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July 05, 2006


Katha Pollitt

Could you please explain exactly how I haven't acted in "high principle"? I never used words like Nazi or Fascist to characterize Bush, or Republicans, or conservatives. In fact, I have written in my Nation column ( Sept 13, 2004) that this is a foolish thing to say. Interested readers can find the passage on p 188 of my new collection, "Virginity or Death!" (It begins:"Actually, I too bridle when people start talking about Hitler. It sounds naive and overwrought. If the Republicans really were Nazis, you wouldn't be holding this magazine in your hands." The same passage goes on to criticize those who say the president is stupid.
I suppose I should be flattered to be put in the same boat with Paul Krugman, but since you claim to value precise language and accurate statement, I hold you to your word.


"The flag stands for jingoism and vengeance and war."
-Katha Pollitt nine days after September 11.


Peace, mon ami, Daniel.

The Happy Capitalist

Best of luck to you in your new endeavor, Daniel. I too understand the conflict between blog and employer, especially in financial services.


Same here, Mags.

Thanks for sticking around from the very beginning. You were my first, you know.

HC- I knew that you would understand. Best to you, also.

ken balbari

"Writers such as Katha Pollitt and Paul Krugman, politicians such as Jim McDermott and John Murtha, and gadflies such as Noam Chomsky and Jimmy Carter certainly haven't acted in high principle."

Huh? You are suggesting that Ms. Pollitt's critique of those who disgrace the flag, by raising it on behalf of ignoble intentions, is a compaint against the flag itself?

Jimmy Carter has been one of the most principled, moderate, and respectful voices in American politics in the last century. There is nothing in the least unpatriotic about his concerns about "Our Endangered Values". Murtha is another patriotic moderate, who has merely voiced some principled disagreements on our Iraq policy. Krugman is a widely respected economist whose policy critques are habitually based on a firm foundation of reason and empirical science--a welcome deviation from the opinion page norms.

Aside from Chomsky, you haven't named anyone who has stood for anything that could easily be misconstrued as "anti-American", unless it be considered unpatriotic to defend onseself from such scurrilous charges.

Robert Mayer

It's going to be sad to see you ago Daniel. I'm not much of a blog reader, strangely, but I've always stuck around here even though I can't find the time to comment. Except for now, I guess. Your writing was always well-thought out and witty, despite what you say about yourself, and I am very grateful for all the help when Publius started up well over a year ago. Stay safe and happy, and stay in touch. Maybe I'll be seeing you in the financial services industry three years from now!


Draft your employment agreement carefully so that there's a loophole for blogger commentary. At least we won't lose your wisdom and wit entirely. Best of luck in your new endeavor. You're a class act.


Thanks, guys. You two have been among my favorites. kreiz, for the way you think and reason (and bucked me up when I needed it) and Rob, we were there in the beginning, buddy. You have taken off and I am so happy to see it.

I'll be around...

Dave Schuler

Best wishes on the new job and see you around, Dan. Remember what Churchill said: “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

And waddaya talkin' about, you whippersnapper? I'm homelier, older, and significantly more perturbed than one might guess from my posts. Even more so than my pictures which are no pin-ups, believe me. You look just fine to me.

Pete Peterson

Good luck. Nice trolls. Please nobody feed them.


Presumably in your quest for truth, you reached this conclusion: "We now should be able to acknowledge that we live in a modified socialist state. These aren't fighting words, just reality. We have grown accustomed to certain entitlements..."

I've reached the same conclusion. On June 2nd, I wrote at Ambivalog:

"I disagree with the assumption that the Bushies are trying to turn the clock back to the early 1900s. It just isn't so. What the Right hates to admit is that FDR won and Barry Goldwater lost- liberalism carried the 20th century. We expect a certain level of government intervention in our lives to cushion against the impact of capitalism's inherent Social Darwinism. But Reagan and his ideological descendants haven't laid a hand on huge social programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Goldwater failed in his attempt to dismantle Social Security. There hasn't been a serious effort to do so since. Modern conservatives have reluctantly accepted that a monster federal government is part of the political landscape. The liberal-conservative debate picks at the edges of the monolith. There's no serious debate to dismantle it, not because there's not a desire to, but because it's political suicide to do otherwise. Right-wing rhetoric positing otherwise is mere window-dressing."

Great minds think alike, I suppose.



I will accept the compliment. Your formulation here, I think is spot-on and highlights something that conservative do not want to acknowledge and liberals do not want to talk about openly for fear that the truth might get some people talking about rolling back the Welfare State (which isn't about to happen).

Your comment is one of the best, most concise arguments on this subject I have read.

Great minds indeed; you were first. BTW, when the hell are you going to start your blog?


No blog for me, DB. I admire you guys tremendously- not only for your intellectual energy but for your thick skins. For example, I remember admiring your solo defense of the Colbert post, fending off and disarming an avalanche of frothing leftists. That kind of thing would be exhausting for me. No thanks. And like you, I'm more interested in the truth-seeking, not winning. There aren't many of those folks around (you, Shuler, Callimachus, Gandleman, Mike Reynolds- to name a few). That's why I hate to see you retiring.


Wow, you put me some high company, there.

The truth is that I hate me retiring, and already I'm feeling separation anxiety. This gets into one's blood and is not easy to give up.

Thanks for the very kind words, and for being around (especially during la Colbert) to help out with the truth-seeking.

I'll be keeping my email and the blog will stay up until I figureout what to so with it. Keep in touch.


I discovered this blog too late. Alas, at least there's still the archives!


Best of luck with everything, Daniel. I will sincerely miss you!


I didn't realise this was your last blog! Would you know it, I'd been reading it all along. Sorry I didn't comment so much. But now I'm all angry that you had to stop. I know how much this whole thing meant to you, and how important it is to express one's self. You wrote some beautiful stuff here, please never lose it.
Love you Dad.

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