For reasons I can't quite comprehend, even some pretty hardened TNR-haters seem to see Leon Wieseltier as making a positive contribution to the world. Certainly, some very good stuff appears in the back of the book over there, but the man's own work is a kind of writing-as-thuggery. Anyways, it seems I have to add my colleague Andrew Sullivan to the ever-growing list of people TNR deems motivated by hatred of Jews. The context -- Bill Kristol sitting in his partisan hack armchair and determining that Barack Obama's Christian faith is insincere:
And now for the grossly undialectical bit. The ink on the Times was not yet dry when Andrew Sullivan rushed to the defense of his idol, I mean Obama. When one types all the time, sooner or later everything will be typed, and so Sullivan, in his fury against Kristol, typed this: "A non-Christian manipulator of Christianity is calling a Christian a liar about his faith." Ponder that early adjective. It is Jew baiting. I was not aware that only Christians can judge Christians, or that there are things about which a Jew cannot call a Christian a liar. If Kristol is wrong about Obama, it is not because Kristol is a Jew. So this fills me with a certain paschal wrath. Nice little blog you have there, Obama boy. Pity if frogs or locusts should happen to it. Let my people be!
Um . . . really . . . noting the irony of Kristol's attack is now "Jew-baiting"? We seem to be defining our problems down here. But in Wieseltier's view, this is the equivalent of enslaving the entire people of Israel. And Wieseltier himself is, I guess, Moses? How preposterous. And this isn't a blog post -- Wieseltier has, nominally, an editor who ought to be able to engage in some quality control.