Tuesday, March 04, 2008
so fresh and so clean, down with michael ledeen:
People sometimes ask: how can you really be friends with Eli Lake? Well, first, to borrow a piece of wisdom from Jon Chait, if you can only be friends with people who see things your way, I feel bad for you. Second, Eli's a great guy. Third, as the only neocon who's a real journalist -- I guess Jeff Goldberg would kinda-sorta fall in this category too -- he pulls off stuff like this.
If Senator Clinton can best Senator Obama in today's round of primaries and caucuses and go on to capture the White House, a co-author of the surge strategy in Iraq says he is convinced she would hold off on authorizing a large-scale immediate withdrawal of American soldiers from Iraq.
Read the whole thing. Jack Keane and others close to HRC suggest to Eli that HRC only sounds opposed to the war because she needs to win the nomination. So there you have it: she started out working for McGovern, but she runs for president as Nixon.

Also, I need to convince Sue Stormshadow (a/k/a Chemical Allie to you Baltimore roller-derby fans) to release the track she recorded of Eli and myself a couple years ago. It's called "Neocon Phenomenon" and features Eli freestyling over a beat Sue wrote while I sing the chorus. The Zionist Scientist will have y'all rewinding this.
--Spencer Ackerman
It could be that I am apt to pre-classify all neocons as intellectually dishonest. It's been a time-saver over the last decade or so. Perhaps we need better taxonomy to clearly denote the tribal distinctions a la metal subgenres?

Can I get a list of right-side peeps who are open to honest discussion, recognize the rule of law, or who have ever made an policy argument that wasn't about defunding or disempowering opponents? I'd like to broaden my horizons. If you say this Lake fellow is on the list, then great. Who else?

For the record, I was too old to do anything but walk past you kids in front of Munchies. I was at the upstairs bar at Coney. My punk rock referents are relatively ancient (think MRR #1). (So ancient, in fact, that I went to high school with Jacob Heilbrunn for a year or two.) I'm glad to see the flag still being flown.

When will Ian MacKaye run for D.C's senate seat?
Blogger Uptown | 9:39 AM

Do you want the list to be just neocons, or all "right-side peeps"? Let me think about this. I don't know if I'd be doing anyone on the right by praising them, but there are many whom I respect.

Totally honest about this: There was an *Upstairs* at CIH? Do you mean the club itself, as opposed to (what I seem to recall was) the downstairs bar? (Not that ever went to that bar.) And did you actually have the first MRR? I'd pay a LOT of money for that.
Blogger Spencer Ackerman | 9:45 AM

I guess my question was more about neocons in particular, since they seem to have evolved a more and cultish set of litmus tests and loyalty oaths which seems to make them unapproachable in open discussions.

To me at least, their Straussian encoding of political intent makes them all too ready to give honest attempts at debate the runaround, in order to keep the unpalatable core of their philosophy unaddressed.

I can go into chapter and verse on Coney architecture if you like. There were bars in the basement and yes, there was a second floor lounge with a tiny stage in later incarnations. I saw good sets upstairs, like some fierce Candy Snatchers matinees, and an awful lot of crap too. The upstairs was a haven for Local Characters. In mainly a good way. There was a separate outside door to the upstairs and a second set of stairs at the back of the main space... I can keep rambling if you need more.

For instance, we spent a summer barbecuing outside of Coney on Sunday afternoons...

As for MRR, no bank-breaking will be necessary. Early numbers can be had surprisingly cheaply on ebay, often in big yellowing piles. I see one up now that I won't link to lest I fall afoul of spam rules, but "MRR" is a good search term in the music category.

Happy hunting.
Blogger Uptown | 10:51 AM

The upstairs bar was also where Mike Blank could be found at most hours of day or night. This was important information if you were Jay Blanda. Whatever happened to that dude?

I'd also be interested to know which neo-cons Spencer thinks are respectable. As a former sympathizer--okay, full-on cultist--I find it pretty difficult to take any of the well-known figures seriously these days.

Uptown, there's nothing especially Straussian about evading questions with unpopular or incoherent answers. Remember that the OG neocons were mostly happy to throw down facts, figures, and arguments--back when they had the goods. One way to understand the degeneration of the movement is the defeat of The Public Interest tendency by the Commentary tendency. Irving Kristol was always somewhere in the middle.
Blogger TheWaldganger | 1:32 AM

Blank I kinda knew. Blanda does not ring a bell.

And perhaps I was imprecise with my statement. I was not trying to get at mere evasion, which can happen for all sorts of reasons.

Let me try again. Here's an example of what I'm trying to get at:

When neocons claim to have a higher understanding of events, and therefore advocate some prescriptive action, who among them ever shows their math? What were the perceived risks in their model?

More concretely, take the proposition "Invade Iraq to get WMDs", for instance. I obviously have no way of knowing, but I'd guess a fair number of people who publicly advocated it knew it was a lie.
Will anyone ever say so?

I may be missing these statements, but I've been looking.
Blogger Uptown | 11:04 AM