Thursday, February 08, 2007

The irrelevance of Jonah Goldberg

Two years ago today The Doughy Pantload wrote this in reference to Juan Cole:
Anyway, I do think my judgment is superior to his when it comes to the big picture. So, I have an idea: Since he doesn't want to debate anything except his own brilliance, let's make a bet. I predict that Iraq won't have a civil war, that it will have a viable constitution, and that a majority of Iraqis and Americans will, in two years time, agree that the war was worth it.
That was, in part, a response to this from Juan Cole:
Goldberg is now saying that he did not challenge my knowledge of the Middle East, but my judgment. I take it he is saying that his judgment is superior to mine. But how would you tell whose judgment is superior? Of course, all this talk of "judgement" is code for "political agreement." Progressives think that other progressives have good judgment, conservatives think that other conservatives have good judgment. This is a tautology in reality. Goldberg believes that I am wrong because I disagree with him about X, and anyone who disagrees with him is wrong, and ipso facto lacks good judgment.


Although I do not believe that everyone who advocates a war must go and fight it, I do believe that young men who advocate a war must go and fight it. Goldberg was in his early 30s in 2002, and the army would have taken him. An older colleague who was at Harvard in 1941 told me about how the freshman class rushed to enlist. That was the characteristic of the Greatest Generation-- they put their money where their mouths were. Goldberg's response was insulting to all the soldiers fighting in Iraq who have suffered economically and who are remote from their families.


But Goldberg is just a dime a dozen pundit. Cranky rich people hire sharp-tongued and relatively uninformed young people all the time and put them on the mass media to badmouth the poor, spread bigotry, exalt mindless militarism, promote anti-intellectualism, and ensure generally that rightwing views come to predominate even among people who are harmed by such policies. One of their jobs is to marginalize progressives by smearing them as unreliable.
There was a bet... offered by Goldberg and soundly rejected by Cole. None of that matters.

What matters is that Iraq is in a civil war; Iraq's constitution isn't worth the paper it's printed on if the government doesn't function, and it doesn't; and, a majority of Iraqis and Americans view the unprovoked US invasion of Iraq as one of the biggest mistakes ever made.

Goldberg was perfectly wrong. Everything he predicted went precisely the other way. Juan Cole was not only right about Iraq, he was right about Goldberg.

Jonah Goldberg is reduced to the irrelevance of lawn mushroom. Coprinus comatus. A spore blown in from someone else's manure pile which grew, only to melt down into a black inky mess.

And he still hasn't joined the US military.

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