Andrew Sullivan on the Pomo-Left

April 22, 2011

I am a regular reader of Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish.  Consistently I find it the most thought-provoking, broad-gauge blog going.  I don’t always agree with Andrew, but that’s precisely the point.  It isn’t that I agree with him (though sometimes I do); it’s that I find him interesting, and he draws many other interesting folks into the discussion.

The range of subjects he treats is immense, but he has some hobby-horses:  Sarah Palin, for example; gay marriage, of course, and “birthers” and other over-the-edgers of the right.  Because he sees himself as a conservative (though an unusual one by today’s varieties), he is more given to commentary about other conservatives.  But sometimes, as today, he lets fly something about the left.  Here’s a post from today, that begins with a comment on “birthers” but sideswipes the academic left:

Those Post-Modern Republicans

I, for one, do not find it odd that a party that can debate the idea that the earth is 6,000 years’ old is also capable of believing that a birth certificate is not a birth certificate. The criterion is not empirical evidence but dogged, reactionary hostility to anything libruls believe. We have left the realm of reality and entered the world, previousy exclusively occupied by the pomo-left, of identity as truth. “We are right because we are white” is no different in logic than “we are right because we are black” which is perilously close to where the academic left went in the 1990s.

Is this fair about the “pomo-left”?  That’s the question that’s been on my mind since I read it.  What are the standards of evidence and argument to which we adhere?  Is the comparison to “birthers” and creationists fair?  If not, why not?

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About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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