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Damon Linker On Will, Brooks, And Obama

Damon Linker has been writing like crazy over on his blog, which is well worth checking out regularly. 

In "The Progressive Truth Squad," Linker quasi-defends George Will's controversial Washington Post columns on global warming:

It seems to me that Will is making a political argument in his columns, asserting that the evidence in favor of global warming is nowhere near strong enough to justify the enormous social changes and economic regulations advocated by many committed environmentalists. By all means, reject that argument and mount one on the other side. But calling Will a liar for making the argument -- let alone denouncing Fred Hiatt for publishing it and for defending the decision to publish it, let alone sliming all Washington Post reporters because they work for a newspaper that published it and defended the decision to publish it -- is to make the same category error as doctrinaire Marxist-Leninists who treat political dissent as a betrayal of the indisputable Truth that they alone possess and should be empowered to enforce.

In "David Brooks's Revisionist History," Linker objects to Brooks's claims of "epistemological modesty":

Now, I'm not suggesting that in his recent columns Brooks has deliberately sought to misrepresent his intellectual autobiography. As someone who's done a fair amount of ideological migration over the years, I understand how challenging it can be to weave a coherent and accurate personal narrative of one's own intellectual development. Still, facts are facts -- and the undeniable fact is that as recently as five years ago Brooks was very far from being a champion of epistemological modesty in politics. If today he considers himself a Burkean or Oakeshottian conservative, it's because he was mugged by the reality of Bush administration ineptitude.

I know the feeling.

In "What Realignments Look Like," Linker reflects on the Democrats' big moment:

Barack Obama's speech last Tuesday and the budget outline he released two days later were so bold, so astonishingly ambitious, that I hardly know how to respond. A Democrat setting the agenda? Putting Republicans on the defensive? Proposing vast new programs, taking charge, setting national goals? As recently as six months ago, I considered such a thing almost inconceivable, a liberal's pipe dream, a conservative's fevered nightmare. And yet here we are.