Surely He Cannot Be Serious

3 Jun

From Atlantic Blog:

My suspicions that Obama is a black nationalist with a racist streak are growing, but its effect on my voting will be nil.

I think this is rhetorical excess, though to what effect I do not know. Take, for example, the sentences immediately following:

It is pretty clear he is Jimmy Carter revisited, and that Hillary would make a substantially better president. Granted, in many respects they would be similar, but if Hillary had been president on 9/11, she would have started wondering who to nuke, whereas Obama would have started making a list of people to apologize to.

This is some wacky fun-time caricature Sjostrom has drawn.  But the rhetorical ante is already quite high from earlier in the post, so the claim delivered with a grin at the end is a mere pittance.  Diminishing marginal returns and whatnot.  Also, I have read some foreign policy types with a different take.

Other fun observations:

Brad DeLong is a fine economic historian, but he is also an exceptionally partisan blogger[…]

“Exceptionally partisan” is a relative measurement, meaning that, as bloggers go, he is one of the most partisan.  This seems an unfit description, especially of a man who takes Mill’s epistemological prayer “Lord, enlighten thou our enemies” seriously.  Plus, has he really considered all the crazy left and right wing bloggers–I mean the ones people read all the time?

What’s the deal here? If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say the massive sense of entitlement of the professoriate.


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