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From One U Of C Graduate To Another: Analogy Alert

The newly anointed editor of Commentary, John Podhoretz, published a column in which he said I called Tim Russert a Nazi here on Open U. Now the right wing blogosphere is marching in formation to broadcast the charge.

Worse, Podhoretz said I was a nobody before I published my book, “Get to Work.”

Whassup? In making a plea for Democrats to stay away from Russert’s thinly disguised Democrat Destruction Machine, I invoked the very famous poem attributed to German Pastor Martin Niemoller. The poem long ago came to stand for the peril of remaining silent while others are mistreated, because one’s turn may come. It has had a robust life all the way from the Nazi origins to the recent invocation on “Desperate Housewives.” Watching the Edwards and Obama campaigns free ride on Russert’s attack on Clinton, I was reminded of the Niemoller poem, wondering if they thought he’d play nice with them, when their turn came. (If so, I have only two words to say to them: “Al Gore.”)

As to Podhoretz, it’s called reasoning by analogy, John. I can’t believe they stopped teaching that at the U of C after I left and before you came. Oh, and as to being a nobody before, my dad was just a carpet salesman, so it took me a little longer than it did you.

--Linda Hirshman