January 08, 2008

While watching MSNBC’s “€œTucker”€ yesterday afternoon, I began to cringe the moment I heard that a one Jamie Kirchick would be appearing on the program; when it was announced that he”€™d be offering scandalous revelations of Ron Paul’s anti-Semitism, racism, and homophobia, annoyance turned to nausia. 

(I was somewhat amused, however, when, while Kirchick was describing the evil extremists behind the Paul movement, MSNBC actually showed stock footage of me escourting Paul into a meeting of the Robert Taft Club where he spoke on conservatism and foreign policy in October.) 

It”€™d be difficult to construct a more perfect third-generation neocon, or a more perfect PC crusader, than the young James Kirchick.

Callow, self-righteous, cubby, Kirchick is the kind of person who undoubtedly waxed on about neocons being the only ones willing to defend the West and expand gay rights in the Middle East between pizza breaks at Pierson college at Yale.    

Arriving on the Washington scene this past year, Kirchick has written columns denying that the backers of Israel smear their critics with the “€œanti-Semite”€ libel … and then has returned to writing articles about how critics of Israel, or generally anyone he doesn”€™t much like, are “€œanti-Semites.”€ He actually picked up this habit in his student days. It thus came as little surprise that he was out front publicizing the fact that, among the hundreds of thousands of patriots who”€™ve donated to the Ron Paul campaign, one of them was a neo-Nazi crackpot. Kirchick has a habit of substituting insinuation for argument and evidence.

(As for Paul’s Nazi devotees, John Derbyshire has rejoined, “€œIf we are to think of presidential aspirants in terms of their craziest supporters, who will ‘scape whipping?”€)

Kirchick was a participant in Yale’s “€œGrand Strategy”€ seminar in 2004, where he imbibed the philosophy of Christopher Hill, currently Rudy Giuliani’s chief foreign-policy advisor. But as neocons go, he is of a particularly lefty variety.

While many neoconservatives rage against “€“ in many cases, rightly “€“ “€œpost-colonial studies”€ academics who glorify terrorism, Kirchick is more concerned with those tenured radicals who dare criticize the international gay-rights movement. For shame!     

When Rudy marched in gay rights parades, it was undoubtedly the James Kirchicks of the world to whom he was reaching out. (Perhaps this is bit unfair, for Rudy showed little concern for foreign policy before reciting neocon truisms after it worked so well for Bush in 2004.) At the very least, Martin Peretz, The New Republic‘s editor-in-chief, found a kindred spirit “€“ the neo-liberal, leftist, neocon “€“ and installed young Kirchick as a staff writer.  

Later this afternoon, TNR is slated to release all the goods they”€™ve got on Paul, and on Friday, Kirchick’s article will be published. But judging from the “€œTucker”€ preview, Kirchick doesn”€™t seem to have anything particularly interesting or new.

Yes, Paul’s publishing, in a newsletters that bears his name, material in which blacks are called “€œanimals”€ is disgraceful, and for this Paul should certainly apologize. However, Kirchick is far too quick to reject as “€œextremist”€ and “€œracist”€ opinions that are controversial and provocative. For instance, after Kirchick admonished Paul for publishing an article in which Barbara Jordan is called a “€œhalf-educated victimologist,”€ Tucker reminded Kirchick that such as characterization was, well, fair.

Things get worse when Kirchick announced with horror that Paul has expressed admiration for the historian and economist Thomas DiLorenzoe, who has written justifications of Southern secessionism.  Kirchick fails to mention that DiLorenzo is a tenured professor, widely published economist of the Austrian school, and author of many books, including two revisionist accounts of Lincoln. That Kirchick refuses to even coutanence non-PC historical views “€“ whether about Lincoln or the international gay rights “€“ is indicative of the kind of shallow education he acquired in New Haven. Evading the PC police, one can still admire Lincoln as a great American nationalist and admit that before the Civil War, the states were fully sovereign entities with a right to secceed from the union.

As for the evil secessionist conference at which Paul spoke, as Thomas DiLorenzo has noted on LewRockwell.com, it was presided over by “Dr. David Gordon, whose Ph.D. from UCLA is in the field of intellectual history,” and it included presentations by scholars from “Emory University, Florida State University, UNLV, University of Montreal, University of South Carolina, and even a lawyer from Buffalo, New York.”

It’s also rather odd that Kirchick wa so alarmed that the author of the Paul newsletter would dare call New York City “€œWelfare-ia.”€ The fact is, New York had one of the largest welfare rolls in the country, and moreover, it’s Kirchick’s hero, Giuliani, who boasts of getting 640,000 people off city’s dole. Indeed, “€œWelfare-ia”€ is the kind of epithet that someone in the Rudy campaign might come up with to disparage pre-Giuliani NYC.  

As for “€œMartin Luther King was a gay pedofile”€ and the rest of the really bad stuff, Kirchick is unable to cite any evidence that Paul believes this or would actually say any of it in public “€“ or that such insults arouse out of anything other than the bad judgement of the newsletter’s unknown author.    

In the end, Kirchick is obsessed with outing Paul as a racist, homophobic Nazi not simply because Paul is consistently beating Giuliani in the early primaries, but because Paul has brought to the national debate the case for non-intervention and the idea that American foreign policy can lead to violent reaction and, ultimately, terrorism. Kirchick is unable to think outside the neocon-liberal box and labels as an extremist anyone who actually can.  


Sign Up to Receive Our Latest Updates!