Nicholas Kristoff strikes again

To borrow from Ronald Reagan (yeah, hell did just freeze over), there you go again, Nicholas Kristof.

In today’s column, The Arabs Are Coming! (warning, Times Select wall), Kristof argues in favor of standing by the Dubai port sale.  No problem.  This seems to be one of those issues where reasonable minds — even progressive ones — can disagree (as to whether it’s worth the risk of sending the wrong message to the Arab world by backing out of the deal now, not the stupidity of entering into it in the first place). 

But this is Nicholas Kristof we’re talking about.  So naturally, he can’t bring himself to conclude the column without tisk, tisking fellow liberals (Democrats) for attacking the deal,

Democrats have so many legitimate reasons to criticize President Bush — from ruining our nation’s finances to despoiling American wilderness — that it’s painful to see them scaremongering in just the way that Mr. Bush himself has.

So there you have it: “Nicholas Kristof, Man of Integrity,” willing to criticize even “other liberals,” episode 7763.  And just so as to make the point absolutely clear, he doesn’t stop with just criticizing the Democrats’ reasoning on the port deal — he accuses them of scaremongering, and by implication racism.  And, of course, he somehow never quite gets around to mentioning that a large percentage of Republicans in Congress also oppose the deal.  But then bipartisan opposition wouldn’t play all that well into the “Alas, my breaking heart, but being a man of honor I must unmask even the skullduggery of my fellow liberals” routine, would it?

I hope Frank Rich comes back from book leave soon.  It will be nice having something worth turning to on the Sunday Times editorial page again.

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One Response to “Nicholas Kristoff strikes again”

  1. hizzhoner Says:

    In keeping with the theme of “hell freezing over”, I offer another Reaganism that might explain the Kristof column…in a way. Reagan went around the country preaching the so-called “11th Commandment”, Thou shalt no criticize thy fellow Republican. And you know what? 20+ years after Reagan left the scene, his disciples have religously practiced his dictum.

    No matter how much fear mongering, racist rhetoric or just plain stupidiy Republican or Conservative pundits practice, not one Republican will raise a voice in criticism. (I’ve often wondered what the penalty for violating that commandment is….do they take you American Flag lapel pin away?)

    Domeocrats, on the other hand are different. In our culture we value a well-reasoned argument and pursue the truth (as one might define it) as the basis for our policies. Therefore when one of our own lets his ruby-red slippers come off the yellow brick road of truth, we feel obligated to call him on his heresy. In that way, we feel, our cause can remain….pure?

    Dividing the party or providing the Great Republican Wurlitzer with fresh talking points doesn’t seem to matter. All that matters, apparently, is that there are those among us who can claim the intellectual/moral superiority of pointing out our collective faults.



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