Monday, February 07, 2005

Academic Freedom and Help I'm Choking On A Pretzel!

Cooper makes me want to ask our usual question. It's not that he's quoting an excellent essay on the folly of a certain brand of identity politics. I agree(unless you're talking class identity), and not just because identity politics is the belt used by conservatives to whip liberals in the tuckus. But that ain't the point. Said essay is part of a takedown of one Ward Churchill(who it would seems actually deserves the takedown).

I have a different question. Why is it suddenly the job of "the left"(such as it might or might not be) to get together as one and condemn this or that point of view? Every time some loudmouth says something somewhat ludicrous, some moral high grounder jerk - left or right - gets on their high horse and demands the "left" denounce said person, be it Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Susan Sontag or even Eric Alterman(to pick a few at random).

Two points ought to be made to the high ground rushers. The first is that I'll start condeming outrageous outbursts on "the left" when everyone else on "the right" opens fire on David Brooks' sexism, Michelle Malkin's and Michael Savage's racism, the absurdity of Limbaugh or Hannity, and the savage un-American ravings of Ann Coulter. The second is that "the left" ought not be about the business of pack denunciations. We're supposed to be rational and free-thinking(or did I miss that class when I was in lefty school?) Unlike "dittoheads" or fans of Fox, we lack the need to select spokespeople - we can agree and disagree with the same person, even on the same day.

So Churchill's an ass? Not my problem, and not yours either.
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