Chronicles of the Crazy Times (3)

4 mins read


My pile of leftist insanity that has emerged in the Age of George Floyd is now getting quite deep, but I want to concentrate on just a single story today.

You may recall my item here on “Rioters for Trump” on June 1, in which I passed along the scholarly work by Princeton’s Omar Wasow (a standard issue academic liberal or leftist as near as I can tell), in which Wasow crunched the data and concluded that rioting helps Republicans and hurts Democrats, so much so that he thinks the rioting in 1968 pushed Richard Nixon over the top. Wasow’s complex regression model is susceptible to the usual criticisms, but it is a serious piece of work and deserves to be treated as such. But that’s not what has happened.

New York magazine’s liberal columnist Jonathan Chait (the person who famously wrote an article entitled “I Hate Bush” in The New Republic back around 2004 or so) reports on the story of David Shor, a former Obama campaign analyst who, until last week, was working for Civis Analytics, a Democratic-leaning campaign consulting group. Shor had posted a Tweet summarizing the Wasow article as follows:

Well, as the clickbait heads say on the Interwebs, you’ll never guess what happened next! Of course you can guess: a firestorm from the cancel culture left. Among the threads attacking Shor, this may be my favorite:

Shut up, he explained.

Chait takes it from here:

It is easy to see why a specialist in public opinion whose professional mission is to help elect Democrats while moving the party leftward would take an interest in this research. But in certain quarters of the left — though not among Democratic elected officials — criticizing violent protest tactics is considered improper on the grounds that it distracts from deeper underlying injustice, and shifts the blame from police and other malefactors onto their victims. . .

At least some employees and clients on Civis Analytics complained that Shor’s tweet threatened their safety. The next day, Shor apologized for tweeting Omar’s paper:

This straightforward groveling was not enough to save Shor. Chait continues:

Civis Analytics undertook a review of the episode. A few days later, Shor was fired. Shor told me he has a nondisclosure agreement preventing him from discussing the episode. A spokesperson for Civis Analytics told me over email, “Out of respect for our employees and alumni, Civis does not publicly discuss personnel matters, and we don’t plan to comment further.”

From here Chait engages in an extended hand-wringing about the ill-liberalism of the “progressive” left, all while affirming that the greatest threat to the liberal idea comes from the right, as if this boilerplate will protect Chait from the mob when it comes for him. Who has allowed the progressive left to become a rampaging mob, getting their way at just about every turn? I wonder if Chait owns a mirror.

Reminder:



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