WHEN THE LEFT...

WHEN THE LEFT HAND DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THE FAR RIGHT HAND IS DOING. A couple days ago, TAPPED contributor Ben Adler noticed the contrast of a Marty Peretz post proclaiming his paper's strong, if occasionally heterodox, liberalism sitting atop a Lawrence Kaplan post sighing over "how deeply unserious" Democrats are about Iraq. As Adler noted, this is what liberals bristle against in TNR: not their willingness to "grapple" with conservative ideas, but their penchant for publishing ideological conservatives and other travelers -- Kaplan is some species of neo-conny quasi-liberal who voted for Bush and blasted liberals for, literally, hating America -- who evince a robust contempt of the left. Today, Kaplan struck back at Ben with a contemptuous* post asserting his dislike for Bill Frist. Fair enough. Unfortunately, it sits atop another Kaplan post explaining that Kerry -- and those who support his withdrawal resolution -- are even less moderate on Iraq than, yes, the Iraqi insurgency. Oops.

* Check the shot at "something called Campus Progress" by something called The New Republic. I adore that insult construction; it's so deliciously egotistic, assuming that the very fact of the author's unfamiliarity with the publication is, in and of itself, a commentary on its worth.

--Ezra Klein

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