THE PLANK NOVEMBER 24, 2009
It was nice to see City Journal run a critical review of Paul Johnson's forthcoming Churchill biography, but Mark Riebling's piece contains one of the more ridiculous lines you will read all year:
In more than 40 books, Johnson has attacked what liberals defend (modernity, secular intellectualism) and defended what liberals attack (Judaism, Christianity, America).
"Secular intellectualism" is one of those phrases that is completely indecipherable (what does it possibly mean to support or oppose it?), and yet Riebling's motive in combining these two words is obvious enough. Still, I can't quite decide whether this comment is more insulting to liberals or conservatives. The former are accused of being bigoted anti-Americans, yes, but the clear implication here is that liberals are the only ones who will defend modernity.