UPDATE: Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) has won this heat. Don’t forget to congratulate him on Twitter.
So Rebecca Solnit has now won three heats of #BiggestLiberalAsshole2012 and in my view the voters have gotten things exactly right. So far only the race against Kevin Drum was close and this also is as it should be.
For heat 4, my pal Kade Crockford (@kade_ellis on Twitter), much braver than most about lifting up rocks to find unimaginably slimy creatures underneath them, has drawn my attention to this shameful and disgusting performance on Bloggingheads by professional shill Michael Cohen of the New Century Foundation. He’s tasked himself with defending Obama’s drone program against Conor Friedersdorf, the bête noire of the moment for the Drone Left, due to his recent anti-Obama article in The Atlantic.
As arguments go, it’s pretty unremarkable on both sides, but what really sells Cohen as an asshole to rival Solnit is the synergistic blend of irrelevant and stupid arguments, his idiotically starry-eyed faith in the essential goodness of the War on Terror generally and the Drone program specifically and, perhaps above all, the abundance of mirthful, supercilious, enjoyment he takes in himself, comically oblivious to how foolish and repellant tepid Friedersdorf is making him look to anyone who doesn’t worship power for a living.
I think Solnit and Cohen make for an interesting study. It would be a mistake, I think, to make too much of Solnit’s activist bona fides. In the end she aims to produce the exact same effect as Cohen but for a different audience and she argues in even worse faith. Still Cohen is worth considering because he is straight up arguing for murder, rather than simply making a case for overlooking it. To be honest, I’m still up in the air about which of those is worse.
Going to keep this open until Monday. Please vote with hashtag #BiggestLiberalAsshole2012. Votes without the hashtag will be ignored without comment.
Would be great if people took enough interest to comment here.
Rebecca Solnit “Hey Left Wing, Quit Griping”
Michael Cohen “The Good Fight” Bloggingheads discussion with Conor Friedersdorf
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