Posted on | March 22, 2014 | 26 Comments
The headline on the Atlantic column is intriguing:
It’s one of those intra-liberal feuds about something “controversial” Paul Ryan said 10 days ago, which of course was controversial only because Paul Ryan is a prominent Republican. But the feud among liberals is actually rather interesting in its own right, with one group of effete pointy-headed do-gooders squabbling with another group of subversive America-hating intellectuals. All of them agree that Paul Ryan is a dangerous right-wing reactionary, of course, but they disagree on the correct way to hate Paul Ryan.
Anyway, it’s possible Ta-Nehisi Coates had something important to say about all this, except I never got past the first sentence:
Rick Fucking Hertzberg? Are you fucking kidding me?
Look, man, I have no great love for Jonathan Chait who, like all liberals, is reliably wrong about almost everything. But if his ideas are all wrong, at least Chait’s writing is usually somewhat lively.
The same cannot be said for Hendrik Hertzberg, who has been boring readers into a helpless stupor for three decades. When a writer’s most notable accomplishment is co-authoring Jimmy Carter’s infamous “malaise” speech, it’s best to avoid praising him.
It’s like a musician saying Barry Manilow is their personal role model — evidence of bad taste and poor judgment.
Anyway, for you young folks, let this be a lesson: Whatever you do, never start a column by brown-nosing Rick Hertzberg, because nobody will bother to read anything you write after that.