If you've wondered about the value of getting sort of personal in responding to online criticism, well, wonder no more. Check out this latest installment in the ongoing war of words between left-wing academic Juan Cole and the National Review Online's lardass, doughboy chickenhawk Jonah Goldberg. Apparently, Goldberg just doesn't get it that he's getting slapped around the parking lot by the infinitely more intelligent and knowledgeable Cole, and he simply won't let go. (And does this sound depressingly familiar?) But that's not the best part. Aside from this main discussion, there's an amusing side story that's worth following.
It starts here, already well into the Cole-Goldberg pissing contest, when a commenter to Cole's site writes of Goldberg:
He looks to be of military age. Ask him why his sorry ass isn't in the kill zone.
A perfectly reasonable question, given that Goldberg and his fellow comrades in the 101st Fighting Keyboarders are invariably gung-ho about military action and all that unpleasant stuff as long as it's other people who have to do all the, you know, actual fighting. And dying.
Amazingly (and, I'm sure, against the advice of counsel or anyone else who could have warned him off of it), Goldberg replies here:
As for why my sorry a** isn't in the kill zone, lots of people think this is a searingly pertinent question. No answer I could give -- I'm 35 years old, my family couldn't afford the lost income, I have a baby daughter, my a** is, er, sorry, are a few -- ever seem to suffice.
There's more, and it's just as evasive, self-serving and nauseating as the above. Now, while doughboy Goldberg tries to laugh this off, lots of people really do think this is a pertinent question: Why should Goldberg get a pass from having to tote that barge and lift that Humvee? Or be able to avoid getting one or more limbs blown off by improvised explosive devices buried along the roadside? Or stuff like that there?
According to Goldberg, well, that just wouldn't do -- he has a wife, he has a kid, it would kind of inconvenience his lifestyle of hanging out at The Corner sipping Perrier, that sort of thing. Mercifully, Atrios lays a smackdown on Doughboy, pointing out that having a wife and kids doesn't keep other people from getting shipped out. And killed. (More of the same here, if you're feeling particularly literate this morning.)
At this point, one should expect Doughboy to wax apoplectic, redefine the terms, change the subject and claim victory. It's all depressingly predictable, isn't it?
BONUS TRACK: TBogg, of course, says much the same with way fewer words.
DOUBLE BONUS TRACK: Attaturk in fine form.