FLOGGING CHE.

Kay Steiger has a good piece on the unpleasant reality of perpetual campus icon Che Guevara (which reminded me of one of my favorite t-shirts.)

James Kirchick, while apparently agreeing with Steiger's main points, takes some pot shots at her style (which is pretty funny for anyone who's familiar with Kirchick's own writing, which can most charitably be described as disturbingly self-gratifying), and then criticizes her for not condemning Che in precisely the fashion he would prefer, and for not using her piece on Che to launch a broader attack on the progressive left that he feels should be made.

"Steiger writes of Guevara’s “impatience with governing,” which is a nice euphemism for a belief in the virtues of violent revolution over the comparatively less sexy devotion to the rule of law and individual rights. Steiger is not the first writer to employ such rhetorical sleights-of-hand aimed at whitewashing the brutality of this particular left-wing thug."

No, actually it does refer to Guevera's impatience with governing. Kirchick's accusation of "whitewashing the brutality of this particular left-wing thug" might make some sense if Steiger hadn't actually described, in detail, some of the brutality of this particular left-wing thug later in her article. One wonders why Kirchick even bothered linking to Steiger's piece when he clearly wasn't interested in engaging with any of its ideas, and obviously just wanted an excuse to tee off on some commie-simp lefties.

I can only hope that Commentary will get much more intellectually serious when John Podhoretz takes over.

--Matthew Duss

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