Why Jonathan Chait Is So Mean
Jonathan Chait begins a column titled “Why I’m So Mean” thusly:
People often ask, “Why is Jonathan Chait so mean?” It is a fair question, one that has been raised by my close friends, colleagues, wife, and parents, and it merits a suitably thoughtful reply. The latest person to ask it is ubiquitous right-wing misinformation recirculator Veronique de Rugy, who notes that I am “constitutionally incapable of disagreeing with anyone without impugning motives, professionalism, I.Q. or mental stability.”
I’m actually not incapable of disagreeing with people without insulting their intelligence, motives, or other qualifications. I especially enjoy debating the most intelligent and interesting conservatives, like Ramesh Ponnuru, Ross Douthat, and David Frum, not to mention numerous liberal writers I respect.
But it is true that I do spend a lot of time arguing with the lesser lights of the intellectual world as well, and de Rugy herself is a good example.
Now, de Rugy is a bright gal, possessed of a PhD in economics from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. But that’s a great setup for a column.