The Podhoretz memo

In his Normblog profile, Paul Mirengoff names former Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz as one of his active intellectual heroes. In his New York Post column today, Podhoretz fils puts us in mind of the wit and wisdom of Podhoretz pere: “My very own Downing Street memo.” (While you’re over at the Post, check out its editorial today: “Rove’s right: Libs are wimps.”) Paul names Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer as his other active intellectual hero. Krauthammer’s column today gives some idea why: “A party without ideas.”
The spirit of Norman Podhoretz lives on in today’s Commentary, which has made a couple of its articles from the June issue available. Among them is one by Wilfred McClay: “Bush’s calling.” The liberals’ hatred of President Bush is, as the Freudians say, overdetermined. One of the reasons is his evangelicism. Professor McClay cites the bumper sticker I saw on my way in to the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party fundraiser featuring Al Franken that I attended the weekend before last: “Who would Jesus bomb?” He digs deeper to explore certain of the roots of Bush hatred.
Also just posted from the June issue is “The Anti-Semitic Disease” by the eminent British historian Paul Johnson. He argues that hatred of Jews is not only irrational, it is self-destructive, of nations as well as of individuals. That includes classic European anti-Semitism as well as the fashionable Arab/Muslim variety of today. Johnson writes, “In my view as a historian, it is so peculiar that it deserves to be placed in a quite different category. I would call it an intellectual disease, a disease of the mind, extremely infectious and massively destructive. It is a disease to which both human individuals and entire human societies are prone.”


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