Me on the left fifty years ago & me on the right today.
Between a very recently busted toilet, various family issues and some birthday stuff, I will be taking it easy today, which turns out is not a problem, because Dr. Paul Krugman of The New York Times has obligingly written my post for me.
Conservative Intellectuals: Follow the MoneyBoth Ross Douthat and David Brooks have now weighed in on the state of conservative intellectuals; both deserve credit for taking a critical look at their team.But — of course there’s a but — I’d argue that they and others on the right still have huge blind spots. In fact, these blind spots are so huge as to make the critiques all but useless as a basis for reform. For if you ignore the true, deep roots of the conservative intellectual implosion, you’re never going to make a real start on reconstruction.What are these blind spots? First, belief in a golden age that never existed. Second, a simply weird refusal to acknowledge the huge role played by money and monetary incentives promoting bad ideas.On the first point: We’re supposed to think back nostalgically to the era when serious conservative intellectuals like Irving Kristol tried to understand the world, rather than treating everything as a political exercise in which ideas were just there to help their team win.But it was never like that. Don’t take my word for it; take the word of Irving Kristol himself, in his book “Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea.” Kristol explained his embrace of supply-side economics in the 1970s: “I was not certain of its economic merits but quickly saw its political possibilities.” This justified a “cavalier attitude toward the budget deficit and other monetary or financial problems”, because “political effectiveness was the priority, not the accounting deficiencies of government.”...
Thanks, KThug! Couldn't have said it better myself :-)
Maybe there will be an assay of the Sunday Gasbagger later, or maybe not. At the moment, pounding my head against that particular wall seems to be doing much less damage to the wall than to my head, but maybe that's just stress talking.
Behold, a Tip Jar!