Jonathan Chait responds to my blast at him for analogizing Donald Rumsfeld to Lee Harvey Oswald by saying, astonishingly, that “an analogy between A and B does not imply moral parity between A and B.” I can’t decide which is worse. Is it a) the cowardice demonstrated by an unwillingness to own up to his own rhetorical offense; b) the moral idiocy of claiming that an analogy does not imply moral parity when implying parity is precisely what an analogy is designed to do; or c) the dense sensibility that could actually imagine he could write that sentence and get away with it when he is being read by people who have at least four brain cells and at least some limited experience in reading sentences, even ones as useless as Chait’s? He calls his line about Rumsfeld a “joke,” which is, again, not only cowardly, given his refusal to own up, but sadly reflective of Chait’s general way with a witticism, which is, alas, no way at all.
He then chooses to prove his point about moral parity and analogies (and jokes, I suppose) by analogizing me to Kim Jong-il in a tediously witless jab on the subject of nepotism. Well, I don’t know what Chait’s father does for a living, but if he were, say, a shoemaker, I would wager he is probably relieved that his son didn’t join the family business, given that the shoddiness with which he practices his present craft would, in an analogous profession, be enough to drive that business into bankruptcy.