Michael Rubin: The Blogs Are Being Mean To Me!

It seems that NRO’s Michael Rubin is upset (again) by the quality of discourse on this and other blogs:

At ThinkProgress, some authors at TNR’s The Plank, and NiacInsight, a few folks often name call rather than argue substance; utilizing labels to substitute for debate is always a clear sign that of a weak argument.

I think this is unfair. We don’t utilize labels to substitute for debate. We name-call in addition to arguing substance. There’s no reason that Rubin should treat my referring to him as one of Doug Feith’s oompa-loompas as an excuse not to respond to my dismantling of his blatant misrepresentation of the Islamic concept of taqiya. Unless, of course, he has no response.

Rubin apparently does have, however, a very specialized — some might say transparently self-serving — notion of what constitutes legitimate debate. In an August op-ed in the Washington Post, Rubin called Joe Biden “Tehran’s favorite senator” by way of blaming Biden for the Bush administration’s lack of a coherent Iran policy.


In October, Rubin suggested — without any evidence whatsoever — that Middle East scholar Rashid Khalidi was ideologically sympathetic to Saddam Hussein’s attempted genocide against the Kurds.

Rubin also serves as editor of the Middle East Quarterly, helping right-wing polemicist Daniel Pipes warn Americans about the Islamic terrorists lurking underneath their beds, and attacking various Americans deemed insufficiently pro-Israel or inappropriately pro-Arab.

And, of course, Rubin worked in the Office of Special Plans, helping Doug Feith shape intelligence to produce bogus arguments for the invasion of Iraq. But at least he was polite about it!

With a record like this, it’s kind of ridiculous that Rubin would choose to take issue with a little bit of name-calling. But the punks always start calling fouls when they’re getting beat.