I’ve pretty much moved on, but I liked this email from Jeff at Protein Wisdom:
I’ve had a couple of run-ins with Neiwert myself and you’re absolutely
right — he isn’t worth the expenditure of energy it takes to rebut
him, because he’ll ignore every rebuttal and then go right on
insisting you haven’t answered his (predictable, shopworn, automatic
– pick one) indictments.
In my case, the debate was over how conservatives are
“hypermasculinist” — a trope picked up by Glenn Greenwald, Professor
Rick Caric, and Reason “libertarian” Jim Henley (he of the, ‘I marched
with ANSWER, but that doesn’t mean I’m granting them legitimacy’ dodge).
In the course of our “debate,” Neiwert’s sole rhetorical maneuver –
one you, too, identify — is to rely on what he has internalized as
received truth. In short, he proceeds from question begging, and then
declares himself vindicated when he is then able to “prove” his
premise through the circular reasoning that seems to plague all
Unfortunately, such is the stuff of academic success these days –
when its anti-intellectualism should be enough to disqualify it from
polite society of thinkers.
But the inmates have taken over the asylum. Which, sadly, I learned
Keep up the good fight. It’s a shame that someone like Neiwert — who
essentially has internalized a couple of early 90s Stanley Fish
articles on how the “right” stole the magic words — is given license
to regurgitate the same nonsense a decade and a half later in a semi-
influential leftwing policy magazine.
But without Fish’s skill or flair, leaving the brushstrokes so exposed
as to be laughable.