I think we have a winner

by Henry Farrell on February 7, 2008

CT readers who have been around for a long time may remember a “couple”:https://crookedtimber.org/2005/08/12/trahisons-des-clercs/ of “posts”:https://crookedtimber.org/2005/08/16/witchfinders-general/ I wrote in response to Eugene Volokh way back in 2005, asking for instances of prominent “commentators mak[ing] egregious claims that a substantial section of those who opposed the war are, in fact, rooting for the other side.” Now, CT readers came up with quite a number of ripe examples, but if there were still a Golden Eugene [UPDATE: since Eugene has since described Romney’s comments as ‘over the top’ in an update to his “original post”:http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2008_02_03-2008_02_09.shtml#1202406769 on the topic, it’s a bit unfair to name the award after him] award to be handed out, I think I’d be giving it to Mitt Romney for “this claim”:http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/02/romney_staying_in_race_would_h.php in his forthcoming concession speech.

“If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”

Now I suppose that he’s not quite saying that Clinton and Obama _support_ the terrorists; merely that they’re going to surrender to them (perhaps he’s even prepared to concede that they would surrender America to the forces of evil with reluctance and heavy hearts). But he’s also the Republican also-ran, who might have been an outright winner in a slightly more favourable political climate. You don’t get much more prominent than that. Also implicit iis that Mike Huckabee, if not quite a terrorist-surrender-monkey, is surely a terrorist-surrender-monkey-enabler as long as he stays in the race and delays the anointment of McCain. Finally, I understand from reliable sources that this isn’t even the _creepiest part of the speech._ The Republicans are a very, very messed up political party.

Monkey Cage

by Henry Farrell on February 7, 2008

This is just by way of a short announcement that I’m rolling up my political science paper weblog, and instead doing a bit more active political science-y blogging over at “The Monkey Cage”:http://www.themonkeycage.org along with my GWU colleages John Sides, David Park and Lee Sigelman (to whom thanks for inviting me along). This is the kind of thing that I hoped the political science weblog would turn into anyway, when I had more time, so it makes sense to join efforts with what has become a very active group blog (several hundred posts in the few months that it has been in operation). Anyway, my first post is up there now – a “piece looking at”:http://www.themonkeycage.org/2008/02/conservative_and_liberal_blogg.html Eszter and her colleagues’ findings that conservative blogs are more likely to have substantive responses to liberal blogs than vice-versa, and why this might be.

Rawls and ‘Liberalism’

by John Holbo on February 7, 2008

It is often suggested that what distinguishes Rawls’ Political Liberalism from his earlier A Theory of Justice is the ‘political’ bit. This second book is a ‘political’ interpretation of the first one. But I just noticed something. The word ‘liberalism’ does not appear in the index of Theory, and occurs in the text (thank you, Amazon search inside) only three times; none of the three is a self-reference to features of his own theory. What about ‘liberal’? It has no entry in the index either (one entry is for ‘liberal equality’). It occurs 18 times, which is still pretty light. Again, none of the occurrences has a clear ‘mine is a liberal theory’ character. There are several references to works by others with the word ‘liberal’ in the title. The one bit that even makes it into the index is a brief, ‘liberal’ interpretation of equality that is, however, rejected in favor of the ‘democratic’ conception encoded in the so-called ‘difference principle’.

I don’t really have any point to make. But I’m curious. When did Rawls become a ‘liberal’ – when did justice-as-fairness become a theory of ideal ‘liberalism’?