Please, American blowhards: No more analogies to 1938
The 1938 conference between Chamberlain and Hitler is misunderstood. And the blowhards who constantly evoke its memory are dangerous.
It's not about not offending. It's about protecting.
In the aftermath of an attack, being careful with language isn't just about not offending sensibilities. It's about protecting people.
Schumer's support for Hagel seems like another setback for the pro-Israel lobby. Or is it?
When Barack Obama nominated former Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense, I assume that he knew what he was getting into. The debate over Hagel’s nomination won’t be about whether he is qualified to run the Pentagon and to negotiate budgets with Congress, but about Hagel’s views on Israel and Iran. Initially, some of Hagel’s critics charged that he was an anti-Semite. But these charges rightfully met with derision.
In the twilight years of the New Left, revolutionaries would regularly parse their adversaries’ statements for indications of “objective racism.” Even the slightest irregularity—calling someone’s thoughts “dark”—could unleash a volley of accusations.
Memo to Romney-Ryan speechwriters John McConnell, Lindsay Hayes, and Stuart Stevens: Watch your back around this guy Matthew Scully! Scully, who with McConnell is credited with writing Paul Ryan’s crowd-pleasing convention speech, is a former White House speechwriter and author of a well-regarded book, Dominion, that urges humans to show greater respect for the animal kingdom. The animal Scully most emulates is the black widow spider.
It was not so long ago that George W. Bush seemed to embody the future of conservatism. He had entered office amid doubts about his rightful place there, but pressed ahead nonetheless with grand ambitions, conducting an ideologically potent foreign war while also promising much at home. Which led some to wonder: Was this lavish spender really a conservative? Bush’s champions rushed in to explain.
That's the cover of the Weekly Standard that just came out. D'oh! It keys off of Ryan Lizza's great overview of the Obama administration's foreign policy, which included a quote from one foreign policy advisor describing the administration's policy as "leading from behind." William Kristol, the former opposition researcher for the Republican National Committee, read the phrase and thought to himself, "That's gold!" He pounces in a cliche-filled lead editorial: Thanks for confirming that our current president believes his task is to accommodate American decline.
William Kristol, editorializing in the Weekly Standard, insists that the United States has never invaded a Muslim country: The president didn’t want this. He’s been so unhappy about such a possibility—so fearful of such an eventuality—that first he tied himself in knots trying to do nothing. ...After all, nothing—nothing!—could be worse than the perception that the United States was “invading” another Muslim country. Rubbish. Our “invasions” have in fact been liberations.