to replace my working relationship with him for one with somebody else. What I want to do is expand.

So if you’re an editor who is looking for new writing talent and think my work might be a nice fit, please, by all means, write me a letter and let’s talk. Most of what I write is political commentary from a centrist perspective, and like I said, I have plenty of time to write. After a great 2003, 2004 is no time to sit back and stagnate.

And to my readers (bless you all), I’m not shutting down the blog any time soon. There is nothing like push-button publishing with instant feedback. Besides, I’m having way too much fun to quit now.

(Sincere thanks to Glenn Reynolds, Roger L. Simon, and Jeff Jarvis for their advice and support.)

Liberals and Leftists

Several times in this space I’ve said that liberals are not leftists. Each time I received at least one email from a reader asking me to explain myself. And each time I promised to answer online.

So here it is, the explanation I’ve put off for too long.

First of all, I want to get the traditional definition of liberal out of the way.

Broadly defined, a liberal is a person who believes in social, political, and economic freedom. In the United States, both major parties are liberal. Most members of both support democracy, civil and human rights, and a market economy.

Each party is more liberal than the other in certain ways. Today the Republicans are more likely to defend the rights of individuals to make stupid bigoted comments otherwise known as “hate speech,” customers to smoke cigarettes in restaurants, citizens to carry hand guns, and proprietors to operate businesses with minimal regulation. Democrats are more likely to champion the right of gays to marry, individuals to grow marijuana, criminals not to be executed, consenting adults to do as they please in their homes, and suspected terrorists to have an attorney.

Not all these positions are popular. Some aren’t popular at all. But that isn’t the point. Both parties champion freedom in different ways, and they do it on principle. Both parties have different liberal priorities, but they’re both generally liberal.

In conventional political terminology, liberal is often used as a stand-in for Democrat, just as conservative is often used as a stand-in for Republican. But liberal still has that traditional meaning so, as Steven Den Beste likes to point out, it is possible to be both a liberal and a conservative at the same time.

To be sure, there are liberal Republicans like Arnold Schwarznegger and there are conservative Democrats like Zell Miller. But for the most part, in the conventional sense, liberal means Democrat. And these are the liberals I have in mind when I say that liberals are not leftists.

The liberal agenda, or the platform of the Democratic Party, changes over time, as does the character of people we refer to as leftists. But the line which divides liberals from leftists remains mostly unchanged. And it is this:

A liberal (substitute with Democrat if you want to) believes in reform. And a leftist supports revolution. Liberals (Democrats) are the left-wing of the Establishment. Leftists are radicals who seek to overthrow the Establishment (either through violence or the ballot box) and replace it with something else.

Winston Churchill once outlined some differences between liberalism and socialism, socialism being leftist. Though his words date back to the early part of the 20th Century, they’re as true today as they were then.

Liberalism is not Socialism, and never will be. There is a great gulf fixed. It is not a gulf of method, it is a gulf of principle. [...] Socialism seeks to pull down wealth. Liberalism seeks to raise up poverty. Socialism would destroy private interests; Liberalism would preserve private interests in the only way in which they can be safely and justly preserved, namely by reconciling them with public right. Socialism would kill enterprise; Liberalism would rescue enterprise from the trammels of privilege and preference [...] Socialism exalts the rule; Liberalism exalts the man. Socialism attacks capital; Liberalism attacks monopoly.

Liberals and leftists are still, as ever, broadly separated as reformers versus revolutionaries and radicals. In today’s American political landscape, liberals and leftists differ in more specific and easier-to-recognize ways.

Liberals fly the American flag. Leftists burn it.

Liberals see America as the land of opportunity and freedom. Leftists see America as the bastion of Imperialism, Racism, and Oppression.

Liberals want higher taxes on the rich because it’s fairer to the middle and working classes. Leftists want to soak the rich out of class hatred.

Liberals want universal access to health care while leaving the system as market-driven as possible. Leftists would destroy the health care industry altogether and replace it with a state-run monopoly.

Liberals want to ban clear-cutting. Leftists want to ban the logging industry.

Liberals support globalization and trade and see it as an opportunity for economic growth and also as an opportunity to boost labor and environmental standards in the Third World. Leftists hate trade because they think it’s all about the West raping the rest.

Liberals blame the September 11 attacks on religious and political extremism in the Middle East. Leftists blame the September 11 attacks on America.

Liberals root for success in Iraq whether they supported the invasion or not. Leftists hope (either publicly or secretly) that America will lose and “learn a lesson.”

Liberals support the right of Israel to defend itself. Leftists support the Palestinian intifada.

Liberals support the troops. Leftists support the Iraqi Baathist resistance and put “terrorism” in sneer quotes.

Liberals support mainstream Democratic Party candidates in primary elections. Leftists support fringe candidates or a third party (Communists, Socialists, or Greens) to the left of the Democrats.

Liberals who marched against the Iraq war are disturbed by the Stalinism of the rally organizers in International ANSWER. Leftists view ANSWER as comrades or are unmoved by its agenda.

Some of today’s prominent leftists include Dennis Kucinich, Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Ted Rall, and Gore Vidal. The range of prominent leftist publications includes Z Magazine, Counterpunch, Adbusters, and The Nation.

Some of today’s prominent liberals include Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt, Al Franken, and Salman Rushdie. The range of prominent liberal publications includes The American Prospect, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Salon, and The New Republic.

Whenever I’ve mentioned that liberals are not leftists, I did so in one of two contexts. I was either criticizing leftists at the exclusion of liberals, or I was defending liberals against attacks by conservatives who lumped them in with leftists.

I’m sure plenty of people will disagree with me about specifics. I don’t think this ought to be the last word on the subject. But even a polemicist like Ann Coulter must know, on some level, that the views of Noam Chomsky and Tom Daschle don’t differ in degree, but in kind. The interesting argument is about where, not whether, to draw the line.

UPDATE: Matthew Stinson has more on this theme.

UPDATE: Donald Sensing comments, too.

Ego Link

Tim Blair’s feisty new piece in the Australian Daily Telegraph begins with a breakfast cereal theme and moves on to the sane and the insane left.

Oh, and he mentions me, too.

(A side note to Tim: I’m not really a part of the sane left anymore. I’m either an independent, a moderate, a centrist, or an objectively pro-Bush yeehaw flag-waving nationalistic warmonger, depending on where you sit.)

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