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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Gettin’ Crazy

I know us progressive bloggers are supposed to be boycotting The New Republic these days, but hell’s bells, I’ve always been a bit contrary by nature, and the magazine is, well, actually very good on a regular basis.Today’s TNR posts offer two very interesting takes on the way that the misuses of language can make politicians here and everywhere literally crazy.The estimable John Judis, after a whirlwind tour of modern epistemology (no kidding), suggests that the Bush administration is pursuing an insane foreign policy based on the assumption that America’s enemies are insane. It’s a fine piece, though I do think he should have acknowledged the odd psychopath in power (see Hitler, Adolph, and Stalin, Josef) who provides the exception to the rule of semi-rational statecraft.Meanwhile, the equally estimable Leon Wieseltier offers an assessment of Hamas’ bizarre denial of Israel’s formal existence, suggesting an unusually Orwellian use of language by some Palestinians about words like “exist.” At the height of Leon’s diatribe, he describes Hamas’ position towards Israel this way: “Israel is to be accepted as just another nasty fact of life, like toxic waste or Tom Cruise.”Selah.

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