Saturday, November 12, 2005

Yesterday at the Mahablog, Barbara O'Brien flagged this sentence from a pro-torture op-ed piece by David Gelernter in the Los Angeles Times:

Those who defend McCain's amendment and attack Cheney and Bush feel a nice warm glow, as if they're basking in virtue, as in a hot tub, sipping Cabernet.

Nice gratuitous slap in the face in those last two phrases, David.

You know what? Yes, I oppose torture in the name of the United States of America. And yes, I am a white-collar liberal.

And I am goddamn sick and tired of being told, directly or by implication, that my primary sin is effeteness, by conservatives whose economic and social status puts them in the rank of America's cosseted and privileged.

Yes, I know that David Gelernter was grievously wounded by one of the Unabomber's bombs. But I also know that he holds a professorship at Yale -- a university where the average professor's salary is $145,000 a year. I also know that he is an editor at the National Review and City Journal and an art critic at The Weekly Standard as well as an L.A. Times op-ed writer, and that he is the author of many books for both professionals and the general reading public. David Gelernter, in other words, is a very well remunerated member of the knowledge elite. His yearly income far exceeds that of my (comfortable two-paycheck) household.

David Gelertner, in other words, is not drinking Old Milwaukee from a can and worrying that he just maxed out a high-interest credit card buying off-label toilet paper in bulk at Sam's Club. It is not inconceivable that he, too, has sipped Cabernet -- perhaps in a hot tub. So I don't have to listen to his sneering insinuation that my disgust at the Bush administration's torture policies is synonymous with effeteness.

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