I have been reading, and occasionally posting comments at Washington Monthly, a far-left blog, since Kevin Drum moved there several years ago. Before that, he had an excellent blog called Calpundit. He was a leftist but open to other ideas and his readership was, in some instances, pretty well informed. After he moved to Washington Monthly, I found that blog’s readers less tolerant of non-leftist ideas. A comment that disagreed with the theme of the day would frequently be met with a stream of obscenity and abusive rhetoric but less logic and information than the previous blog. Kevin has now moved on to Mother Jones, another leftist magazine and blog. I read his blog there occasionally and have tried to post a comment a couple of times but the comments never appear.
My comments at Washington Monthly would often be deleted, sometimes leaving the obscene responses in place. They were responding to a post that no longer existed, an amusing situation. Now, in the heat of the health care debate, they have decided to ban my comments altogether. Today, as I attempted to post a comment, this appeared.
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The left has closed the last leak in their bubble. They simply cannot stand to see or hear other opinions. That is not healthy. An example of the reaction to other opinions is beautifully illustrated here. Thomas Sowell is a famous and highly regarded economist but to these folks, he is just another dumb conservative.
As for Sowell’s larger point, his column argues that brilliant people “tend to overestimate how important individual brilliance is.”
It’s a problem Sowell will never have to worry about.
UPDATE: This observation is so pertinent that I must quote it in full. It is the essence of the left and their worldview.
[A] lot of people have entertained the idea, that Mikhail Gorbachev was to the late great Soviet Union, what Barack Obama is to the surviving United States — the leader who reforms so many things so quickly that his country suddenly disappears.
Interesting thought that had not occurred to me.
On the other hand, some interesting comparisons could be made between the thuggish party machine of Chicago, which raised Obama as its golden boy; and the thuggish party machine of Moscow, which presented Gorbachev as it’s most attractive face.
Both men have been praised for their wonderful temperaments, and their ability to remain unperturbed by approaching catastrophe. But again, the substance is different, for Gorbachev’s temperament was that of a survivor of many previous catastrophes.
Yet they do have one major thing in common, and that is the belief that, regardless of what the ruler does, the polity he rules must necessarily continue. This is perhaps the most essential, if seldom acknowledged, insight of the post-modern “liberal” mind: that if you take the pillars away, the roof will continue to hover in the air.
Gorbachev seemed to assume, right up to the fall of the Berlin Wall and then beyond it, that his Communist Party would recover from any temporary setbacks, and that the long-term effects of his glasnost and perestroika could only be to make it bigger and stronger.
There is a corollary of this largely unspoken assumption: that no matter what you do to one part of a machine, the rest of the machine will continue to function normally.
A variant of this is the frequently expressed denial of the law of unintended consequences: the belief that, if the effect you intend is good, the actual effect must be similarly happy.
Yes, I can see this in the theories of the left. They do not understand how to actually make things, though they think they do. When they do exist in the private sector, they are often the programmers who sit in small cubicles and think they are what has created the great corporate enterprise that employs them. They do not understand what it takes to actually sell those wonderful gadgets they think up. The rest of them, and the majority, exist in government and academia where they congratulate each other on their brilliance.
Very small children, the mad, and certain extinct primitive tribes, have shared in this belief system, but only the fully college-educated liberal has the vocabulary to make it sound plausible.
With an incredible rapidity, America’s status as the world’s pre-eminent superpower is now passing away. This is a function both of the nearly systematic abandonment of U.S. interests and allies overseas, with metastasizing debt and bureaucracy on the home front.
And while I think the U.S. has the structural fortitude to survive the Obama presidency, it will be a much-diminished country that emerges from the “new physics” of hope and change.
Yes, I fear this is indeed the case. For another view of this situation, read Michael Barone’s book, Hard America, Soft America.