Well, I’ve received a lot of emailers of the leftist persuasion about my chicken clucks. Some are thoughtful, polite and well-taken. Others less so. Much…less…so.
Here’s the thing folks: I’m not talking about you people. While I’d love for you to buy the book and engage it, my point wasn’t about lay readers who — absent reviews — can be forgiven for judging a book by its title. It was about editors, writers and bloggers. Some readers have made the perfectly fair point that it’s still early and the serious reviews are not quite overdue yet. As I said, there’s fairness to this point and arguing about it would bog down in mechanics of how books get reviewed and when.
But that’s not really an excuse for serious liberal bloggers who can write as the spirit moves. Some — many — liberal readers say serious liberal bloggers are ignoring it because it’s not a serious book. Aside from being factually untrue and aside from the fact the people saying this are doing so without having read it, it’s still not a good excuse. Ramesh has a well-deserved reputation on the right as among the best we’ve got. This is well known. It’s why The New Republic actually ran an excerpt from the book and why he gets invited to write for the NYT op-ed page. If P.O.D. were as unserious as so many people think the title is, this would be a wonderful opportunity to prove it, to take Ramesh down a peg by ridiculing his lightweight reasoning and ad hominem attacks on liberals! And all of us who’ve touted the book would be made to look silly too. But, you see it’s not a Michael Savage book. Nor is it an O’Reilly book. So instead we get angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin arguments about the cover and the blurbs.
In other words, if it’s as serious as conservatives say it is (and as his reputation would indicate), intellectual integrity demands a serious liberal response. If, on the other hand, it’s as shabby and lightweight as liberals insinuate it is (sight unseen), then it strikes me as more than implausible that the ideological hyenas on the other side wouldn’t want to pounce on it.