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The Hounding Of Pat Buchanan

thenoobyorker:

cheatsheet:

There is so much I disagree with Pat Buchanan on - from World War II to marriage equality to immigration to my love of a multi-racial and multi-cultural society - that I could write a book in it. But let me say something in his defense: however repellent some of his views, he is intellectually honest. Yes, publicly bigoted, sometimes outrageous, a flame-thrower, a reactionary who flirted at times with what only can be called neo-fascism. But here’s another thing he has always been: true to his own ideas and a gifted writer. He truly believes what he says and has read and researched a huge amount and has thought carefully about his extreme out-of-the-mainstream views. He is a serious figure in that respect. Compared with Al Sharpton or Ed Schultz, he is a paragon of intellectual integrity. He is not a propagandist. He is a passionate writer who loves nothing more than a good argument with a worthy opponent - and he has a serious sense of humor to boot. That his ideas are often repelling should precisely be why he should stay on MSNBC and defend his views against the smartest critiques that can be found, We should stop silencing people and keep debating them.

- Andrew Sullivan

Andrew Sullivan, professional blogger and a courteous jackass who prefaces his positions with middle ground statements that he can later defer to when people object to his objective defenses of bigots, racists and the “intellectually honest.”

Some thoughts on Buchanan’s “intellectual honesty.”

Not that MSNBC is anything amazing, but there’s no reason they ought to feel any obligation to provide a platform for racism, even if it has a sheen of intellectual rigor and fancy rhetoric to it. But Andrew Sullivan loves the idea that we should keep debating civil rights arguments from fifty years ago as some sort of intellectual exercise, with no regard to how treating people’s inherent worth as human beings as a topic for debate perpetuates the oppressive power structures in our society.