Saturday, July 27, 2002

Response to David Horowitz’s Attacks on Me and HorowitzWatch

In David Horowitz’s attack on me and HorowitzWatch, he makes the following accusations: 1) I am a “leftist”; 2) Leftists like me “live to betray their country”; 3) my “heroes” are radicals like Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden 3) The communists who slaughtered millions in Indochina are my “friends.” 4) It was wrong for me to accuse him of treason; and 5) I am “a liar and a knave” for suggesting that he is an apologist for white supremacist Jared Taylor.

Horowitz’s wild and unsupported accusations against me are just plain silly. I defy Horowitz or anyone else to support these charges. In fact, my political views are best described as center-left. If I’m a leftist, then so are Joseph Lieberman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. For the record, I grew up in a moderate Republican family; I became a moderate Democrat because I couldn’t stand the GOP’s flirtation with anti-intellectualism (e.g., sectarianism, creationism, Moonie-ism, and neo-Confederate thought). Even though I’m what George W. Bush might call “a Grecian-American,” I didn’t vote for Dukakis in 1988 because he was too far to the left of me. Being accused of extremism by David Horowitz is like having been called a horndog by the late Wilt Chamberlain. To paraphrase the late Steve Allen, a guy can get trampled to death here in the middle by True Believers like Horowitz who scurry from one end of the political spectrum to the other.

Regarding my allegiance, I identify with the Stars and Stripes; all too many of Horowitz’s new-found friends (e.g., Trent Lott and Jared Taylor) identify with the Stars and Bars (talk about blaming America first). I’m way too young to have been a follower of Hayden, Fonda, and Ellsberg in their anti-war heyday, but I have no patience with contemporary leftist commentators and activists like Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, or Ramsey Clark. I defy anyone to check my web site and show where I write anything anti-American.

The idea that I identified with the brutal regimes in Southeast Asia is libelous. I am a strong supporter of human rights. In any authoritarian regime, free-spirited, iconoclastic, and fun-loving people like me are the first people to be lined up against a wall and shot. What the US should have done in Vietnam is a complicated matter; however, one thing I firmly believe is that more of the draft-age people who were in favor of the war (e.g., Horowitz’s new-found friends Tom DeLay and George W. Bush) should have been the ones who were fighting the war; that way, fewer young men from my hometown in southeastern Ohio would have had to have died in the war.

It is my belief that Horowitz’s attacks against my patriotism are an attempt to divert attention from my criticisms I made against him on this site. First, I noted the irony of Horowitz wishing for the execution of John Walker Lindh when Horowitz’s own treasonous past makes Lindh look like an amateur in comparison. Unlike Horowitz’s unfounded accusation that “leftists” like me “live to betray their country,” my accusation of Horowitz’s treason comes from a reliable source: Horowitz’s own words. Horowitz admitted that he violated the Espionage Act by publishing classified information, an act Horowitz described as “a major blow to United States’ national security in the midst of the Vietnam War.” Horowitz wrote about this on his web site, in Commentary (yes, I read Commentary), in his book Radical Son and his most recent book How to Beat the Democrats (check out this web site in the next few day for critiques of this laughable book). Here is what Horowitz and Peter Collier wrote in Destructive Generation: “Like others present at the creation of the New Left, who had begun the Sixties demanding that America improve itself, we had ended the decade by committing acts of no-fault treason.”

I’m also sure that Horowitz is smarting from my mocking his laughable argument that he is “[paying] for [his treasonous past] every day with my work”—as if being a Scaife-funded hack in West LA is adequate payback for having caused massive damage to US national security and intelligence. In my last exchange with Horowitz about Scaife and his funding of paranoid conspiracy theories, Horowitz responded, “Richard Scaife cannot be held responsible for everything anyone he ever gave money to writes.” As luck would have it, just a few days ago, Scaife’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review revived the Vince-Foster-Was-Murdered conspiracy theory (and attempted to implicate Hillary Clinton in the death and cover-up). Mind you, even wingnut Ann Coulter repudiated this conspiracy theory (she called Chris Ruddy’s book on the topic, a “conservative hoax book”). Being Scaife’s monkey boy must be a good gig.

As for my accusation of Horowitz being an apologist for white supremacist Jared Taylor. I want the reader to draw his/her own conclusions. 1) Read what I and the Watchful Babbler wrote about Taylor on HorowitzWatch; 2) Read what I wrote on Scoobie Davis Online (7/16); 3) Read Taylor’s American Renaissance web site; 4) Read the Anti-Defamation League’s analysis of Taylor; 5) Read Horowitz’s description of Taylor and American Renaissance. Determine for yourselves who is dishonest and “knavish.”

Finally, Horowitz misunderstands my motives and tone. When I wrote about Horowitz’s treason, it wasn’t so much with a feeling of “outrage;” rather it was with a feeling of playful ridicule. That’s why I started the “Name That Punishment” contest (7/24 post). I view someone who shifted from the dour authoritarian left to the dour authoritarian right as a good target of mockery. Horowitz no longer calls political opponents lackeys of American capitalism; he calls them knaves. I’m sad that Horowitz has given up on HorowitzWatch and me. I was hoping that in the future he would call me a cad or, better yet, a dastard.

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