McArdle (no link — I can’t link her and Politico the same day, morally):
I’ve been reading the debates touched off by Julian Sanchez’s post on “a systematic trend toward “epistemic closure” in the modern conservative movement”. I’m nervous about wading in because almost anything I say is bound to offend someone I like. I’m especially sensitive–perhaps oversensitive–to the way that anything I proceed to say about conservative people outside the northeast runs the risk of sounding a lot like that fifties moderate whose work one occasionally comes across: “Of course, I just love negroes–they’re all so musical and I don’t know how I’d get my house cleaned without our Bessie. But why can’t they be a little more patient about this civil rights mess?”
And you laughed when I said tea was the new black.
Update. Even crazier stuff (from McArdle) in the comments:
I think the identities of black and gay are a lot more mutable than you think. A lot of the discrimination that blacks now face is against choosing to be black identified–to name their children identifiably black names, and so forth. A black man who strips away all of the cultural identifiers of blackness is going to face substantially fewer barriers to advancement than a black man who chooses to maintain black speech patterns and so forth. The point is, he shouldn’t have to.
Likewise, a gay man who stays in the closet is, at this point, not a victim of discrimination . . . but we don’t think they should have to choose to remain in the closet.
So saying, “Well, conservatives could choose to be liberals” strikes me as not very interesting. Having to stop believing what you believe in order to get a job is not something that we think should happen–particularly not in a milieu which purports to be committed to open inquiry. Nor is it really reasonable to ask everyone in Alabama to turn themselves into Manhattan.
I’m starting to feel mean making fun of this. And I wouldn’t note it at all, but this is all taking place in a magazine that is taken fairly seriously, and by a writer who was almost given a spot on the NYT editorial page.