Tuesday, December 07, 2004

So Smart He's Wrong!

Mickey Kaus predictably attacks Peter Beinart's bold call to arms to save liberalism. Why is Kaus's sniping predictable? Because Beinart is obviously right and Mickey's steroid-enhanced, super-capacity brain power would be wasted by simply concurring.

By way of argument, Kaus says, "Attacking Communism didn't threaten to radicalize billions of otherwise peaceable socialists the way frontally attacking Islamic fundamentalists threatens to radicalize billions of Muslims." First of all, even the most generous estimates only put the total world number of Muslims at about 1.2 billion, so Mickey should ramp down the hyperbole. (He's so excitable!) Second, who says that the Muslim population isn't already radicalized? If September 11, 2001 is what a non-agitated Muslim world looks like, then it seems as though we should be willing to risk further instigation in search of a solution.

Kaus also says, "If Communism had been a non-state ideology that embraced suicidal terrorism and was potentially adopted by billions of individuals and small groups with increasing access to weapons of mass death--individuals who could be whipped into anger by Internet-era media technology in the wake of anything that smacked of an 'assault on Communism'--the Cold War might have looked very different back in 1947." Billions? There he goes again. But in fact Communism did embrace much terrorism and was adopted by individuals and small groups from Cuba to Nicaragua to Vietnam, often with quite bad results.

But in other news, a close reading of the blogosphere this morning suggests that Kaus's latest poke at Andrew Sullivan has been well and truly joined. Hissss!


miklos rosza said...

Was Andrew Sullivan Mickey Kaus's editor at the New Republic? That might explain the tone.

Anonymous said...

Well I think Kaus was at TNR from the mid '80's to '95 while Sullivan was editor from 1991-96. But if Kaus was fired/forced to resign/decided to leave by/because of Sullivan why is the venom only creeping up now. I don't remember him making similar style comments on his blog before about nowish. Maybe Ann Coulter's been whispering stuff in Mickey's ear.