Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Back in the Swing of Things Roundup

It was a rough time last week, but things are looking up. Not only was I graced with the presence of the most lovely lady I know, but apparently we got a new President, whom I really dig. So let's get some links off the browser, and jump into this new week with a smile and some can-do spirit! (I'm not sure I'm ever this perky in person. I'm not even sure why I'm this perky now)

The Voting Rights Act: Still a good idea, still deterring dirty tricks.

I actually prefer it when they're explicit about things: A large group of British academics signed a petition expressing their opinion that "Israel must lose" its war against Hamas, as a corollary to their belief in "the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation".

One thing I will say Israel needs to lose is the instinct to crack down on political protesters. What is with them these past few weeks?

Rachel Maddow explains why she found the whole Rick Warren/Eugene Robinson gambit infuriating.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is a massive prick, albeit one who inspires fabulous parodies.

Richard Jeffrey Newman writes far better posts than I do about anti-Semitism -- even though he seriously disagrees with me on much of the topic.

Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell is looking like the man who will be tapped to lead Obama's mid-east peace initiatives. Sounds like a good choice.


PG said...

I'm not sure I agree with her claim that if Robinson already had been on deck when Warren was announced, the Obama folks would have said so immediately in order to forestall the first wave of anger. That in itself is kind of a weird trade-off if what pissed people off about Warren were his views (on homosexuality, women, marriage generally, etc.). Warren isn't any less of a "comparing same-sex marriage to incest" pastor simply because Robinson also was invited. The only reason to be somehow appeased by the invite to Robinson would be if you took the Warren invite as objectionable not because of his views in themselves, but because of keeping a tally of points on each side and demanding that there be balance. "Warren, that's 5 points in the anti-gay column. Lowery, that's about 1 point in the pro-gay column. Hmm, we're 4 points higher in the anti-gay column -- let's be outraged! Oh, until we hear that a gay bishop was invited, then that's 5 points in the pro-gay column, keeping Obama just barely pro-gay."

I'd rather save the upset for a time when it can accomplish something, e.g. a massive phone and letter campaign to Congress to get DOMA and DADT repealed. Now that we have a president who has committed to signing such legislation when it reaches his desk, we need to get it to his desk.

PG said...

Also, the British academics seem to support my idea in the thread below that it would be worthwhile for people on the left to explain what constitutes a moral, within-the-rules insurgency. At the point you're calling for Hamas to win, and endorsing a "right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation" that involves killing people, if you can't come up with a set of rules on how to do this, you're just exposing your own moral irresponsibility even on your anti-Zionist terms.

Newman's post drew at least one Feministe commenter who had been ragging on you, who expressed vast surprise at the idea that Zionism had anything to do with actual Jews and their preferences, instead of just to do with Christian "dominionism." There was huge shock at the idea that Jews in the U.S. face discrimination, especially from Christians.

I think this indicates that you started your posts at far too high a level of knowledge and sophistication for some readers, and that if you're writing for such a general audience, you needed to be at a more "101" level of education, which is some of what Newman is doing with his. "Yes, there is anti-Semitism in the U.S. Really. Here are examples from my own life."

PG said...

I am of course aware of the irony of deliberately writing at a 101-level of education for the kind of people who tend to declare that they don't have time/ interest to "educate" those whom they deem insufficiently enlightened.

Richard Jeffrey Newman said...

Thanks, David, for the kind words! Part Two is going up today.