An appreciation

Jonathan Chait of The New Republic may have gone too far with his Bush-hating shtick, but his new blog is rightly sounding the alarm to Democrats about the impending Howard Dean disaster.

…many Deanies seem to exist in an isolated cultural milieu in which everybody is secular, socially liberal, and antiwar. They can’t fathom why those things might hurt Dean in a general election because they don’t ever talk to or read anybody who thinks differently. Dean’s Internet networking–which has had lots of positive effects on American politics–has probably intensified this cloistering, by creating intellectual ghettos on the web where true believers can interact, undisturbed by those who don’t share their faith.

Well, yes, which is one reason to avoid those cyber-ghettos. And it’s one reason I appreciate the wide range of opinions reflected in the posts and comments at Harry’s Place. I’m pleased that– no matter what you believe– you can’t get away with intellectual laziness here. Many ideological web sites are devoted largely to caricaturing the opposing side; it’s hard to do that here because someone from the opposing side will usually call you on it. And while personal insults sometimes make an unwelcome appearance here, it’s remarkable how civilized and thoughtful most of the disagreement is.

Anyway thanks to everyone– posters and commenters– who make it such a pleasure to be part of this online community. And best wishes for the holiday season.