March 14, 2003

What Is to Be Done?

At least it's a plan for action other than sitting around watching with one's jaw hanging open in disbelief:


Electrolite: Michael Lind : ...At the moment, really, the most rational possible reaction to the Bush administration's national-security policy is to light one's hair on fire and run down the street screaming about Jesus...

Posted by DeLong at March 14, 2003 05:44 PM | TrackBack

Comments

I tried that and they said I was being shrill.

Sincerely,

Paul Krugman

Posted by: Dan on March 14, 2003 11:16 PM

Is Michael Lind the Pat Buchanan of the Neo-Liberals? Is he an anti-Semite? Are you aware of Lind's peculiar comment in his recent "Made In Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics?":

"Like present-day Israel," adds the author,"Texas before the Civil Rights Revolution was a Herrenvolk (master race) democracy, combining populism within the majority ethnic nation with the state-enforced subordination of ethnic minorities." Is he really accusing Israel of being a racist state?

Posted by: David Thomson on March 15, 2003 12:55 AM

Its all part of W's plan to promote religion. What else is there to do at this point but pray?

Posted by: John McKinzey on March 15, 2003 07:40 AM

At the risk of being thought incapable of taking a joke, here are my practical suggestions:

(1) Have some congressman or senator introduce a bill stating that, in view of Bush's failure to prove links between Iraq and Al Qaeda or to prove that Iraq is failing to cooperate with inspectors, the original Senate resolution approving the use of military force is hereby repealed until further notice, and that the Senate will invoke the War Powers Act if any more hostilities take place in the Gulf area.

(2) Elect a president in 2004 (it doesn't have to be a Democrat--a fiscally conservative Republican, if there is such a thing nowadays, would be ideal) who then proceeds to repeal the Bush tax cuts in their entirety and also pushes through temporary income tax increases in order to restore the revenue lost from the tax cuts, as well as the extra interest payments that needed to be made as a result.

Ok, here's a joke, though I wish it would come true:

(3) Extradite all the anti-French bigots to France, where the French can either ship them off to Devil's Island or condemn them to an Escargot diet for life under close confinement, with the Marsellaise substituting for reveille every morning.

Posted by: andres on March 15, 2003 09:57 AM

I see that no one has yet responded to my citation of Michael Lind's peculiar assertion regarding Israel. Oh by the way, the quote is from page 155 of Lind's new book. I wouldn’t want anyone to think that he is being unfairly maligned.

The author is required to further explain himself. Does anybody disagree--or is it all all right to describe Israel as "a Herrenvolk (master race) democracy, combining populism within the majority ethnic nation with the state-enforced subordination of ethnic minorities?" Does the cat have Brad DeLong's tongue?

Posted by: David Thomson on March 15, 2003 10:00 AM

Brad. Please start citing Lind more often. If it drives up DT's blood pressure, it will be all to the good...

Posted by: andres on March 15, 2003 10:40 AM

Michael Lind will jump off the Saddam bandwagon as soon as it crashes, which probably won't be long from now.

Posted by: Joe Willingham on March 15, 2003 12:32 PM

Oh, this is most interesting. Is Andres insulting Brad Delong by hinting he might agree with Michael Lind's view that Israel is "a Herrenvolk (master race) democracy, combining populism within the majority ethnic nation with the state-enforced subordination of ethnic minorities?"

How does that old saying go? With friends like Andres, does Professor DeLong need any enemies?

Posted by: David Thomson on March 15, 2003 01:11 PM

Michael Lind is definitely going off the deep end. Here’s further evidence of his Pat Buchanan style hostility towards Jews:

“But today I frequently hear Jewish acquaintances discuss Arabs in general, and Palestinians in particular, in terms as racist as those once used by southerners in public when discussing blacks. "Israel should have given the Palestinians to Jordan after 1967," a Jewish editor recently said to me, in the same tone used by an elderly white southerner who once told me, "We should have left them all in Africa." The parallel can be extended. After 1830, the defence of slavery and later segregation in the old south led white southerners to abandon the liberal idealism of the founding era in favour of harsh racism and a siege mentality. Since 1967, the need to justify the rule of Israel over a conquered helot population has produced a similar shift from humane idealism to unapologetic tribalism in parts of the diaspora, as well as in Israel. It is perhaps no coincidence that the most important non-Jewish supporters of Israel in the US today are found in the deep south among descendants of the segregationist Dixiecrats.”

http://www.newamerica.net/index.cfm?pg=article&pubID=779

Posted by: David Thomson on March 15, 2003 01:28 PM

Gee, it looks like somebody flipped DT's 'on' switch (not that that's hard).

Posted by: Barry on March 15, 2003 02:17 PM

David,
All regular readers of this weblog have witnessed your xenophobia.
So it is rather amusing to see you so disturbed because Michael Lind has not been politically correct.

It would be nice to see some arguments instead of just "Why are you not as scandalised as I am?".

Posted by: fberthol on March 15, 2003 06:59 PM

David: Given your comments in the past not just about Germany and France but about Germans and French, and "appeasers" from all countries in general, it will come as no surprise that I cannot take you seriously when you profess outrage over someone's supposedly anti-semitic statements. Go look up some more anti-French jokes from Mallard Fillmore; you'll feel better that way. ;-)

Posted by: andres on March 15, 2003 10:25 PM

And don't forget, it's andres with a small "a". Andres (capital "A"), whoever he is and if he keeps posting to this blog, might not be happy if you flame him based on something I wrote. Good night.

Posted by: andres on March 15, 2003 11:05 PM

David Thomson's cite of Michael Lind looks very reasonable to me. Does David think that Michael was inventing his observation?

I particularly agree with the metaphore of helotes. To certain folks, the ideal society is modeled after Sparta, with citizens sharing resolute martial spirit (and God forbid, exhibit "softness") and unity of purpose. We need a goal, a mission, and few things are better than periodical wars against the helots (sexual purity of our maiden is a frequent motif as well).

While you can find such people in most nations, sometimes they thrive, sometimes not. Recently, in Israel, they thrive.

Posted by: Piotr Berman on March 16, 2003 10:08 AM

David Thomson: People can characterize Irael negatively without it being anti-semitic. If you did a little research into the history of Israel and a little honest thinking you might find that the remarks you find so scandalous are actually very accurate. I think they are.

cw

Posted by: cw on March 16, 2003 08:10 PM

"People can characterize Irael negatively without it being anti-semitic. If you did a little research into the history of Israel and a little honest thinking you might find that the remarks you find so scandalous are actually very accurate. I think they are."

Are you hinting that you also believe that Israel is "a Herrenvolk (master race) democracy, combining populism within the majority ethnic nation with the state-enforced subordination of ethnic minorities?" If so, please do not hesitate in bluntly saying so. We would not want to mistakenly assume the worse about you.

I also believe that the more extreme right wing elements in Israel have exacerbated the difficulties between the Jews and Palestinians. That is not the issue. Michael Lind goes much further than that and is accusing Israel of being a racist state. And yes, that is a prime example of the new anti-Semitism of the Neo-Liberals. The James Fallows and Brad DeLongs are playing with fire. They must immediately clarify their own views. It is inexcusable that these gentlemen look the other way while Lind is engaging in such questionable behavior.

Posted by: David Thomson on March 17, 2003 02:58 PM
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