Friday, April 15, 2005


Why I like Jonathan Gurwitz

I may not agree with most things that he writes, but I still read Jonathan Gurwitz’ columns in the SAEN each week. That’s because he writes about things that are both timely and interesting. His columns are well written, reasonably thought out (although still wrong most of the time) and don’t resort to the kind of liberal-bashing, name-calling silliness that infects so much of the rest of what passes for conservative commentary today. You also have no doubt after reading a Gurwitz column as to where he comes down on a particular issue. He has very strong opinions and argues his points forcefully and intelligently. Many of the other columnists at the paper tend to write featurey, meandering columns about non-controversial topics that sound like they are trying to please everyone and no one.

It makes me wish that the SAEN had a liberal equivalent of Gurwitz who could write at his level and serve as a counterweight to his arguments each week. Sadly, they do not. The closest they had was Jane Jarboe Russell who left the editorial page several months ago. Oh, I know there are other liberal columnists like Mansour El-Kikhia and Susan Ives. I don’t mean to denigrate them in any way, but they are for the most part what I call one-noters. They are advocates for one particular position and they seldomly deviate from their area of expertise - Middle Eastern affairs for El-Kikhia; homeless advocacy for Ives. Whenever they do venture away from their areas of specialization on rare occasions you can tell their hearts are just not in it.

So the conservatives are fortunate to have someone like Gurwitz advocating their positions on a wide array of topics each week. I hope they appreciate it as much as I do. I’m jealous.
The closest they had was Jane Jarboe Russell who left the editorial page several months ago.

Close, but no anyone will know who recalls the head-to-head "Point2Point" debates between Gurwitz and Russell. In that direct context, Gurwitz's well-reasoned arguments showed to particular effect against Russell's emotional vacuousness.
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