Brad DeLong Comes Up Short
Modern America, being democratic to the core, by its nature is inimical to rational debate, as the side with popular approval behind them can merely pretend opposing views don’t exist and watch them flounder under a wave of populist ignorance and myth. A fine example of such behavior was put on full display by UC Berkeley economics professor Brad DeLong, who not only refused an invitation from Bloomberg Radio to join Lew Rockwell for a discussion of their respective economic schools (Keynesian vs Austrian) but did so in a manner more befitting a closed minded fanatic than a college professor.
In retrospect, it would have saved a bit of time for Bloomberg Radio, and a bit of embarrassment for Mr. DeLong, had the former first conducted a Google search regarding the latter, as it would have revealed his deep seated hatred for Lew Rockwell and, as an added bonus, Ludwig von Mises. In a blog entry from March 25, 2009 Mr. DeLong issues a screechy demand that “let it be said that as Brad DeLong I assert the moral right to ownership of the tag"brad delong," and I expressly forbid its use by anybody who uses either of the tags"ludwig von mises" or"lew rockwell"; expressly forbid repeat forbid”.
Besides the amusing picture of a grown man stomping his feet while angrily pounding his latest temper-tantrum into the keyboard, I was confused – since when does a Keynesian believe in the “moral right” to private property? The people of Bloomberg Radio, had they performed this simple search, would have had instant nightmare visions of putting an academic too tight for his tweeds in front of a live microphone, and wisely moved on to the next candidate on the list. But as it was they asked, and as it was Brad DeLong replied, and then posted it all on his blog.
“You have got to be kidding” he began in a calm, rational manner, and it was all downhill from there, through a rude order to “clean up your act” to telling them how to run things with “you have no business putting Lew Rockwell on the air, and I am ashamed for you.” Then, after posting it along with the contact information of the person at Bloomberg (since removed), he cries out to his blog readers, “why oh why can’t we have a better press corps?”
The reason Mr. DeLong gave for his outburst and refusal (whatever happened to a simple “no thank you”?) was Lew Rockwell’s alleged involvement with the Ron Paul newsletter scandal, a seedy little episode best recalled by AntiWar.com’s Justin Raimondo . The fact that Lew Rockwell categorically denies having written them means nothing, he has been tried, convicted, and hung by popular demand, and that’s the end of it for Mr. DeLong.
Yet, the issue here was not to be about racism, but economics. Mr. DeLong used unproven accusations of the former to get around the latter, you'd expect better from a professor. How incredibly close-minded and shortsighted. If Mr. DeLong feels so strongly about the matter of race, where even the mere accusation of being a racist sends him fleeing in disgust, why does he remain a big supporter of Obama, despite that man's close, long time affiliation with the virulently racist Rev. Jeremiah Wright? (DeLong even publicly endorsed Obama.) What about Biden’s comment on Obama being “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean”?
Why would he remain employed by UC's educational system, the very same which at this moment is yet again in the news with racial problems? (Where do they find all these nooses?) What about Berkeley's long standing overt hostility towards non-minority students? Why does that racist policy not bother Mr. DeLong?
Mr. Delong protests too much.
Instead of jumping at the chance to debate economic policy, he declares his opponent so beyond the pale that he won't even participate. It is not always so. Mr. DeLong once wrote a blog entry defending James Webb waxing weepy at the Confederate Memorial, words that got him in a bit of hot water. Mr. DeLong called the vituperation hurled at Mr. Webb “an intellectual foul…for Webb is saying something different” than suggested. He linked the entire speech, so his readers could see the quote in “broader context”.
No such politeness was given to Ron Paul’s newsletters, and no thought of possible innocence given for Mr. Rockwell, just a mere accusation, in his case, would suffice for Mr. DeLong. His refusal to debate his economic views does more to reveal the narrow-minded view he has of the august position he holds then it does of any alleged shortcomings in Bloomberg Radio or Lew Rockwell.
To quote a great man, “why oh why can’t we have a better professorship?”
Beefcake the Mighty - 3/23/2010
Standard behavior for deLong.
"..did so in a manner more befitting a closed minded fanatic than a college professor."
Well, you have to understand, he IS a closed minded fanatic, who just happens to be a college professor.
You could have also mentioned deLong's penchant at his blog (where throngs of idiots cheer his every utterance like revelation from Jesus) of not merely deleting comments he disagrees with (which is his right, but still intellectually cowardly), but of *editing* them, to make the commenter look foolish. Even by the ideologically polluted standards of modern liberalism, deLong is truly mentally deranged.
Beefcake the Mighty - 3/23/2010
Brad deLong is a perfect example that, while there are intelligent and honest leftists, there is no such thing as an honest or intelligent liberal.
Brad DeLong - 3/22/2010
In the 1960s William F. Buckley made the wise decision to get himself and National Review out of bed with the John Birch Society, and out of bed with the Ku Klux Klan.
The Ron Paul staffers I know assure me that hnn.us, similarly, really should hurry up and get itself out of bed with Lew Rockwell and company.
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