Monday, March 29, 2010

Norman Podhoretz and other people who don't deserve to be taken seriously

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed defending Sarah Palin as much smarter than she seems, Norman Podhoretz can't resist getting a little dig at President Obama:
What she does know—and in this respect, she does resemble Reagan—is that the United States has been a force for good in the world, which is more than Barack Obama, whose IQ is no doubt higher than hers, has yet to learn.
What crap.

Podhoretz, of course, is talking about the same Barack Obama who stood in Europe and bragged about how America had saved that continent from the Nazi menace and then guaranteed security there for decades afterward to the present day. The same Barack Obama who stood before a Muslim audience at Cairo University and said, "the United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known." I'm not aware of an opportunity that the president has missed -- when given -- to talk about all the good things America has done in the world.

Podhoretz surely knows this -- and has decided to ignore it. In which case he is (despite his "intellectual" reputation) a hack, more concerned with advancing an agenda that includes painting the president as somehow insufficiently proud of America than in paying attention to the truth. In which case, he deserves to be ignored. Or maybe he doesn't know it. In which case he is too ill-informed to take as a reliable source of opinion about anything, and thus deserves to be ignored.

I'm inclined to think he's a hack. But I'm open-minded.

A lot of folks on the right continually make this charge against Obama. It's not enough for them to disagree with him on the substance of the issues: They have to portray him as probably anti-American. But it's not true. And the same logic applies to them: Either they should know better or they're liars. Truth matters.

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