Friday, September 25, 2015

David Harsanyi: Liberals Are Done Debating

There's just no denying that there's a fair bit of truth in there.


Anonymous Lewis Carroll said...

There may be some truth there Winston, but there is an awful lot of straw too.

The main problem I see is that even when liberals (or at least the putative *liberals* of the Democratic party) admit that conservatives (again, at least the putative *conservatives* of the Republican party) have some good arguments, indeed even when their ideas are implemented, they are met with demands for ever more extreme moves or denounced as anathema.

So for example, we have Barack Obama, who adopts Mitt Romney's health care policy, attempts to adopt John McCain's cap-and-trade policy (which worked for acid rain, btw:, and George H.W. Bush's fiscal policy, and who is denounced as a socialist, Nazi, authoritarian, anti-Christ, un-American etc. etc.

Mind you, this is not just from some mofo on a blog somewhere, but from actual, elected representatives of the Republican party and its coterie of pundits, think tanks, media etc.

So it's not so much that we have closed our minds to their arguments, it's that when we *accept* their arguments and act on them, more and more is demanded because extremism in defense of extremism is no vice.

Remember when we couldn't institute a carbon tax or GHG cap-and-trade program because we would be outpaced by the other large emitters like China and India who would not go along? (which in itself is a faulty premise) Now we see that the Chinese will actually institute such a plan. Here is my prediction: the usual suspects will rear up on their hind legs and bray that they will cheat, we can't enforce it etc. etc. Just watch. This is not to say that there doesn't need to be monitoring, enforcement etc.

Then there is the brazen denial of the failure of, say, 'conservative' policy on nuclear proliferation: Both North Korea ( and Iran ( INCREASE their nuclear capacities under said policy.

I'm all for genuine conservative skepticism to counterbalance liberals' worst impulses, but at some point, isn't it fair to judge and act based on evidence, or lack thereof, for the efficacy of certain policies? And shouldn't we at least recognize that today's conservatives, at least as represented in the Republican party, are not anything like Dwight Eisenhower, Howard Baker, Richard Luger or Warren Rudman?

10:04 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I don't disagree with a word of this, LC. All you'll get from me on that is a Hallelujah.

I wrote more on that and then cut it out and saved it to a new one, because it was just becoming another screed about neo- PC . They're the real offenders, IMO. But that tends to smack of not-true-Scotsmanism...especially since I think that liberals are allowing themselves to be dragged leftward on the "social justice" (whatever that means) issues.

As for serious policy questions, I think there's less of that.

A notable exception: I do think there might, in fact, be grounds for being less alarmist than the orthodoxy wants us to be about global warming. I'm reading a paper on that right now.

Anyway: amen.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Lewis Carroll said...

I'm feeling you Winston.

Plus, in academia, where you spend your time, it seems to be a totally different ballgame. The truth, if it is uncomfortable or somehow *unfaiir*, need not apply.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, though I have to admit, it's not that bad where I am--our department is mostly very sane (at least in that respect), as is the university. And a lot of the objectionable lefty stuff I complain about I see on the internet. I see *some* of the crazy first-hand...but most of it is tales from elsewhere...

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Lewis Carroll said...

Yes Winston, I meant certain departments...I would not imagine there is much of a problem in say the math or physics departments typically.

8:00 PM  

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