- Ta-Nehisi Coates: Privilege is like money--when you have none it is impossible to get and when you have more people offer it to you at every turn. Last week… Tim Pawlenty… Annie Lennox… Elena Kagan…. And then I flew to Chicago and watched everyday people lose their lives. What haunted was the barrier of tissue paper I felt between the cold world and me. I saw families living in disorder and squalor, living in fire-traps built by men who should be prosecuted by the city…. I simply want to say that if I punch you in the face enough times, and you lack the power to stop me, you might come to believe that it is what you deserve. Rousseau says that strength must be transformed into right; likewise, weakness becomes destiny. But the game is rigged. I know this because I loved my craft for many years and it meant nothing to anyone save my mother, my father, my siblings, my wife and a few close friends…. And then one day a man of some privilege (bearing his own struggles) spoke to another man of some privilege and I became a man of some privilege with a megaphone, which I now employ, across an ocean, to bring these thoughts to you. And I love both of these men of privilege--power is a fact, it is not morality. Losing is tragic, but it is not noble…. But the game is rigged. Let me tell you how I came here. I write for a major magazine and this is a privilege. I would say that it is earned, except that many people earn many things which they never receive. So I shall say that it was earned and I was lucky."
Henry Farrell: Shorter Kevin Vallier: "Is there anything more to this post of epic, indeed Den Bestian length than the claim that if you define the term ‘elite’ in an arbitrary and weirdly narrow way, then Hayek is not an elitist (and btw Corey Robin eats his own boogers!)? I’ve read the piece through a couple of times and not found it, if it’s there. I’ll say that this is all especially annoying coming from Kevin Vallier, who was lecturing me last year for failing to demonstrate sufficient intellectual charity to Hayek (when I took Hayek’s words to mean what they would appear, quite literally, to mean). This year, he’s telling us instead how Corey’s purported errors allow 'people who aren’t already Robin fans how to distinguish him from a responsible intellectual historian'. I’m more in favor of vigorous argument than starting from charitable assumptions myself, but the inconsistency is rather startling…"
Ed Kilgore: Picking Your Poison: "It’s good to see that progressives writers looking at Sean Trende’s provocative work on the implications of the 'missing white voter' theory of 2012 are being a little more rigorous than conservatives readers… [who] skip over Trende’s suggestions that it may be necessary to abandon conservative orthodoxy on economic issues to appeal to these voters, and instead celebrating the planted axiom that they can stay the same or move right (and white!) and win…. Nate Cohn… accepts Trende’s analysis of the relative value (in the short term, at least) of white and Latino voters, particularly in purple states. But he challenges the idea that white gains for the GOP are a lively prospect outside the Deep South and fossil fuel-producing states…. 'Reversing the anti-GOP trend among non-southern white voters will probably require changes in messaging or policy… [the] cultural issues that hurt Republicans around Denver, Washington, and Columbus; the depiction of the GOP as the party of the elite, which has hurt the GOP just about everywhere; and yes, the challenges immigration reform poses in Las Vegas, Denver, Orlando-Kissimmee, and Miami.' There’s a separate problem posed by the Democratic leanings of young white voters…. Republicans do need to change to win, and at best have a choice of the kind of changes—even if they look like poison to constitutional conservatives—they must undertake."
Sahil Kapur: Republican Charles Boustany Endorses Medicaid Expansion For Louisiana: "Charles Boustany, the chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee on oversight, told constituents last week that if he had his way, Louisiana would accept the offer under the Affordable Care Act and reform Medicaid… the congressman (and cardiovascular surgeon) also said Louisiana should build a state-based insurance exchange. He reportedly argued that failing to do so — which would relinquish the task to the federal government — would make it harder for Louisianans to receive tax credits for insurance. 'It could put Louisiana in a very bad place', Boustany is quoted as saying. 'To sit back and do nothing is not an answer'.… TPM reached out to Boustany’s communications director and counsel Neal Patel on Monday to follow up. Patel initially replied that the Daily Advertiser article 'didn’t accurately reflect his views' and offered an interview with the congressman to explain his stance. Hours later, Patel canceled, citing scheduling issues and not offering another time to do the interview. TPM asked twice for a statement clarifying the congressman’s views, if in fact they were misrepresented, but Patel declined to provide one."
Seth Zweifler: New Chronicle Story on McGinn is out | Feminist Philosophers: "In preparation for a daylong interview with The Chronicle, [Colin] McGinn compiled a list of 11 'likely consequences' of his case. Among them, he wrote, his situation will fan anti-American sentiment (because people will view his case as a result of a culture obsessed with political correctness); will lead 'delinquent students' to lodge more complaints against professors; and will impede free speech in the classroom. In person, he expanded liberally on that list, saying that his departure from Miami will result in the demise of the philosophy department there within three years. Mr. McGinn, who calls himself both a 'ladies’ man' and 'the most enlightened person in the world', is not one to hide his belief that modesty is a form of dishonesty. 'People sometimes perceive superiority as arrogance', he says. 'A superior person is not necessarily arrogant, but just superior'. While he resigned of his own accord, he says that he 'couldn’t win', because Donna E. Shalala, the university’s president, was determined to drive him out. A Miami spokeswoman declined to comment on Ms. Shalala’s behalf, citing the institution’s policy of not commenting on personnel matters."
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