Friday, January 03, 2003

Don't miss this comment on Paul Craig Roberts (and, indirectly, on pseudo-libertarian confederatistas like Lew Rockwell) by Eugene Volokh. I might have, had Mark Kleiman not drawn attention to it.

On the other hand, that Eugene piece does some damage to Mark's notion that "liberals have less appetite than conservatives for spending time listening to affirmations of what they already believe. We're the non-church-going group, remember?"

This idea strikes me as utterly implausible; but of course I lack data to back up my intuition. I will relate one anecdote, though. Most of the regular New Republic readers I know are conservatives or libertarians or Republicans, not left-liberals or progressives or socialists-- despite the fact that I know more of members of the latter group of groups. And it's not because the conservatives and libertarians find more that they agree with in TNR; it was, after all, a magazine-length campaign brochure for Al Gore for a couple of years. But a bunch of progressive-left folks I know are so uninterested in reading anything pro-Israel or anti-identity-politics or New Democratic that they haven't picked it up in years, preferring instead the American Prospect or the Nation. For me, TNR is at the top of the must-read pile; it's smart and witty and insightful and often important. It seems to me that people who read only NR or Reason are fewer and further between than are people who read only the Prospect or the Nation.

And please, avoid the jokes about TNR really being a right-wing magazine...

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