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Sullivan’s Sanctimonious Retraction

Why do I think that if Matt Yglesias hadn't been so good as to post Ron Kampeas' second letter — which I forwarded to Matt — Andrew Sullivan would have gone on "miss[ing] this email in my in-tray"? Anyway, it's … Read More

By / November 14, 2007

Why do I think that if Matt Yglesias hadn't been so good as to post Ron Kampeas' second letter — which I forwarded to Matt — Andrew Sullivan would have gone on "miss[ing] this email in my in-tray"?

Anyway, it's nice that Andrew acknowledges that Dan Sieradski wasn't wrong about his characterization of Paul's communication with the JTA when Dan originally wrote and published his piece. However, a simple retraction wasn't enough. The rest of his post is of a piece with Sullivan's if-I-blog-it-it-must-be-true burbles of late:

The assertion that Ron Paul "doesn't take phone calls from Jews" was designed to be, and remains, a slur. I'd give back the $500. Paul can afford it, at this point. And it would surely help diminish the neocon attacks that Paul is an anti-Semite (a claim that nonetheless remains indisputably true of Pat Robertson).

Paul will surely take calls from Jews when it's to publicize the Jewish support for his campaign. But as Dan has made abundantly clear by now, Paul has no time for interviews when the purpose is to ask about the gothic characters lining his coffers.

As for "neocon attacks that Paul is an anti-Semite," where have these occurred besides in the imagination of Andrew Sullivan? Daniel Sieradski, who once told me he protested the Iraq war "every step of the way," can hardly be described as a neocon. (Frankly, I don't know what to call his peculiar brand of politics.) Nor does his article claim that Ron Paul is an anti-Semite. Here is how Dan ends his piece:

I had intended to write a story about the Congressman, and to provide him with the opportunity to distance himself from his extremist supporters, to clarify his position on Israel, and to state his case to the Jewish community. Yet, after three weeks of repeated telephone calls, two chats with his Deputy Communications Director, and several left voicemail messages, I have yet to receive a callback to schedule an interview.

Which leads me to conclude the following about the Congressman from Texas: Ron Paul will take money from Nazis. But he won’t take telephone calls from Jews.

 

It's a sign of the intellectual paltriness of the blogosphere that one is forced to descend to such depths of literal-mindedness, but allow me the question: Who can possibly claim to know who Ron Paul will take calls from except Ron Paul himself? And why should Sieradski not raise an eyebrow at Paul's silence when Sieradski provided the congressman with an ample window of opportunity to set the record straight on a minor scandal of his campaign?

Ah, yes. Keeping a check cut by neo-Nazis is all about the categorical imperative. A politician who boasts that he is not beholden to any special interest and then presumes to take money from all of them is acting on high-minded principle. But it's the same high-minded principle of the village whore who promises never to fall in love with any of her clients.

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