Tuesday, June 22, 2004

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Respect Eugene Volokh's authority!!

Kudos to Eugene Volokh for his latest coups:

1) Prompting Will Saletan at Slate to respond to Volokh's criticism of Slate's Kerryism feature:

Eugene Volokh, gets the joke and doesn't like it. "Another possibility is that 'Kerryisms' has evolved into an attempt to show simply that Kerry uses a lot of qualifiers, instead of giving very simple answers," Volokh writes. "But often, as in this case, the right answer isn't simple. It's actually not terribly complex, but it's not one-word simple. Is it really good to fault a politician for refusing to oversimplify?"

That's a good and fair question. I prefer to let each reader decide for herself, case by case.

2) Eugene has secured the services of University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein as a guest-blogger for the Conspiracy (here's a link to Sunstein's first post)

Cass, Jacob, myself -- Eugene has now managed to have 10% of the poli sci faculty at the University of Chicago blog for him.

posted by Dan on 06.22.04 at 11:07 PM


After reading Sunsteen's first post, I have to wonder if it was worth it. She's certainly good at writing, and expresses her ideas well. However, the ideas she expresses seem an issue for me. Honoring someone who apparently has no concept of individual property rights?

posted by: Bithead on 06.22.04 at 11:07 PM [permalink]

1. Cass Sunstein is a dude.
2. I believe the preferred spelling is, "authoritah".

posted by: Independent George on 06.22.04 at 11:07 PM [permalink]

1) Cass is a dude--unless there was a secret operation in his/her past that s/he is keeping secret.

2) A point about one of my pet peeves regarding grammar: _myself_ is a reflexive transitive pronoun. Eugene can therefore have you as a guest blogger, and not yourself as a guest blogger. This is true even if you (Dan) are the speaker.
Thus, "Cass, Jacob, me--Eugene..."

posted by: oneangryslav on 06.22.04 at 11:07 PM [permalink]

The main problem with muddled language is that it usually reflects muddled thinking. One thing about Ronald Reagan that no one will disagree with was that everyone always knew where he stood. Television forces candidates to reduce their ideas into sound bites while books, interviews and surrogates are used to flesh out proposals and policy. Kerry can't even give a clear simple answer to his views on troop funding let alone his strategy on the war in general. That represents the fact that what he's telling us isn't necessarily what he's thinking. There are no books on Kerry policy proposals as of yet and Kerry supporters grumble to the media about Kerry's lack of focus. Sound bites aren't the best way to discuss public policy, but a candidate should be able to give a general direction to where he wants to go.

posted by: Arik on 06.22.04 at 11:07 PM [permalink]

Grammatically, I guess Eugene can have himself as a guest blogger, and I can have myself as a guest blogger, and Eugene can have Daniel Drezner himself as a guest blogger, but Eugene can't have Daniel Drezner, himself, and myself as guest bloggers.

Not that anyone would have me as a guest blogger, nor would I have anyone as a guest blogger (having no blog tends to preclude that), but I'm just trying to work out the details here.

posted by: rvman on 06.22.04 at 11:07 PM [permalink]

OK, I guess I owe an apology to Sunsteen for performing an unauthorized sex-change operation. As I gather it, such things can be a bit on the messy side.

That said, my remaining comment about misplaced honor, stands.

posted by: bithead on 06.22.04 at 11:07 PM [permalink]

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