Jay Nordlinger asks an interesting question:
Do you have a go-to lefty? Someone or someones who will give you the best arguments of the “liberal” side? (I hate the corruption of the sterling word “liberal,” but there’s nothing that can be done about it.) Do you have writers whom you turn to for the sake of “balance”? Liberals who are interesting, honorable, and worthwhile?
Mickey Kaus would be the person who comes to mind for me, and Camille Paglia—although both, and the latter especially, can’t really be pegged as “liberals,” exactly. I’ve linked to both of them before.
After that there’s a tremendous falloff, except for people in the process of change from left to right, who really don’t fall into the same category.
Commenter “Eric” mentioned this essay by Tom Junod the other day, and I have to say I liked it very much indeed. You can feel Junod’s natural intelligence and honesty struggling mightily against his kneejerk tendency to parrot the party line, and—in that article, at least—his thoughtfulness wins out.
I also developed a bit of a fondness for Timothy Noah when I read his debate with William Voegeli on income inequality a while back. At least in that particular exchange (I’ve read little else by him) he seemed thoughtful, respectful, knowledgeable, and witty, and although I thought Voegeli won the debate, I thought Noah acquitted himself well.
You may note that at the time of that exchange Noah was a writer for TNR, but he’s a writer for TNR no more. He was summarily fired by Franklin Foer when the new owner came on board and decided that the magazine was going to become an even emptier and more leftist rag than ever. Noah landed at MSNBC, not exactly the open-minded venue either.
So that’s it for me. How about you?