Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Bush Hating Addendum

Esteemed neocon pundit David Brooks, the NY Times op-ed's newest hire, today blasts Bush Hating, even quoting Jonanthan Chait's column at length to support his idea of virulent Anti-Bushism as the most pernicious kind of liberal self-delusion. Nice try, except Brooks completely missed the point of Chait's column. (See Chait's rebuttal here.) Chait's piece, more than anything, is an honest attempt at self-analysis. The starting point is: "why do I harbor these emotions, and are they justified?" You may disagree with Chait's conclusions, but it's hard to argue that honest self-analysis isn't a good thing -- at least intellectually (politically, liberals' tendency toward self-analysis and self-criticism is one reason why they tend to cannibalize one another). Isn't self-analysis -- or at least reflection -- what Brooks is demanding from liberals? Too bad self-analysis has become a foreign activity for right-wingers, where intellectual honesty has been in very short supply. But a whole cottage industry has sprung up to identify and mock right-wing hypocrisy -- an easy exercise, that -- so let's leave that one alone.