Man Without Qualities

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

DeLong Descent

UPDATE: The Minute Man has more history.

As does Off-Wing.


Bradford DeLong, a Berkeley professor of economics and former Clinton administration appointee, writes seriously that he believes Justice Antonin Scalia supports those who collaborated with Hitler ("Charles de Gaulle for his rebellion against the collaborationist French government of Philippe Petain and Pierre Laval stands, in Scalia's eyes, condemned as an enemy of God.")

And that is Professor DeLong's right.

Professor DeLong writes also that he is "instituting a policy" under which he deletes all of my comments because one of them included: "And I love the witty "Capiche?" at the end, Brad. You sound just like Mussolini when you say that while you pull the plug on nearby dissent, you old cutie. I’ll bet the girls love it, too!" This he says is because (in his words) "Commenters who compare others (or me) to Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, or Mussolini should not expect their comments to remain in the database."

And that is Professor DeLong's right.

Most American I think would say that someone who refers to actions of ministers of a given faith as "craven bootlicking" is a simple, despicable religious bigot, and many a blogger would remove such a religiously bigoted post. Most Americans would also probably agree that a comment that ascribed such a religious bigotry to Thomas Jefferson, perhaps the greatest advocate of religious toleration this country has seen, was both radically inconsistent with Jefferson's beliefs and offensive to basic American ideals. Professor DeLong maintains just such a comment in his comment box. Indeed, it appears that professor DeLong may actually be the author of the comment, but he certainly believes it reflects Jefferson's beliefs (He writes: "Posting under the name of historical figure is fine, but the position adopted in the post must be that of the historical figure in question for... aesthetic reasons. ... In whose judgment? Mine, of course.)

And that is Professor DeLong's right.

It is also the right of those who read Professor DeLong's blog to judge these matters for themselves, and to come to such conclusions concerning the moral and ethical content and character of Professor DeLong as they so deem fit in their sole and complete discretion.

And every knowledgeable, sane person in this country knows for a fact that Justice Antonin Scalia would pledge his life, fortune and sacred honor to preserve all of those rights, even those of Professor DeLong, as the law of this land.

Even if Professor DeLong is everything he appears to be.

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