Marc Ambinder addresses the topic of alleged “epistemic closure” among conservatives — a supposed phenomenon that, with great civility and open-mindedness, he labels conservative “madness.”
More in sorrow than in anger, Ambinder insists, he agrees that closure/madness does in fact “plague” today’s conservatives. Here’s his proof:
Can anyone deny that the most trenchant and effective criticism of President Obama today comes not from the right but from the left? Rachel Maddow’s grilling of administration economic officials. Keith Olbermann’s hectoring of Democratic leaders on the public option. Glenn Greenwald’s criticisms of Elena Kagan. Ezra Klein and Jonathan Cohn’s keepin’-them-honest perspectives on health care. The civil libertarian left on detainees and Gitmo. The Huffington Post on derivatives.
That’s a tough one; let me think.
Okay. By definition no leftist can deny that the most trenchant and effective criticism of Obama comes from the left; for if a leftist considered the right’s criticism more trenchant, he or she would become a conservative. But the same dynamic works from right to left. Thus, to imagine that no one can deny the superiority of leftist criticism, not even someone who is right of center (if such a creature itself can be imagined) and thus finds the left’s criticism of Obama off-target, is surely the very essence of epistemic closure. And foolishness.
Via Jonah Goldberg at the Corner.