What do I think of David Brat?

by on June 15, 2014 at 1:42 pm in Current Affairs, Political Science, Uncategorized | Permalink

I have received this question from many people.  I still haven’t read much Brat, other than a very quick browse of some (poorly written) passages (by the way, here is a piece on Brat’s theology).  In any case, my sense of him is this: he really believes in ideas, even if they are ideas a large number of people will find objectionable.  He wants to govern on the basis of those ideas, and he wants to debate those ideas on the floor of Congress.  He is authentic and thus he is exactly the kind of politician our Founding Fathers envisioned.  It is no surprise that at least some subset of primary voters found that appealing, especially compared to the what-can-only-be-called-cynicism of Eric Cantor.

You don’t have to agree with what Brat stands for (mostly but by all means not entirely libertarian), but if you don’t like him at all you need to perform a broader reevaluation of this whole America idea, at least as it was laid out in the Constitution and other founding documents.  This is in fact what it means to have citizen politicians, or alternatively we can call them amateur politicians.  Along these lines,  I also would like to see more candidates like Bernie Sanders — who basically seems to be a socialist — in Congress.

The victory of Brat also shows that money really does not rule politics these days.

By the way, he should learn to write “Deirdre McCloskey,” (p.60) instead of “Donald-Diedre McCloskey.”  LBGT rights remain a neglected issue outside of “the Left,” but they are a good barometer of our overall degree of tolerance as well as a desirable policy in their own right.  I am not sure it is an issue Brat is so likely to be good on or to make a priority.

Justin Millar June 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm

In the future, all elections will ultimately be about whether the candidate has “misgendered” someone in the past. Asking someone which pronouns they prefer will be the future version of “come here often?”

The heterofascist cisbigots better get used to it.

Mr. Econotarian June 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Actual science is that your brain can be gendered during development in a different fashion than your sex chromosomes. And that gender is not something that hormones alone can “fix”.

For example, the forceps minor (part of the corpus callosum, a mass of fibers that connect the brain’s two hemispheres) – among nontranssexuals, the forceps minor of males contains parallel nerve fibers of higher density than in females. But the density in female-to-male transsexuals is equivalent to that in typical males.

As another example, the hypothalamus, a hormone-producing part of the brain, is activated in nontranssexual men by the scent of estrogen, but in women—and male-to-female transsexuals—by the scent of androgens, male-associated hormones.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Actual science is that your brain can be gendered during development in a different fashion than your sex chromosomes. And that gender is not something that hormones alone can “fix”.

Observation of popularizers of people in white coats tells you that someone is often trying to put one over on you.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 8:28 pm

But McCloskey, like a number of other prominent male to female transexuals, has a very masculine brain.

liberalarts June 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm

I am pretty sure that the Chairman was very bigoted against LGBT types, so you are in good company with him. Probably the Chairman didn’t know his x-y pairings either.

derek June 15, 2014 at 3:20 pm

So everyone who disagrees with you is full of hatred? What a simple and easy way to view the world.

I don’t care the least how people go about their day, and what they do with their sex organs, including cutting them off. As long as I don’t have to pay for it. And especially as long as I am not expected to respect them for it, or think nice thoughts about their right to do so.

In some places today if you don’t worship the way that it is thought necessary you are subject to all kinds of opprobrium. That includes the worship of sexual expression. Sorry, I won’t submit to Sharia by being respectful of someone I don’t respect, and I won’t be subject to the worship of sexual expression by respecting people and practices that I don’t respect.

Call it hate all you want, and I put you in the same category as the frenzied mobs that went after Rushdie for daring to say something disrespectful of their religion.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 4:33 pm

You’re free to have your opinions, however misguided: no one’s going to come after you for them.

But if someone responds to you when you express them, don’t devolve into a whine fest about how everyone’s oppressing you for pointing out you’re a bigot.

ogunsiron June 15, 2014 at 8:31 pm

“no one’s going to come after you for them.”

Oh really ? What you said may have been true, say, 10 years ago but repressive tolerance is now part of the zeitgeist.

GiT June 15, 2014 at 9:08 pm

What, exactly, does this modern zeitgeist of repressive tolerance consist in? Abstractly pillorying people who insist on being assholes about the inane repressive habits they refuse to let go of? Can’t beat up the queers anymore and people are doing things in public that are all weird and non-traditional, and they have the temerity to think their variance ought not be picked out for abuse and exclusion? Next thing you know you’ll see middle managers and lawyers with visible tattoos and piercings. Whatever is the world coming to when the zeitgeist frowns upon excluding such freaks from traditionally “normal” spaces?

Thomas June 16, 2014 at 5:46 am

““no one’s going to come after you for them.”

Oh really ? What you said may have been true, say, 10 years ago but repressive tolerance is now part of the zeitgeist.”

The dude literally spent the first 50 posts of this thread attacking “libertarians” for failing to attack Art Deco’s views on transgenderism.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Paging Brendan Eich …

Thomas June 16, 2014 at 5:45 am

“no one’s going to come after you for them.”

-Zephyrus, Champion of Internet Social Justice; comer-afterer of every single person who does not post to express their outrage at Zephyrus; hypocritical liar.

GiT June 15, 2014 at 8:47 pm

What other sorts of externally insignificant things can we expect you to throw your viciousness at? Plastic surgery, piercings, tattoos, skirts cut above the knee, mohawks, public displays of affection, dancing? So much non-conformity and irregularity among the riff-raff, isn’t there?

Thomas June 16, 2014 at 5:42 am

Sorry, you missed the point. According to the Social Justice Warriors, you MUST respect transgendered individuals. In fact, their very struggle demands more respect than any white heterosexual male could possibly earn. It’s part of the system of victimization ranking, and you’re on the bottom.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 3:20 pm

And you’re too obtuse to remark the distinction between hate and disdain.

Dismalist June 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm

No, Derek is right. Politics and everything else today looks more and more like religion. And everybody identifies and is identified either as a co-religionist or infidel. What has disapperaed is the idea of tolerance. I may disagree with you, I may disrespect you, I may even hate you. I may certainly hate your ideas. But I mustn’t interfere with you as long as you don’t interfere with me. That is liberty: not agreeing, not supporting, not believing, but tolerating. And friends, it is indeed going out the window during our great age of superstition.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Right.

For example, the bad behavior on McCloskey’s part in trying to silence scientists like Blanchard and Bailey is particularly depressing considering McCloskey’s intellectual sophistication.

ZC June 15, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Yes, she’s a jerk (I for one find her statistical significance war to be overly harping on a relatively minor point). But she’s a jerk as Deirdre, which is what everyone else has been talking about while you keep posting these inane sidebars about Bailey.

wwebd a.k.a. lt. alastair forbs June 16, 2014 at 12:09 am

Good point, Mr. Sailer. Almost makes me willing to discount your major mistake on this thread, namely implying that making the Harvard football team was, back in the day, some kind of masculine non-ironic accomplishment. Look, when Updike (a writer who, more than most, would have benefited from a sex change operation, at least on a secular level) wrote the Centaur, he was not at all concerned with the poor saps who wanted to be student chairman of the AV club (the high school equivalent of wanting to play on Harvard’s football team). Personally, I do not think Harvard, a semi-good school that is usually an intellectual muppet factory, very often provides a very good student experience (too much adulation of the Barchester-Trollopean-ecclesiastic-level professoriate, a sad mid 120s IQ crowd that best toes the current PC line, and it has been that way since at least the 50s), but, that being said, for goodness’s sake, if you have a chance to have someone pay for a potentially good education at a semi-good school, why waste those years playing a children’s sport designed for overeaters as if you were still the AV club kid who thought he was special because he triumphantly (look at me, I am useful! – a sadder thought to me now, when those AV knights are more likely to be a son or daughter than a “friend in need” whom I would have refused, back in the 1970s, when I was a moral high school student, to be rude or unfriendly to) brought the film strips and the projectors into the various classrooms of the high school where not a single person (besides me, as far as I know) unironically respected him? (Dante wrote a few cantos on these types of misunderstandings…). By the way, Bailey’s book, like the commentary on this thread, focuses too much on a small subsection of transsexuals, and is hence not an adequate basis for general opining on that broad subject, which goes, in ways generally ignored in our society, to important issues like predestination, the value for others of our unique and prayerful deprivation and suffering, the irreplaceable (absent divine intervention) value of maternal and paternal love, and, a level or two down in importance, the possibility or impossibility (dread word!) of human happiness in this ugly but beautiful world.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Politics and everything else today looks more and more like religion.

Except that actual religious discussion today is almost entirely intramural.

Frances Coppola June 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm

“the only real intolerance here is the world persecuting those who understand ACTUAL SCIENCE”

No danger of the world persecuting you, then.

Frances Coppola June 15, 2014 at 3:46 pm

“reduce you to a woman”? You’re far beneath that already.

The Anti-Gnostic June 15, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Because after all, anybody can be a woman.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 3:51 pm

World War T rolls on!

a Michael June 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Should you use the name and gender of the author at the time they wrote the piece? I don’t see a reason to connect past work to the current author in citations. The work is what represents the argument, not the author. People change their minds, update their beliefs.

(And yes, I realize that Donald-Diedre doesn’t do this.)

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Is it helpful to readers to refer to “Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis”?

Perhaps …

Overall, aren’t there more important things for Professor Cowen to say about Professor Brat’s challenge to the dominant “cheap labor” lobby’s stranglehold than to get sidetracked by Professor McCloskey’s campaign to bully people into saying humiliatingly stupid things like “she used to play football for Harvard”?

liberalarts June 15, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Jackie O. didn’t renounce her previous name when she remarried. A closer (but still imperfect) analogy might be Cassius Clay becoming Muhammad Ali.

GiT June 15, 2014 at 8:19 pm

What’s humiliatingly stupid is thinking it’s humiliatingly stupid to be “bullied” into saying, “she used to play football for Harvard.”

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 10:49 pm

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
– Theodore Dalrymple

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Bingo.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 11:41 pm

It was exceptionally shameful for Dr. McCloskey to play a major role in a PC witch hunt of scientists like this because Dr. McCloskey ought to know better. Most of the people behind the witch hunts of people like James D. Watson, Jason Richwine, Larry Summers, and so forth are lumpenintelligentsia, but Dr. McCloskey has a fine, well-educated intelligence.

Z June 16, 2014 at 1:09 am

Thank god we have truth telling intellectual hero like you! Someone willing to stand up for straight white men. (And the orientals too, good hard working orientals.)

josh June 16, 2014 at 9:40 am

Look Sailer, the man cut off his dick. That makes him a woman. It’s called science!

Eric Rasmusen June 16, 2014 at 1:06 pm

The attitude that a person can rename themselves at will is wrong. If someone were to rename himself “John Allpowerfulgod” that doesn’t mean we have to address him that way. For domestic purposes, Burma can rename itself Myanmar, but why should we follow it? Our language is English,a nd our government is American, so we can do as we please.
Similarly, if Don McCloskey wants to rename himself Diedre, that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to go along with him. The government does, once he legally changes his name—but not before— so if we’re going into government courts we do, just as we can’t use a person’s nickname on official occasions (even if *they* want to use it then). But when someone changes their name in a silly way, I see no reason for us to condone their silliness.
Of course, this is quite embarassing if you run into the person and have to call them something. I haven’t run into Prof. McCloskey for years, and would be apprehensive about the social awkwardness. But it no doubt has been awkward for everyone however they address him.

Ricardo June 17, 2014 at 10:26 pm

“But when someone changes their name in a silly way, I see no reason for us to condone their silliness.”

Then don’t — nobody is holding a gun to your head. Of course, freedom cuts both ways so your insistence on describing Prof. McCloskey as “silly” may well be answered with an equally blunt and unwelcome assessment of your own character. But it’s your choice and it’s a free country. Say whatever you want and others will have their say, too. Where is the problem?

Tracy W June 16, 2014 at 8:08 am

But some authors are better than others, and when I come across an author I enjoy I generally want to read more of their work. Conversely, some authors are so bad at logic that one wants to avoid them.

I do read a lot of British history and the habit of name changes after earning or inheriting a title, which happened to a number of British politicians, is a hassle in keeping track of people.

Douglas June 18, 2014 at 5:56 pm

There is no “Gender at the time”. Gender is permanent. Gender is fixed. You’re born with a gender, and that’s that. You can try to hide it with makeup and clothing, you can try to fool people by mutilating yourself with surgery by cutting your naughty bits off and taking hormones, but it’ll never change the fact that a simply blood test will always reveal your gender. Gender is a fact, and is ultimately, unchangeable. Anything else is playing pretend.

Constitutional Liberty June 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm

I’m not going to respond to Frances, because he’s obviously not the sharpest crayon in the box.

I will just point out to the reader that this is so typical of the PC jihadis. Quote someone out of context, insult them, and then use it to ignore valid, obviously correct points.

Frances Coppola June 15, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Constitutional Liberty.

I was responding to two remarks from you, both of which seem mysteriously to have disappeared. I wonder how that happened. Could it possibly be that they have been deleted because they were offensive?

Oh, and you’re ignorant. You haven’t understood the significance of the spelling of my name.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Here’s a very good New York Times article from the dark ages of 2007 about how McCloskey and a few similar individuals were trying to silence Northwestern psychologist J. Michael Bailey:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/21/health/psychology/21gender.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Here’s McCloskey in The New Republic last year pretty much confirming Bailey’s argument that McCloskey tried to have shouted down in 2007:

“The quickie analysis of transgender identity as “a woman in a man’s body,” is silly. As a guy, I was a guy, with guy loves and passions: assertion, the Chicago Bears, English cricket. (I still have that one.) There was nothing false about my love for my wife and children.

“The longing was separate, and suppressed. It’s that I wanted to be a woman, the way you might want to be a lawyer or be French.”

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114496/supporting-chelsea-manning-american-thing-do

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm

McCloskey, along with colleagues Lynn Conway and Joan Roughgarden in trying to silence scientists who offered a less PC theory of transexuality, provided a case study in a particular type of transgender individual who has become so prominent recently: hypermasculine individuals (e.g., McCloskey chose to play football for Harvard) who, for whatever personal reasons, insists upon everybody acknowledging their decisions with all the continuing masculine aggression of their former lives.

Matt June 16, 2014 at 4:19 am

There’s no indication that they are hyper (or even hypo*) masculine, whatever that means (I say “whatever that means” since we don’t even have a cultural consensus on whether “nerds” are hyper or hypo masculine, so it seems a bit much to say we really have a well defined dimension (or dimensions) of masculinity).

And the condition contains a good deal of psychological pain in every circumstance, related to daily life.

Whatever the theory it is that is dreamed up (and it may be an odd psychosexual theory that works, ultimately), it should probably work on the basis that avoiding further pain and suffering is the main motivation (McCloskey’s article stresses this, in reduced form).

The “root” may be sexual (in the finest of Freudian style, albeit perhaps true) but these people ultimately come to have a pain causing total perception of themselves that is beyond sexuality only. The thing is called “gender dysphoria” for a reason (if you’re smart enough to understand the sort of Latin roots that wiki will translate for you). Yes, they may be little boys who become sexually fascinated with how women must feel – but then it goes on from there and becomes an overall sense of self.

It’s still entirely unclear how this brouhaha treated this aspect.

*though that is more compelling: “beta” geeks seem more overrepresented than ex-military etc.

Steve Sailer June 16, 2014 at 5:20 am

Theories should be scientific tools for achieving more accurate understanding of reality. One lesson we ought to have learned by now is that trying to silence scientists because you don’t like what they have to say is not a good thing.

Steve Sailer June 16, 2014 at 5:52 am

As you imply, gender dysphoria is a tragic type of mental illness. It’s a sad affliction, but that shouldn’t keep us from remembering that it’s not a good idea to put the mentally ill in charge of ruining the careers of sane scientists. A decade ago, a number of high IQ sufferers from gender dysphoria and the SPLC came close to doing that, but scholars like Alice Degler and a reporter for the New York Times stood up for science.

Today, unfortunately, that kind of courage is in even shorter supply.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm

It’s that I wanted to be a woman, the way you might want to be a lawyer or be French.”

Most of us get over that, especially if we’ve a wife and children.

Mike W June 15, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Most of us? Am I missing another cultural trend?

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 5:08 pm

No, you’re missing that its quite ordinary for middle-aged men to have aspirations that will always be that, whatever they may be. Age closes off your options, and, in any case, it’s seldom just you. More than a dozen years ago, an academic reading McCloskey’s memoir of the period in his life ca. 1995 offered that the book revealed ‘raging egomania’. Now we have an economist at a state research university chiding someone for refusing to play along with McCloskey’s grotesque silliness. Our professors used to be more sensible than they are today.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 11:43 pm

Dr. McCloskey’s reputation as a proponent of liberty could be repaired by the simple act of offering a public apology to the scientists smeared by McCloskey and the SPLC.

That’s hardly too much to ask.

igor June 16, 2014 at 12:08 am

F the SPLC–they shamed themselves by going after Roosh too.

So Much for Subtlety June 16, 2014 at 6:10 am

McCloskey didn’t just smear people. She tried to get people put in jail for holding a scientific opinion she did not like.

Lysenkoism actually.

Willitts June 15, 2014 at 3:57 pm

McCloskey’s mental state is no concern of mine and shouldn’t be a concern of yours. Even if I have some qualms about referring to the possessor of a Y chromosome as “her,” I respect other people’s choices of changing their names, e.g Whoopi Goldberg, Muhammad Ali, Jon Stewart.

Just live and let live, and wipe the drool from your chin. McCloskey is a splendid economist regardless of gender identity.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 4:05 pm

The problem is that McCloskey has not reciprocated with a live-and-let-research-and-publish attitude toward sexual identity researchers like Ray Blanchard and J. Michael Bailey who have published more nuanced explanations of transexualism than McCloskey’s preferred dogma.

Willitts June 15, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Well fine, then McCloskey may have some intellectual issues to attend to. It’s not the first time that someone let an issue dear to their heart compromise objectivity. On the other hand, admit that McCloskey may have normal human experiences outside of your own experience.

To me, it doesn’t matter one bit whether homosexuality is nature or a choice; we still owr a duty of respect due to all humans and equality under the law. The intricacies of their (or our) mental state is purely academic as far as I’m concerned. Same is true for me with gender identity. I don’t proclaim to know what they think and feel.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm

admit that McCloskey may have normal human experiences outside of your own experience. -

Hormone treatments, mutilating surgery, and transvestism. All in a day’s worth of ‘normal human experiences’.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Actually, the problem is that he commissioned a series of mutilating and irreversible procedures and blew up his family life in the process. Attempting to intimidate Michael Bailey is disagreeable, but priorities are priorities.

Navin Kumar June 16, 2014 at 8:40 am

Why do you care? Lots of people have fucked up their family lives in a lot of different ways like cheating, spending too much time at the office etc. Why do you single out McCloskey?

Thomas June 16, 2014 at 5:44 am

Steve, you misunderstand. A victim class is entitled to it’s own version of scientific reality. No questions.

Cullen June 16, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Calling her Donald-Deirdre is fine b/c she wrote many papers as Donald — and most people won’t know that. So for looking up someone’s past publications, this is helpful.

foosion June 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm

>>The victory of Brat also shows that money really does not rule politics these days.>>

It means that money did not rule in one primary in Virginia.

derek June 15, 2014 at 2:34 pm

In one Republican primary, which also happened to be the majority leader in the House.

mulp June 15, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Prove money rules in elections. As far as I can tell, the only way anyone wins elections is by getting more votes, which might require getting out the voters who will vote for you.

If either everyone who could vote had to vote or pay a $100 fine, or who voted got paid $100, and voting was done national in a way that ensured everyone eligible to vote was absolutely able to vote, say an election week with polls open 24×7, with voting anywhere in the US possible by optical scan ballots printed on demand and scanned to record the votes and then sent to the Federal Reserve for sorting and returning to the State using the same controls and system used for paper checks for decades.

And by switching to approval voting, one election could sort through many candidates for office without runoffs with an emphasis on the positive attributes of each candidate. Pitting two or even three candidates against each other makes it easy win by tearing the one or two opponents down.

After all, we have no clue what Brat is really “for” or what he would “do”. He simply created strawmen to attack and claimed they were Cantor.

Naw, gotta keep doing elections like before the railroads….

Wouldn’t want to run elections where we knew what everyone thought, candidates or voters, based on their actual voting.

So Much for Subtlety June 15, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Obama was the rich guy? I think there are plenty of examples where money does not work as well as many people think it does.

Even George W. was poorer than John Kerry.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 8:23 pm

George W. was poorer than Teresa Kerry. He might have been poorer than John Kerry depending on whether or not Julia Kerry was compelled to pony up a sum of her capital when she sued him for divorce (apparently without grounds). John Kerry’s maternal side relations were wealthy to some degree, but his family of origin was salaried bourgeois (albeit of the eccentric variety you find in the Foreign Service).

The Other Jim June 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm

>Obama was the rich guy?

Yes. Or is this the part where we pretend Obama has not always had enormous backing from Wall Street?

Kabal June 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm

‘By the way, he should learn to write “Deirdre McCloskey,” (p.60) instead of “Donald-Diedre McCloskey.” LBGT rights remain a neglected issue outside of “the Left,” but they are a good barometer of our overall degree of tolerance as well as a desirable policy in their own right. I am not sure it is an issue Brat is so likely to be good on or to make a priority.’

Bahaha, nice one! Thanks for the example of something meant to be read in a Straussian fashion.

Engineer June 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Tyler would certainly disavow the Straussian reading – so if he intended it, it’s not nice of you to point it out.

Willitts June 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Does brat have an issue with sex change or was he merely referring to a distinguished economist whose professional career transcended a name change?

It’s a conclusion Im not jumping to.

Kabal June 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm

I was referring to reading Cowen in a Straussian fashion, not Brat.

Tyler’s socially-palatable message: We should prioritize LGBT rights, they are neglected and desirable.

Tyler’s message layered within: Check out the ridiculousness of shaking down individuals for political correctness! Here I am writing about the winner (Brat) of one of the biggest upsets in modern Congressional history, and I use one of my four paragraphs to go out of my way in pointing out his lack of 100% adherence to LGBT political correctness (p.60)!

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Right, as I’ve been predicted for a little over a year, that with World War G having been mostly won, our culture would next march off on World War T.

http://takimag.com/article/world_war_t_steve_sailer/print#axzz34h0CTerL

Willitts June 16, 2014 at 1:50 am

And what’s wrong with that? Gay marriage was merely a huge distraction for the GOP and it put them on the wrong side of history. It was inevitable.

Steve Sailer June 16, 2014 at 6:04 am

Because there are more important problems than World War G, much less World War T. David Brat has identified one: the intellectual stranglehold of Cheap Labor ideology and political power. But, you’ll notice how Tyler “Let them eat beans” Cowen tries to change the subject to Brat hyphenating McCloskey’s first name.

Eric Rasmusen June 16, 2014 at 1:08 pm

And after World War T?

Harvey Orwin Bloom June 16, 2014 at 1:49 am

No no no .. on the surface Tyler is reproving Brat for his inappropriate way of referring to a “transgendered” person and asserting that Brat is probably a bad person when it comes to LGBT issues.

Under the Straussian careful reading however, Tyler is coaching Brat about the correct way to evade the PC police and stating that Brat is probably not aware of how to deal with them.

Try reading the paragraph under each interpretation and you’ll see what I mean …. Also note the misspelling of LGBT..

tt June 15, 2014 at 2:09 pm
Millian June 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Authenticity is very important these days; it seems to beat Cantor-type politicians in democracies in America and Europe.

America has already repeatedly re-evaluated the America idea, notably in fighting a war over whether slavery should continue to be a permanently-expanding part of the republic. Liking politicians, in contrast, was not a foundational value.

Money like endorsements tend to chase winners. Brat benefitted from the money funding right-wing critiques of centre-right figures in the Republican Party, though they in turn benefit from more money. As noted by McArdle, it matters less in primaries.

Jan June 15, 2014 at 2:19 pm

In his now famous 2011 essay, he attacked conservatives for claiming to support individual liberty but campaigning against abortion rights, gambling and homosexuality. I think this is what Tyler means by “mostly but by all means not entirely libertarian”–from Brat’s website: “Dave understands that the most important factor in our nation’s success is the strength of the family unit. As our congressman, Dave will protect the rights of the unborn and the sanctity of marriage, and will oppose any governmental intrusion upon the conscience of people of faith.” Not only is he an inconsistent libertarian, he seems to have already changed his views from 3 years ago. Either that or he’s lying.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Not only is he an inconsistent libertarian, he seems to have already changed his views from 3 years ago. Either that or he’s lying.

Or maybe you just haven’t glommed on to the underlying principle, sister. (Or taken stock of what he’s said and not said).

1. Abortion is a very violent act and extinguishes the life of a distinct person according to the will of the mother and a perverted OB-GYN. Unless you fancy the penal code in general is an offense against liberty, a libertarian complaint against abortion restrictions is nothing but an apologia for violence against the defenseless.

2. Brat may or may not think maintaining consensual sodomy on the list of sex offenses is wise, but most discussion of ‘homosexuality’ concerns legislation (or judicial decrees, more likely) which requires others to recognize and pay heed to homosexual couplings and legislation which restricts freedom of contract and allows attorneys to second guess everyone’s decisions on employment, commerce, and landlord-tenant mattes. That’s not ‘libertarian’ by any sensible definition of the term.

3. While we are at it, the quotation from Brat which keeps getting recycled is as follows, “Can Christians force others to follow their ethical teachings on social issues? Note that consistency is lacking on all sides of this issue. The political Right likes to champion individual rights and individual liberty, but it has also worked to enforce morality in relation to abortion, gambling, and homosexuality,…The Left likes to think of itself as the bulwark of progressive liberal individualism, and yet it seeks to progressively coerce others to fund every social program under the sun via majority rule. Houston, we have a problem. Coercion is on the rise.”

which does not endorse any particular policy re those three sets of issues. So you have this complaint from Andrew Rosenthal of the New York Times “That passage was curious, since Mr. Brat ran on an unswerving anti-abortion position. I’m not sure how he feels now about gambling, and we’re looking for his position on gay marriage.”

Jan June 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm

1) This seems to be one the issues on which the conservative right and evangelicals have begun to influence the thinking of libertarians. More likely, it may be that libertarians have to claim to be anti-choice because they cannot be elected as any party other than Republican. I make no value judgment on your position on abortion, except to say that I think it is wrong, legally and morally.

2) Of course my employer is compelled to recognize my marriage to a woman (I’m a man, btw), even though there may be leadership in the company who are gay and don’t want to recognize opposite sex marriages. I guess that makes it a bit sticky, doesn’t it? Are you saying that nobody should be forced to recognize any marriage, even a good ol’ Catholic one? It seems what positions count as “libertarian” is very much up for debate.

3) Progressively coercing others through constitutionally permissible federal activities initiated by the people’s constitutionally elected representatives in Congress? While that is all pretty clear, legislating and coercing ethics seems a little more up for grabs, particularly in the case it is driven by compelling others to adhere to a particular religious group’s teachings.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 4:59 pm

2) Of course my employer is compelled to recognize my marriage to a woman (I’m a man, btw), even though there may be leadership in the company who are gay and don’t want to recognize opposite sex marriages. I guess that makes it a bit sticky, doesn’t it? Are you saying that nobody should be forced to recognize any marriage, even a good ol’ Catholic one? It seems what positions count as “libertarian” is very much up for debate.

Nice try. Marriage is a natural arrangement that law delineates and recognizes. It has no counterpart among pairs of women or pairs of men; my friendships are not given legal recognition, nor can I get family benefits off my brother’s employer.

I am not aware of a corpus of lawsuits attempting to compel commercial companies to implement different work rules for halves of married couples or to compel commercial companies to offer spousal benefits of any kind. There may be statutory law on the books which requires this and there was an inane movement afoot a generation ago to compel landlords to rent to families with children when they preferred not to. Since I endorse neither sort of legislation, I cannot figure what your issue is.

More than 30 political communities in this country elected by democratic vote not to recognize as marriages anything but marriages. Our judges fancy that they are our social betters, which is why we are getting saddled with this policy anyway. It discredits our institutions, of course, and our political culture, and the bar.

(I’m a man, btw),

Let go of my leg.

Jan June 15, 2014 at 5:27 pm

If you got married to your friend, who was a man, because he became your lover, there is no really defensible reason it shouldn’t have the same recognition, legally and otherwise as any other marriage. (Comparing marriage to a relationship with your brother is ridiculous, though I think we should reconsider bans on cousin marriage on the basis that it is no more risky than many other marriages we allow just fine). These are fundamental contradictions that society is starting to recognize and address. It was first cultural, but is now beginning to filter through the necessary legal adjustments.

Yup, men named Jan exist and sometimes we have liberal viewpoints and are married to women. Mostly in Europe, but oftentimes on this side of the pond. You sound old, cranky, threatened and Catholic.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 5:56 pm

You sound old, cranky, threatened and Catholic.

You’re closer to the mark than Zephyrus, and more hedged. Still no cigar.

(Comparing marriage to a relationship with your brother is ridiculous,

Comparing a marriage to a pair of friends who share rent and make a hobby of sodomy is ridiculous as well.

GiT June 15, 2014 at 8:24 pm

” Marriage is a natural arrangement that law delineates and recognizes”

Ah, the sort of idiot who thinks an artificial covenant is a “natural arrangement.”

William Wright June 16, 2014 at 12:27 am

If you got married to your friend, who was a man, because he became your lover, there is no really defensible reason it shouldn’t have the same recognition, legally and otherwise as any other marriage.

That might be the most embarrassing example of question-begging I’ve ever seen.

Zephyrus June 16, 2014 at 1:21 am

William, question-begging-wise, you must have missed the comment he was responding to:

“Marriage is a natural arrangement that law delineates and recognizes. It has no counterpart among pairs of women or pairs of men”

Tracy W June 16, 2014 at 8:43 am

Marriage is a natural arrangement that law delineates and recognizes.

Actually, no. The law is very loose about what consists a marriage, eg people can be married even if they don’t live with each other, even if they hate each other, even if they’re both sleeping with other people while hating each other, even if one of them is in a persistent vegetative state.

The main reason the law recognises marriage is to manage what happens to property and assets when the relationship ends (as all marriages do, be that via divorce or death). If you go into business with your friend or your brother you can get a business partnership agreement drawn up, or you could do so via a limited liability company. If you buy property with your friend or your brother there are a variety of legal arrangements for managing that. A marriage is a recognition of a type of relationship that is expected to last an indefinite period with much more mingling of interests and assets than in most people’s relationships with friends or brothers, why shouldn’t the law provide a quick route for pairs of same-sex couples who want access to that legal set up?

anon June 16, 2014 at 11:35 am

“there is no really defensible reason it shouldn’t have the same recognition, legally and otherwise as any other marriage.”

This is someone who has never actually listened to any opposing argument in the gay marriage debate.

GiT June 16, 2014 at 12:33 pm

“This is someone who has never actually listened to any opposing argument in the gay marriage debate.”

Could be, or it could be someone who has actually listened to the opposing arguments, as all such arguments to date have been indefensible pieces of rubbish.

tt June 15, 2014 at 7:34 pm

(I’m a man, btw)
confirmed. source: have an uncle Jan

mulp June 15, 2014 at 7:19 pm

“Abortion is a very violent act and extinguishes the life of a distinct person”

Really?? Hey, if it is a distinct person, that let’s liberate that distinct person from the care of a woman who can’t or won’t care for it. Let another woman care for it, or a man.

bluto June 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm

So the profoundly disabled who are unable to care for themselves no longer have personhood?

tt June 15, 2014 at 8:07 pm

does someone in a coma vote ?

mulp June 15, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Quoting Brat: “…The Left likes to think of itself as the bulwark of progressive liberal individualism, and yet it seeks to progressively coerce others to fund every social program under the sun via majority rule. Houston, we have a problem. Coercion is on the rise.”

So, would Brat argue that its would be a good thing for people to run around with small pox, TB, malaria, etc? That the homeless be left to camp where ever they can occupy space? That people should be left to starve in the streets?

Clearly if he objects to being “coerced” into providing for the poor, then he must object to the poor being coercively forced to move someplace out of his view or step. Flopping down in the public way is surely liberty if you have no where else to go.

moo cow June 15, 2014 at 10:10 pm

Oh my gosh. That’s a lot of water-carrying you are doing there.

William Wright June 16, 2014 at 12:23 am

Are you saying that nobody should be forced to recognize any marriage….

Libertarians say that no one should be forced to do anything.

fcku June 16, 2014 at 2:01 pm

thank you for so clearly identifying yourself. you’re the person who the rest of the country is waiting for the death of, so we can move on with our lives. please die sooner.

Sam Haysom June 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Well then that just means he has little idea what the founding fathers (and every philosopher, including Rousseau, until Mill) meant by freedom. Republicans support small government. Abortion, gay marriage, and gambling can be vastly reduced with a few remaining instances with no increase in the size of the government. This isn’t hard. Society has always been in the business of deciding yes and no questions that leviathan emerges when the question becomes yes but.

Mike W June 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Republicans do not support small government anymore than do Democrats…that’s why Cantor lost.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Republicans do not support small government anymore than do Democrats…

I take it you fancy quantum of opposition to new initiatives at central direction of expenditure is precisely the same in the Congressional caucuses of both parties.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 2:35 pm

By the way, he should learn to write “Deirdre McCloskey,” (p.60) instead of “Donald-Diedre McCloskey.” LBGT rights remain a neglected issue outside of “the Left,”

And they should be neglected. Those ‘rights’ are social fictions written into positive law in countries with a bad case of the stupids. As for McCloskey, no one should give succor to his dysfunctions and delusions.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm

LGBT rights are “fictions” for people with “a bad case of the stupids”? Ridiculous.

What’s worse is no one’s calling you out for that. It always amuses me when libertarians wonder why people think they’re a shallow cover for homophobia and bigotry.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 2:59 pm

It always amuses me when libertarians wonder why people think they’re a shallow cover for homophobia and bigotry.

Your ‘depth’ and my ‘libertarianism’ are all in your imagination.

Sam Haysom June 15, 2014 at 3:04 pm

A) Art Deco isn’t a libertarian
B) no one arguing in good faith actually believes that about libertarians and I say that as someone who thinks libertarianism is highly naive in believing economic freedom can survive in a society dominated by moral permissiveness. What you mean to say is my ability to debate logically is so constricted that I am reduced to attributing bigotry to anyone I don’t agree with.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 3:22 pm

I said nothing about Art Deco’s libertarianism, or lack thereof: it’s about the commenting community at a libertarian blog. Comments are spouting unmitigated hatred against transexuals: yet somehow no one’s calling them out, and you see more fit to throwing an ad hominem against me instead of, you know, calling out hate that can only be described as vicious.

Show me a left-wing blog that tolerates rancid bigotry in the same way.

Sam Haysom June 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Huh? I’ll readily acknowledge that the left does a marvelous job with censorship. I have a hard enough time finding standard conservative responses on most left wing blogs. It’s hardly a virtuous thing to censor that with which you don’t agree. In fact left wing blogs would be acting far more virtuously if they didn’t censor so much. That said bigotry against Christian especially Catholics is ubiquitous on left wing blogs.

The idea that you can impeach an entire political movement because of one comment is basically insane by the way. Going by most left wing blogs then I guess the left is little more than a front for impending Christians persecution and calling any black conservative an Uncle Tom (although in fairness this is basically in democratic platform so they don’t really disguise this).

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Comments are spouting unmitigated hatred against transexuals

No, pumpkin, commenters are pointing out that men who walk around in women’s clothing and commission unscrupulous doctors to shoot them full of hormones and amputate important body arts are abnormally will-full, addle-pated, and generally sicko. It’s a pity and grotesquely amusing. What’s maddening is the substitution of fashion for thought or even authentic feeling among our professional-managerial types.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 3:44 pm

I repeat: it’s amusing when libertarians get upset when people point out it’s often a shallow cover for hatred and bigotry.

Sam Haysom June 15, 2014 at 3:48 pm

I’ll repeat neither of us are libertarians. Im going to drop this now because (and you’ll probally find this mean) you don’t appear very quick on the uptake.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 3:50 pm

You have certainly put far more effort into attacking me than the people spouting hate all throughout this thread, so have at it.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm

One of Freud’s most valuable concepts is “projection.” For example, accusations of “hate” are typically made by individuals filled with hate and often serve as a reverse indicator: the accuser is often more of a hater than the accused.

McCloskey, for example, possesses impressively masculine reserves of hatred and aggression for anyone in McCloskey’s way.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 4:28 pm

There’s also the case where hate is simply hate. The originating comment, of course, said that LGBT rights are “fictions” for people with “a bad case of the stupids,” which is transparent bigotry.

Though I suppose it passed Tyler’s test for not being eligible for deletion, unlike a couple others…

A June 15, 2014 at 4:28 pm

And yet those values Art Deco espouses are themselves “social fictions”, like all values, which must be generated by human beings. It is a cognitive illusion to presume that Art Deco’s position is merely a refutation of some social trend, as opposed to an assertion of a contrary fiction.

A June 15, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Steve Sailer, you must have been shielded from exposure to women if you characterize McCloskey’s “aggression” as masculine.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 4:42 pm

said that LGBT rights are “fictions” for people with “a bad case of the stupids,” which is transparent bigotry.

No, it’s transparently dismissive of certain social status markers in which certain people have an emotional investment.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 4:43 pm

It is a cognitive illusion to presume that Art Deco’s position is merely a refutation of some social trend, as opposed to an assertion of a contrary fiction.

Neither reproductive processes nor your chromosomes are social fictions.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 4:54 pm

“Steve Sailer, you must have been shielded from exposure to women if you characterize McCloskey’s “aggression” as masculine.”

Sorry, but after all these years I have a lot of experience with being denounced by different kinds of people. The McCloskey-Conway-Roughgarden cabal that teamed up with the Southern Poverty Law Center to smear random people — such as “the Steve Sailers, Stephen [sic] Pinkers, and Seth Roberts of the world” (to quote from McCloskey’s review of Gregory Clark’s “A Farewell to Alms”*) — for the crime of not denouncing Bailey and Blanchard were noticeable to me for their high degrees of distinctly masculine intelligence: computer scientist Conway even more so than McCloskey.

Ironic, no?

* http://isteve.blogspot.com/2007/12/deirdre-mccloskey-endorses-wisdom-of.html

ogunsiron June 15, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Zephyrus,
you may feel more at home at gawker or upworthy, just sayin.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm

I repeat: it’s amusing when libertarians start hyperventilating when people point out it’s often a shallow cover for hatred and bigotry.

It’s great to have threads like these around, as a pretty good trump card to use when people start getting vapors at the idea that most of the time so-called libertarianism is just a stalking horse for hatred and bigotry.

Careless June 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm

And you’ll look like an even bigger idiot when you start going on about what Steve Sailer tells us about the secret hearts of libertarians.

The Other Jim June 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm

>LGBT rights

Yeah. See, the problem is that those rights are never spelled out by those shouting about them. When pressed — which is never — they reveal that those rights include “taxpayer funded sex change operations, even while in prison, or on death row.”

That’s where it gets a bit dicey. No pun intended.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Careless is very upset. Upset enough to start yelling and insulting. Woe is me.

It’s not just Steve Sailor (who’s often interesting to read, and I’ve said nothing about in this thread): it’s the consistent and widely shared acceptance of the idea that transexuals deserve to be despised. And the people on an ostensibly “libertarian” blog have nothing to say about it. They’re far more interested in insulting the people calling people out for it.

Note, for example: you yourself, Careless, thought it would be more worth your time to insult me than to call out people saying truly vicious things about transexuals. Why is that? Your priorities place defending the poor little delicate feelings of people spewing hate about a vulnerable group of people above, you know, the actual people being attacked.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Or, for that matter, calling out people who like to pretend that LGBT rights is about “taxpayer funded sex change operations, even while in prison, or on death row.” Their point is obviously made in bad faith, and obviously an attempt to spread hatred against LGBT individuals. Otherwise, why invent agenda?

Careless June 16, 2014 at 12:32 am

I suppose it’s comforting to think the people facepalming at your idiocy are actually sputtering with rage. Sorry, it isn’t happening. I’m not furious that you’re trying to tar me with your beliefs about AD’s comments and what my not commenting about it says about me, I’m depressed at the low quality of your thinking.

Anyway, I, like most Aspie-libertarianish types, am not a SJW. You caught me: I’m tolerant in a way you’re proud not to be.

William Wright June 16, 2014 at 12:35 am

I said nothing about Art Deco’s libertarianism, or lack thereof: it’s about the commenting community at a libertarian blog. Comments are spouting unmitigated hatred against transexuals: yet somehow no one’s calling them out….

Okay. I’ll call YOU out for your offensive perspective. Transsexuals do not own Art Deco. They do not get to decide how he refers to them or whether he loves them, hates them, or is indifferent to them.

And neither do you.

Zephyrus June 16, 2014 at 12:39 am

You show a great deal more interest in calling me stupid than in anything else; and yet the question remains, why does it upset you more that I’m calling out bigotry than the nasty, vituperative transphobia being spouted off by Art Deco?

Even if I am as retarded as you make every effort to repeat as much as possible, surely that’s an interesting meta-cognitive question you can ask yourself.

Zephyrus June 16, 2014 at 12:41 am

William: so if Art Deco can say whatever hateful thingshe likes about transexuals, surely I can say whatever I like about Art Deco, right? And of course you can say whatever you want about me, and I about you, and we’re lost in a ceaseless din of insults and arational gestures.

You can see how that’s problematic. We can do better.

William Wright June 16, 2014 at 12:46 am

The originating comment, of course, said that LGBT rights are “fictions” for people with “a bad case of the stupids,” which is transparent bigotry.

No, he said that the “right” to be called what you want to be called is a fiction. And of course it is. You can’t have a right that would involve forcing someone to do something.

Zephyrus June 16, 2014 at 12:55 am

Come on, William–now you’re changing the topic. Does Art Deco have the right not to receive criticism when he says something bigoted, or not?

And you’re willfully mischaracterizing what he said to make it more palatable (even apart from the many other places he’s shat on in this post). I quote:

“Those ‘rights’ are social fictions written into positive law in countries with a bad case of the stupids. As for McCloskey, no one should give succor to his dysfunctions and delusions.”

Note that rights is plural, and that the issue of McCloskey’s naming is considered an aside.

GiT June 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm

“You can’t have a right that would involve forcing someone to do something.”

I can’t have a property right or a right to self-defense?

FC June 15, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Brat-McCloskey 2016!

Demosthenes June 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm

I sympathize with Cowen’s point re McCloskey, but I’m not convinced he’s correct.

If I were to write a biography of McCloskey, I would refer to her as *he* and her writings as *his* at the time that she wrote them. There’s nothing inherently bigoted in that. I see a reference to McCloskey’s past writings in the same light because they are inherently temporally situated.

Millian June 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm

That seems like looking for a reason, to be honest.

Sam Haysom June 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm

This seems like hair splitting to me. But please keep it up using the agressive tactics that gay activists have adopted at this point in the debate over sex-change rights is a recipe for derailing that movement.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Traditionally, books and journals articles are filed in physical libraries by the name of the author at the time of writing. Lots of people change their names, such as women getting married and deciding to take their husband’s names and some from being promoted to the peerage: e.g., newspaperman Max Aitken becoming Lord Beaverbrook. Scholars like Brat hyphenating both names used by an individual in publications is a courtesy to others looking to find old books and articles in dusty libraries.

Les June 15, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Scholars like brat!

I assume you are being ironic

Careless June 15, 2014 at 6:19 pm

yes, how ironic, calling a tenured professor a scholar. What a joker.

Bill June 15, 2014 at 6:44 pm

And such a well published tenured professor too – all those quality journal hits

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Databases commonly have authority files which take account of people’s various aliases in generating search returns. There is a stereotyped protocol to their composition.

ZC June 15, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Occam’s razor suggests the opposite, but keep trying to find a reason, Steve.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm

‘The opposite’? You fancy Brat is trying to confuse people so they cannot find McCloskey’s books?

(It would not make much difference re academic libraries because a change in the first name does not change the shelving arrangement much if at all. It does cause trouble re databases with incomplete authority control).

Eric Rasmusen June 16, 2014 at 1:13 pm

I wonder which part of McCloskey’s scholarship has been more important, pre- or post-? Of course, only one way’s answer could be conclusive at this point.

S June 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm

“LBGT rights remain a neglected issue outside of “the Left””

Thats funny

Willitts June 15, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Except that there is active political warfare between gays and transgenders and bisexuals. The term LGBT was intentionally fashioned to gloss over the conflicts.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Right, lesbians have been discriminating against male-born individuals in dresses at lesbian venues such as the Michigan Womyn’s Music festival for over 40 years. They just want to sit in the dirt and listen to the Indigo Girls without getting hit on by trans-guys insisting that it’s sexist for the poor lesbians to not want to have sex with them. So, McCloskey-types aren’t allowed in.

Lately, however, the X-Men, with their superior levels of aggression and hostility, have been intimidating the poor lesbians in the court of public opinion.

A June 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm

You write like someone who has devoted too much time to sounding clever at coffee shops. Do you ever experience reflective moments where you question your time spent on feeling clever? It’s a bit junkie-like behavior, in which you spin phrases to achieve specific agreements with individuals whose approval provides another feel good hit of validation. But are you actually satisfied with a life of trivial thoughts?

Mark Thorson June 15, 2014 at 5:44 pm

It seems more like a sport or hobby for him. I’m sure he finds it much more satisfying than collecting stamps or birdwatching.

spandrell June 15, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Do you ever experience reflective moments where you question your time spent on feeling sanctimonious by blindly believing in whatever is popular, without ever stopping to notice that which is in front of you? It’s a bit like junkie-like behavior, in which you parrot specific points of faith which change every couple of years and don’t really understand, but must parrot in order to gain the approval and validation of others.

Ben June 16, 2014 at 10:55 am

“in which you spin phrases to achieve specific agreements with individuals whose approval provides another feel good hit of validation”

Wait, are you serious? I can’t think of anyone whose opinions are less popular, or likely to win approval, than Steve Sailer’s. The man could obviously be a well-regarded pundit if he parroted the wisdom of the great and the good, but he chooses to toil as a poorly-paid blogger.

Also your comment lacks any response to the substance of Steve’s comment.

Demosthenes June 15, 2014 at 3:07 pm

A reason to what? Say what you mean.

Demosthenes June 15, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Meant for Millian, sorry.

Sam Haysom June 15, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Tyler’s argument is rather droll if you know anything about Weimar Germany. Out kicking the coverage on civil liberties is a recipe to reaction. It’s pretty good evidence that though Maurice Cowling nailed it in describing Mill’s (and by extinction most liberalterians) ethos as seeing freedom as a product of a ever dissolving nomos. I find that attitude pretty disgusting as dismantling a cultural is harm just as much as theft is.

S June 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm

“The victory of Brat also shows that money really does not rule politics these days”

You are going to have to pick more cherries then that

S June 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Anatomically, humans have 4 limbs. If someone refuses to consider an amputee non-human are they intolerant? Is this a neglected issue? Did I have too many cocktails for brunch?

Kabal June 15, 2014 at 3:33 pm

You can never have too many cocktails for brunch.

Sunday Funday.

vetr June 15, 2014 at 11:06 pm

If you have to ask if you have had too many cocktails for lunch, then you have had too many cocktails for lunch. The man should be master of the drink, not vice versa.

ummm June 15, 2014 at 3:49 pm

way to go, giving the ol’ hornet’s nest a kick on the weekend

not a big fan of Brat because I prefer not defaulting on the debt when all we need is entitlement reform. I’m optimistic tho he will be more pragmatic than suggested by his past.

roadrunner June 15, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Oh that’s all? That sounds easy.

hamilton June 15, 2014 at 4:08 pm

As Kabal demonstrated, you fail to understand chromosomes. Or perhaps proofreading. I don’t care which, just go crawl back underneath your rock, cretin.

Have I got this Right? June 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Calling somebody by their chosen name is Maoist, diagnoisng nonconformists with mental illness is libertarian?

Bill June 15, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Since money doesn’t matter, there should be less opposition to campaign finance limitations from corporations.

Huh?

Grip Tuggington June 16, 2014 at 11:02 am

Sure, just as soon as the same limits get placed on big labor.

Barkley Rosser June 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Regarding Tyler’s discussion of how Brat’s theological views relate to his economics ones, probably the biggest contradiction is between his currently professed anit-immigrant hyperchristianity of unclear denomination and his apparent admiration of the “moral foundations” of Ayn Rand, who was both an atheist and an immigrant. Part of why there is this contradiction is almost certainly that the center Brat directs at R-MC is funded by BB&T whose former CEO, John Allison, is a major Ayn Rand fan. So, he must fit her into all this Christian ethics stuff somehow, with quoting McCloskey on bourgeois virtues and all that being helpful.

I put a link to my commentary on Econospeak on Brat’s economics on a previous comment thread so will not repeat it, but Tyler does not seem to have read it (or perhaps thought it worthy of comment), so I shall simply note that one can find it if one is interested pretty easily, without reposting it.

As for the commentary here about McCloskey personally and the issue of transgendered people, I shall not name names, but much of it is thoroughly nauseating and disgustingly bigoted. Some of you people really need to rethink who you are. Seriously.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 5:11 pm

As for the commentary here about McCloskey personally and the issue of transgendered people, I shall not name names, but much of it is thoroughly nauseating and disgustingly bigoted. Some of you people really need to rethink who you are. Seriously.

No sir. You need to can the performances.

Barkley Rosser June 15, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Yes, Are Deco, you are the leading culprit.

I am a personal friend of Deirdre’s, who also knew her when she was “he.” I have much respect for her personally and professionally, even though we have some serious disagreements about economics. Your entire discussion of this is simply despicable, and you are personally a disgrace, whoever you are behind your phoney name, “Art Deco.”

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Your entire discussion of this is simply despicable, and you are personally a disgrace, whoever you are behind your phoney name, “Art Deco.”

Again, it is difficult to take you terribly seriously, but I’ll pretend for a moment.

A man goes off on a bizarre lark wherein he commissions surgery and hormonal treatments and in the process either divorces his wife or generates ample reason for her to sue him for divorce (his children were none too pleased, either, nor was his sister; he has stated this publicly). Over time he prances about in women’s clothing and has episodes wherein he spews vitriol at academic psychologists who offer assessments of phenomena like him that he finds inconvenient.

And I’m the disgrace? For what exactly? For thinking this is an abuse of the medical and surgical arts? For thinking there is much inside one’s head that need not and ought not be expressed? For thinking that life is lived socially in abiding human relations? For thinking McCloskey’s strange habits and aspirations do not merit much deference? For thinking McCloskey’s taste in clothes is atrocious? For thinking it isn’t Michael Bailey’s job to please McCloskey?

If you fancy that’s the proper use of the terms ‘despicable’ and ‘disgrace’, you’ve been suspended in the foetid waters of the arts-and-sciences faculty too bloody long. I cannot help you, and I would not wager anyone else can either. I can only hope the ordinary people in your vicinity (including your students) do not find their lives disfigured in petty ways by what addles you.

Liam June 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Brat is an idiot like his mentor Hayek. Ten seconds till uber-idiot Greg – not a scholar and unemployable – Rancid appears

Jon Rodney June 15, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Yes, pretty much everyone here thinks you are a disgrace (me included).

Barkley Rosser June 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm

This will be my last contribution to this thread. Two points.

The first is that I happen to know Deirdre’s sister personally (and knew her mother as well, back when she was a he). Her sister, Laura, has come to accept Deirdre’s situation, if unfortunately other members of her family have not.

The second is that for all of you who are just so worked up about how to refer to Deirdre McCloskey, including David Brat, there is a simple way out. Simply refer to her as “D. McCloskey” or just “McCloskey,” That will take care of that, and you can have whatever opinion you want about which first name she should be called when and whether she should be referred to as “she” (her) or “he”(him), without ever having to insult anybody by coming down one way or the other in print.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Brat is an idiot like his mentor Hayek.

Nobel laureate is ‘idiot’, and we have it on Liam’s authority. Thanks for sharing.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Yes, pretty much everyone here thinks you are a disgrace (me included).

1. They’d have said so thus far.

2. Doesn’t matter. All kinds of warped subcultures in this world.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 8:12 pm

The second is that for all of you who are just so worked up about how to refer to Deirdre McCloskey,

For the record:

I’ve offered one remark on that subject and another on a related matter ‘normal human experiences’. I’ve felt compelled to offer several replies to others which made reference to elaborations on that.

Various and sundry on this thread have bandies about terms like ‘idiot’, ‘despicable’, ‘disgrace’, ‘scumbag’, as well as remarks on someone’s ‘sense of masculinity’, as well as someone else being ‘clever’ in ‘coffeehouses’ . Some people are rather worked up here.

GiT June 15, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Your list of those things which you imply don’t make you disgraceful do, in fact, appear pretty disgraceful

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 8:35 pm

McCloskey chose to inflict a lot of emotional pain on his children. As he’s tried to explain it, he feels justified in campaigning to ruin the careers of Drs. Blanchard and Bailey (and denounce people like Seth Roberts for objecting to his witch hunt) because their research into how a lot of m to f transexuals are not tragic victims of lifelong gender identity confusion but are instead acting out a sexual fetish might make it harder for his loved ones to forgive him for what he did to them.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Your list of those things which you imply don’t make you disgraceful do, in fact, appear pretty disgraceful

I thought my thinking was ‘slipshod’ or that I was an ‘idiot’. Evidently, I’m a ‘disgrace’ as well. Your counsel is always appreciated.

GiT June 15, 2014 at 8:49 pm

It’s not counsel, just insults.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Oh, Art Deco, don’t sell yourself short. You’ve done much more than “offered one remark on that subject.” Just to revisit your accomplishments…

“As for McCloskey, no one should give succor to his dysfunctions and delusions”

“refusing to play along with McCloskey’s grotesque silliness”

“the problem is that he commissioned a series of mutilating and irreversible procedures”

“a pity and grotesquely amusing”

“revealed ‘raging egomania’”

“men who walk around in women’s clothing and commission unscrupulous doctors to shoot them full of hormones and amputate important body arts are abnormally will-full, addle-pated, and generally sicko”

For whatever reason, the mere existence of somebody else pushes you into a frothing mess of anger and resentment. You’ve obviously got a pile of psychosexual issues to work through.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Zephyrus, I can explain something to you. I cannot comprehend it for you.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 10:47 pm

If only your explanations amounted to anything more than “these are just my feelings, they’re just as valid as anyone else’s, it makes me cry and whine when you call me a bigot for simply stating that McCloskey and all trans people are “delusional” “sickos” who deserve the hatred they receive!”

William Wright June 16, 2014 at 1:07 am

The first is that I happen to know Deirdre’s sister personally (and knew her mother as well, back when she was a he).

Their father also had a “sex change” to become their “mother”? That *is* interesting!

William Wright June 16, 2014 at 1:02 am

As for the commentary here about McCloskey personally and the issue of transgendered people, I shall not name names, but much of it is thoroughly nauseating and disgustingly bigoted.

Talking about and making sense of the world around us is called “science”. Your perspective is called “obscurantism” or “hysteria”.

Zephyrus June 16, 2014 at 1:17 am

So, this is “science”:

“As for McCloskey, no one should give succor to his dysfunctions and delusions”

“refusing to play along with McCloskey’s grotesque silliness”

“the problem is that he commissioned a series of mutilating and irreversible procedures”

“a pity and grotesquely amusing”

“revealed ‘raging egomania’”

“men who walk around in women’s clothing and commission unscrupulous doctors to shoot them full of hormones and amputate important body arts are abnormally will-full, addle-pated, and generally sicko”

So Much for Subtlety June 16, 2014 at 6:18 am

Zephyrus

So, this is “science”: “As for McCloskey, no one should give succor to his dysfunctions and delusions”

Well yes it is. There are two basic ways of looking at this issue. You have chosen the political/moral viewpoint that insist that McCloskey is a woman trapped in a man’s body and justice requires you to hound anyone who disagrees. Perhaps. I notice it does nothing for greater good of McCloskey per se. The other viewpoint is a scientific one. There is zero evidence you can turn a man into a woman by cutting off his testicles and pumping him full of hormones. But it is possible, in theory, I suppose. But suppose it isn’t. Suppose that what is wrong with people like McCluskey is not the sex they were born with, but a general sexual dysmorphia. The question is whether cutting off their testicles improves their lives. There is evidence both ways, but the general trend seems to be that no, it does not help. Trans-sexuals are just as unhappy afterwards as before. Therefore the issue would seem to be something other than the presence of testicles.

If that is the case then everything you are doing is prolonging the unhappiness of Trans-sexuals by preventing a search for a solution. More than a search. Even thinking about a search. Art Deco may have used robust language, but if he is right about the psychology of the situation, and he probably is, then he is right to say that indulging someone in their delusion is not good for them.

Zephyrus June 16, 2014 at 10:29 am

I’ve made no commitments “McCloskey is a woman trapped in a man’s body”; there are plenty of people here who hold the opposite view, whom I’ve been nothing but civil to. But yes, I’m going to call out when people are gratuitously nasty.

The idea that Art Deco’s and others’ bigotry is part of a “search for a solution” is laughable.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 5:38 pm

The scary thing is, the remaining comments are the ones that survived Tyler’s purging of hateful invective against transexuals. There was worse here originally.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Boo.

Bill June 15, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Why is her taste in clothes awful? I bet she dresses better than you do (let alone publishes better than you do)

Rosser is right: you are a scumbag

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 6:51 pm
Ian June 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm

In the amount of time deco douche has been posting hate the saintly DMC would have written a new book chapter.

Larry Siegel June 15, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I was a student of Dr. McCloskey and have kept in touch very slightly. People change their names all the time, for a variety of reasons (usually marriage or divorce),and I don’t have any difficulty writing “Deirdre McCloskey” instead of “Deirdre, who used to be Donald,” or something like that. She is a superb writer and economist and I appreciate her for who she is. However, this comfort didn’t come immediately, I’m pretty sure I referred to her using some kind of weasel wording for a while.

Dave Brat, who is at the very least an interesting guy (I hope he turns out to be an effective legislator), can do the same thing. I sympathize with his attempt to make sense out of a hard-to-understand situation but I hope he comes out where I did.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm

” She is a superb writer and economist and I appreciate her for who she is. ”

Too bad he didn’t.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Somehow, the existence of a transexual person destabilizes your sense of masculinity so much that you have to spew invective all throughout the thread at her.

The interesting question you should ask yourself is why her very existence drives you to apoplexy.

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Somehow, the existence of a transexual person destabilizes your sense of masculinity so much that you have to spew invective all throughout the thread at her. -

You might refrain from trying to get inside of other people’s heads. Few people have a talent for that and you’re not one.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Says the person who’s diagnosing Deirdre McCloskey from afar, from a position of complete ignorance? And, yes, bigotry.

I just asked that you analyze yourself–what freaks you out so much about her existence that enrages you so much?

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 5:17 pm

I haven’t ‘diagnosed’ McCloskey at all. Michael Bailey’s beat, not mine. Mine is pointing out that the emperor is prancing about in his underwear.

You do have a reading comprehension problem.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 5:25 pm

I’m just saying you’re awfully invested in making broad psychological attacks on her, even going so far as to attack her preferred name and personal pronouns.

“As for McCloskey, no one should give succor to his dysfunctions and delusions”

“refusing to play along with McCloskey’s grotesque silliness”

“the problem is that he commissioned a series of mutilating and irreversible procedures”

“a pity and grotesquely amusing”

“revealed ‘raging egomania’”

“men who walk around in women’s clothing and commission unscrupulous doctors to shoot them full of hormones and amputate important body arts are abnormally will-full, addle-pated, and generally sicko”

That sure sounds like you’re playing armchair psychologist.

What about her so upsets your inner psyche that you go on a rampage through a comment thread to parade your psychoses to everyone? She clearly disturbs you; why?

Art Deco June 15, 2014 at 5:40 pm

[drums fingers]

Zephyrus, those are called ‘observations’ and ‘value judgments’.

1. He fancies he’s female; he is not.

2. The book reviewer offered an assessment of what his behavior vis a vis his family amounted to.

3. And I offer an assessment of what he did (a negative one, which seems to bother people).

What I did not do was attempt to instruct you as to McCloskey’s esoteric motives or yours. I’ve spent enough time around academics to not take their guises and poses terribly seriously, including Dr. Rosser’s. That’s as close as I get to diagnosing anyone. I hear from Rosser I need to think about who I am (whatever that means) and from you that I must have a problem with whatever whatever because I spew ‘invective’. (That word does not mean what you think it means). The two of you say what ever you want in this vein; I’m just telling you you suck at it.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 9:08 pm

So, to reiterate, you spew hateful invective and pseudoscientific diagnoses from afar, claim it’s just “value judgments,” and whine like a baby when people point out you’re a bigot. Got it.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Actually, the examples of people like McCloskey, Conway, James-Jan Morris, my old UCLA MBA classmate Martin-Martine Rothblatt (who is the highest paid female-identifying CEO in America *), and so forth offers surprising evidence for just how profoundly and permanently the Y-chromosome marks the brain. Before I read Morris’s memoir “Conundrum,” a couple of decades ago, I assumed that testicle amputation and female hormone therapy would radically change how adult men think. But the pattern turns out to be largely that personality and cognition remain the same. Morris is still the David Niven-like charming British officer-adventurer, McCloskey is still the captain of the football team, Conway the hyperlogical computer geek, Rothblatt the sci-fi nerd, and so forth.

One possibility, though, is that male to female transsexuals tend to be drawn from among the most willfully masculine men, the orneriest guys most used to getting their own way in everything, so this kind of hormonal trauma would be more feminizing to more ordinary men, but it’s just not enough for the ultramasculine types like McCloskey and company.

* http://www.unz.com/isteve/world-war-t-v-world-war-piketty/

GiT June 15, 2014 at 8:37 pm

It’s hilarious that you think these types which people remain post-change are somehow intrinsically masculine. Nice bit of question begging from the typically lazy thinking of Sailer.

Careless June 15, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Well, git, go on, then, and actually suggest that those aren’t typically masculine characters.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 11:24 pm

A reader of mine made up a list of the occupations of male to female transexuals who have been in the news lately:

Economics Professor/ex college football player
Baseball statistician
MMA fighter
Pro Starcraft player
Auto mechanic / golf club inventor
US Army Ranger
Board game developer
Police officer who became a teacher who ran the “cadet corps” and his school.

Others include the billionaire Pritzker scion who founded the excellent military history library in Chicago, and my old UCLA classmate and satellite radio baron Martin-Martine Rothblatt (“the Martine Luther Queen of radio,” according to Howard Stern), who is the highest paid female-identifying CEO in America, who has been obsessed with space colonization and now transhumanism.

This should raise questions about the conventional wisdom’s dogma of “always feeling like a girl trapped in a boy’s body.”

GiT June 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Ah yes, the renowned research methodology of Steve Sailer – making lists of things you hear in the news.

ogunsiron June 16, 2014 at 12:44 am

You’re above average in your predictability, Zephyrus.

Are you next going to insinuate that Art Deco is secretly a transexual but in denial ?That’s the card that usually follows the “you’re insecure in your masculinity and you probably have a really small weewee and why dont you take it like a man(tm)” card.

Zephyrus June 16, 2014 at 1:02 am

No implication was made about weewee size; using it as a signifier of masculinity is, of course, transphobic ;)

Something about transexuals makes some people go into a rampage dropping the nastiest insults about the individual in question; it’s an interesting question as to why. Even if you do believe that transexuals are all just delusional perverts, why get so emotionally caught up in it?

It very obviously has to do with gender, and it’s almost always men who go off about it. That’s interesting and merits some explanation. A destabilized masculinity accounts for their behavior pretty damn well.

Thomas June 16, 2014 at 5:30 am

Insulting the gender of (presumably) white males is the last bastion of hatred which is politically acceptable. That’s why Social Justice Warrior First Class Zephyrus carefully avoids all derogatory language, except when calling Art Deco’s gender in to question.

Zephyrus June 16, 2014 at 10:14 am

Oh, Thomas, you.

Yes, there’s a lot of insulting of people’s gender going on here. I would look a bit closer at who’s saying nasty, vitriolic things, though.

I said nothing of the sort that insults anyone’s gender presentation; I simply pointed out that the simplest explanation for Art Deco’s rampage is a definition of masculinity that’s destabilized by someone transitioning, and his needing to post dozens of comments insulting her is a tactic for him to try to resolve the resulting contradictions in his own masculine sense.

Simplicius June 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Is McCloskey lesbian, gay or bisexual?
If McCloskey has always been a woman, how can she be transgendered?
Is transsexualism bourgeois? If so, should socialists be opposed to transsexual rights?

Echarles June 15, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Has anyone read his paper on Ayn Rand or know if there is a copy of it online?

Here are some pictures of books in his office:

http://www.politico.com/gallery/2014/06/scenes-from-ashland-virginia/001894-026974.html

http://www.politico.com/gallery/2014/06/scenes-from-ashland-virginia/001894-026975.html

You wish June 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm

“The victory of Brat also shows that money really does not rule politics these days”

Only for dupes who believe that politics is made on the floor of Congress.

andrew' June 15, 2014 at 5:32 pm

I like McCloskey fine, but she seems a like a bit of a jerk.

GiT June 15, 2014 at 8:39 pm

And being a jerk is a masculine, Y chromosome sort of thing, and thus illustrative of the durability of sex. At least, Steve Sailer seems to think so, though one can hardly call it thinking.

Thomas June 16, 2014 at 5:31 am

It couldn’t possibly be thinking. After all, GiT, and 90% of Obama voters disagree, or something.

andrew' June 15, 2014 at 5:36 pm

So is state involvement in marriage a subsidy, a penalty or just a contract enforcement?

I don’t know of any other lbgt (sic) issues.

Mark Thorson June 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm

The state is involved because it’s part of what the state does. The state does lots of things because somehow it got involved, and (as with most of the things it gets involved in) it never stopped.

Maybe it’s time to ask why the state is involved in what is essentially a religious question. The state doesn’t issue baptism licenses, so why should it issue marriage licenses? If somebody wants to marry someone of the same sex, multiple someones, or someone of a canine species preference, why should the state prevent that?

The gay marriage issue is lost for its opponents. Even Rush Limbaugh says so. Rather than simply being crushed into total defeat, conservatives should consider going libertarian on this issue. Get rid of all state involvement in marriage.

The Anti-Gnostic June 15, 2014 at 8:17 pm

If somebody wants to marry someone of the same sex, multiple someones, or someone of a canine species preference, why should the state prevent that?

Because of things like children, property and insurance.

Get rid of all state involvement in marriage.

You are half-right, and not in the way you think. The question of what constitutes a valid marriage is not something the State can settle. Best to let folks with such fundamental differences go their separate ways. That’s actually the sexual deviants’ worst nightmare, because otherwise their indulgences are just a one-generation experiment.

GiT June 15, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Marriage isn’t “essentially” a religious question. Much more of a property question, though not sure it’s “essentially” that either.

William Wright June 16, 2014 at 1:16 am

It has nothing to do with property. Marriage takes male and female organisms and combines them into a single hermaphroditic organism.

GiT June 16, 2014 at 12:39 pm

I hope you’re joking.

The Anti-Gnostic June 15, 2014 at 8:08 pm

LBGT rights remain a neglected issue outside of “the Left,” but they are a good barometer of our overall degree of tolerance

This is a thoughtless statement. There are plenty of things we do not and should not tolerate in a viable society. Manics can provide you with a long, impassioned list of reasons why you should accommodate their whims.

as well as a desirable policy in their own right.

There are zero reasons to grant positive rights to such acutely dysfunctional, marginal individuals.

Steve Sailer June 15, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Here’s the late Seth Roberts’ archive on Dr. McCloskey’s attempts to bully him during the McCloskey-SPLC campaign to silence Bailey and Blanchard.

http://blog.sethroberts.net/2013/09/07/deidre-mccloskey-and-me/

Once a Harvard football player, always a Harvard football player …

The Anti-Gnostic June 15, 2014 at 8:18 pm

That was in response to Frances Coppola up thread. Geez Tyler, you must really want to have a column in the NYT.

Mr. Wild June 15, 2014 at 8:24 pm

I find all the space given to a discussion of the microagression™ of a hyphen to be fascinating.

Zephyrus June 15, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Which part? Where people write dozens of comments explaining why it’s okay for them to be a bigot because transexuals are “diseased”?

Mr. Wild June 15, 2014 at 8:25 pm

I find all the space given to the microagression™ of a hyphen to be fascinating.

The Other Jim June 15, 2014 at 8:30 pm

>Bernie Sanders — who basically seems to be a socialist

What gave it away? The fact that he repeatedly identifies himself as a socialist? Or was it something more subtle, more nuanced?

>The victory of Brat also shows that money really does not rule politics

Thank you, thank you. It most certainly does show that, and a dozen other things have recently shown that as well.

It is an annoying knee-jerk reaction — coming mainly from socialists, in fact — to say that “We need to get the money out of politics! We need more campaign finance reform! We need the Government to pass more laws to protect us!” Dear Lord.

Larry Rothfield June 15, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Tyler, how do you as an economist judge the economic intelligence of a professor who says that the minimum wage should be tied to productivity and in the next breath says he doesn’t support a rise in the minimum wage? That strikes me as just plain stupidity. Am I missing something?

andrew' June 16, 2014 at 2:54 am

I sort of hold that view. I would rather we didn’t have one. But I’d really rather we didn’t have to argue about raising it from m insignificant to almost impactful every few years and I’d really rather not do it in a jobless recovery.

Careless June 15, 2014 at 9:18 pm

The problems caused by comments being deleted here are odd.

John J. Johnson June 15, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Calling a man by a woman’s name and letting a doctor mutilate him probably is a good barometer for modern society.

DMS June 15, 2014 at 11:42 pm

Are the comments on this post political good news for Brat? or not?

The entire thread is about penises and vaginas.

Brat’s usage may have been rude, naive or something else. So go ask Brat. But sounds to me that what people really want to talk about is SEX.

Ray Lopez June 16, 2014 at 12:38 am

+1. One reason I don’t like the USA: people have such repressed versions of sex. If it’s not people acting like virgins on TV (I even watched, for 2 minutes, a portion of “Game of Thrones” and saw two grown men who apparently were virgins and wondering what sex is like), it’s the classic Protestant horror of sex that usually, in a horror show, will result in people being killed right when they’re about to have sex. The Puritan work ethic at work, which, like the Wahhabi movement in Islam, is admired for its tenacity but also despised for its limitations.

Thomas June 16, 2014 at 5:36 am

Despite both of your objections and concerns, this post is focused on “penises and vaginas” largely due to one off-hand comment by Tyler, and the tenacious campaign of a Jezebel-HuffPo-Gawker Social Justice Warrior, Zephyrus.

Zephyrus June 16, 2014 at 10:16 am

You’re missing one slightly important link in the chain, where Art Deco and other’s attach themselves to Tyler’s comment to spew bile about McCloskey.

Art Deco June 16, 2014 at 8:22 am

+1. One reason I don’t like the USA: people have such repressed versions of sex.

You appear to have been displaced in time by about 90 years. (Or enjoy uttering nonsense just to be cute).

Tracy W June 16, 2014 at 9:18 am

I even watched, for 2 minutes, a portion of “Game of Thrones” and saw two grown men who apparently were virgins and wondering what sex is like

You watched this show for 2 minutes and didn’t work out it’s a fantasy series? Weren’t the clothing styles a give-away?

it’s the classic Protestant horror of sex that usually, in a horror show, will result in people being killed right when they’re about to have sex.

It’s not about a horror of sex. It’s called “the hope spot” in a tragedy. It’s a way of playing on the audience’s emotions, as people respond to the contrast, they have a moment of hope that everything will come right, then, suddenly, it all goes terribly wrong. Stories with happy endings tend to have the opposite, a “despair spot”, a moment when things look like they’ve failed, then the cavalry appears on the horizon.

Ray Lopez June 16, 2014 at 12:34 am

Wow, 178 comments on transgender issues mostly; TC really hit the motherlode with this post. if you guys and gals lived in Thailand like I did for a while this would not be such a big deal. It turns out (and I offer this as fuel for thought, not that the economist Deirdre is such a person, I doubt she is) there is such a thing as a ‘pure’ transgender human that is, in DNA terms, part female and part male (the cells are one or the other, in the same body). And in theory I understand (though it’s never been documented in practice) such a person could self-fertilize and have kids. Would the conservative Republicans be against abortion if this was to happen? If this was to become reproductively viable going forward, meaning, such people could propagate their DNA? I wonder but suspect not. Republicans are, when they are not simply statists in disguise, like Edmund Burke in that they hate all things new.

DMS June 16, 2014 at 1:04 am

Poor Brat.
Victorious in historic political upset and is ignored in favor of transgender economist.

Or maybe good — all Brat has to do is get conversation started and he can walk out the room.

dirk June 16, 2014 at 1:25 am

Who is David Brat?

Willitts June 16, 2014 at 2:12 am

Well that discussion degraded fast.

Can we go back to discussing canceled commencement addresses?

andrew' June 16, 2014 at 3:03 am

People get to have transgendering operations in large part because of modern surgery and antibiotics and hormone treatments not just because they want it that way. Though I wouldn’t stop their use of these technological advances. Though I don’t understand the need people who feel misgendered feel.

I’m also not sure why I can’t call Lou alcinder or Cassius clay by the names their mama gave them instead of what they want if my goal is to annoy people I think should be annoyed.

The thing about the citizen politician is they don’t care as much about not offending people.

freethinker June 16, 2014 at 4:27 am

“. I am not sure it [LBGT rights] is an issue Brat is so likely to be good on or to make a priority.”

Is it not Obvious? if a guy swears by the Bible , how can he even dream of such rights? I even wonder if the likes of Brat even approve of the right of non-Christians practicing their faith in America.

andrew' June 16, 2014 at 5:06 am

As long as comments are broken, what is the dividing line based on with stuff people really feel the need to do but can’t be criticized for doing? It seems sexual stuff applies, except not heterodudes wanting new.

spandrell June 16, 2014 at 5:40 am

This is the most evil blog post I’ve ever read.

leftistconservative June 16, 2014 at 6:25 am

The founding plutocrats would have hated Brat.

Some quotes from the founding plutocrats:
Elbridge Gerry on why the founding plutocrats wanted to dump the articles of confederation and replace them with the undemocratic constitution: “An excess of democracy.”

Madison on the primary purpose of the structure of the new federal govt: to preserve wealth inequality.

Madison on the purpose of the senate: “to protect the opulent of the minority against the majority.”

Quite reading your press clipping and thinking about lesbians, gays, and how to force the american workers to subsist on beans alone, Cowen. Instead, educate yourself.

Michael G. Heller June 16, 2014 at 7:45 am

Someone who will remain nameless heard that Deirdre McCloskey was going to be on a BBC interview via the LSE a month back and asked whether I recommended investing the time listening to it. I simply said:

“I know her work and broadly agree with her point of view. She is bitingly witty and no push over. However she has three problems and a prominent feature. The problems are she’s religious, she lacks a clear consistent theory, and her books while important are chaotically long and dense. The feature is that she’s had a sex change. Used to be a man. It will be a fun and instructive talk, I lack forward to it.”

I lacked enthusiasm.

In a sense Deirdre has become economics as entertainment + religion personified. She plays it up and people lap it up. Economists get a chance to show they are progressively liberal about sex and classically liberal about ideology. For better or worse the 200+ comments here are not about campitalism (oops, capitalism).

Michael G. Heller June 16, 2014 at 7:48 am

Someone who will remain nameless heard that Deirdre McCloskey was going to be on a BBC interview via the LSE a month back and asked whether I recommended investing the time listening to it. I simply said:

“I know her work and broadly agree with her point of view. She is bitingly witty and no push over. However she has three problems and a prominent feature. The problems are she’s religious, she lacks a clear consistent theory, and her books while important are chaotically long and dense. The feature is that she’s had a sex change. Used to be a man. It will be a fun and instructive talk, I lack forward to it.”

I lacked enthusiasm.

In a sense Deirdre has become economics as entertainment + religion personified. She plays it up and people lap it up. For better or worse the 200+ comments here are not about campitalism (oops, capitalism).

martin June 16, 2014 at 10:22 am

“money does not rule politics these days.”

Please Tyler, you are being disingenuous at best. One anedotal election in a sea of evidence to the contrary hardly makes that point.

Granite26 June 16, 2014 at 11:41 am

I don’t feel entirely comfortable with the assertion that people are allowed to dictate how others see or treat them. A person should be allowed to assert anything about themselves that they wish, or act in whatever fashion they wish. It’s the expectation that everyone else uncritically honor those wishes that makes me uncomfortable.

Zephyrus June 16, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Why should I be expected to honor people’s wishes to say hateful, transphobic things without criticism?

GiT June 16, 2014 at 12:48 pm

I believe people only want uncritical respect of the wishes of others when it comes to things like, you know, calling them by their name and other forms of basic courtesy and respect. You know, the sorts of social norms that dictate you don’t go around calling people kikes and niggers and wops all the time, unless you expressly desire to look like a bigoted asshole.

TJL June 17, 2014 at 1:08 am

Two short points: McCloskey refers in “Crossing” to McCloskey as both Donald and Deirdre. Does this make McCloskey bigoted too?

Isn’t taking McCloskey’s (often very fine) writing seriously the right way to show respect for McCloskey? I’d expect the intolerant to not include McCloskey’s work in their courses, for example. I’m not sure why a culture of respect for McCloskey means more than taking McCloskey’s work seriously. It surely needn’t involve deference to McCloskey’s choices in every realm.

Peter Gauge June 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm

“By the way, he should learn to write “Deirdre McCloskey,” (p.60) instead of “Donald-Diedre McCloskey.”

Hey, Tyler, you miserable slut, less out and out drool and less ‘Tyler puts in his thumb and pulls out a transexual plum, and says “What a good boy am I!”

It’s really sucky of you to use that as an item. But maybe these days sucky is what you do.

FA June 15, 2014 at 5:43 pm

mutilating surgery

But enough about the prevalence of circumcision in the US.

andrew' June 16, 2014 at 4:57 am

OTOH, she never personally stole years from MY life like some people I am supposed to pretend to admire.

Back to Brat. This is simply what unraveling the respectable establishment zeitgeist looks like.

Or was that about McCloskey.

Why did she keep the last name, BTW?

andrew' June 16, 2014 at 5:00 am

I recently asked the mom if my kid’s friends if she got ay comments about her kids’ mohawks. She didn’t seem to understand the question but was vaguely offended at me asking it.

And she has girls! Just kidding about that last part.

freethinker June 16, 2014 at 5:58 am

“Why did she keep the last name, BTW?” The last name does not have anything to do with gender because of the funny social custom that it should be the name of the father or husband. It is the first name which indicates gender

Navin Kumar June 16, 2014 at 8:44 am

Pardon me. That was directed at Art Deco who for some reason wants to focus on someone’s personal life an economics blog. Doesn’t the New York Post have a comment section for you to lurk in?

Art Deco June 18, 2014 at 8:09 am

The moderator picked the topic by making a gratuitous remark, and there is one peculiarly obsessive fellow here who has carried the discussion forward. McCloskey is unusual in the manner in which he has proceeded (as well as the high-dudgeon people express at anyone who criticizes his conduct).

Art Deco June 16, 2014 at 9:21 am

1. The moderator brought the subject up quite gratuitously.

2. I made a two sentence reply to the moderator’s remark.

3. Other people carried the ball from there. I did not choose the topic. However, you have people asserting that it is ‘disgraceful’ to have a critical or antagonistic disposition toward McCloskey for things about which he has been quite public and aggressive.

4. Now you’re telling me its illegitimate to elaborate on what is troublesome about this character.

The gamesmanship here is tiresome.

Zephyrus June 16, 2014 at 10:21 am

You did a bit more than make “a two sentence reply.” Here are some choice quotes:

“As for McCloskey, no one should give succor to his dysfunctions and delusions”

“refusing to play along with McCloskey’s grotesque silliness”

“the problem is that he commissioned a series of mutilating and irreversible procedures”

“a pity and grotesquely amusing”

“revealed ‘raging egomania’”

And note, to all readers: these are from comments that Tyler decided *not* to delete. The rest were worse.

Art Deco June 16, 2014 at 11:08 am

He hasn’t deleted anything, as far as I can recall.

You did a bit more than make “a two sentence reply.”

My reply to the moderator consisted of two sentences. I did reply subsequently to you, of course, but you’re less than reticent.

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