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July 28, 2006

Quote of the Day: Lee Siegel Edition

Lee Siegel -- yes, that Lee Siegel, the one who calls folks fascists -- writes:

But it's not exactly effectual to be sustained by what you hate. Politics is about persuading your adversary's supporters to come to your side. It's not about reassuring everyone on your side--under the guise of "thinking strategically"--that you and they are absolutely right.

Ah, the great persuader Lee Siegel -- how many converts has he won? How many bloggers has he turned? None? I guess we can call that graf Blog-O-Irony.

Siegel goes onto lament that no one engaged his series of serious and perceptive points -- he desperately wanted a good conversation, but the mean ol' bloggers wouldn't give it to him. So he repaired to the pages of TNR where none could answer him. Savvy stuff -- that's why Siegel gets the big bucks. Or maybe its finely crafted arguments like this one:

No wonder, several years after the blogosphere allegedly became a people powerhouse, the country is mired even deeper in Iraq and successfully distracted by one false public alarm after another.

Sorry, but that's so downright insane that, for the first time in the history of this blog, I have to quote it again. Remember, this is Lee Seigel, an employee of The New Republic, blaming bloggers for the continuation of the Iraq War:

No wonder, several years after the blogosphere allegedly became a people powerhouse, the country is mired even deeper in Iraq and successfully distracted by one false public alarm after another.

Color me Blog-o-stonished.

July 28, 2006 | Permalink

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Comments

hey, he convinced me to hate eyes wide shut even more than i was willing to.

Posted by: norbizness | Jul 28, 2006 12:02:06 PM

Did you know that the civil rights movement was responsible for perpetuating segregation? Or that gay activists are responsible for institutionalized homophobia? Or that the Sierra Club is responsible for the loss of wetlands and old-growth forest?

On Planet Siegel, they are.

Posted by: Tom Hilton | Jul 28, 2006 12:03:35 PM

what a jackass.

Posted by: Kathleen | Jul 28, 2006 12:13:18 PM

POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC, AD HOMINEM, AD RIDICULUM

Posted by: Mimir | Jul 28, 2006 12:13:45 PM

Can someone give me some estimate of how much evidence has to pile up before we're all willing to acknowledge that TNR is intellectually bankrupt? I mean, it's sad and all--proud history, yada yada--but, hey, reality-based community and all that.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Jul 28, 2006 12:17:03 PM

Hey presto, right on cue is yet another TNR wizard scribbling for the Washington Post. I didn't bother to read it; the summary on the site's main page probably says it all: "Peter Beinart -- Democrats have finally defined their approach to post-9/11 foreign policy. It's called pandering."

I think Pete and Lee really need to sign up for the infantry. It'll give 'em great material for that Hemingwayesque novel that I'll bet they're just itching to write.

Posted by: sglover | Jul 28, 2006 1:11:00 PM

Ezra, are you ready yet to give up on TNR, even though you believe that they have writers with talent?

A spade is a spade. TNR is not sustantatively different than Faux News in terms of the self-delusion they exhibit and the real harm they perform on the progressive/liberal cause.

The liberal/progessive world has finally largely given up reading and writing about the attrocities to truth committed by Fox. It is time to ignore TNR, and maybe to actively work against them in as many ways as we can. A start would be to stop linking to them and critiquing their work. That work is now beyond critique.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Jul 28, 2006 1:24:50 PM

Nope ;-). A bad Lee Siegel diarist doesn't make me want to ignore a trenchant Spencer Ackerman article...

Posted by: Ezra | Jul 28, 2006 1:33:32 PM

It's official- Lee Seigel is the new Andy Rooney.

Posted by: Dan Coyle | Jul 28, 2006 2:27:14 PM

Welcome to the TNR hating club.

They're owned by a bunch of rich conservative guys and that nutty intellectual buffoon. And now surprise, they've hired yet another moronic white white writer. Sully, Kelly, Shalit, Krauthammer, etc.

Remember Stephen Glass was the originator of that whole "water buffalo" BS at U of Penn - when he was accused of racist taunts? Well that was Glass - BEFORE he was hired by TNR.

They sound like neo-cons shills - because they are.

Posted by: Samuel Knight | Jul 28, 2006 2:43:03 PM

Somewhere, Douglas Feith is heaving a huge sigh of relief.

Posted by: Toast | Jul 28, 2006 3:04:55 PM

Well, couldn't it be possible that he's talking about Instapundit, Little Green Footballs, Belmont Club, Hewitt and all the rest of the blog-fearmongers?

Not precisely expressed, but don't take it personally.

Posted by: observer 5 | Jul 28, 2006 4:47:53 PM

Well, couldn't it be possible that he's talking about Instapundit, Little Green Footballs, Belmont Club, Hewitt and all the rest of the blog-fearmongers?

No.

Since he rather famously picked a fight with Kos and wrote that Lamont supporters were engaging in blogofascism, I really can't conceive that he -- the stupidest fucking writer on the planet -- is now concerned with the trogs on the right side of Blogostan.

Posted by: Jay B. | Jul 28, 2006 5:05:32 PM

The New Republic is the "liberal" edition of The Weekly Standard.

Posted by: Gary Reilly | Jul 28, 2006 5:06:44 PM

Ezra--this is certainly a most unserious post. I would bet Lee's paycheck that you were wearing a baseball cap while you wrote it.

Posted by: dr. bloor | Jul 28, 2006 5:11:01 PM

I've been saying the same exact thing. I'm glad someone---a Jewish writer at that---agrees with me: if it wasn't for the American left bloggers, we would have found the WMDs by now.

It's true.

-

Posted by: Ahmad Chalabi | Jul 28, 2006 5:11:07 PM

I've never read anything by this Lee Siegel. I'm always looking for good foreign policy analysis to read in a comfy chair by the fire.

Posted by: The Lucky Sea Men | Jul 28, 2006 5:16:00 PM

That's not what he's saying. He's saying if bloggers were so powerful, why haven't they stopped the war.

your next door neighbor

Posted by: Rob W | Jul 28, 2006 5:17:10 PM

"Politics is about persuading your adversary's supporters to come to your side."

I don't really give a shit about persuading confederate flag toting redknecks, arryans, and sadistic conservatives who relish a good wife beating to come to my side.

"It's not about reassuring everyone on your side--under the guise of "thinking strategically"--that you and they are absolutely right."

Then he should be concentrating his efforts on Malkin's blog, Freeperland, Little pussy footballs, and Mishelle the mad poodle's site. Those places give off a better echo than the Grand Canyon.

MYOB'
.

Posted by: MYOB | Jul 28, 2006 5:21:06 PM

Well, couldn't it be possible that he's talking about Instapundit, Little Green Footballs, Belmont Club, Hewitt and all the rest of the blog-fearmongers?

This wouldn't make any more sense. Again, Siegel writes for The New Republic, a magazine that, despite its current irrelevancy, was at least as responsible for influencing the debate over the war in Iraq as any journalistic entity in America. For a writer from that particular publication to discuss anyone's, and I mean anyone's, responsibility for the Iraq debacle in snide terms beggars belief.

Posted by: brent | Jul 28, 2006 5:25:21 PM

Have we considered the possibility that "Lee Siegel" is a comedic device, like Andy Kauffman's alter ego?

Posted by: Chris R | Jul 28, 2006 5:25:21 PM

Well, if their comments worked, I would ask what's so much more elevated, courteous and civil about what the Plank writes...particularly in comparison to folks like Josh Marshall and many of the top bloggers. Sure, you can find unknown bloggers and commenters trying to get noticed by being extremely vicious and rude, but among those that have real credibility, none of them come within miles of the invective of the right.

AFter all, calling someone an incompetent is not the same as calling them a traitor.

Posted by: Kija | Jul 28, 2006 5:25:27 PM

Call it Blog-O-Loney!

Posted by: Mombear | Jul 28, 2006 5:37:02 PM

To be fair, that quote of Siegel's would benefit from context.

He is saying that for all the (obviously justifiable) Left Blogostanic anger about Iraq has done absolutely nothing to influence U. S. policy on the war. Not thru elections, not thru influencing Congressional votes, or anything.

That would appear to be an observational true statement. Subtract the blogospheric contribution from the last five years, and you still get the same hopeless Iraq war.

It is fair to mock the 101th commandos as chickenhawks for beating their chests and pinning medels on themselves for equating their online boviating to frontline service. However, isnt it fair to say that the political left's online impact on the course of the war has been just as trival?

Posted by: smudog | Jul 28, 2006 5:42:03 PM

What a tool. The lefty bloggers, who were right about the war, who foresaw all that has come to pass, are somehow responsible for the ongoing Iraq mess -- the greatest strategic blunder in U.S. history -- while the ideologues and fools at TNR, who pimped this war ad infinitum, are not.

What a fucking idiot. It's gonna hurt like hell, Lee, when you and reality finally collide.

Posted by: The Fool | Jul 28, 2006 5:47:09 PM

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