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The Austerians' Dumbing-Down the Debate Over Fiscal Policy: Hoisted from the Archives from Two Years Ago

Re-Reading My Weblog: July 2005

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In July 2005, the Social Security Privatization wars wound down, as it became clear that no, Republican Party discipline would not be sufficient to achieve unity behind an ill-thought out and ill-explained Bush Administration program:

But the Bush Administration still soldiered on. And I was still surprised by the willingness of the Washington Post to have its reporters serve as parts of the Right-Wing Slime Machine--granting Bush Administration officials anonymity to say things about ex-Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and about me that said Bush Administration officials did not dare say in propria persona. Mike Allen, Jonathan Weisman, Ben White: You had one job. You could not find the moral fiber to do it:

And I was surprised by Michael Kinsley's extraordinary willingness as head of the Los Angeles Times's opinion section to print the most extraordinary crap, to wit:

David Gelernter: You might argue that dark-skinned people are a special case, given the way the United States has treated them. I agree--we have treated them so solicitously, and worked so hard to suppress racial prejudice, that dark-skinned people owe their country the benefit of the doubt...

Time I did not spend worrying about Social Security was spent worrying about risks of financial crisis:

writing against the highly-unrealistic academic political-science school that calls itself "Realism":

watching the National Review's Donald Luskin demonstrated yet again why he is The Stupidest Man and it is The Stupidest Magazine alive:

worrying about the questions of how close we were to full employment and how to think about the growing share of employee compensation in the form of benefits:

and thinking of my ambivalent feelings toward the "Flandry" stories of science-fiction writer Poul Anderson:

Last, I found myself thinking about Jared Diamond and his masterly book Guns, Germs, and Steel. It had attracted some critics who were worthwhile intellectual adversaries worth engaging:

and others who were not, who could only be understood as suffering from what C. Northcote Parkinson called "injelitance", and who were worthy only of mockery and ridicule:

The feel-bad piece of the month is, of course, David Gelernter and his editor Michael Kinsley:

Beating out--mirabile visu!--even Donald Luskin.

The feel-good piece of the month is: