Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Libya Pundit Sanity Test

For those of us addicted to political pundit porn, the Libya intervention is one of those moments which tests precisely who's worth reading and who should be ignored. Libya is a situation full of ambiguities: the UN may or may not have prevented a full-scale democide, but beyond that aim the institution may not have any clear idea of its objectives. There are completely convincing arguments for and against this incursion, and the commentators worth reading are the ones who can maintain a cool head in this extremely heated situation. So, without further ado, here are lettered grades as to the particular commentator's sanity. And so I don't go insane from the insanity of others, I'm not going to read anything by commentators whom I consider hard right or hard left. So what you see here is a division as to who is for action and who is against it. Each name is listed chronologically in order of sanity.


Leon Wieseltier F - He gets a half-point for not imputing the moral laxity of those who disagree with him, even if it's implied (hence no D). But if you want to read a perfect specimen of a liberal hawk gone haywire into neoconservative manicheanism, just read the very last three paragraphs of this piece. But don't read any more unless reading hilariously opaque prose is your idea of fun (and it's most definitely mine).


Michael Walzer: A - When Michael Walzer

Andrew Sullivan: F- - There has been no more obnoxious voice in this debate on either side. His stridently anti-intervention position has no more complex reasons than his former jingoism in support of the Bush administration, and until last week his cheer-leading of Obama through everything. How can someone write a book advocating a conservatism based upon doubt and then go from year to year embracing completely contradictory positions and denouncing everyone as morally lacking who disagrees with him at that particular moment? How have we taken him this seriously for this long?

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