I agree with Joe Klein's assessment that there are "far more important things going on in the world" than a clarification of his position on the war in Iraq. But I can't resist reacting to his seven-point response to my post on him:
1. Klein kicks off his seven-point defense (did I say seven-point?) of his pre-invasion stance on the war by saying, "Arianna Huffington, the doyenne of the Hollywood left, has taken time from her busy schedule to attack me for something I said on Meet the Press three years ago." Actually, Joe, I was taking you to task for something you wrote on your Time blog two days ago, namely that you opposed the Iraq war from the beginning. I wasn't trolling around in Lexis Nexis looking for "stupid" remarks prominent journalists made in support of the war. There aren't enough hours in the day for that (hell, there aren't enough hours in the decade for that). I only did my quick Internet search after reading your attempt to rewrite history. Again.
2. Speaking of "the doyenne of the Hollywood left" (one of six times in his post Klein spits out a reference to "the left"), isn't it time for him to stop looking at the world through his musty right/left glasses, where triangulation between the two is seen as "delicious" and the height of political sophistication?
3. As a student of the dark art of sophistry, I particularly loved this Kleinian gem: "I had my doubts about my skepticism about the war..." I know English is my second language, but let me get this straight: you weren't actually, as you have claimed, "opposed to the war" since 2002 -- you were "skeptical" of the war? And, what's more, you had "doubts" about your "skepticism." Wow, talk about taking a bold stand. Could you possibly cover all your bases any more thoroughly (and inelegantly)?
4. While I'm more than willing to accept your claim that, in October 2002, in the privacy of his Senate office, you told John Kerry that you wouldn't vote to give the president the authority to invade Iraq, this only makes your unwillingness to say the same thing publicly all the more cowardly, and your attempt to, in hindsight, make it seem like you did, all the more pathetic. You had the platform, you just lacked the spine.
5. This isn't about what you dismiss as "a moment of stupid weakness on the brink of war." This is about a willful, ongoing attempt to claim credit for insight you didn't have and courage you didn't exhibit.
6. Give it up.
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