Undermining your case

In a recent post, Ross Douthat at The American Scene asks his readers to accept (without evidence) his characterization of the new book by Ramesh Ponnuru as smart and worthy of serious debate.

Douthat begins his post with a series of questionable presumptions about people who disagree with him. He distorts Jon Stewart’s interview of Ponnuru. He expresses his “genuine curiosity” about the views of people he insults and belittles throughout his post.

All of which makes me wonder why I should accept Douthat’s word about what is smart and serious.

The book itself? It was written by a writer for the National Review (granted, he is their best writer) and is published by Regnery Publishing. The book’s jacket copy begins with:

Is the Democratic Party the “Party of Death”?

If you look at their agenda they are.

In any given year, more than 100,000 titles are published in the English language. If I were to read two books a week, and limited my reading to books published within the year, I would be able to read only 1 in 1,000 of those titles.

Why in the world would I waste my time with a book that seems so unpromising?

Sorry, Ross. I think I’ll pass.

One Response to “Undermining your case”

  1. Dave Says:

    I try to stay away from ideological treatises written for those who already agree with the premise. Regardless of whether they are for the Left or Right, for the religious or for atheists, they tend to be relatively lacking in content.

    The only exceptions I can think of are Al Franken’s books, which benefit by also being funny.

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