Saturday, July 01, 2006

Via Instapundit, this Ana Marie Cox review of Katha Pollit's new book, Virginity or Death caught my attention. I don't really care for her writing, since it's basically the warmed over, narrow-minded, ignorant of the other side leftism that seems to permeate The Nation, where columns that comprise the book were originally published. I'm not claiming to have read the book, a passage from the review did inspire a bit of comment. This one (already commented on by Professor Reynolds):
There's a certain preserved-in-amber quality to some of the thinking here. For example, Pollitt herself confesses that the opinions that underpinned her most controversial column — against displaying American flags after 9/11 — were formed during the Vietnam War; she despairs that her pro-flag daughter cannot see "the connection between waving the flag and bombing ordinary people half a world away." I'm not sure if she's right about that, but it's significant that Pollitt would see the world outside her window through a scrim of 30-year-old lefty rhetoric. She simply rejects the argument that the meaning of the flag (like the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance, which was composed by a 19th-century socialist) might change.

There's some importance to the Vietnam-era leftist prism she looks through, but I think Ms. Cox misses something else. I think Ms. Pollit's prejudices prevent her from understanding the flag doesn't represent the same things to her that it does to people who don't share her narrow, fossilized, stuck-in-the-sixties world view. (Both then and now - ed.) Moreover, in the flag she sees only the things she hates about our country. For all her purported concern for women's rights in the Middle East, Pollit ignores the progress for women's rights there obtained by dropping bombs on the Taliban (not ordinary people). In Afghanistan, a good argument can be made that the high explosives dropped by our armed forces did more for women's rights there than any efforts made by the feminst left. It must grate on her... .

Judging from this passage, I would guess that Pollit really doesn't understand conservatives very well:
"The truth is, most of the good things about this country have been fought for by liberals," she warns in a 2004 pre-election column. "If conservatives had carried the day, blacks would still be in the back of the bus, women would be barefoot and pregnant, medical care would be on a cash-only basis, there'd be mouse feet in your breakfast cereal and workers would still be sleeping next to their machines."
For example, do I have to remind Pollit that the Democrats are responsible for Jim Crow, not conservatives? The quote displays her notion of people who disagree: they are bigoted sexist slave drivers. In other words, you are a good person only if you agree with my politics. How narrow... .

I also have a question - how many guys out there demanded the woman in their lives cut off toes to fit in Jimmy Choo shoes? Any?

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