Tuesday, February 27, 2007

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Gone ISAing

Blogging will range from intermittent to light over the next few days, as I will be attending the International Studies Association annual meeting in Chicago. [Chicago in February?--ed. Well, not all of us get invited to Firenze, like some other bloggers I know. Besides, the previous two years, ISA was in San Diego and Honolulu, so I've decided not to complain.]

If you want to peruse some of the papers, click here. I'll be presenting a newly revised version of "The Realist Tradition in American Public Opinion."

Talk amongst yourselves. Here's a topic: Mark Harris complains in Entertainment Weekly that conservative characters on television are neither conservative nor nasty enough:

As a member of the self-deluding Eastern liberal politically correct media elite (so my reader mail tells me), I would like to learn more about the opposition. The problem is, they keep going soft on me. Last fall, TV promised us two conservatives: Kitty Walker on ABC's Brothers & Sisters, and Harriet Hayes on NBC's now-shelved Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Kitty was supposed to be a brash, Ann Coulter-like firebrand in a family of whole-grain blue-staters, and deeply religious Harriet was going to redress the injustices done to people of faith by godless showbiz types. As each series has unfolded, both women have been portrayed as multidimensional, sensitive human beings. Not incidentally, they seem to be turning into liberals....

Brothers & Sisters is, I think, pulling off an excellent liberal spin on conservatism, systematically demolishing Kitty's beliefs by depicting her as a right-winger who has never confronted the human side of her arguments. When she does when the endangered soldier or the homosexual whose rights are denied is in her own family politics becomes personal, and she becomes more ideologically flexible. Dick Cheney would call that fighting dirty; I would call Brothers & Sisters a really fun way to make Dick Cheney mad.

Question -- doesn't everyone become more ideologically flexible when politics becomes personal?

posted by Dan on 02.27.07 at 11:19 PM


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