What A Waste It Is To Lose One’s Mind

Commentary’s Abe Greenwald has thought up a cunning defense of the $448,000 that McCain-chaired International Republican Institute gave to Rashid Khalidi’s Center for Palestine Research and Studies:

McCain’s token gesture was a political quickie aimed at pacifying a noisy party that you’d never really want to get personally involved with… Groups like the CPRS are specifically designed to cloak radical players in the robes of academic respectability.

$440k is a token gesture? I don’t know what kind of sums Greenwald is used to playing around with, but where I come from, half a million dollars is a pretty fair indication of support. Greenwald refers to CPRS as “Khalidi’s front organization,” which implies that CPRS had some other nefarious purpose. What that was, I’m sure Greenwald will tell us very soon. Very, very soon.

If Greenwald’s right, though, about McCain thoughtlessly throwing money around, doesn’t this mean that there could have been all kinds of other dangerous “front organizations” receiving money from IRI when McCain was too busy to do background checks? Shouldn’t someone be looking into this? Because this raises serious questions.


Meanwhile, back in the sane world, this Washington Post editorial, in which they asked Khalidi “whether he wanted to respond to the [McCain] campaign charges against him.”

He answered, via e-mail, that “I will stick to my policy of letting this idiot wind blow over.” That’s good advice for anyone still listening to the McCain campaign’s increasingly reckless ad hominem attacks. Sadly, that wind is likely to keep blowing for four more days.

Indeed, in some quarters it never stops. I believe Ezra Klein has hit upon an appropriate response: Buy Khalidi’s excellent book The Iron Cage.