Are Liberals Too Mean To Birthers?
May 17, 2010
Jonah Goldberg sees a pernicious double standard between the treatment of kooks who think Barack Obama is not a citizen and kook who think 9/11 was an inside job. "Birtherism" is dangerous and paranoid and "Trutherism" is quirky and no big deal, according to liberals," he writes. There are two claims here. The first is that liberals understate the craziness of Truthers. Goldberg's sole piece of evidence to support this claim is a New York Times article that he deems insufficiently hostile to the Truthers.
I've been lamenting that the conservative fixation with tax cuts has created a situation where conservatives can't even advance their own ideological interests. To sum up the discussion to date: National Review's Kevin Williamson wrote an article decrying the "magical thinking" of supply-side economics.
Jonah Goldberg, Obama, And Socialism
May 06, 2010
Jonah Goldberg has a long essay in Commentary attempting to defend the notion that President Obama is a socialist. The argument suffers from numerous flaws. One of them is that it cites three liberal writers -- John Judis, Harold Meyerson, and Matthew Yglesias -- discussing socialism, and concludes, "Surely if fans of President Obama’s program feel free to call it socialist, critics may be permitted to do likewise." Except that none of those writers was actually calling Obama's program socialist.
Lessons Learned From The Crisis
April 29, 2010
Jonah Goldberg argues that, even in the absence of regulation, we're a lot less vulnerable to another financial crisis because capitalists are good at learning lessons: By now you’ve probably heard lame duck Senator Christopher Dodd thunder from the Senate floor (or myriad other locations) that unless his bill is passed we are just as vulnerable as ever to what happened on Wall Street. “Nothing has happened” that can prevent the exact same crisis from happening again. Except that’s not quite true. Something happened: The crisis itself. Think of it this way.
Are Tea Partiers Dupes?
April 23, 2010
Jonah Goldberg says the Tea Party movement is, in part, "a delayed Bush backlash." George W. Bush, the argument goes, was a squish who betrayed the conservative philosophy. But since the right had nowhere to go, the current backlash against deficits and the financial bailout is a time-released backlash against his policies, because "Conservatives don’t want to be fooled again." But they are being fooled again. Indeed, the Tea Party movement is a vehicle of the fooling. The conservative movement is organized around the principle of opposition to progressive taxation.
What Conservative Epistemic Closure Means
April 19, 2010
Ross Douthat jumps into the debate over whether the conservative movement is moving toward epistemic closure. His take is worth reading, but unfortunately, he answers the wrong question: [Y]ou’ll find a pretty lively debate about everything from financial reform to health care to taxes, with plenty of room for diversity and disagreement and heterodoxy.
The Day In Epistemic Closure
April 14, 2010
Conservatives are finally striking back in the great epistemic closure debate! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, let me explain. Libertarian-ish blogger Julian Sanchez has been writing about the conservative movement's descent into epistemic closure, or a hermetically-sealed mental world in which only information provided by organs of the conservative movement is trusted.
April 13, 2010
When Michael Lind is good, he's really, really good. Here he is dissecting the intellectual roots of the current Republican hysteria about the evils of progressivism, embraced by Jonah Goldberg, Glenn Beck, and many others.
April 07, 2010
Tom Schaller, in response to some anti-redistributionist boilerplate from Jonah Goldberg, points out that the United States is the least-redistributionist advanced economy in the world. Here is where the United States ranks before government steps in: And here is where it is after: The government, as Schaller points out, is still somewhat redistributionist. But the basic picture is a government that does less to redistribute wealth than any other advanced country.
February 21, 2010
On night one of the Conservative Political Action Conference, as George Will entertained GOP mucketymucks in the Marriott Wardman’s cavernous banquet hall, the next generation of Republicans was downstairs, in the basement, enjoying something more hip. Or, at least, Stephen Baldwin’s idea of hip. “I know you don’t hear the word gnarly too much in conservative circles, but you’re gonna start hearing it in the future!” the 44-year-old ex-actor told a crowd of about 200 assembled youths.