About Magical Thinking.
Observe how the ubiquitously cited Mr. Chait
(here is a short sampling from two day's worth of offerings from Mr. Sullivan's "Chait and Tackle Shop"
Chait wonders why...
Chait, Westen and Zakaria...
Chait defends Romney...
Chait defended the Wisconsin...
Chait defends them as...
Chait vs Westen
Chait catches a beaut from...
Chait shoots an arrow through...)
cannot seem to stop himself from plunging face-first into his own deadfall.
Note how he gets this first bit right:
The Two Crises And The Triumph Of Magical Thinking
Obama has repeatedly endorsed proposals to reduce the long-term deficit via revenue-enhancing tax reform and spending cuts. Republicans oppose these plans. What else should Obama do? Should he agree to cut the deficit by $4 trillion entirely through spending reductions? Find some previously-unused method to persuade Republicans to alter their most sacred principle? Nobody says.
Then doooown he goes (see if you can spot the moment he achieves terminal velocity):
This is one way in which conservative journalism is actually far more sophisticated than mainstream news journalism. Conservative pundits, while usually slanting their account in highly partisan and often misleading terms, do a fairly good job of grasping and explaining the fact that the two parties fundamentally disagree on the causes of and solutions to the economic crisis and the long-term deficit. In this sense, a Rush Limbaugh listener may well be better informed about the causes of the impasse than listener of NPR or other mainstream organs. The former will have in his mind a wildly slanted version of the basic political landscape, while the latter's head will be filled with magical thinking.
It appears that Mr. Chait, like so many of his caste -- like the very Moustache of Understanding
he lightly chides -- is so wedded to the Sour Tit of Fake Centrism that he literally can no longer perceive of a reality outside of its goodthinkful parameters.
Mr, Chait's entire critique rests on the assumption that there are two and only two equally flawed species of media: On one side is the "more sophisticated" but "wildly slanted" world of "conservative journalism" (represented by Rush Limbaugh); in the other we find the "magical thinking" realm of "mainstream news journalism" (represented by Tom Friedman and NPR.)
Nowhere -- not even in the poorest, most distant punditting exurbs of Mr. Chait's imagination -- does one find any evidence of that large, loud, vituperative, foul-mouthed band of Liberal observers and commentators who have been largely right about all of this all along.
Like mournful lectures on the complete absence of non-lethal beverage choices -- "Battery acid or liquid Drano?" --delivered while standing smack in front of a successful local brewery, the degree to which "serious" pubic intellectuals are now routinely lobotomizing themselves into not seeing the inconvenient realities that are right in front of them feels like it is approaching some kind of supersaturation* point.
* (h/t knowdoubt)