January 24, 2011

STANLEY KURTZ: Tucson, Piven and the Left’s Strategic Blunder. “The hope of silencing Beck in the wake of Tucson has lured the left into a strategic blunder. They’ve decided to turn Piven into a martyr. Yet in doing so the left has tied itself to Piven’s wild writings and over-the-top radicalism. Dreier acts as though Piven’s scholarly work is somehow different from the calls for rioting, crisis, and polarization in her two notorious Nation articles. Actually, Piven’s scholarly writings are worse. . . . A quarter century later the Nation has embraced Piven’s call for Euro-style rioting in America, allowing her to speak with the magazine’s editorial voice. It’s not Beck who’s tarring the left with the brush of Piven’s radicalism. They’re doing it to themselves.”

Related, from Ann Althouse:

Do academics mean to have influence or not? Are we supposed to think of them as oversmart flakes who are tucked away in institutions where they won’t screw up real life for the rest of us? Because that’s the only way in which it makes sense to portray Glenn Beck as the villain. He took an academic seriously, as if she meant what she said and expected real people to hear and act.

Indeed. And one of Althouse’s comments suggests that the logic of blaming Beck is this: “Because if Americans learn the truth of what the Left really is, they’ll want to shoot them.” Thus, accurate quotes are an incitement to violence!

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