Some Thoughts On Joel Stein
Okay, now that we've had a chance to digest Joel's silly column, and read Hugh's interview with the nitwit, let's take a step back.
I can understand those who say, "At least he's being honest". That was a part of my reaction too, but that's giving him too much credit. Would anybody say "At least Jane Fonda was being honest when she posed for the pictures in the anti-aircraft gunner's seat?" Of course not. Now obviously what Fonda did was an order of magnitude worse than Stein; after all, he did not write a column about how much he enjoyed hearing that Americans had been killed in Iraq. But it's just a difference of degree in my mind.
Stein clearly has not learned the lesson of the Vietnam protests, which is that you protest the war, not the warriors. This is not surprising. One of the singular problems with liberalism is that since it is based on the principle that the established order needs to be changed, liberals are generally unwilling to learn the lessons of the past.
This is why the Democratic party is having the argument about turning to the left again and pursuing a explicit policy of economic populism instead of moderating their positions and angling to capture the center. It's as if none of these people lived through the elections of 1980, 1984 and 1988 (and many of them didn't or weren't paying attention). The lesson of 1992 was that the Democrats could win if they had the wind at their backs and they nominated a guy who could at least talk the talk (if not quite walk the walk) of moderation.
I am sure that Stein has mentioned his opinion on supporting the troops to fellow lefties, but probably not to ones outside his age group. But even if he had, he would not be impressed by a Vietnam war "protest veteran" who carefully explained that failing to honor the troops for their involvement in a war you disagree with just turns off the undecided middle. Pursuing the center is not a strategy that the Left ever agrees with, and listening to the wisdom of your elders is antithetical to the notion that the world has to be remade along the lines of your personal vision.
Moron Joel Stein at The Real Ugly American
and Mark In Mexico
. And for without a doubt the oddest take on this story, check out Joel Stein, Bush Apologist