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4/05/2005

Michelle Malkin is a dumbshit (and maybe a fraud)

Candidate for wingnuttiest wingnut Michelle Malkin thinks that the anti-war Left's hatred of soldiers has been exposed. She quotes approvingly from an article by Jamie Weinstein:
I guess I overestimated the movement to drive our military off campus. While it is true I believed the motivating force behind it was hatred for our troops,and not "discrimination [against gays]," I thought that the shameful protesters would at least try to hide this. Evidently not.

Writing in The Sun, Professors Moncrieff Cochran and William Trochim, along with students Patrick Young '06 and Bekah Ward grad, revealed their true intentions in trying to remove the military from the University. After placating the discrimination argument, they turned to their real gripe: the United States military itself. They wrote, "we oppose military recruiter's presence on campus because they are selling a career in killing."

Make no mistake, the discrimination argument is a canard. This coalition of radical writers, along with their considerable following, hates our military and our soldiers not because of anything relating to discriminatory practices, but because they consider them killers. Having failed to stop the liberation of Iraq with their rallies and teach-ins, these anti-war radicals have turned to another front to attack the U.S. Armed Forces.

Behind the calls of "Support Our Troops -- Bring Them Home," lies the belief that the U.S. military is not generally a force of good in the world, but rather a negative one. In their mind, American G.I.'s do not stand for freedom and protecting America, but rather are drones helping further American "imperialism."

I must be subconsciously masochistic for even addressing this, but let's take a look at the "logic" on display here. Weinstein believes that by the assertion "military recruiters are selling a career in killing" these activists (who of course are, without question, representative of the monolith that is "the Left") have betrayed the fact that they hate soldiers because they are "killers."

This doesn't follow, of course (would anyone expect otherwise?). The claim that military recruiters sell a career in killing is basically true; soldiers are, in fact, expected to kill, and they are in fact paid to do so. One might object that there are plenty of members of the military who never kill anyone, and indeed are never in a position to do so. For instance, a computer tech for the Air Force, or an Army chef. I myself don't know if there are military positions in which one could reasonably expect never to have to kill someone; I would guess that there are. But this doesn't change the fact that killing is the military's most important function, and that a significant number (most?) of soldiers are, indeed, at least potentially involved in this killing. That's what they carry all those weapons around for.

So if this entails a hatred for soldiers, then we should all share this hatred, for the central role of killing in the military is uncontroversial. Now, Weinstein might object that the anti-war folks, in claiming that the military offers a career in killing, are not simply pointing out an obvious (almost tautological?) fact, indifferent to its moral status; rather, they are quite clearly condemning the fact that the military offers young people the chance to be a professional killer.

To this I would respond: yes, you are right--so what? Condemning the military as such for encouraging or enabling people to have a career in killing is not the same as condemning those individuals who are successfully encouraged/enabled. In fact, a certain sympathy with ordinary soldiers is quite compatible with this anger at the military for taking advantage of them.

An analogy: suppose a group of campus feminists wanted to prevent a major modeling agency from recruiting on campus, on the grounds that modeling is a degrading business that contributes to various psychological problems for young girls. Could we assume that these feminists therefore hate models? Obviously not; in fact, they could quite plausibly claim that they feel sorry for models for being victimized by the fashion industry, and are trying to prevent more people from being so victimized. Even if they did "hate" modeling per se, this is not tantamount to hating the individuals at the lowest rung of the industry.

This is because it is perfectly consistent to "hate" or otherwise criticize an institution or a practice without hating or criticizing everyone involved in that institution/practice, especially those at the bottom of the hierarchy. This seems trivial and obvious enough, but evidently it is not obvious enough for fucktards like Malkin and Weinstein to understand. But then again, what is? After all, they are total dumbshits.

Malkin's dumbshittery is so vast that there is actually an entire blog dedicated to documenting it, MalkinWatch. According to a post there, Malkin may be guilty of being not only a dumbshit, but also a fraud. Noting the startling frequency with which Malkin posts to her blog (more than six posts a day!), Auguste (the creator of MalkinWatch) writes:
Of course, Malkin does this for a living. But the weird thing is, she keeps it up no matter what. For example, on September 8th, the day she was on her way to speak at Berkeley, she posted four times, including one in-depth post about Eric Muller. She then posted a wrap-up of the talk and a review of her schedule at two am pacific time, before posting again at 9:30 the next morning.

...

Malkin once explained her prolificacy thus:
...No gold-plated interns here at Malkin Central. Just me and my keyboard and my incurable insomnia.

Insomnia...it does a blogger good.
I don't think it's that simple.
Auguste suspects that Malkin's husband, Jesse, may have something to do with it, noting that he recently quite his job to stay home with the little Malkins:
Very admirable of Jesse to become a stay-at-home dad. But was that the only reason he quit?

... one ... piece of evidence: The royal we. Here:
You remember the West Seattle High School anti-war student assembly we blogged about last week.
Here:
No, we're not turning into Wonkette, but our friend Spokane Spokesman-Review columnist Dave Oliviera has an exclusive blog post...
Here:
Don't miss this hatchet job on our friends at powerline by Jim Boyd...

Once is a typo, twice is a figure of speech, three times - plus all the other evidence - makes me ready to state my conclusions for the records:

Malkin not only has a "gold-plated intern", it's her husband. Or to put it another way, Jesse Malkin has a great deal of influence on Michelle's writing, even to the point of posting on her blog, probably on a regular basis. I think it's very possible that the books were cowritten as well; In Defense of Internment was written over a period of sixteen months, the last six (or so) of which Jesse was at home.

...

This is important because, for me, it calls into question Malkin's motivation. If her husband is a partner in punditry, where do Michelle's opinions end and Jesse's begin? And, in today's personality-driven politics, would even right-wingers be as willing to swallow this kind of thing from a white male PhD as from a photogenic minority woman?
(Emphasis added.) Read the rest here.


NOTE: For reasons that remain a mystery to me, I originally cited Francis Beckwith as the author of the article in question that Malkin had linked to. The article was actually written by Jamie Weinstein. I've therefore replaced the references to Beckwith, who has nothing whatsoever to do with any of this.

I can't really imagine what mistaken train of thought led to such a random and weird mistake, but I do apologize to Professor Beckwith for erroneously attributing the article to him. Sorry.

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