Wednesday, March 17, 2010

At Least They Don't Say The Irish Are Drunks

Given the source I suspect that he very well may have meant it facetiously, but this post by National Review blogger William F. Gavin is ridiculous. "McCarthyism" is not a slur against people of Irish descent any more than "Stalinism" is a slur against Russians, or "Maoism" a slur against Chinese. It's a particular political phenomenon named after one of its early practictioners, who just happened to have an Irish name. It's a curious logic that would deduce that because McCarthy's name was Irish and his political tactics reprehensible, anybody who uses the term "McCarthyism" is implying that Irish are reprehensible, only possible if you adopt the (rather offensive) view that any given individual's actions or characteristics are representative of the ethnic group to which they belong. Either Gavin is subtly parodying the old left's obsessions with identity politics and group solidarity, or he's bought wholeheartedly into them. I really hope it's the latter.

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