Mickey Kaus is a Sad, Pathetic Man

by Brien Jackson

I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of “Journolist” (what can I say, I’m not really a big deal). But even then, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen something as transparently pathetic as this:

First of all, good on Bob Wright for calling Mickey out on his nonsense, to the point of open mockery in places. And yes, this is all because Mickey wasn’t invited to be in the club, so he decided to trash the place and ruin things for everyone else, validating, of course, the decision not to invite him in the first place. On the other hand, it was probably the most attention Mickey has gotten since 2002, so take that for what it’s worth. Still, watching Kaus babble at length leaves me with a couple of questions.

First of all, does Mickey have a functioing critical thinking process? Is his main critique of the group that having a listserv will make them all go “more and more private?” At the risk of pointing out the obvious, we’re talking, mostly, about a group of professional writers, publishing writing is how they pay their bills. I’m not sure how doing all of their writing privately, or even most of it for that matter, is really an option for someone like Ezra Klein, whether he wants to or not. I think we’re all safe from the prospect that a group of public intellectuals will decide they don’t want to get paid anymore.

Secondly, does Mickey understand the concept of thinking it all? I mean, when he asks why Paul Krugman can’t “tutor” in public, I’m more or less shouting at my computer screen because responsible experts don’t do their raw thinking in public you stupid twat! If Paul Krugman and Brad Delong are bouncing unformed opinions about a somewhat complicated subject off of each other on their blogs, readers are going to get quite a bit confused. Worse, they’re likely to come away misinformed or misunderstanding the subject, because the nature of forming an opinion or processing data isn’t exactly a snap action (although I suspect it is for Mickey). Again, responsible people who carry a certain weight of authority do this sort of thing privately, and only go to the public when they’re prepared to expound, explain, and discuss with a more full understanding of the issue and their own opinion on it. And, even more fundamentally, most people (i.e. people other than Mickey Kaus) find it helpful to think before they publish. The body of his work clearly suggests Mickey is not one of these people.

Finally, does Mickey Kaus read? In response to Wright’s point that making the list public would change the nature of discussion therein, Kaus asserts that you wouldn’t call Marty Peretz a crazy fucking racist in public? Excuse me? Marty Peretz is a crazy fucking racist. How’s that? Moreover, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen most of the people in the discussion (I know Yglesias and Delong have, as has Ezra, who wasn’t actually in that discussion) call Peretz a racist publicly. I mean, it’s not like Peretz’s racism is a controversial point or something. And this sort of begs the question, does Mickey agree with Marty? He certainly seems to want to defend him, to the point of whitewashing that Peretz said Latinos were “congenitally corrupt” and displayed “near-tropical work ethics,” until Wright brings it up, when he sort of brushes it and moves on, so the question is, does Kaus agree? And using the Kausian standard, I think it’s safe to assume he does until he renounces Peretz’s statement. But not too forcefully of course, because that won’t be believable. But not a weak brush off either, because he obviously won’t mean it in that case.

Also, goat sex.

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