Arianna Huffington and Joe Klein Fight Over Who’s More Anti-War

February 6th, 2007 9:27 PM

In a scene right out of Stanley Kubrick's classic film "Dr. Strangelove," and a clear sign of the insanity of the times, liberal blogger Arianna Huffington and liberal Time reporter Joe Klein are actually fighting about which one is more anti-war.

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

With that in mind, our story began on Sunday when Klein innocently wrote a post at Time’s “Swampland” blog concerning what was said by leading Democrats and Republicans on the various talk shows that morning. Here's what seems to be the passage which really got Arianna's dander up:

McCain, whether you agree with him or not, has been entirely consistent about the war. I disagreed with him about going to war in 2003, agreed with him about the need for more troops until last summer, when it became plain that we had no reliable ally in Iraq, and I disagree with him now.

Seems innocuous, no? Well, not to Huffington who wrote the following at her own blog Monday:

While offering his Time blog take on the Sunday show appearances of John McCain, Chuck Hagel, and John Edwards, Joe Klein once again made the claim that he opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning…But here is Klein on Meet the Press in February 2003: "This is a really tough decision. War may well be the right decision at this point. In fact, I think it--it's--it-it probably is."

Does that sound like someone opposing the war?

Isn’t this great? Not only do we have a group of Democrat candidates for president trying to out-bid each other concerning how quickly America should pull its troops out of Iraq, now columnists on the same side of the aisle are fighting in public about their real or imagined level of pacificity.

Gives you hope as a conservative, doesn’t it?

Yet, that was just the beginning of the slide into the abyss, for as extraordinary as it might seem, not only did Klein respond, but he did so rather quickly in a blog post hypocritically titled to apparently mock his foe even as it clearly belittled them both. In “Slow News Day?” Klein began:

Arianna Huffington, the doyenne of the Hollywood left, has taken time from her busy schedule to attack me for something I said on Meet the Press three years ago. Since this lone quote has become an article of faith among the take-no-prisoners left, let me respond.

After presenting his side, Klein raised some salient questions ridiculing the absurdity of the debate he was engaging in:

So why is Arianna so upset? Could she be trying a bit too hard to strut her lefty credentials after a lifetime as a conservative? Or is it a deeper problem than that, a structural problem the left has had ever since before the days when Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz were socialists: a need, born of intellecual [sic] myopia and insecurity, to burn heretics? Don't they have anything better to do than attack poor old me, especially since I pretty much agree with them about the war?

Klein hit the nail squarely on the head, didn’t he? Isn’t this indeed what we have been seeing from the extreme left in this country since the Florida recount debacle: a need, born of intellectual myopia and insecurity, to burn heretics?

There’s no coalition building or bipartisanship with these folks. It’s my way or the highway with the overwhelming majority of these Michael Moore/George Soros devotees, so much so that they’re willing to kill those currently in their good graces if they even so much as dare reach a hand across the aisle.

In fact, this was so close to the mark that Huffington fired back on Tuesday:

While I'm more than willing to accept your claim that, in October 2002, in the privacy of his Senate office, you told John Kerry that you wouldn't vote to give the president the authority to invade Iraq, this only makes your unwillingness to say the same thing publicly all the more cowardly, and your attempt to, in hindsight, make it seem like you did, all the more pathetic. You had the platform, you just lacked the spine.

Dontcha love it? Of course, this raises a potentially pivotal question: if the folks on the left hold each other in such disdain, how did they possibly win the elections in November?

While you ponder that, consider the point made by a Time reader cleverly named Binthar Dundat in response to Klein’s piece at “Swampland”: “We'll let you in on a little secret, Joe (and Hoofie): NOBODY really gives a crap what either of you say, do, eat, s**t, or shave.”

Anybody have anything they’d like to add?