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Monday, July 21, 2008

Even the liberal Jonathan Chait at even the liberal New Republic hates Naomi Klein. Here he is in TNR bashing The Shock Doctrine, accusing Klein of monocausotaxophilia:

And then came September 11. The Islamist attack on the World Trade Center may not have "changed everything," as so many Orwell-wannabes declared, but it, and the ensuing war with secular Iraq, certainly changed the orientation of the left. The locus of evil in the world, even more than during the Cold War, was once again American military power and its use beyond our borders. The new American adversaries were not corporations but individuals--George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz. And they were motivated not by profit, but by ideology. This was not a problem that could be addressed by making the streets of Seattle run brown with Frappuccinos.

But Klein was intellectually unfazed. Rather than re-think the economicist premises of her recent radicalism, she set out to synthesize her old worldview with the post-9/11 world. "I felt it emotionally," she told The New York Times, "before I understood it factually." Doggedly connecting the dots, she discovered that the Iraq war was--guess what?--part of the same economic tissue that connected Nike and the World Trade Organization. Klein is nothing if not a totalistic thinker. Everything always adds up, and darkly.
The result, he says, is "perfect nonsense." Really? She makes a lot of sense to me, especially in comparison to a guy still gushing over John McCain:
Liberals tend to view the press's love affair with McCain as a wildly unfair act of bias. They have a point. On the other hand, they should take some heart in the fact that McCain obviously cherishes the approval of the mainstream (and even liberal) media. His accessibility to the press and public is something small-d democrats should cheer. McCain has conducted interviews with very liberal publications like Grist. He's promised to undertake an American version of "Prime Minister's Questions," whereby members of Congress could spar with him.

Does McCain spin and dissemble? Of course. But the current administration's practices go far beyond mere spin. In Bush's Washington, critics are enemies to be dismissed rather than engaged. A McCain presidency would promise to dismantle the whole Rovian method that has torn open such a deep wound in the national psyche.

Beneath his wildly fluctuating ideological positions, McCain is an establishmentarian Republican. Unlike Bush, he cares about elite opinion. He is comfortable sharing power in the traditional postwar style rather than monopolizing it. He might not be another Teddy Roosevelt, but right now another Gerald Ford doesn't look so bad.
This is what we're up against in November, guys, what Atrios always calls the Village: an entrenched class of professional morons who can be bought this cheaply, and who won't go quietly.

As with so much else, there's a perfect Douglas Adams quote for this.