The Castro thing is annoying -- in my whole life of skulking around liberal safehouses, I have never once seen a poster or t-shirt featuring El Commandante -- and Jonah Goldberg does his level best to make it more so:
Do people really think that liberals have been sober-eyed moral realists about Castro from, say, Herbert Matthews' fawning coverage through, say, Oliver Stone's recent love-letter to Castro? I mean what am I missing? I don't have time to run through the soundbites of various scholar-statesmen from the Democratic leadership like Pat Leahy or various members of the Congressional Black Caucus. But come on! Hasn't some blogger compiled a good list of pro-Castroisms from the left? If not, someone should get on the stick.A couple of things. First, Goldberg confuses journalism with political advocacy -- all the time, come to think of it, but especially here. Herbert Matthews was a reporter who covered Castro's original insurrection. Of course he loved Castro -- Castro was his Big Story. He might as well have been Paul Bunyan or Mike Fink come to life. As for Stone, I have seen Commandante, and it certainly isn't a "love letter," it's a shrewd piece of investigative journalism. No American has had that kind of access to Castro since -- well, since Herbert Matthews. How many Americans does Goldberg think Commandante recruited to Cuban Marxism?
Second, I don't think I've ever heard "What am I missing?" used that way before. Normally it's something you say when you have reviewed and noted the evidence, see that they support your POV, and don't understand why others don't see it the same way. Goldberg, on the other hand, frankly admits he doesn't know what he's talking about ("I don't have time to run through the soundbites... Hasn't some blogger compiled a good list...") and makes the expression into a demand that other people do the work of educating him.
Isn't it just about perfect that Goldberg would misinterpret a common figure of speech in favor of his own ignorance?
UPDATE. The Ole Perfesser finally mentions the death of PinochetwhowasbetterthanCastro -- his bulletin from Right-Wing Message Central having been delayed by server error, no doubt.
UPDATE II. The OpinionJournal rimjob concludes, "Like Spain's Franco, Pinochet was an authoritarian who resisted the Communists and created the foundation of what would become a democratic transition. What remains is a Chile that has the healthiest economy in Latin America, a free press and a competitive political system that has allowed Socialists to come to power."
What! The Socialists are in power! Quick, install another dictator -- lest economic opportunities be squandered!
I guess there are two reasons why not: one, they aren't making Socialists like they used to, and two, the OJ writers know that, unlike Nixon and Kissinger, Bush would probably fuck this one up bad.