There isn’t anything to quibble with in this excellent (really, as always) post from Conor Friedersdorf, who is guest blogging at Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish this week, and that’s not just because he takes down Jonah Goldberg. I suppose the one thing that I consistently disagree with in Friedersdorf’s writing is that he’s a conservative — but that’s okay! I would love to have more sane conservative pundits to read and write about.
We should expect — and in fact need — those of opposing view points in the world. The problem is, the vast majority of conservatives airing their thoughts today are hardly worthy of the term. Their airheads. They’re not part of a loyal opposition. Like Jonah Goldberg. Who is so confused that he thinks Bob Shrum is a great liberal pundit.
Bob Shrum has been around the Democratic block. That much is true. But come on. The guy is the least successful prime-time Dem in the country! He’s literally helped to run the campaigns of all of the Democratic Party’s greatest losers! I wouldn’t go to Bob Shrum if I needed advice on what to buy for my cat this Christmas. As Friedersdorf says in rebuttal (not to this point, but to Goldberg’s assertion that the Week publishes “weak” — read not crazy tea partiers/Sarah Palin fans — conservatives next to “strong” liberals, but on point nonetheless):
Perhaps Mr. Goldberg’s post was actually a call for The Week to keep on David Frum, Will Wilkinson, and Daniel Larison, and to pair them with more intellectually honest folks from the left — let them square off against Kevin Drum, Brad Plumber and Kerry Howley. I’d certainly welcome the change, since I am ultimately interested in good journalism and a robust public discourse than short term partisan advantages, but it sure seems like Mr. Goldberg was bemoaning the absence of a right-wing version of Bob Shrum.
Which is precisely the idea that is frequently discussed in the liberal blogosphere. There are so many great liberal minds out there — Bob Shrum is not one of them. If there is to be a good political conversation going on in this country, it should be one between the likes of David Frum and Kevin Drum*, not between Bill Kristol and Tom Friedman.
*Wow. Shrum, Frum, and Drum. How weird.