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It’s Not Personal, Sonny

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I have no particular desire to revisit the issue, and indeed have every intention of continuing my post-Pelosi-smear policy of ignoring her except for MSM appearances or unusual circumstances such as her bullying a colleague, but since Garance has implied here that there’s some sort of mutual personal grudge between me and Ann Althouse I suppose I have to clarify something. I invite anyone to click on the link and look at what I’ve written — you’ll see nothing remotely resembling the kind of genuinely personal insults Althouse has directed at me or Glenn Greenwald (among many others.) I criticize Althouse a lot because she happens to combine in one package several of the most annoying and most pernicious types of punditry: “Everything changed for me on September 11. I used to consider myself a Democrat, but thanks to 9/11, I’m outraged by Chappaquiddick” fake moderation, obsession with meaningless trivia and junior-high-school personality narratives when discussing politics, and crying “civility” to pre-empt your vicious smears form any scrutiny. But whether you agree or disagree, these are things I consistently believe to be odious irrespective of the party involved. If you look at most of the things I’ve criticized her for — completely undefended assertions that Sam Alito is a moderate, apologizing for the Bush administration’s foreign policy (including its assertions of arbitrary power and use of torture), claiming the Iraq War is rationally seen as part of a conflict with Islamic terrorism, repeating lies about Nancy Pelosi requesting a luxury jet — you’ll find that I’ve criticized other people who have made similar arguments. Admittedly, some of her arguments are sui generis, so you’re just going to have to take my word that I would find claims that liberals opposition to Sam Alito reflected their belief that people don’t have rights, or that New York’s most prominent feminist blogger was invited to a meeting by Hillary Clinton’s campaign as part of an elaborate ruse to get Bill Clinton some action equally idiotic if someone else made them. I don’t think this is much of a stretch.

Of course, saying that this is all about a personality clash, in addition to being an almost comically transparent case of projection (and her meltdown in the face of Garance’s mild questions is just the latest example), is also yet another clever strategy for insulating her silly arguments from any criticism on the merits. People criticize her not because they disagree, but because they’re been “sucked into the Althouse vortex” or some such nonsense. This her way of seeing the world, not mine. And in fairness, given the quality of the arguments Althouse would have to try to defend, you can’t really blame her for using various diversions to avoid having to do so. Don’t buy it.

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