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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Right, left and wrong definitions

At New Majority, I say this: "Yes James von Brunn Was Right Wing." Excerpt:

An unfortunate tendency on the right these days is to attempt to win arguments through tendentious and shallow redefinitions of what constitutes “left” and “right.”

That tendency flared up in recent days with efforts to rebut any notion that the Holocaust Museum shooter was a right-wing extremist and, instead, to rebrand him as a leftist – or “vile leftist monster,” as Rand Simberg put it in one such creative feat of ideological legerdemain at Pajamas Media.

Whole thing here.

UPDATE: The piece's title has been changed to say "... Is Right Wing," because von Brunn, undeservedly, lives.

UPDATE 6/16: James Taranto had some comments at WSJ's Best of the Web yesterday.

We'd say Silber is mostly right--that is, correct--about this. It is silly to characterize von Brunn as a man of "the left," even if his views and hatreds do converge with those of some extreme leftists.

But we quibble with Silber's assertion that "it does no credit to current-day conservatives" to attempt "to redefine the extreme right out of existence." For all its taxonomical dubiousness, the effort is a morally defensible one. In fact, it would do modern-day liberals credit if they were as eager to dissociate themselves from the hateful elements of the extreme left.

I agree with the last sentence, but not the penultimate one.

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