Katha Pollitt used to be a formidable radical polemicist. Now she's a cross between James Carville (whom she's come to physically resemble) and a shrewish matrimonial lawyer.

May 22, 2020

In Blog News

Katha Pollitt says that she even “would vote for Joe Biden if he boiled babies and ate them.” For someone who has denoted abortion the litmus test of feminism, dare I say that’s not a particularly high bar? Pollitt parses Tara Reade’s contradictory statements since the alleged incident with Biden in 1993. She’s got a point. But it’s also true that something serious enough almost certainly did happen that would cause: 1) Reade to rebuff Biden, 2) Biden to fire back “You’re nothing” (I find this searing memory in Reade’s story nearly impossible to discount), and 3) Reade to confide in her mother, brother and friends at the time and later. But so determined is Pollitt to trash Reade, that she will only allow that Biden was possibly guilty of “handsiness.” In other words, she leans toward the categorical denial of Joe “I never gave a speech on the Senate floor calling for cuts in Social Security” Biden (even if the speech, as Bernie Sanders pointed out, is all over youtube). Pollitt, incidentally, is oblivious to her own inconsistencies. If Reade first implied that she filed a “sexual harassment” charge, but then amended her story, saying she didn’t use those exact words, that can only mean she feared the original complaint would surface. That, however, suggests something beyond mere “handsiness” did happen, else why did Reade file a complaint?  Pollitt used to impress readers (yours truly included) with her muscular, lapidary prose, albeit more often than not in the service of a one-note feminist agenda (her Father once sighed about that as I heaped praise on his daughter). But whereas she once benefited from the political tutelage of The Last Marxist, who apparently aroused her radical sensibility, Pollitt has now degenerated to citing certifiable yentas like Joan Walsh and Michele Goldberg (to be fair, they couldn’t hold a candle to Pollitt in her prime).  I still remember Pollitt writing in 2016 that she was not just voting for Hillary Clinton, but was also “excited” by the prospect of a Hillary presidency. One can only imagine how ecstatic Pollitt would have been if and when, as her inaugural act, Hillary bombed the shit out of some defenseless Third World country to prove how tough she was.  The point, by the way, of Pollitt’s boiling-baby-eater imagery is to establish that she would vote for Biden no matter what.  That would presumably include if it were revealed that Joe bore more than a passing resemblance to Jack, as in The Ripper.  This perhaps would explain her fondness for Hillary (who stood by her man, even as he was rather more than handsy), but it’s a most peculiar avowal from someone who built her entire career as an uncompromising feminist.  As late, great Marxist economist Paul Sweezy once said (it was at a party of his that I met Katha’s father), How the mighty have fallen!

Read Norman G. Finkelstein’s devastating indictment of International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

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