Friday, October 11, 2002

Charles Pierce writes to Alterman:

PS:I don't envy you those cocktail cruises with the folks from The Nation any more, what with Hitchens and now Ron Rosenbaum giving the old magazine a swift kick on the way out the door. (My take on Christopher, whom I met only once 20 years ago: his defense of Rushdie was pretty goddamn noble; his work from Bosnia should've won about 200 awards, and he was one of the several hundred people-friend and foe-whom Bill Clinton drove crazy.) Sorry to see Ron walk down that now-banal path trod by so many lesser journalists, although I am glad that some of his best friends still are Negroes and folksingers. I am intrigued, however, by the assertion made by both he and Hitchens that John Ashcroft's public evisceration of Amendments Four through Six, while deplorable, are not as bad as they could be. Christopher says we should be more afraid of Osama bin Laden and Ron says Big John is not as bad as Castro. So, that is another way the world has changed: all we need in an Attorney General of the United States is that he not be as frightening as a mass murderer nor as brutal as a senile authoritarian. Bar's pretty low, there, isn't it? A. Mitchell Palmer, come on down.
What I am intrigued by is the fact that -- pace David Brock. Nice try, John McCain-these defections seem to flow only rightward. Where are the high-profile conservatives driven middleward by their Movement's reliance on the foul detritus of white supremacy in the south and the gun-totin' nativist lunacy in the West? Where's the Papist columnist revolted by the fact that every Republican candidate must receive the blessing of the folks at Bob Jones University, which for years has bestowed honors upon the truly horrid Ian Paisley, whose rhetoric has inspired more acts of actual terrorism in Ireland than could be imagined by those vicious lefty journos and bloodthristy postmodern film critics who've stolen the Left from Chris and Ron? The Right must have some kind of union, dont you think?