The Corner

Taliban Wing & D’Souza

Here’s an interesting nugget to noodle. A few years ago it was pretty common to hear liberals refer to the “Taliban wing of the GOP.” The phrase is less common today, but the idea endures. Everyone from Rosie O’Donnell to Andrew Sullivan insists that there is much meat on this boneheaded comparison. As O’Donnell succinctly puts it, “radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America.” A spate of new books touting atheism, well received on the left, gild the same lily.

Anyway, along comes Dinesh’s book, which makes a similar comparison, only this time it’s the left which is the real Taliban wing in American politics. In response, Alan Wolfe famously insisted in The New York Times that D’Souza be shunned like an Amish tart for his anti-American effrontery, i.e. for daring to suggest that anyone on the left has anything in common — no matter how abstract or unintended — with terrorists and Islamic fundamentalists. No one took Wolfe seriously on that score. But, to date, not a single conservative of any prominence (as far as I’m aware) has endorsed D’Souza’s argument.

And yet, if you read some of the commentary out there, you’d think conservatives have something to apologize for. I don’t see it. We’ve come to the defense of our most despised political enemies, Michael Moore, Ted Kennedy et al. in response to D’Souza’s argument, while liberals see no need whatsoever to exert a fraction of the energy to denounce the widespread, if not quite conventional, view on the left that conservative Christians and Islamists are kindred threats.

Just something to ponder.

Update: I originally wrote “…Alan Wolfe famously insisted in The New York Times that D’Souza be shunt like an Amish tart for his anti-American effrontery…” Readers note it should be “shunned” and I’ve changed the spelling above. But in my defense, I was thinking of the pronunciation from Witness where the old man says “shunt.”

Update II: Apparently two prominent conservatives have endorsed D’Souza’s argument, George Gilder and David Klinghoffer, or so I am told.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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