The Good, the Bad, and the Clueless

You can find them all in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune. First, the good–pretty good, anyway. The Strib has an article on the Center of the American Experiment titled “Minnesota think tank goes to college”. The article highlights a new Center initiative called Foundations for Active Conservative Thinking (FACT), which is designed to counter liberal propaganda at Minnesota colleges. A centerpiece of FACT will be a new website called Intellectual Takeout, which will furnish facts, figures and arguments in support of conservative positions, aimed specifically at college students. The site will be operational soon, and we’ll link to it when it is up and running.
The article is generally pretty favorable, but it includes the obligatory attacks on the Center by one Rob Levine, whom I’ve never heard of in any other context, but to whom the Strib ritually goes for attacks whenever it does a story on the Center. The Strib includes this bit of unintentional humor from Mr. Levine:

The center is part of a huge, well-funded national movement pursuing the interests of corporations and inherited wealth, and they have a natural bottomless pool of capital to draw from.

As a long-time member of the Center’s board of directors, I can attest that the “bottomless pool” was never in evidence.
A sidebar to the Strib’s article notes the role that the Center and its founder, Mitch Pearlstein, played in promoting Scott’s and my career as amateur pundits. The Center is a very worthwhile organization; you can learn more about it here, and, in lieu of the bottomless pool of money that exists only in liberal imaginations, you may want to donate to the organization. Just follow the “Join Us” link.
That’s the good. The bad was in one of the Strib’s editorials, which noted an op-ed by New York Times columnist David Brooks, reprinted in today’s paper, which pointed to signs of a resurgent private morality in the U.S. The Strib editorializes:

Brooks sees only half the picture. If he opened his other eye — his eye on public virtue — his claims of a clear moral revival would quickly blur.
Let’s look at the public side. Is it moral to lead a nation to war based on false and selective information? Is it virtuous to pursue policies that eliminate medical care for the poorest people? Where’s the morality in lavishing ever more tax advantages on the wealthy while the economy produces more inequality and less social mobility? Is it virtuous to steal millions from employees, pensioners and stockholders in the name of free enterprise?
Is it right to systematically abuse prisoners and detainees? Is it moral to advocate policies that irreparably damage the environment? Can it be honest to blithely deny the overwhelming scientific evidence of global warming and evolution? Is it acceptable to spread rumors and lies about your political opponent in order to get votes? How is it OK to exploit prejudices against people of a different sexual orientation to further your political gains?
Is it not arrogant and presumptuous for leaders to declare “God bless America” when, perhaps, America should worry whether its public actions in the world match up to its claims of divine guidance and match up to its progress on private virtue?
In posing these questions, we make no claims of moral superiority. We simply seek a wider view.

Yeah, right. Every one of the Strib editorial board’s questions is based on a false factual premise. What the Strib really thinks is that it won’t be proper to say “God bless America” again until we have a Democratic administration. If the Strib really wants a “wider view,” it should open its eyes to the facts that a majority of voters have recognized, and which have relegated the Strib’s party, the Democrats, to minority status.
That’s the bad. The clueless? See my post below on the Strib’s befuddlement over how it might cover–or at least acknowledge–the Air America scandal.


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