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Sunday, June 29, 2003

Well, I think that Rachel Lucas has finally lost me. I had seen her as a thoughtful and entertaining right-wing blogger, but after this half-baked "Fisking" of a Bill Clinton speech, I just think she's descended into self-parody. It's not worth a point-by-point rebuttal, but she does say something that I found staggering in its sheer lunacy -- particularly to see it coming from a person who has made a big deal of the fact that she's a history student:

Seriously, does anyone care what Hitler's "root causes" were? I didn't think so. Schmoot schmauses.

Amazing, utterly amazing. The study of history is, in large part, precisely the study of "root causes", the idea being that maybe if we identify the forces that led to certain events or to certain people rising to power, maybe we'll be able to identify those forces again in our own time. So yes, I suspect that Hitler's "root causes" are, in fact, quite relevant: just what led an entire nation to turn over its reins of power to a person like that? Why would they do so? Are there any such instances transpiring today? What role did the punitive nature of the Treaty of Versailles play in the rise of Naziism? And so forth. I don't understand why bitching about "root causes" is such a shibboleth on the right these days, but for a person like Rachel -- who is constantly patting herself on the back for her superior understanding and respect for history, in the face of all those dumb liberal students who don't know nothin' better -- to make a statement like this is almost beyond my comprehension.

(Oh, and while I'm at it, Rachel tosses up a nice strawman in discussing Bill Clinton's criticism of the Bush tax cut plan. Rachel seems to think that Clinton is complaining that anyone at all is getting a tax cut, so she boldly claims, "I'm gonna keep any 'windfall' I get". Well, that's very nice. Too bad that the actual Democratic complaint isn't that you're getting "any 'windfall'", Rachel, but that you're not getting enough of one. I wish I could figure out just how right-wingers translate "We think the lower and middle classes should get more of the present tax cut than the extreme upper-class" into "We think nobody should get any tax cut at all".)

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