Monday, October 24, 2011

The Truman Show

Tablet Magazine has a neat profile up on Rachel Kleinfeld, founder of the Truman Project. The Truman Project is a left-of-center national security think tank meant to provide a counterbalance to conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation, and it has quickly established itself as a hot-spot for progressive national security thinkers.

Interestingly, Kleinfeld, an Alaska native, is the daughter of Andrew Kleinfeld, a federal court judge on the 9th Circuit. I know of Judge Kleinfeld, because he is a favorite amongst Federalist Society folk, and is a popular clerkship destination for truly devoted young conservative lawyers willing to spend a year in Fairbanks, Alaska. Judge Kleinfeld is conservative with a libertarian streak, albeit (like most Republican Jews) one whose familial roots are deeply Democratic. And now his daughter has returned to those roots as a doyen of the left's national security establishment. In a sense, it is reminiscent of Catherine MacKinnon, whose father was also a prominent conservative appeals court judge. And (heart-warmingly), in both cases from what I've heard father is quite proud and supportive of daughter, in spite of (presumed) political differences.

Finally, I would be remiss in linking to this profile without offering one of the funniest lines in it, provided by a leftist Truman Project skeptic critiquing their alleged MO: "It's a very testosterone-heavy approach, very, 'Fuck you, I'm a retired general and I have killed people with my bare hands and I will tell you that torture is bad.'" Partial to that type of epistemic credibility myself, I will nonetheless concede it made me smile.

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