A reader writes:
I see that you gave the cover of American Taliban a Moore Award nomination. Here are some other possible nominees. Perhaps the fellow who said that the "base of the GOP - aided and abetted by what's left of their elites - want a religious war abroad and at home." Or the guy who said that the GOP's "bigotry trumped their humanity". Or that they hold an "instrumental belief in war as a virtue, in torture as a Machiavellian necessity, in primitive forms of politicized Christianity as a ballast against Islam." No, no ... it should definitely be the author of these remarks:As we watch the GOP become a religious party bent on imposing its religious views on civil society and determined to wage war against Islamic countries as a crusade to prove our own superiority, it feels very Weimar to me.
But what's most Weimar about all of this is the role of the intellectuals in aiding and abetting this ugliness, in the deeply hidden contempt for the democratic West that lies within the neoconservative project. They believe in one thing: war. And they are doing all they can to expand and provoke it.
But seriously, what is being said by that cover that you haven't said in the last week alone?
The difference is in equating them directly with the Taliban and al Qaeda. That equation is as repulsive to me now as it was when Dinesh D'Souza did the same thing to the left. The neocons and the Christianists are deeply dangerous to Western society and global peace, but they are not, emphatically not, the kind of people who stone people to death, murder innocents as a religious duty, and wage war on us every day. To equate American citizens with the enemy is to engage in McCarthyite excess that is as wrong on the left as it is on the right. It's a step too far - and it is empirically false.