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On Smear Jobs

It is not in the least clear to me what this accomplishes, except to harden divisions among ourselves that should not even exist, but let’s come back to the heart of this entire controversy.  The problem that John Zmirak and others have had with the review is not especially that it was critical (how could it be, since John believes that the United States was right in entering WWII?), but that it included admittedly gratuitous references to David Irving.  This is supposed to have constituted a smear, yet in the context of the review Prof. Lukacs was contrasting the differences between the two.  You can argue that Irving’s name should never have entered into it and that there is no reason to make the comparison, but to hold that it is a “smear” to say that Mr. Buchanan is not like and different from Irving is to make the word smear utterly meaningless.   

I would reiterate that this fratricidal hurling of anathemas among people who, in fact, agree an overwhelming majority of the time is completely mad. 

P.S. Dylan Waco at Left Conservative has a good post on all of this as well.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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