Word that Michigan's Juan Cole is under consideration for an appointment at Yale has loosed a food fight on the net. In chronological order, here are some major voices in it: Eliana Johnson and Mitch Weber (18 April); Glenn Greenwald (19 April), John Fund (24 April), JuanCole (24, 26 April), James Wolcott (26 April), Michael Bérubé (28 April), Christopher Hitchens (2 May); Juan Cole (3 May); AndrewSullivan (3, 4 May); and Michael Young (3 May).
There was a telling discussion on Richard Jensen's Conservativenet last month, when my young friend, Marc Comtois, used the acronym RINO (Republican In Name Only) to justify his own opposition to the re-election of Rhode Island's Senator Lincoln Chaffee. As a charter member of the Republican Left and a proto-RINO, I blanched at and objected to Marc's use of the term as the stigmata those of us to the left of Genghis Khan and David Horowitz must bear these days. But there was a surprising turn in the conversation, when all of us in the discussion agreed that the Bush administration is RINO. It's just another symptom of the disarray that Jacob Heilbrunn observes in"The Great Conservative Crackup: What National Review Wrought," Washington Monthly, May. He reviews Jeffrey Hart's The Making of the American Conservative Mind: National Review and its Times.