Tuesday, October 24, 2006

No Longer Reasonable

I suppose it’s a badge of honor when a national magazine mentions your local blog. No, not LGP here, but KvM has apparently earned the ire of Reason magazine; the latter calling the former a blog that “[pushes for] Mark Kennedy by... bashing state and national Democrats.”

The KvM guys respond, of course. They give Reason high marks and ‘good vibes (quite undeserved in my opinion), more or less debunking the Gillespian shroud that has been draped over them. But like Reason, they never quite come to the heart of the issue. Is KvM’s support of Kennedy nothing more than DFL/DNC bashing? They sorta say so without really making the case. Personally I would substitute the word ‘unmasking’ for ‘bash.’

Let me enter an aside here…I used to be a faithful Reason subscriber. My time with them spanned more than 10 years, mostly during the Virginia Postrel incarnation. I even contributed to the Reason Foundation. My agreement with their editorial positions was never complete, but they were an interesting read on whatever they covered.

I dropped the magazine during a time when my reading hours were greatly reduced, only to return after Nick Gillespie had taken full control and fashioned it in his own image. It was a tremendous let-down. Depth and insight was replaced with ‘attitude’ and mockery. Not completely, but enough to cancel my fledgling re-uppance after a few short months.

David Weigels piece blasting KvM is a case in point. Three paragraphs are spent roasting Hugh Hewitt for uncritically blessing very move by Bush and the GOP. Weigel’s supporting arguments? Well, none really. We just have to take his word for it. Proof that Hewitt is barking up the wrong tree? Amazon’s discount price for ‘Painting the Map Red.’ Like that never happened before.

That’s about it; that’s what passes for ‘thinking’ in Reason’s world. But anyone who has heard Hewitt’s show knows that the Weigel charge is fraudulent. Yes, Hugh does preach vociferously during this election season that “Republicans are better than Democrats.” Yet any honest libertarian (and I have been known to vote that ticket) would grudgingly agree. And therein lies my beef with today’s Reason; they’ve discarded a measure of thoughtfulness for “’tude, dude!” Weigel has produced a screed that is symptomatic of his publication’s inability to, oddly enough, ‘reason.’ What probably really irks them about Hewitt is his assertion that to vote libertarian is to vote “losertarian” (as he said on his show this evening), and that he’s launched more ‘National Review’ type thinkers than Reason could ever dream of producing for their world view. But such an admission would require a level of honesty that seems to have dissipated since the Postrel era.

So back to KvM; they should not be in any way dismayed or mislead by Reason’s assessment. KvMs Gary Miller still “strongly recommends” Reason. I no longer do. Gentlemen can disagree agreeably. That’s the upside of thinking.

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