Friday, April 20, 2007

Mark Kleiman Points and Sputters

Mark Kleiman refers to Steve Sailer's American Conservative article on Obama's book Dreams of My Father as a "dishonest, bigoted, anti-Obama screed." Kleiman accuses Sailer of being a "lying racist" and wonders aloud if any non-lying non-racist conservatives still exist.

What I find fascinating is that Kleiman's post contain nothing but invective. That is, at no point does he attempt to identify any specific "lies" that Steve Sailer tells about Obama or Obama's book. He refers to Sailer's article as a "piece of trash" filled with "racist lies," but there's absolutely no substance, no argument, not even an attempt at an argument.

He does cite Alexander Konetzki's critique of Sailer, which actually contain some argument, so I suppose he's piggybacking on that. But you know, from somebody of Kleiman's academic credentials, I would expect him to at least try to parse the arguments, and explain why he thinks Konetzki is right and Sailer wrong. (Sailer responds to Kontezki here.) Indeed, Kleiman doesn't even indicate whether he's read the book!

For myself, I will reserve judgment on whether Sailer's article is fair -- the book is in the mail, and when I read it, I may choose to enter the fray.

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