Richard Cohen Displays Delicate, Wafer-Thin Skin


Via Yglesias, it seems that Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen has soured on the whole notion that he should be subject to criticism, and has decided to simply start insulting people:

"If you're a little bit critical of Barack Obama, you get really a pie of vilification right in the face," Cohen said, adding that his liberal critics "were born too late, because they would have been great communists."

At first blush, I'm afraid I have to return to one of my constant refrains: No, this simply isn't as funny as Stephen Colbert.

But more to the point, the problem with Cohen's "critical" take on Obama is that it's simply vastly uninformed. Whether Cohen's smart enough to realize this is something he's basically copped to in his own writing. I've pointed it out before, in the wake of an article he wrote at the end of July:

But here's what Cohen's editors should know: the man is repeating himself. Today's fulmination hinges on the idea that Obama is "unknown." "I know that Barack Obama is a near-perfect political package," Cohen says, "I'm still not sure, though, what's in it." Back in January, Cohen was saying the same fracking thing: "But the rap on Obama is that he is a fog of a man. We know little about him, and, for all my admiration of him, I wonder about his mettle."

Well, at this risk of being called a Stalinist, I may as well refile my complaint of July:

At what point does Cohen's failure to know Obama cease to be the candidate's fault and come to be properly seen as a function of a columnist's utter laziness?

Indeed, one realizes that Cohen is not the sort of intellectual you should count on to serve as a bulwark against totalitarianism.

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