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Contentions

I’ll Take Disingenuous Sophists for $1,000, Alex

Mark Krikorian calls me a “pedantic bore” on National Review’s The Corner for having had the temerity to point out that a “winking headline” he put on a blog post the other day was an exact echo of George McGovern’s isolationist slogan “Come Home, America.” The word “winking” in his wondrously suggestive riposte is clearly a delightfully ironic witticism far too imaginative for a pedantic bore like me to understand. But let me analyze it, pedantically and in a very boring manner, for a just a split second. In essence, by calling his headling “winking,” Krikorian is acknowledging that his desire to see all American troops removed from Europe is, in fact, firmly and precisely in the isolationist tradition of McGovern. He’s only “winking” because he knows full well that as a poster on a conservative website of a magazine that is notably internationalist in its outlook, he is introducing a note of purely isolationist cutesiness.

How un-pedantic of Krikorian! Regrettably, however, there are some pedantic bores out there whose eye for the obvious are unable to appreciate his magnificent subtlety and can see only the disingenuous sophistry at his core. As for complaining that I did not make an argument in opposition to his, let me just offer this: His original post contained nothing resembling an argument, merely a populist sneer at the notion that it might be prudent to keep a rather small contingent of American forces in a state of forward deployment in Europe. But then, there is little point in arguing anything with Krikorian, whose career is dedicated to gussying up noxious views in terms that sound calmly reasoned. (Perhaps, Mark, you should consider adding that last sentence to the book blurb you intend to make of my statement that you are “the leading immigration restrictionist in America.”)


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