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John Podhoretz Is Not A Very Intelligent Person

By Matthew Yglesias on August 11, 2011 at 9:24 am

"John Podhoretz Is Not A Very Intelligent Person"


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I don’t normally read books that seem like they’d be terrible, but once upon a time I had a work-related assignment to read John Podhoretz’s Bush Country: How George W. Bush Became the First Great Leader of the 21st Century—While Driving Liberals Insane. It’s really a stupendously bad book, but I think an absolute must-read piece of context for debates about affirmative action. I try normally not to think too much about the guy, but he decided to annoy me on Twitter with the following exchange this morning:

My baseline assumption with this kind of thing is that we’re looking at dishonesty, but having read Podhoretz’s opus on the greatness of George W Bush it seems plausible to me that he’s actually unaware of the relevant facts. Suffice it to say, however, that there are a number of democratic political systems in the world that vary substantially from the American model without being Communist dictatorships. They have such a system in, for example, Canada. Germany offers an example of a somewhat different model. France has yet another model. But apparently if Norman Podhoretz is your dad and you can be editor of Commentary without knowing any of that.

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