20 March 2009

Skeerdy Cat is skeered

Eyal Press finds Serious Liberal Walter Shapiro whining about the corrosive spread of dread populism.

Shapiro sings the familiar Serious song, groaning that right-wing and left-wing populism are all basically the same, which is the kind of thing only people too comfortable with the current reign of elevated bourgeois government believe, but, oh wait, I've just described The New Republic. There are quite apparent distinctions between left and right populism, but Shapiro isn't interested to learn them because he's not concerned about popular government. If Serious Libs are worried about an outporing of uncontained populism, perhaps they should look in the mirror. They spend much of their time trying to smother any sparking of left populism, while the establishment Right actively supports and finances its faux-populist windbags.

More broadly, Serious types will often puff on about "the far left and the far right sure do agree about a lot of things!" i.e., Lefties were against the war, Pat Buchanon was against the war, ergo lefties are Pat Buchanon. Jeffrey Goldberg seems to really love this argument. One could argue that Serious Liberals are basically the same, if not by default deferrential, to neoconservatives, but at a magazine run by Marty Peretz, that may hit too close to home.