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Things I find amusing

There is so much joy out here on the inter-web:

  1. Andrew McCarthy's contention that The New Republic is not only "liberal" but part of "the Left." Yes, left with a capital "L." That's Peter Beinart for you.
  2. Steven den Beste's failure to adequately sum up "the contrast between form and substance in all its many manifestations." That's a budding Aristotle they've got up there.
That said, I think it might be fair to say that TNR tends to be liberal in substance, but not in form. Something to ponder.

July 13, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

God that preface is hilarious.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jul 14, 2004 12:11:56 AM

While item two is funny, den Beste's bitchy little postscript is oddly enough a succinct (and whouda thought SdB capable of such restraint) sign that he still don’t get it. We await the 5,000 word “essay” on defending the indefensible from him rather like we await the proverbial hangnail. Though it'll be more amusing.

Posted by: Andy | Jul 14, 2004 12:33:32 AM

I don't care what they say about Matthew Yglesias sloppy blogging, I think it's a crafty attempt to feign demotic immediacy by him to self-consciously substitute "adequate" for "adequately". [Dammit the period after the quotation mark makes more sense.]

Posted by: epistemology | Jul 14, 2004 1:04:10 AM

Den Beste is just hoping for the day when they unearth a series of manuscripts from John Locke discussing anime.

And now I realise, in a flash of inspiration, that Den Beste is not actually a real person, but the reincarnation of Martinus Scriblerus for the modern age.

Posted by: nick | Jul 14, 2004 2:07:26 AM

Crooked Timber readers will know that Den Beste isn't the blogosphere's Aristotle, he's the blogosphere's Hegel.

Posted by: Kieran | Jul 14, 2004 2:35:30 AM

As Andrew Sullivan says, TNR is "Classical Liberal". That means 19th Century Liberal. Basically, they're against slavery.

Posted by: SixFootPole | Jul 14, 2004 2:57:23 AM

Boy, McCarthy's work has really gone downhill since "Weekend at Bernie's," hasn't it?

Posted by: Matt Davis | Jul 14, 2004 8:34:41 AM

Oh, lord, even in jest, let's not compare the likes of Den Beste with Aristotle. And please, Den Beste's 'Murkans, Chocolate Eaters, and Islamofascists triangle is Hegelian only in the crudest sense. The idea that Americans, particularly the incompetent crew pushing faith-based policy for the past three years, are somehow more empirically minded than Europeans is absurd. Den Beste is a Flatlander trying in vain to understand Spaceland.

Posted by: Bragan | Jul 14, 2004 9:07:03 AM

McCarthy does not say that TNR is part of the Left, he just indicates they're buying into the Left's perceptions. And certainly in this instance (the much-feared "July surprise") it's true. I'd generally put TNR down as moderate liberal, but when they get start publishing fever swamp stuff it's hard to defend the moderate part.

Posted by: Brainster | Jul 14, 2004 12:00:30 PM

If TNR is part of the Left, it's the Zionist, pro-welfare reform ("Sign It"), anti-affirmative action, believes that Roe v Wade was wrongly decided, beating the war drums for Iraq (both times) part of the Left.

McCarthy's problem, of course, is that he is p-whipped for Molly Ringwald. Seriously, the dude should employ the middle initial. That's what it's there for (c.f., Westinghouse CEO Michael A. (?) Jordan).

Posted by: son volt | Jul 14, 2004 12:14:07 PM

I think you hurt SDB's feelings:

"Matt Yglesias seems to be hard up for things to be smug and condescending about ... How is that paragraph a failure?"

Posted by: praktike | Jul 14, 2004 1:19:08 PM

Brainster has successfully demonstrated the absurdity of the obsession with left-right distinctions. TNR found multiple sources in Pakistani intelligence for the July surprise. That puts it in the realm of facts. Unless "fever swamp stuff" is new slang for "reality"?

Posted by: Walt Pohl | Jul 14, 2004 1:46:15 PM

"I was going to write an article today. I really was. I've been composing one about the contrast between form and substance in all its many manifestations."

Matt Y was simply disappointed that SdB was distracted, and has not yet enlightened us. Matt is a spoilsport of questionable tastes, for I read the entire anime review. Agree that "Ghost" and "Akira" are indeed at the top of the genre.

I was disappointed with the shortage of hentai in the SdB library.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jul 14, 2004 3:14:21 PM

It's seemed to me for a while that TNR was liberal on every issue except whatever issue is the most important at a certain time, in other words they are liberal on everything except whatever their liberalism might actually have an impact on (the Iraq war, affirmative action, whatever).

Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Jul 14, 2004 3:32:39 PM

Sums up the difference from people who study, and those who do:

The idea that Americans, particularly the incompetent crew pushing faith-based policy for the past three years, are somehow more empirically minded than Europeans is absurd.

This cat's a studier.

Posted by: Rawsnacks | Jul 14, 2004 4:48:57 PM

Steven's alright.

Posted by: j.scott barnard | Jul 14, 2004 4:57:44 PM

Steve's a misogynist idiot.

Posted by: dzd | Jul 15, 2004 9:59:05 AM

You're a very bright young man Matthew, don't cheapen yourself by making cheap shots.

Also, re: "to adequately sum up": why not stop splitting infinitives? It's not hard.

Posted by: Sam Spade | Jul 15, 2004 1:18:15 PM

As I've been saying for some time, TNR is a partisan magazine in search of a party.

Posted by: Crank | Jul 15, 2004 1:44:59 PM

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