Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In which I get pissed off at Ed Kilgore again

I have a very high opinion of Ed Kilgore. I also agree with most things that he writes. But, for some reason, most of my comments there are negative and often quite angry in tone. He has a strange ability to irritate me. I am regularly irritated by his hippy punching. Or, in other words, I often wonder how such a reasonable person got along at the DLC and sometimes I don't wonder at all. I think it the current US political debate, there really isn't a significant movement of people clearly to the left of Ed Kilgore. He is much more likely to criticize Obama (and other prominent elected Democrats) from the left than the right (in fact I can't recall Kilgore ever criticizing Obama from the right). I think I will check, but I can't remember a recent case of someone Kilgore criticized by name for excessively left wing policy views (I do recall such a criticism of Ezra Klein -- yes Ezra Klein). On the other hand, he often criticized un-named unreasonable lefties. I think he is neither willing to defend what the DLC became in the end or accept that its critics aren't unreasonable. But the DLC hasn't existed for years. I guess it isn't surprising that Kilgore can't let it go, having worked there, but I should be able to do so. Anyway my latest comment (there is no real need to click the link -- the comment really is a comment on the quoted passage and not on his post). You write " some progressives think the ... obviously a “populist” campaign that refuses to “blur the differences” with the Right is ... forever the sure path to victory. " If by "some" you mean "more than ten" then I agree. However, you are clearly asserting that this view is widespread enough to matter. To quote someone I admire, "that’s probably something we should talk about, not simply assume." I have an honest question (and actually hope for an answer). You set up a straw man. I think putting the word "sure" into your fictional debate opponent was sufficient. Anyone who thinks there is a sure path to victory is wrong (I mean what if [favored progressive candidate] is photographed in bet with a goat a week before election day). Why did you add additional obviously absurd words "obviously" and "forever. To be frank, I assert that such excessively dishonest rhetoric is a sign of intellectual discomfort. Typically people who put words into the mouths of imaginary opponents are satisfied with fewer than three words each of which is strong enough to make any argument false. Another question. If you are really sure there are such progressives and have google, why didn't you spend a few minutes to find and quote one ? It couldn't be that you know perfectly well that you will not find any actual text in a comment thread to a blog which is as easily refuted as your imaginary opponent.

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