It shows me two things. One, the guys who ran this man's election campaign were utter morons.
Evil is a moral problem for everyone, difficult to acknowledge in ourselves, hard to understand in others, and difficult to defeat without committing lesser evils. Liberals - I count myself as one - have a special problem with evil, connected to our particular form of selfregard. Liberals like to believe we are tolerant, but evil, by definition, cannot be tolerated. We believe that politics ought to be deliberative, but we can't deliberate with evil. We think compromise can be honorable, but there are no honorable compromises with evil. We think politics ought to be governed by reason, but evildoers, while they may reason, are not reasonable.
If Iggy had showed up to the election with some of the uncompromising morality of that paragraph, he would have done very well indeed.
Two, thank God the guys who ran this man's election campaign were utter morons because this man can't walk his talk, even inside his own brain.
It is when Wolfe moves on from these general sentiments, which seem both admirable and true, to detailed examples of "fighting politics with politics," that the questions about his approach begin to arise. What would Wolfe do differently? No to the war in Iraq certainly, no to the torture memos. That much is obvious, but on other issues, his skeptical liberal realism is less clear as a guide to action than he supposes. Is Wolfe saying no to intervention in Libya, on the grounds that Qaddafi, while a thug, posed no strategic threat, and his crimes, while vicious, did not rise to a level that had to be stopped?
Its possible I've misunderstood The Iggster's intent here, but that reads to me like the Iraq War was a bad thing while the current Libyan Unpleasantness is a good thing. Which is preposterous. And also is 180 degrees opposed to his previous views on the matter.
So, I'm content that Iggy is safely contained at Massey College, indoctrinating another generation of Torontonians in the fine art of Liberalism, sucking and blowing both at the same time. I'd prefer he be selling apples on a street corner in New York, but you can't always get what you want.