Thursday, April 12, 2007

In which I defend Jonah Goldberg

Besides my other general point about paleocons, the other thing I wanted to mention wrt Daniel's response to me is that, at least in this case, he's wrong on the merits.

StarTrek in-jokes notwithstanding, Jonah does fairly engage people who disagree with him. And in fact he was doing so in the very post Daniel complains about. I have no particular beef with most of Reihan's analysis, but I've got no idea what "lower-middle reformism" and "upper-middle reformism" are supposed to mean. Suffice to say, they are not terms in wide circulation. Whatever it is, coining a neologism gives the impression that it's describing an inherent phenomenon as opposed to a very temporary alignment of some small part of the American body politic. And that's essentially what Jonah wrote, and he was well within his rights to do it.

If Daniel wants to look for lack of engagement in the contemporary Right, Derbyshire is a much better example. Even in his case, I don't think it's malicious as opposed a recognition on his part that he doesn't have the time or interest to settle every last jot and tittle. He succinctly states his case in two or three go-rounds, and if people still want to disagree after that, so be it. If you really want his attention, you've got to be able to converse intelligently about the Four-Color Theorem or the depravity of Long Island home-improvement contractors.


Anonymous said...

Problem with your theory is that, by posting on sites that do not allow comments and interaction, Jonah does not engage his critics very often.

Prior Peter, OSB said...

Hi Koz--sorry, I got the guys mixed up. It's Derbyshire that strikes me as more reasonable. Goldberg's recent Claremont review was good, as I mentioned, but it's Derbyshire that I find the more coherent.
Your Paleo-friendly monk,