I have a kind of a general rule here I stick by most of the time: the people worthy of criticism are people who can plausibly be said to have some effect on the opinions of a non-ideological set of people. However right wing George Will is, many people (except Kramer) find him "intelligent"; so his arguments and factual assertions to them are well grounded and worth considering. In a similar fashion, many conservative or moderate readers, will think Thomas Friedman and Richard Cohen represent decisive liberal voices. So, when those two jokers come out in favor of the latest Mid-East policy disaster, then people who oppose it must be really crazy.
I generally avoid (not always however!) ridiculously ideological venues such as the Wall Street Journal or the National Revue, I mean "Review." I'm sure they have some role in the debate, but they get picked apart by other more competent people than me, and their arguments are mostly directed at inflaming the passions of the converted.
Just for fun, however, let's examine the following bit of ridiculousness from Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal. A propos of Obama's "socialism" he writes:
Don't expect "Capitalism" to make the White House theater.
The movie is largely a paean to plaintiffs lawyers and unions, who alas depend on evil capitalism for their incomes. Still, it's been noted that "Capitalism" slams Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd for being one of the unseemliest friends of Angelo Mozilo, the former CEO of Countrywide Financial, the famous subprime toxic waste site.
In fact, Mr. Moore holds up to ridicule a Who's Who of notable Democrats for selling out to the bankers: Tim Geithner, Larry Summers and Robert Rubin. At this point in Mr. Moore's narrative, all hope is lost, sinking beneath satanic capitalism.
But something happened, the movie says, that no one saw coming. "Change is what's happening." We are introduced to the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama (whose post-election supervisory link to the unseemly Geithner and Summers goes unremarked).
Of all the issues raised in the two-year campaign, Mr. Moore picks one, the famous charge that will not die: "Obama is a socialist."
Unlike the president, Mr. Moore doesn't duck. "The more they called Obama a socialist," he says, "the more he rose in the polls."
Michael Moore is a progressive saint. If he believes Barack Obama is a socialist camouflaged inside a Brioni suit, so must many of his fellow progressives.
He says his health-care bill is not a Trojan horse for a Canadian-style single-payer system, but then feels forced to appear on five Sunday talk shows to prove otherwise; or he plants white-coated docs like plastic flamingos on the White House lawn.
On the first September anniversary of the end of Wall Street as we know it, Mr. Obama stood in the Federal Hall on Wall Street to say, "I've always been a strong believer in the power of the free market." Only a therapist could explain why some people say, "I've always been . . ."
You get a little of the ad hominem tu quoque in their at the opening (with a bit of false dichotomy–either capitalism or socialism are the only apparent choices), and some strange Michael Moore says "socialist" so ergo ipso fatso it must be true that many Obama supporters think he is (therefore Obama must be. . .). The real silliness of this argument, however, consists in the claim that answering straw men attacks on your position means they are true.
That's a kind of double sophistry: you call someone a name, and then claim you're justified if the person bothers to tell you that you're calling her a name. Why would she respond if it weren't true?