Jonathan Chait disgraces himself once more. First he mocked Veronique de Rugy’s French name, then in his defense he makes fun of the “G” in my name, which I have there to remember my father and to distinguish myself from a lot of others out there with the same name. But whatever.
What’s actually interesting is that he thinks that it’s très amusant to write “Hey, you know what else is anti-American? Being named ‘Veronique de Rugy’” as a so, so witty response to Vero’s criticism of Barney Frank’s “mentality,” because it is allegedly wrong to state that a mentality is unAmerican, but he was very quick to tar advocates of tax cuts as “deeply unpatriotic” after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He wrote in The New Republic (not available online, as far as I could find), “There is something deeply unpatriotic about K Street’s rush to turn the tragedy into quick profit.” (Note the additional smear: “K Street,” which is in fact dominated by lawyers and lobbyists trying to get a piece of the taxpayers’ dollar, is used as the stand-in for taxpayers who would like to keep more of their money.) But what is the most interesting is how eager he was to smear people who favor tax cuts as “unpatriotic,” which is far stronger than referring to a “mentality” as unAmerican (or, in Vero’s awkward Frenchy phrase, “anti-American”). What can one say?….other than that his friends really ought to stop him before he embarrasses himself again.