The Corner

I, Taliban

A reader pointed me to the Daily Beast’s review of Kos’ book. Particularly this excerpt:

 

The title of his book pretty much says it all. Moulitsas isn’t simply using an overheated metaphor when he refers to the “American Taliban.” He means it literally. “In their tactics and on the issues, our homegrown American Taliban are almost indistinguishable from the Afghan Taliban,” he writes in the introduction. And yet his evidence never amounts to much more than putting something an American conservative said beside something similar an Islamic radical said, and declaring that they are “clearly” or “obviously” connected: “That fear clearly binds the American Taliban to their Islamic cousins,” or “That sentiment is obviously no different than O’Reilly’s view” (emphasis mine). Moulitsas frequently uses adverbs in place of argumentation, and sometimes you wonder, if everything is so clear and obvious, why Moulitsas felt the need to write the book in the first place.

I suspect the answer to that question has something to do with watching writers like Jonah Goldberg and Dinesh D’Souza grow fat in recent years by painting liberals with as broad a brush as possible in their books Liberal Fascism and The Enemy at Home (the latter of which Moulitsas correctly calls “a dirty bomb in the national conversation”). American Taliban reads like Moulitsas’s game of “I’m rubber, you’re glue.” Who, you might ask, is a member of the “American Taliban”? Well, Goldberg and D’Souza, for starters. More prominently, there are the Tony Perkinses, Pat Robertsons, and Jerry Falwells—Christian Right boneheads who might rightfully be described as being more comfortable, with a change of iconography, in Riyadh than Manhattan. There’s also Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI and Orly Taitz, who is Jewish. At times, George W. Bush is “one of their own American Taliban members”; at other times, he is an “ally” of the American Taliban; and at yet other times, he is seemingly opposed to it, as when he defends Islam against hateful right-wing attacks. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rep. Ron Paul also fall under the Taliban umbrella, as do local obscurities like the vice-chairwoman of the Committee on Elections and Local Government in the Kansas State Senate. Throughout the book, Moulitsas keeps widening the group until you realize that he means it to include nearly every conservative.

I was all ready to get my Jonah Goldberg: American Taliban business cards printed up. But I searched inside the book over at Amazon (you didn’t think I was going to buy it, did you?), and all I found were a couple paragraphs (lamely) criticizing me for my views on Battlestar Galactica.

Oh well.

I do wonder what Mullah Omar thinks of BSG, though.

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