Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Agreeing to Disagree

Future New York Times columnist Ross Douthat says this of the List That Shall Not Be Named:
When I first heard about it, a while back, it seemed like it might be an example of the movement-ification of American liberalism, in which left-of-center types (especially people in the press) who once would have airily dismissed the idea that they belonged to a partisan "team" began attempting to imitate the conservative movement out of horror at its successes. But then again maybe the email list is just a wonderfully high-minded attempt to "illuminate standard political reporting with expert policy commentary," with no partisan purpose whatsoever.
Ah, if only liberals could do something as disciplined as all get on message. When I first moved to D.C. a lot of liberals whistfully talked about trying to be as "on message" as the Bush administration. But if there's anything I've learned in the last two years of blogging (oh my god, it's been two years) it's that if there's anything liberals love more than, say, Barack Obama, it's disagreeing with one another. And not just polite disagreement. Liberals can be mean to each other, really mean.

And I think that's probably a good thing. After all, sometimes when people you might broadly disagree with find holes in your argument it makes it better. It makes your thoughts stronger. Sometimes, it even changes your mind. I don't know if that's what conservatives would do if they were all on a secret email list together, but I think we can pretty much guess that a list of centrists, left-of-centrists, and outright flaming liberals will never be able to get on message. I just don't think it'd ever be possible.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...