INTELLECTUALLY GROTESQUE INDEED! Jonah Goldberg apparently cannot distinguish between arguments about suboptimal economic outcomes of private monopsonies and those dismissing cowardly opera house owners as something less than an existential threat to speech. Truly, it's a subtle distinction, and Jonah should not in any way feel bad about missing it.

But really -- do read his post. It's a good example of the wild roundhouses these folks throw when you question the trumped up moral stands that supposedly give ethical weight to their Clash-of-Civilization fantasies. The Deutsche Oper's decision to pull Idomeneo was a cowardly one. There were no threats, there were no protests. It was preemptive cowardice. Apprised of the move's idiocy by the German political establishment (including the prime minister), the opera is being reinstated. Truly, free people everywhere should quake before this precedent.

Yet, to hear Jonah tell it, this is as bad as the KKK, abortion protesters, and Wal-Mart combined. And Jonah, so far as I know, supports at least two of those things. Which just further proves my point about agendas. Jonah's got one, and it involves making a big deal out a single opera director's boneheaded move. That the state of Germany censors all sorts of anti-semitic speech doesn't much bother him, but a private citizen's widely-mocked and eventually-repealed anxieties over an opera do. It's as if Wal-Mart moved into town, hired only Ku Klux Klan members, gave special discounts to abortion protesters, and everyone flipped out about an X-rated movie down the block. Or something.

--Ezra Klein