I'm not planning on reading Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas' new book "American Taliban" for two reasons: 1) it's apparently mostly filled with extreme rhetoric from the political left that's tailored to reinforce and stoke liberal and progressive hatred by pointing out the worst behaviour currently emanating from the political right and I'm already well-versed in that subject, and 2) being well-versed in the worst behaviour currently emanating from the political right I can definitively say that it's nowhere near as bad as that currently emanating from the Taliban and other terrorist organizations. Moulitsas is merely taking advantage of the extremely partisan nature of American politics today by making outlandish claims combined with a controversial title in order to sell as many copies of his book as possible. His rhetoric no more represents the views of the majority on the left than do his claims represent the actions of the majority on the right, and only an extraordinarily bitter partisan hack would think otherwise.
Speaking of extraordinarily bitter partisan hacks, my conservative counterpart Donald Douglas of American Power seems to agree with me on this point in his review of the book:
It's not scholarly. In fact, there are no footnotes to document the majority of the outrageous claims offered. What's important to note is Moulitsas' tactic of finding the most out-of-the-mainstream personalities and foisting these off as mainstream conservatives. It's a smear-by-numbers approach that at times pulls in top Republicans like Sarah Palin, etc., adds a couple of the more colorful quotes from said personalities, and voilà! You're got the modern conservative movement 100 percent equivalent to the medieval barbarian Taliban, REAL TERRORISTS who cut off noses of Afghan women and behead apostates from the Islamist creed, and not to mention Americans such as Daniel Pearl. It's absurd, of course.Of course. The political right in America is not nearly as dangerous or brutal as terrorist groups like the Taliban and making the blanket claim that one half of the political spectrum is so only makes Moulitsas look like a partisan fool. Now some of you are probably asking, "But James, Don has proven himself to be a partisan fool innumerable times in the past: how is it possible that he's suddenly become a rational thinker as it applies to this subject?" And the inevitable answer to that question is: it isn't. Because after unequivocally declaring how absurd Moulitsas is for claiming that the American right is in league with the Taliban and America's other enemies, in the exact same post, he writes the following in response to another blogger's more positive characterization of Moulitsas' book:
No, Digby, American Taliban's whole point is that the American religious right is perfectly indistinguishable from the Taliban of South Asia --- and the "American Taliban" is the bigger threat to the U.S. than global jihad. Folks really need to read this book and quit lying about what is or isn't said there. Digby is right up there with Markos Moulitsas as a crazed leftist demonologist who wants a revolution to topple the traditional bases of American politics, if not the constitutional regime itself. Don't be fooled by these people. THEY ARE ALLIED with the Taliban, al Qaeda, and global jihad to destroy American freedom. It's plain as day. I write about it all the time.You see, according to Don, definitively declaring that the political right is in league with terrorists and wants to destroy America is completely absurd. Outrageous accusations like that only divide Americans and distract us from the very real threat we face from international terrorism. It should be obvious to any sane individual that it's the political left that's in league with terrorists and wants to destroy America. Duh! All kidding aside, this is what I'm talking about when I say that certain people and their opinions are not to be taken seriously. Now some of you are probably also asking, "But James, if Don isn't to be taken seriously why do you read his blog and post about the things he writes?" Again, two reasons: 1) his fail is just too entertaining, and 2) irony is like a drug to me. And if irony were a drug, Don would sell it by the gram.