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James Bennet Affirmative Action Hire Has Another Nuclear Take For You


Bari Weiss is very upset that The Left doesn’t have its priorities in order:

We live in a world in which politically fascistic behavior, if not the actual philosophy, is unquestionably on the rise. Italy just gave the plurality of its vote to a party that is highly sympathetic to Vladimir Putin. The Philippines is in the grip of a homicidal maniac who is allying himself with Xi Jinping. Mr. Xi just anointed himself president for life and has banned the words “Animal Farm” and “disagree” from Chinese internet searches. Bashar al-Assad is winning in Syria, where half a million people have so far been slaughtered. Dictatorship and starvation have descended on Venezuela. At its annual conference in Washington last month, the Conservative Political Action Committee gave its stage, and its enthusiastic applause, to a member of France’s National Front. That’s just a short list.

Yet these are generally not the extremists that leftists focus on.

OK, so what highly powerful and representative group of people is Weiss focusing on then?

When such a person steps foot on a college campus these days, you know what’s coming. So it was on Monday at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Ore., where Ms. Sommers had been invited by the Federalist Society to give a talk about feminism.

In advance of the lecture, nine student groups, among them the Portland National Lawyers Guild, the Minority Law Student Association, the Women’s Law Caucus, the Jewish Law Society and the school’s Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter sent a letter protesting the appearance by this “known fascist.”

To state the obvious:

At this point, Weiss’s argument is merely self-refutingly incoherent in a fairly ordinary way. But it gets much worse!

Dave Rubin, a liberal commentator who favors abortion rights, opposes the death penalty and is married to a man, yet is denounced as an “Anti-L.G.B.T. fascist” and a “fascist lieutenant” for criticizing identity politics.

First of all, Rubin — who broke from the Young Turks because they were too mean to Sam Harris and inter alia endorsed Gary Johnson for president — is not a “liberal” in the sense Weiss clearly means to imply, an issue we’ll return to. But much worse than that:

Oh dear. Intellectual diversity is good, and indeed the range of opinion offered by the NYT op-ed pages should be much broader than it is. Hiring columnists who can’t be bothered to do minimal levels of research and who can’t get through 800 words without major factual and/or logical howlers is another matter.

I’ll give Scocca the last words:

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