April 25, 2010

"The epistemic closure on the right is how other conservatives still manage to blind themselves to the pragmatic virtues of this president's remarkable 15 month record at home and abroad."

What?

77 comments:

rhhardin said...

He's saying it's turtles all the way down.

Mark O said...

Oh, it is remarkable.

Chip Ahoy said...

Oh, for Christ's sake. His own epistemic closure accounts for why he cannot see his adopted country becoming the very thing he left. He'll be left wondering what the hell hit him.

He's out of his mind if he thinks anybody is going to be dazzled by the things he blinds himself.

My ass is epistemic.

Omaha1 said...

Somehow I knew this was Andrew even before clicking your link.

You are obviously just not bright enough to comprehend his brilliance, and also, not a real conservative if you don't agree with every word he writes, (and hate Sarah Palin too).

Don't forget how "chuffed" he is that Obama reads his blog, don't you wish he read your blog too?

Know Fear!

Maguro said...

Must be lonely being the last true conservative.

edutcher said...

Sounds like Alpha or Montagne, but with the usual expletives deleted in place of the nine dollar doctoral dissertation words.

Old Dad said...

Foucault and Sullivan have a lot in common--both foreigners, both shitty writers, both poseurs, both gay, both assholes.

Picture Kurt Vonnegut's asshole here.

c3 said...

General rule:
When anyone claims to be, or when anyone begins a post/column with a claim to be a "true conservative", you should stop reading immediately

PS I did link back to the Brooks column. Once again I'm amazed by the claim that Obama is a "centrist". Now he may not have the flaming rhetoric of some in the far left but his sensibilities/worldview are clearly far from the center.

AND THAT WAS PREDICTABLE LONG BEFORE THE ELECTION

Alex said...

It's our fault we can't see the shining brilliance of Teh Won.

Chef Mojo said...

Man, there is nothing like full-bore Surreal Sullivan to get me chuckling on a Sunday afternoon. His delusions of conservatism have convinced him of his continued relevancy. The reality is that he is only worthy of condescending contempt and constant mockery. He long ago became a characture of himself, battling the forces of evil as the last, lone authentic conservative.

Yeah. Whatever, Andi.

wv: cychneut. Not sure what it is, but I'm pretty sure it's homophobic...

Ann Althouse said...

"Don't forget how "chuffed" he is that Obama reads his blog, don't you wish he read your blog too?"

I wonder what celebrities read my blog? And what celebrities I'd be most chuffed if they read my blog?

Let me make a list:

1. Bob Dylan.

2. ???

Palladian said...

"He long ago became a characture of himself,"

A complete charcuterie of himself, the pig.

Palladian said...

1. Bob Dylan.

2. ???

3. Profits!

Balfegor said...

When anyone claims to be, or when anyone begins a post/column with a claim to be a "true conservative", you should stop reading immediately.

Oh tosh. I am the TRUE CONSERVATIVE! And I say the times call for a man like Curzon. Well, maybe that's a bit much. Let's say Salisbury instead.

On a more serious note, it's shocking how pathetic all our modern politicians seem, compared to the political leaders of the late 19th century -- Gladstone, Salisbury, Disraeli, Bismarck, and the ones whose names I don't know who flit on and off the historical stage. Not just in their intellectual capabilities, but also in their ability to lead their governments and their people. Of course, it all blew up in the next generation. But still.

His delusions of conservatism have convinced him of his continued relevancy.

If the President of the United States is taking cues from his blog, I'd say that's pretty relevant. Maybe not intellectually relevant, but he has the ear of power, and that's worth more than a thousand ink-stained wretches scribbling away.

Lincolntf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

I tried to expand the list by asking Meade who he thought I'd be chuffed to hear was reading my blog. He only came up with one name: Johnny Depp.

That made me laugh, and for some reason it made me remember the one celebrity that I found out read my blog and got me chuffed: Clint Eastwood. (Back when I blogged about "Gran Torino.")

If I were a big celebrity, I might enjoy reading the Althouse blog and commenting under a pseudonym. Just to hang out and talk with people who weren't reacting to the fact that I am a big celebrity.

SMGalbraith said...

I'm related to the late John Kenneth Galbraith.

Close enough for, er, me.

AllenS said...

Clint Eastwood reads this blog? Does he ever comment.

AllenS said...

I shook the hand of a man that shook the hand of JFK.

damikesc said...

So, is excitable Andy claiming that everybody but he is a liberal?

Irene said...

1. Dylan

2. Johnny Depp

3. Clint Eastwood

4. Madonna?

Brad said...

Heh .... hee hee ..... hee hee hee hee heee .... HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH ....

Anyone whose "argument" for his own opinion is to insult everyone who disagrees has nothing to offer.

Palladian said...

"If the President of the United States is taking cues from his blog..."

...then we're really and most sincerely fucked.

Ron said...

It might be hilarious if a celebrity Ann was critical of showed up, under their own name, to rebuke her here! Like McLuhan in Anne Hall.

Palladian said...

"Anyone whose "argument" for his own opinion is to insult everyone who disagrees has nothing to offer."

You mean like you're doing right now?

Heh .... hee hee ..... hee hee hee hee heee .... HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH ....
cough

john said...

I'm related to Kevin Bacon. Cousin six times removed, or something like that.

Balfegor said...

Setting that aside, to state that the President has had a "remarkable" record in foreign policy is just absurd. One can say the grades aren't in; but to claim that they've been remarkable is, well, remarkable.

Well, it is remarkable, though. Two of what were formerly our strongest postwar alliances -- with the UK and Japan -- are weaker now than I can remember them ever being before (though I am quite young, so my memory on this point only stretches into the late 90s). Some of that has been due to the President intentionally or unintentionally slighting their leaders. And some of that has been due to those leaders slighting him (well, Hatoyama II, not so much Brown).

Quayle said...

I was relishing in the thought of finally revealing that I am really Bob Dylan.

Then I kept reading the comments and now I want to reveal that I'm really Clint Eastwood.

Bob said...

The "epistemic closure" comment probably comes from this discussion that took place at Hot Air and other places.

Penny said...

Other than Bob Dylan, I was thinking you might like Camille Paglia to stop by now and again.

mariner said...

Chip Ahoy:
He'll be left wondering what the hell hit him.

He won't be left anywhere. He and Michelle have looted enough that they will be sipping champagne laughing at the impoverished rubes who voted for him.

mRed said...

"epistemic closure" Randy Andy learned a new phrase, but when he first went to look it up he thought the root of the words would lead him elsewhere, not to a really neat phrase he could tout.

Dark Eden said...

I had to get out of my rusty pickup truck, put down my shotgun, take off my Klan hood and go to dictionary.com to learn epistemic closure basically means 'not open to knowledge' or something thereabouts for us not so wordy types.

Lefties really seem to have a fetish for believing their ideas are the only ideas and if you disagree with them, you disagree with the concept of ideas themselves.

Its a really strange concept they have going. Its like there's their philosophy and evil nazi racism and that's it.

Penny said...

*Cleans off rose colored glasses*

The case can be made that he is, in fact, a President governing from the center.

For the most part, he's continued with Bush's foreign policy agenda, and the healthcare legislation might easily have been a single payer system out of the start gate, given he had both a democratic senate and house.

And all THIS, from a man who had one of the most liberal records in the senate!

Penny said...

Bob, that's a great link. Thank you.

Megan McCardle's contribution was particularly helpful.

Teki Setsu said...

Celebrities. Oh sheesh.

Bob Dylan or Ray Kurzweil?

Johnny Depp or Richard Branson?

Richard Gere or Richard Dawkins?

Montagne Montaigne said...

I am still waiting for any kind of argument against the administration's actions. I hear lots of invective, but no argument. Any time something like an argument is advanced by a conservative in 2010, it quickly reveals itself to be incoherent or nonsensical given any rational analysis of the situation at hand. The closest thing to a convincing point has been, "liberals are using similar tactics in power to those conservatives used when in power" which only serves to show the widespread prevalence of hypocrisy and mediocrity among the human species, which, surprise surprise...

If Sullivan says the president's record is remarkable and goes on to list why, the response here is "nuh uh, no it's not" which is not an argument. I get lines from places like Powerline saying things like "the president coddles our enemies while alienating our allies" which is demonstrably false... and nonsensical. I wonder who actually buys it? Or do folks need to believe such things, which is why they repeat them like a mantra?

Big Mike said...

Sully is certainly right that Obama has had a "remarkable 15 month record at home and abroad."

He's managed to unify most of the United States -- in anger at him -- and to change the direction of US relationships with Israel, Great Britain, and Poland.

Pretty remarkable, that's for certain.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Thanks Big Mike, for proving my point. What you say is baseless, yet I bet you believe it like the gospel. Epistemic closure.

Big Mike said...

I have no idea what you're smoking, Monty, but you may want to go easier on whatever it is.

SMGalbraith said...

I am still waiting for any kind of argument against the administration's actions.

Sorry, you think the foreign policy of this Administration has had, as Sullivan opined, "remarkable" accomplishments?

I think at the very least any judgments are too soon. But surveying the global landscape I can't see where the "re-set" button of this Administration has yielded any substantive accomplishments on the vital areas of concern we face.

E.g., the Iranian nuclear program continues at full speed, China and Russia continue to make mischief over the matter, and the Middle East is still mired in the centuries of enmity between the various parties (not just Jew and Arab but Sunni and Shi'a) as well.

To be sure, these are not the result of the policies of this Administration. History has baggage that Obama has to carry.

But "remarkable" accomplishments is a bit much, no?

Dark Eden said...

"Any time something like an argument is advanced by a conservative in 2010, it quickly reveals itself to be incoherent or nonsensical given any rational analysis of the situation at hand."

So okay, you claim no one will give you 'an argument' then immediately admit people have, but you say those arguments don't count as real arguments because they're stoopid. Is that about right?

I don't know what kind of 'argument' you're looking for but here's a handy list: ramming Obamacare down everyone's throats, two porkulus bills that amounted to payoffs to unions and other lefty groups, cozying up to dictators, ignoring democratic movements, alienating the UK and Israel, humiliations by Russia and China, the whole Gitmo closing fiasco, and dragging his feet on DADT or Gay Marriage or any sort of other coherent social agenda that doesn't involve imposing marxism or paying off union thugs.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Conservative argument today: "Liberals suck, and kiss my ass, hippie."

This is why so many young people are joining the tea party movement.

Balfegor said...

I am still waiting for any kind of argument against the administration's actions.

What kind of argument are you looking for? I mean, there's been plenty of argument here, in the Althouse comments section.

On the stimulus bill, some of the arguments against the Democrats' stimulus policy were that

(1) stimulus was excessively backloaded into 2010, so it wouldn't have a stimulative effect when it was needed, in 2009,
(2) stimulus distorts economic incentives, and has the effect of perpetuative uncompetitive and inefficient allocations of resources,
(3) payroll tax cuts would be quicker, work better, offer few opportunities for patronage and corruption, and help reduce the leverage of American households (with beneficial effects on mortgage loan performance, etc.)

On Obama's harebrained Israel policy, arguments (not necessarily here) have been:

(1) Public vituperation of Israel provides cover for radical Palestinian elements to escalate demands against Israel, such that no meeting of the minds between Israel and Palestinian political groups will be possible, and destroys the (already slender) possibility of attaining a peaceful resolution of the situation there.
(2) Aligns us with disagreeable Judenhass in the international sphere, and betrays America's basic values.

On the Democrats' health care bill, some arguments have been:

(1) Requiring coverage of pre-existing conditions will lead to an adverse selection death-spiral for the insurance industry (Republican politicians have more or less gone along with this element of the plan, to their discredit, because it is popular).
(2) Government preference for particular kinds of coverage and scope of coverage reduces consumer freedom in the individual market to purchase more limited coverage and self insure, should that suit their needs.
(3) The health care plan, rather than breaking the perverse linkage of employment and health insurance coverage, doubles down.
(4) Penalties for failure to purchase government-approved health insurance are (a) Unconstitutional, (b) an expansion of the Federal power into traditional state "Police Power," (c) an infringement of personal liberty.
(5) The penalties are necessary, if you insist on requiring coverage of pre-existing coverage, but Democrats chickened out on their own scheme and made them too small to be effective, making (1) more likely.

You may not agree with any of these arguments -- I don't agree with all of them myself -- but they are arguments that have been raised. If you haven't seen arguments against the Administration's actions, it's because you've got your hands clapped over your eyes.

Alex said...

This is the game Monty likes to play. The arguments against Obama have been posted legion over the weeks/months, but he requires that you post it all over again. Don't feed the troll.

SMGalbraith said...

Okay, please cite to us the "remarkable" foreign policy achievements of this Administration.

Not good, not productive, not substantive: remarkable.

And sorry, world opinion polls don't count.

Alex said...

So Monty what are teh Won's great achievements besides trashing our country?

Alex said...

Oh and even if you by world opinion polls, they still hate us as much as ever. So no win there for Bambi.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Balfegor, do you think any of the criticisms you outlined, which were substantive and thoughtful, are the primary drivers of the kind of invective that is tossed around here? Statements like "coddling dictators" and "imposing Marxism" ?

Do you think that the Netanyahu administration is a stand in for Israel as a whole? Because I don't, and neither do most Israelis. I fail to see any "public vituperation" of Israel. That is not an accurate statement of what occurred.

I also see at least two of your arguments against health care reform are from the left. Absent, of course, is any suggestion of a different approach to reform.

Montagne Montaigne said...

How did the president "trash our country," Alex? That's the kind of doltish phrase, lacking any substance or justification, that places you squarely in the epistemicaly closed section of the auditorium.

Alex said...

Monty - latest opinion polls in Israel show Netanyahu with 60%+ approval. FAIL!!!

SMGalbraith said...

It seems to me that there are more options than: (1) President Obama's a Marxist dictator-coddling traitor or (2) President Obama's a remarkable President, an American Pericles, with historic successes that transcend history.

Something in the middle would suffice.

Maguro said...

Uh huh, Sullivan and Monty would be totally open to any reasonably well-constructed arguments that Obama's not the greatest President evah, but there just aren't any!

Whatever.

SMGalbraith said...

with historic successes that transcend history.

Are there any other kind?

Where's a good editor when you need one?

Triangle Man said...

Chuffing celeberities:
Lady Gaga
Simon Cowell
Christopher Hitchens

Balfegor said...

I also see at least two of your arguments against health care reform are from the left.

The only one that was from the Left, as far as I could tell, was the argument that the penalties have to put the boot in more forcefully, to prevent the problem with the adverse selection death spiral. Which was the other you thought was Left?

Absent, of course, is any suggestion of a different approach to reform.

Sure, I can give that. I'm pretty sure I've outlined my preferred solution at least once here (although my preferences have evolved slightly as I've thought more about it). I'd prefer something that

(1) eliminated preferential tax treatment for employer-provided healthcare, and incentivised employers instead to provide a health insurance allowance, to enable employees to purchase health insurance on the individual market (rather than through employer pools) -- to alleviate problems when people lose jobs and have to rely on legislative kludges to stay in their employer insurance pool.

(2) permitted sale of insurance across state borders.

(3) instituted health insurance exchanges, with uniform policy disclosure standards, and an oversight agency under HHS, to resolve cases claiming unwarranted denial of coverage administratively (this much is, partly, an overlap with Romneycare/Obamacare -- but I wouldn't support minimum coverage standards/contribution ratios, etc.)

(4) mandated uniform price disclosure for hospitals performing routine procedures.

(5) worked with states to change baseline medicaid eligibility criteria, so it covers the bottom 5% of each state + elderly + lame + pregnant and neo-natal.

(5) worked with states to improve their high risk insurance pools (to cover the otherwise-uninsurable), and encourage the states that do not have already-existing high risk insurance pools to create them.

(6) not sure about this one, but have toyed with the idea of creating a kind of federally guarantee for health loans, sort of like what we have with student loans, or Fannie/Freddie for mortgages, to encourage lenders to make loans for medical purposes at lower rates (for those who are still of working age -- those who are not, of course, are already covered by medicare). Ideally, this would make it easier for people to handle catastrophic expenses, if they have not got health insurance before hand, or they blow past their coverage limits. I'm not sure how well it would work, though, given that the student loan and Fannie/Freddie models are coming in for so much criticism now.

Making the affirmative case for a different scheme of reform was pretty much a fool's errand, though, during the health care debate, because Pelosi, Reid, and Obama did not exactly have open minds on the subject. Before any alternative scheme of reform could be meaningfully discussed, the scheme on the table had to be pulled back. As a result, the above -- and any of the Republican plans -- were essentially no more than castles in the air, and there wasn't really any point in putting them forward.

Joe M. said...

"An American Pericles." Hmm. I like that phrase. Nice ring to it. And references to the Greeks are always appreciated. Thanks, SMGalbraith.

El Pollo Real said...

Don't forget how "chuffed" he is that Obama reads his blog, don't you wish he read your blog too?

Huffing and chuffing and blowing the Althouse down.

The Three Little Pigs (2010 edition)

El Pollo Real said...

"Epistemic Closure"

Meade: if they come for the meristems, keep them well closed. :)

El Pollo Real said...

If I'm reading this story right (especially Bob's 2:19 link) Sullivan basically lifted that term epistemic closure without credit.

Or is it the other way around?

El Pollo Real said...

I am still waiting for any kind of argument against the administration's actions.

Every time I raise arguments against the elimination of high deductible insurance under Obamacare, you and your ilk ignore it- even though it affects millions of people.

Why is that?

c3 said...

Monty;
Alex notwithstanding, I was going to give you a few brief answers based on my limited understanding but Balfegor beat me to it. And your response:

Balfegor, do you think any of the criticisms you outlined, which were substantive and thoughtful, are the primary drivers of the kind of invective that is tossed around here?

In essence:

well yeah, but I still don't like you guys because you're MEAN!!!

With some reluctance I must admit:
Alex was right

(And its so ...so...
"Obama" as in

you Republicans have no ideas on how to address healthcare.......
well ok but those aren't MY IDEAS so they don't count. BUT I STILL WANT BIPARTISAN SUPPORT!.

And understand I still have the right to demonize you in my speech's and continue to claim I want to work with you

Montagne Montaigne said...

If Republicans had so many ideas for health care reform, why was reform of the health care system and health insurance never attempted during the period that Republicans had the power to do so?

It's because the Republican position on health care is the status quo. Which is a position, but it's silly to whine about not being listened to by big bad Pelosi, Obama and Reid.

El Pollo Real said...

If Republicans had so many ideas for health care reform, why was reform of the health care system and health insurance never attempted during the period that Republicans had the power to do so?

High deductible insurance was an option which only became available at my workplace under the last POTUS. Now under the new POTUS it's being eliminated.
Is there something political to this?

I don't think so. I think there was a market alternative which was allowed under the previous administration but which forbidden under the current one because they find it threatening.

Again MM, Why is that?

kimsch said...

When I see a list where item # 2 = ??? I need to complete it:

Let me make a list:

1. Bob Dylan.

2. ???


3. PROFIT!!!!!!!!

wv: tabgtyli

kimsch said...

ah, Palladian beat me to it...

wv: coveloxi

Revenant said...

High deductible insurance was an option which only became available at my workplace under the last POTUS. Now under the new POTUS it's being eliminated. Is there something political to this?

I was thrilled when a high-deductible policy opened up at my workplace. I switched to it immediately.

Now I'm going to have to switch to something else. So much for getting to keep the health care plan I already had.

c3 said...

re HDHP a RAND analysis here.

Still lots of questions but they do seem to push costs downward.

As we started this latest round of healthcare reform debate one key point I made was "Coverage is the easy part; paying for it is the harder task"

It looks like I was wrong on the first part of that; it was harder than I thought. Using MassHealth as the canary in the mine I'll stand by the second part of that assertion:
According to the DHFCP, monthly premiums for a 35-year-old living in Boston rose 20% since reform since implementation to $328. Similarly, over the same time period, monthly premiums for a 62-year-old indiviudal subscriber living in central Massachusetts rose from about $500 per month to $600 per month. Most healthcare insurance companies in Massachusetts are non-profits...According to the DHCFP, all the non-profit insurers spent over 90% of the premiums collected in the first half of 2009 on medical services....
Health care costs in the state were rising at an annual rate of 10%


FYI, the US Medical inflation rate was under 5% for '08 and under 10% for '09.......

Uh ohhh.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Isn't "epistemic closure" that procedure Bristol Palin had to have done after she delivered Trig?

JAL said...

Mr. Sullivan apparently still has an OB-GYN fixation.

Isn't that where one finds epistemic closures?

wv cointil
Something related, I'm sure.

Seven Machos said...

James Taranto's and Mickey Kaus's theory of leftist cocooning is remarkably apt here.

The majority of people have epistemic closure disease!

former law student said...

What?

it all started with Julian Sanchez, a full month ago, relating how David Frum was purged from the AEI, apparently because he deviated from the party line.

If Andrew Sullivan is anathema here, try reading Bruce Bartlett on "the closing of the conservative mind."

http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/1601/groupthink-right-would-make-stalin-proud

Hombre said...

Montagne wrote: Do you think that the Netanyahu administration is a stand in for Israel as a whole? Because I don't, and neither do most Israelis.

I just returned in March from several weeks in Israel where I spent a considerable amount of time discussing politics with Israelis. You don't know what you are talking about.

For example, Israelis are, by and large, angry about the Obama administration's stand on the expansion of the "settlement" and back Netanyahu wholeheartedly.

Moreover, without exception, the Israelis I spoke to believe Obama is hostile to Israel and friendly to Arab Muslims.

You're just making stuff up; as usual.

Revenant said...

Netanyahu is not polling well in Israel at this point, Hombre.

Inspector Lestrade said...

It is a much overlooked fact that Bissage was in fact JD Salinger.

Inspector Lestrade said...

That must have chuffed you up pretty good.

Mitch H. said...

Do you think that the Netanyahu administration is a stand in for Israel as a whole?

Wow, I've long since gotten used to the leftist-liberal penchant for ignoring America-as-it-is while advocating the "America which could be", but it's rare that I encounter somebody doing that to another country.

Monty, are the nations in your mind so noble and pure that you couldn't care whether the real countries upon which they're based, here in meatspace, get gassed or irradiated by Quods Force WMDs in the interim?

The actual, real Israelis voted for Netanyahu, and only a delusional solipsist would conclude that the parties which were in contention with Netanyahu's Likud would be all that radically different in foreign policy. It's a small country with a lot of little parties, but it's also a small country surrounded by people and organizations loudly declarant of their genocidal intentions. IIRC it was a contest beween Likud and Kadima, which was Sharon's party, for the love of mike.