Jonathan Chait

Sharron Angle's Tweedy Advocate

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I'm not sure if it's more remarkable that George Will's weekend encomium to Nevada Republican Senate candidate and confirmed loon Sharron Angle confined all discussion of her loony views to one dependent clause of one sentence, or that the sentence in question was this:

If he makes it about some of her injudicious statements -- e.g., "transition out" of Social Security; using Yucca Mountain north of here not for storing nuclear waste but for reprocessing such waste -- he might survive.

That's it. That's the entire treatment Will devotes to Angle's craziness. Of Will's two examples, one is an issue where Angle is bluntly saying something (privatization is a desirable means to phase out Social Security) that many republicans believe but won't say, and the other (support for Yucca mountain) is actually sensible but unpopular in Nevada. Angle's support for a nutty, Scientology-backed program, her encouraging words for armed revolt, her deep roots in far right parties, her desire to abolish almost everything the government does? Will doesn't defend those things, or even mention them. Instead, he defines her radicalism as "injudicious statements," and then sees fit only to mention the most mainstream of those statements. I would really love to see this method of advocacy tried out for other public figures. (Charles Manson's colorful personality -- his long hair, his affinity for bad Beatles songs -- make him a source of controversy.)

If Will thinks that Angle's radicalism is acceptable or even admirable, he should make that case. Instead he engages in rank intellectual dishonesty.

 

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