Monday, February 20, 2012

Jennifer Rubin: Diminished

I don't know if, in any of my previous 3,910 posts, if I ever devoted one to another blogger.  Well, perhaps then it is time for something new...

Jennifer Rubin was possibly my favorite blogger anywhere when she was writing over at Contentions, the go-to site for conservative Jewish thought.  Her analysis of world affairs, the state of Israel, the Bush administration and their Democratic opponents were amongst the most adroit on the web.

Her move to the Washington Post was well deserved, and she continued making the thoughtful conservative argument before a hostile crowd, whose commentary on her pieces were limited to profanity, inanity, and liberal make-believe words like "Stupid Rethuglicans!".

But is has been in her "coverage" of the Republican primaries where she has gone a bit off-track.  She's an unrepentant Mitt Romney booster, but her savage attacks on the competing candidates have been almost without precedent in the blogging community.

I got pissed off early, when she ruthlessly tore apart Rick Perry upon his entrance into the race, but when he imploded, I had to admit to myself she might have been on to something.  Her attacks on Newt Gingrich echo mine, so I have no quarrel there.  And I concur with Jen's assessment that Rick Santorum might not win more than a handful of states, either. 

So since I seem to be in agreement with her, what's my beef?  Well, first it is the vicious nature of her attacks, where she comes off more as a third-rate blogger than the first-class intellectual that I believe her to be.  Newt and Rick are not viable candidates, but they have each contributed something to the conversation that will wind up being worthwhile.  Mitt will not win without some of Rick's social conservatism, nor will he win unless he takes it directly to the president and the media a al Newt.

But the biggest change in her attitude has been her attacks on those who dare criticize her opinion.  The WSJ's James Taranto offers this unsettling tidbit:

You may remember that last month the New York Times's Charles Blow blocked this columnist on Twitter. After we published yesterday's column, we discovered that Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post had done the same, and for the same reason: because we had pointed out the logical shortcoming of her appeal to her own authority based on her identity (in her case as a woman, in his as a black person).

If it's impolite to subject a commentator's public words to logical scrutiny, we suppose we're one rude SOB. Twitter is a social medium, and no one is under any obligation to socialize with us. But the point here is that the practitioners of identity politics frequently are unable to deal with challenges to their views by either modifying them or defending them reasonably. What exactly is liberating about that?
So Jennifer is now accepting no criticism of her positions, even well-reasoned ones.  Epistemological closure, anyone?

But even worse, she has turned to left-wing style insults against those with whom she disagrees - and who are unable to respond:

Weak. With the atrocious spelling of the keyboard-mashing basement Lefty...

Jen, I want you back.  The ruthless intellectual I had a brain-crush on, not the bomb-throwing Romney partisan you've become.  Don't sacrifice your powers of reason and argument for the sake of one man.  They are more valuable, in the long term, then he is.

Save yourself, and in that way, you might wind up helping us all.


LibertyAtStake said...

My assessment: Ms. Rubin has been intellectually corrupted by the WaPo royal court crowd, has been thusly co-opted by the hapless DC GOP establishment, therefore went all in for Mittens like the other cool kids, and is reacting poorly to the apparent dissolution of her dreams to become one of the "in" crowd. It is a Stockholm Syndrome story not uncommon among token conservatives hired by establishment lib outlets like WaPo. And Ann Coulter, apparently.

“Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

The JerseyNut said...

I sincerely hope you are incorrect, but unfortunately, you may have hit the nail on the head.

The type of corruption you speak of is usually permanent.

The question is, if Mitt is nominated and loses in 2012, will she blame herself for backing (voraciously) the wrong horse? Or will she blame us wacky neo-cons & Tea Partiers for somehow spoiling it for him (and for her)?

Let's hope it does not come to that...