Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Brad DeLong confuses me

1. Gene Callahan links to an article about Aiken

2. Gene Callahan lauds the post for sensibly trying to figure out the position of each side.

3. Gene Callahan seems to find the following statements by the author about Aiken perfectly acceptable and true:
    a. the author's statement that Aiken has an "aggressive ignorance of biology",
    b. the author's statement that that Aiken is promoting "pseudo-science" which "compounds the error" of his other claims,
    c. that Aiken was "telling a fairy tale",
    d. speculation that "Aiken may be too dim to understand the implications of his policies"
    e. that Aiken was "defining rape down", and finally
    f. that what Aiken said was "simply unconscionable".

4. Brad DeLong says Gene Callahan was defending Niall Ferguson.

For those of you who live under a rock (or simply maintained a modest level of productivity yesterday), Niall Ferguson is a discredited British cheerleader for an American empire that we Americans don't want. Todd Aiken, on the other hand, is an asshole representative from Missouri.

If Brad DeLong said that Gene Callahan was defending Aiken, I would question DeLong's reading comprehension.

But this is so bad I'm starting to question my reading comprehension skills.

Brad, I don't know if this is a "DeLong Smackdown" or a "Department of Huh?".  I'll let you decide.


  1. I do think the post that Gene links to makes at least one bad argument: they talk about how pro-choicers have an arbitrary definition of life.

    Huh? How are we (or at least how do we exclusively) the ones with an arbitrary definition? I think the author needs to understand that "not the same as mine" and "arbitrary" do not mean the same thing, and that "the same as mine" and "not arbitrary" to not mean the same thing.

    1. I'll have to look over that bit again, but what I was most impressed by was the conclusion, which describes with empathy both extreme positions, the problems with them, and the problems with trying to halve the difference between them, and concludes, "Hey, this is why abortion is such a hard issue."

      I rarely see anyone doing this. If Dan got a small point about the "pro-choice" position wrong (and I will re-read this, as I said), that would be a minor lacuna in a very reasonable piece on this dispute.

  2. Dan,

    Putting 2 + 2 together, we get: Hayek was a discredited asshole

  3. Maybe Brad was just playing along with Gene's insult, and living up to his reputation as being unfair to his critics?

  4. Who knows? Who cares?

    Seriously, who cares what Delong thinks? Whenever I've posted on his blog he has removed the part of the comment that contains the argument. He's totally dishonest.

    1. I enjoy Brad's blog, but this habit leaves an extremely bad taste in the mouth.


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