The Corner

Tapping a Can of Outrage

Please read this post by Garance Franke-Ruta over at Tapped on what “movement-building” demands of liberal bloggers. It certainly reads to me like she’s upset that liberal bloggers are being too intellectually honest. The upshot of Franke-Ruta’s position seems to be that deliberately distorting Bill Bennett’s intent and meaning is a small price to pay to villify him unfairly and for the added bonus of angering-up southern blacks in order to get limousine liberals like John Edwards elected. And if Matt Yglesias or Brad DeLong see it differently, they should just be quiet — for the sake of the movement.

I find this very illuminating. We get a lot of grief around here from time to time for supporting conservative politicians or figures — including Bennett — when liberals insist the only intellectually honest position is opposition and outrage. Therefore we must be operating in bad faith. And here we have someone at The American Prospect all but declaring that intellectual honesty is corrupting liberalism and its nakedly partisan ambition to attain political power.

Nice movement she’s working on.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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