Here’s the begining of Ezra’s response :
INTELLECTUALLY GROTESQUE INDEED! Jonah Goldberg apparently cannot distinguish between arguments about suboptimal economic outcomes of private monopsonies and those dismissing cowardly opera house owners as something less than an existential threat to speech. Truly, it’s a subtle distinction, and Jonah should not in any way feel bad about missing it.
Me: Get me to my fainting couch! I’ve had the words suboptimal and monopsonies thrown at me! I just must be wrong!
He can mock all he like. And he can claim I didn’t understand this or that. But his basic original point was to minimize the violent intimidation of an opera by making it sound no more significant than cancelling an opera on account of bad weather; “Happens all the time.” My point about various and sundry monopsonies (AKA Wal-Mart) was that Ezra can wax lyrical when he talks about the tyranny of legal and peaceful extra-governmental power when it suits his purposes. But when actual, murderous, extra-governmental power is at work — i.e. terrorism — he’s all blasé and dismissive. I think that’s intellectually grotesque and nothing in Ezra’s silly retort diminishes my conviction on that score.
By the way, in his original post, he went on to say:
More importantly, the merry racists over at Little Green Footballs aren’t pumping the Idomeneo controversy because they’re deeply committed to artistic freedom. These are David Horowitz acolytes, after all. They’re doing it because it furthers their other political ends. They’re doing it for the same reasons Bush noticed the oppression of Afghani women after 9/11, or the right remembered Hussein had human rights abuses when they decided to attack Iraq. Painting Arabs as beastly and illiberal fits their expansionist political agenda, which calls for sustained, often violent confrontation with the Arab world.
Few liberals want any part in that foreign policy agenda. And so few liberals have any interest in buttressing the administration’s supporting arguments.
This, too, is intellectually grotesque. Putting aside all of the dubious assertions of racism, the whiff of anti-imperial paranoia, or the fraudulent notion that the right never cared about Saddam’s abuses, his basic position boils down to “Liberals don’t want to tell the truth about evil because the Bush administration makes similar arguments about evil. And a bunch of people we don’t like who never have good motives are condemning evil. Therefore we’ll minimize or ignore evil because we don’t want to support their arguments. Besides, our motives are always pure.”
Yuck.Update: From a reader:
and “Jonah should not in any way feel bad about missing it.”?
How very Sorkin!