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The Excluded Middle

By Matthew Yglesias  

"The Excluded Middle"

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Jonah Goldberg throws down the gauntlet:

It seems to me the liberal left needs to decide, was Ayers a horrible figure to be ashamed of, or a hero? If you don’t like this choice, why?

This is baffling. Is Jonah Goldberg a horrible figure to be ashamed of, or a hero? You must choose! But he’s neither. He’s just a guy. What Ayers did was wrong, and it’s troubling that, unlike most 60s-era radicals, he can’t seem to see that even in retrospect. But I dare say he’s responsible for a good deal less violence, death, and destruction than is, say, Henry Kissinger. It’d be dumb to idolize Ayers’ actions from back in the day but he’s hardly history’s greatest monster or even the greatest monster involved in 1960s political controversies.

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