Tag Archives: Dayo Olopade

Journolist Strikes Again!

Jonathan Strong at Daily Caller:

Katha Pollitt – Hayes’s colleague at the Nation – didn’t disagree on principle, though she did sound weary of the propaganda. “I hear you. but I am really tired of defending the indefensible. The people who attacked Clinton on Monica were prissy and ridiculous, but let me tell you it was no fun, as a feminist and a woman, waving aside as politically irrelevant and part of the vast rightwing conspiracy Paula, Monica, Kathleen, Juanita,” Pollitt said.

“Part of me doesn’t like this shit either,” agreed Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent. “But what I like less is being governed by racists and warmongers and criminals.”

Ackerman went on:

I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It’s not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright’s defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.

And I think this threads the needle. If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.

Ackerman did allow there were some Republicans who weren’t racists. “We’ll know who doesn’t deserve this treatment — Ross Douthat, for instance — but the others need to get it.” He also said he had begun to implement his plan. “I previewed it a bit on my blog last week after Commentary wildly distorted a comment Joe Cirincione made to make him appear like (what else) an antisemite. So I said: why is it that so many on the right have such a problem with the first viable prospective African-American president?”

Several members of the list disagreed with Ackerman – but only on strategic grounds.

“Spencer, you’re wrong,” wrote Mark Schmitt, now an editor at the American Prospect. “Calling Fred Barnes a racist doesn’t further the argument, and not just because Juan Williams is his new black friend, but because that makes it all about character. The goal is to get to the point where you can contrast some _thing_ — Obama’s substantive agenda — with this crap.”

(In an interview Monday, Schmitt declined to say whether he thought Ackerman’s plan was wrong. “That is not a question I’m going to answer,” he said.)

Kevin Drum, then of Washington Monthly, also disagreed with Ackerman’s strategy. “I think it’s worth keeping in mind that Obama is trying (or says he’s trying) to run a campaign that avoids precisely the kind of thing Spencer is talking about, and turning this into a gutter brawl would probably hurt the Obama brand pretty strongly. After all, why vote for him if it turns out he’s not going change the way politics works?”

But it was Ackerman who had the last word. “Kevin, I’m not saying OBAMA should do this. I’m saying WE should do this.”

More Strong

Instapundit:

Those who suspected that the media was collaborating to spin the coverage in Obama’s favor were righter than they knew. . . .

Andrew Breitbart at Big Journalism:

American journalism died a long time ago; today Tucker Carlson got around to running the obituary. What The Daily Caller has unearthed proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that most media organizations are either complicit by participation in the treachery that is Journolist, or are guilty of sitting back and watching Alinsky warfare being waged against all that challenged the progressive orthodoxy. The scandal predictably involves journalists posing as professors posing as experts. But dressed down they are nothing but street thugs. They deserve the deepest levels of public consternation. We must demand that they do.

The only way that the media will recover from the horrifying discoveries found in the Journolist is to investigate and investigate until every guilty reporter, professor and institution is laid bare begging America for forgiveness. Will they do it?

If the powers that be don’t comply with this demand, we can always call Jonathan Alter and Eric Alterman racists.*

The media is filled with left-wing activists.

The race card is the first and last refuge of liberal scoundrels.

The race-card playing liberals in the media tried their best to whitewash Barack Obama’s radical ties to Jeremiah Wright and other race demagogues.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, but it’s always useful to see all the plotting and evidence in writing.

Ed Driscoll at Pajamas Media:

And don’t forget to have CNN declare their network a “Wright-Free Zone” — a week after praising to the hilt Wright’s performance at the annual convention of the NAACP.

Matt Welch at Reason:

Ackerman’s characteristically juvenile bravado did draw JournoList rebukes from Mark Schmitt and Kevin Drum, the Daily Caller reported. Read the whole thing here; Reason on JournoList here.

As this whole episode describes a world utterly alien to me–listservs, major-party affiliation, political team identity, desire to help out politicians–I am experiencing this mostly as a consumer of entertainment news (with the caveat that I have met several of the people involved). There is a certain poetry, however, to seeing Joe Conason’s name associated with it all.

Ben Domenech at The New Ledger:

Fred Barnes is a devout Christian and a gentleman, a respected writer who has never given any indication of racist views. The fact that Ackerman would recommend this wrathful and baseless attack isn’t surprising. But it does say something about membership in the menagerie of tame conservatives that where Barnes is maligned by the Left, Douthat is exempted.

Mona Charen at NRO

Jules Crittenden:

The best defense is to be offensive. It’s what wriggles when you lift the JournoList rock. Chatter at Memeorandum. Spencer “Call them Racists” Ackerman’s FDL site here. At Wired here. At last check, crickets in response. Maybe because a good character assassination plot, as the DailyCaller’s reporting illustrates, takes planning. It’ll be interesting to see if Wired wants to keep a scribbler who tried to influence a national election by engineering unwarranted venal ad-hominem attacks.

HotAir: The objections weren’t whether it was right or not. They were about whether it would work.

National Review: The well-worn accusation of racism has been losing its punch. But rarely do we see the motivation so baldly stated.

Hey, if they keep it up, maybe we will end up post-racial. And post-racialist, starting with Ackerman. It would be kind of ironic if the only character that ended up getting assassinated out of all that plotting is his own.

Salon scribbler doesn’t see what the big deal is with liberals plotting to randomly smear Republicans as racist in order to divert attention from a presidential candidate’s distracting racist problem. After all, belief in Republican racism is a liberal given. Which makes it OK.

Moderate Voice: Just because the right-wing is paranoid doesn’t mean the lefty media wasn’t out to get them. (To TMV’s credit, that’s not exactly how they put it.)

Mary Katherine Ham at The Weekly Standard:

I think we’re finally getting to a point where the overuse of the “racism” charge since Barack Obama became president has weakened its sting. This story should weaken it further, as it reveals how comfortable some of our most passionate racism watchdogs are with sowing racial discord for partisan advantage.

I think this is healthy—for those falsely accused, for the political process, for race relations, and for those who suffer real racism of the sort that’s not immediately politically useful to a listserv of mostly white journalists in Washington, D.C.

UPDATE: Strong here and here

Ann Althouse

Matt Welch at Reason

Ezra Klein

Jeffrey Goldberg

Byron York at The Washington Examiner

Nate Silver

Conor Friedersdorf at The American Scene

UPDATE #2: More Strong

Matthew Yglesias

Jim Lindgren

Ed Morrissey

Joe Klein at Swampland at Time

Andrew Sullivan

Jonathan Chait at TNR

UPDATE #3: More Strong

Ed Morrissey

DRJ at Patterico

Jonathan Zasloff

UPDATE #4: Bill Scher and Conor Friedersdorf at Bloggingheads

UPDATE #5: Roger Simon at Politico

Alex Pareene at Salon

Dan Riehl

Greg Sargent

UPDATE #6: Reihan Salam at Daily Beast

Heather Horn at The Atlantic

UPDATE #7: Instapundit

UPDATE #8: Michelle Goldberg and Dayo Olopade at Bloggingheads

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2 Comments

Filed under New Media, Politics, Race

Find A City, Find Myself A City To Live In

The above Youtube concerns Rich Benjamin‘s book Searching For Whitopia. From Benjamin’s article in the American Prospect:

What exactly is a Whitopia? A Whitopia (pronounced why-toh-pee-uh) is whiter than the nation, its respective region, and its state. It has posted at least 6 percent population growth since 2000. The majority of that growth (often upward of 90 percent) is from white migrants. And a Whitopia has a je ne sais quoi — an ineffable social charisma, a pleasant look and feel.

A prediction that made headlines across the United States 10 years ago is fast becoming a reality: By 2042, whites will no longer be the American majority. With growing and intermixed minority populations, the country is following California, Texas, New Mexico, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia, which have “minority” populations that are in the “majority.” Twelve other states have populations that are more than 20 percent Hispanic, black, and/or Asian. Soon, the words “majority” and “minority” may have no meaning. And as immigrant populations — overwhelmingly people of color — increase in cities and suburbs, more and more whites are living in small towns and exurbs.

“So many of the people that are here have come from areas where they have seen diversity done badly,” says Carol Sapp, a prominent civic and business leader in St. George, Utah, a bona fide Whitopia.

Another resident, Christine Blum, moved to St. George in 2004 after living for 24 years in Los Angeles. “When I lived in California, everyone was a liberal, pretty much,” recalls Blum, the president of the local Republican women’s group. “I wanted to be around people who shared my political views.” She remembers the conversations in California where liberals bashed the GOP, and the social settings in which she felt censored. “It’s like, I don’t want to say what I really think, ’cause they’re going to think I’m an evil, right-wing fascist.” In California, she worked in the animation field, mostly for Disney, and as an assistant director on King of the Hill. She came to St. George to escape the big city and to start a new career as a cartoonist and illustrator.

Blum says she doesn’t miss the many hues in L.A.’s population: “For me it’s just the restaurants.”

Denise Larsen moved to the St. George area from Milwaukee with her husband and young daughters in 1997. “When we heard the gang shootings, we thought, ‘It’s time to move,'” Larsen tells me over soda pop at Wendy’s. “This kid tried to leave a gang; they shot up his dad down the block from us. I guess you don’t try and leave a gang. We could no longer let our kids ride their bikes around. Here, they could ride all the way down to the Virgin River, and we don’t have to worry about it.” For a mother frustrated with having her daughters bused across town due to a desegregation order, fed up with shoveling snow, and terrified of the gunshots ringing out, her new, Whitopian community is the perfect elixir.

[…]

Whitopian migration results from tempting pulls as much as alarming pushes. The places luring so many white Americans are revealing. The five towns posting the largest white growth rates between 2000 and 2004 — St. George, Utah; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Bend, Oregon; Prescott, Arizona; and Greeley, Colorado — were already overwhelmingly white. Certainly whiter than the places that new arrivals left behind and whiter than the country in general. We know why white folks are pushed from big cites and their inner-ring suburbs. The Whitopian pull includes economic opportunity, more house for your dollar, a yearning for the countryside, and a nostalgic charm.

Most whites are not drawn to a place explicitly because it teems with other white people. Rather, the place’s very whiteness implies other perceived qualities. Americans associate a homogeneous white neighborhood with higher property values, friendliness, orderliness, cleanliness, safety, and comfort. These seemingly race-neutral qualities are subconsciously inseparable from race and class in many whites’ minds. Race is often used as a proxy for those neighborhood traits. And, if a neighborhood is known to have those traits, many whites presume — without giving it a thought — that the neighborhood will be majority white.

As much as creative elites in Manhattan and Hollywood might like to dismiss this trend as corn-fed racism, or to ridicule it as boringly bourgeois, it is our present and future. Sorry, city sophisticates. Between 1990 and 2000, America’s suburban periphery grew by 17 million people. By contrast, city cores grew by a fraction — only 3 million people. In the years since, outer suburban and exurban counties have grown at triple the rate of urban counties. For all the noise over gentrification and metrosexuals, the real action will continue on the periphery: steady white migration, resilient economies, and disproportionate political power.

Aaron Renn in The New Geography:

Among the media, academia and within planning circles, there’s a generally standing answer to the question of what cities are the best, the most progressive and best role models for small and mid-sized cities. The standard list includes Portland, Seattle, Austin, Minneapolis, and Denver. In particular, Portland is held up as a paradigm, with its urban growth boundary, extensive transit system, excellent cycling culture, and a pro-density policy. These cities are frequently contrasted with those of the Rust Belt and South, which are found wanting, often even by locals, as “cool” urban places.

But look closely at these exemplars and a curious fact emerges. If you take away the dominant Tier One cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles you will find that the “progressive” cities aren’t red or blue, but another color entirely: white.

In fact, not one of these “progressive” cities even reaches the national average for African American percentage population in its core county. Perhaps not progressiveness but whiteness is the defining characteristic of the group.

[…]

In Texas, California, and south Florida a somewhat similar, if less stark, pattern has occurred with largely Latino immigration. This can be seen in the evolution of Miami, Los Angeles, and increasingly Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. Just like African-Americans, Latino immigrants also are disproportionately poor and often have different site priorities and sensibilities than upscale whites.

This may explain why most of the smaller cities of the Midwest and South have not proven amenable to replicating the policies of Portland. Most Midwest advocates of, for example, rail transit, have tried to simply transplant the Portland solution to their city without thinking about the local context in terms of system goals and design, and how to sell it. Civic leaders in city after city duly make their pilgrimage to Denver or Portland to check out shiny new transit systems, but the resulting videos of smiling yuppies and happy hipsters are not likely to impress anyone over at the local NAACP or in the barrios.

We are seeing this script played out in Cincinnati presently, where an odd coalition of African Americans and anti-tax Republicans has formed to try to stop a streetcar system. Streetcar advocates imported Portland’s solution and arguments to Cincinnati without thinking hard enough to make the case for how it would benefit the whole community.

That’s not to let these other cities off the hook. Most of them have let their urban cores decay. Almost without exception, they have done nothing to engage with their African American populations. If people really believe what they say about diversity being a source of strength, why not act like it? I believe that cities that start taking their African American and other minority communities seriously, seeing them as a pillar of civic growth, will reap big dividends and distinguish themselves in the marketplace.

This trail has been blazed not by the “progressive” paragons but by places like Atlanta, Dallas and Houston. Atlanta, long known as one of America’s premier African American cities, has boomed to become the capital of the New South. It should come as no surprise that good for African Americans has meant good for whites too. Similarly, Houston took in tens of thousands of mostly poor and overwhelmingly African American refugees from Hurricane Katrina. Houston, a booming metro and emerging world city, rolled out the welcome mat for them – and for Latinos, Asians and other newcomers. They see these people as possessing talent worth having.

This history and resulting political dynamic could not be more different from what happened in Portland and its “progressive” brethren. These cities have never been black, and may never be predominately Latino. Perhaps they cannot be blamed for this but they certainly should not be self-congratulatory about it or feel superior about the urban policies a lack of diversity has enabled.

Rod Dreher:

Just to add my two cents, as I’m going to be busy today and unable to blog much till later, I don’t care about white flight, or black flight, or brown flight. It doesn’t surprise me that people want to live around people like them, whether in terms of race, class, educational level, whatever. I object only to any legal impediment to people being free to move and to live where they want to. I simply find it risible that progressives would criticize others for allegedly having bad racial motives for what they call “white flight” (though middle class people of all ethnicities do the same thing) when they themselves are doing the same thing.

Ta-Nehisi Coates:

I find the piece to be pretty ill-considered, and insulting to Latinos and Asians, in particular. But more than that it repeats an unfortunate trope among writers tackling race–it treats African-Americans as agency-less automatons, awaiting the right programming from white policy-makers.

[…]

There is so much wrong here. But leaving aside the fact that the author starts out by disqualifying New York, L.A., and Chicago, leaving aside the blinding whiteness of dubbing Atlanta “un-progressive,” leaving aside that most of these “progressive” cities have more black people than thier surrounding states, I think the implicit argument that these cities should be “doing more” to assure that their black population meets the national average is odious.

Man listen–Negroes like Atlanta. Negroes like Chicago. Negroes like Houston. Negroes like Raleigh-Durham (another area that doesn’t make the cut, for some reason.) Negroes like Oakland, Negroes have the right to like where they live, independent of Massa, for their own particular, native, independent reasons (family? great barbecue? housing stock?) Just like Jewish-Americans have the right to like New York–or not. Just like Japanese-Americans have the right to like Cali–or not.

This particular Negro loves Denver–and Chicago too. But the notion that black people are pawns on a chess-board, which conservatives and liberals move around in order to one-up each each other, has got to go. Sometimes–just sometimes–a black dude isn’t a problem. He’s just a dude trying to marry a beautiful woman, raise a decent kid, retire to an tropical island, smoke some good herb, and drink some good rum.

Let Portland be Portland. And let black folks be themselves. We’re getting along fine.

Dayo Olopade and Reihan Salam on Bloggingheads

UPDATE: Matthew Yglesias

James Joyner

UPDATE #2: Will at The League

UPDATE #3: Reihan Salam

UPDATE #4: Matt Frost at The American Scene

2 Comments

Filed under Books, Go Meta, Race

A Frozen Chicken Pie Cost 19 Cents In Ohio In 1957 And If Prices Were Still Like That Today, We Would Still Be Having This Debate

Kay S. Hymowitz in City Journal, from 2008, an article entitled “Love In The Time Of Darwinism”

Today, though, there is no standard scenario for meeting and mating, or even relating. For one thing, men face a situation—and I’m not exaggerating here—new to human history. Never before have men wooed women who are, at least theoretically, their equals—socially, professionally, and sexually.

By the time men reach their twenties, they have years of experience with women as equal competitors in school, on soccer fields, and even in bed. Small wonder if they initially assume that the women they meet are after the same things they are: financial independence, career success, toned triceps, and sex.

But then, when an SYM walks into a bar and sees an attractive woman, it turns out to be nothing like that. The woman may be hoping for a hookup, but she may also be looking for a husband, a co-parent, a sperm donor, a relationship, a threesome, or a temporary place to live. She may want one thing in November and another by Christmas. “I’ve gone through phases in my life where I bounce between serial monogamy, Very Serious Relationships and extremely casual sex,” writes Megan Carpentier on Jezebel, a popular website for young women. “I’ve slept next to guys on the first date, had sex on the first date, allowed no more than a cheek kiss, dispensed with the date-concept altogether after kissing the guy on the way to his car, fucked a couple of close friends and, more rarely, slept with a guy I didn’t care if I ever saw again.” Okay, wonders the ordinary guy with only middling psychic powers, which is it tonight?

In fact, young men face a bewildering multiplicity of female expectations and desire. Some women are comfortable asking, “What’s your name again?” when they look across the pillow in the morning. But plenty of others are looking for Mr. Darcy. In her interviews with 100 unmarried, college-educated young men and women, Jillian Straus, author of Unhooked Generation, discovered that a lot of women had “personal scripts”—explicit ideas about how a guy should act, such as walking his date home or helping her on with her coat. Straus describes a 26-year-old journalist named Lisa fixed up for a date with a 29-year-old social worker. When he arrives at her door, she’s delighted to see that he’s as good-looking as advertised. But when they walk to his car, he makes his first mistake: he fails to open the car door for her. Mistake Number Two comes a moment later: “So, what would you like to do?” he asks. “Her idea of a date is that the man plans the evening and takes the woman out,” Straus explains. But how was the hapless social worker supposed to know that? In fact, Doesn’t-Open-the-Car-Door Guy might well have been chewed out by a female colleague for reaching for the office door the previous week.

Ann Althouse had some comments at the time.

Matt Yglesias just found this article and tweeted:

I don’t have the wit or energy, but someone should write a hilarious blog post about this and I’ll link to it: http://bit.ly/n1GDG

Will Wilkinson answered the call, but not exactly hilarious:

Women attaining something like social equality with men has created not so much liberation as a kind of toxic confusion. When women are free to be individuals, free to want different things than other women, men can’t be sure what any particular women might want from him. To open the door for her or not!? To pick up the check or not!? To be a nice guy like she says she wants or a bad boy like she really wants?! These unresolved and unresolvable questions has led inevitably to the contemporary condition in which men are either unlovable whining sad sacks or misogynist assholes who cite a cartoon version of Darwinism to justify treating a woman as little more than an upgrade from Jergens and a sock. If we don’t like it, we only have feminism to blame. Or something like that.

Look, the phenomenon Hymowitz describes is real enough. Rapid social change inevitably makes it harder to coordinate expectations. If it is a change worth having, then the pains of adjustment are worth it. Period. That doesn’t mean those pains are unimportant. Guys do suffer uncertainty about whether or not to open doors or pick up checks. It really can be frustrating for the sensitive guy to find out he’d be more generally attractive if he learned to be a bit more of a dick.

But annoyances and disappointments suffered in the process of realizing fundamental conditions of a decent society don’t call into question the desirability of those conditions. All this vexation is a very, very small price to pay for equality. For men, it is a very, very small price to pay for the opportunity to share a life with a peer, a full partner, rather than with a woman limited by convention and straitened opportunity to a more circumscribed and subordinate role in life. Sexual equality has created the possibility of greater exactness and complementarity in matching women to men. That is, in my book, a huge gain to men. But equality does raise expectations for love and marriage. The prospect of finding a true partner, rather than someone to satisfactorily perform the generic role of husband or wife, leaves many of us single and searching for a good long time. But this isn’t about delaying adulthood, it’s about meeting higher standards for what marriage and family should be.

Matthew Yglesias:

As Will says, this phenomenon is real enough and it’s worth taking seriously the fact that it bothers people. But it’s really not worth taking seriously the idea that this cost outweighs the benefits, both the benefits in terms of justice and the benefits in terms of drastically enhancing the scope of opportunity available to both men and women. At any rate, Hymowitz by just really going on at length manages to lay out the underlying logic of a lot of contemporary social conservative anxiety in a way that you rarely see set out.

Voting While Intoxicated:

In my whining I think I have been consistent in NOT arguing that the solution is to roll back women’s rights or social equality. Rather, I seek to find a new social norm that allows more equality while resolving the tension. As far as I can tell, this involves women taking a primary role in initiation of relationships and men redefining their gender expression to allow for this. This doesn’t solve every question (I think the holding open a door thing is simple manners for whomever gets to the door first and that paying is reasonable for the person who has more money or who, with a shared pot, handles the finances) but it does resolve the increasing pressure on men who feel convinced that they need to play “The Game” to have success with women or feel like society draws a thin line between revealing one’s sexual attention and condemning one’s sexual harassment.

UPDATE: Conor Friedersdorf:

The horror! If only all women approached dating in exactly the same way, their every behavior conforming to a rigid society-wide consensus. But wait. I have my own preferences about the social norms that go along with dating. What if the rigid norms adopted for the sake of consistency didn’t happen to align with them? It’s almost as if women and men benefit from a more dynamic dating scene where people conducting themselves basically as they see fit search out other people who share the same preferences. “Does dinner and a movie sound like an awful first date to you too? Great, let’s get a drink and revel at living during an era when protocol doesn’t dictate that we experience that hell — never mind walking down country lanes with our respective families following 10 paces behind us — every time we want to meet someone new!”
One thread running through Ms. Hymowitz’s piece is that confusion in the dating and mating world is due in part to feminism. That is a subject that the blogosphere isn’t very good at discussing in measured tones (though there are exceptions). What I expect is that one kind of very angry person will argue that obviously feminism has RUINED EVERYTHING, whereas another kind of angry person will reply that how DARE you say that feminism has had ANY bad consequences. (If you aren’t the kind of writer who routinely uses all caps I am not talking about you.)
UPDATE #2: Ezra Klein brings The Fonz:

It might be true that there was a time — the end of which roughly coincided with, or was triggered by, Henry Winkler’s status as a sex symbol — in which gender roles were more clearly defined than they are today. But is life really so confusing here in the 21st century? Kay Hymowitz thinks so. She thinks “young men face a bewildering multiplicity of female expectations and desire.” But she “lives in Brooklyn with her husband and three children.” So what does she know?

From where I sit, romantic life appears pretty rigid. Everyone twentysomething I know — whether they’re gay or straight, feminist or traditionalist, urban or suburban — seems basically involved in the same pursuit: Finding someone they feel able to love and settling into a life with them. Is the path to a deep, soul-satisfying contentment with another human being complicated? Sure. But was there some time when it wasn’t complicated? A lot of the people I know find themselves depressed when a coveted partner eventually rejects their advances. None of them, however, blame it on Betty Friedan. Mismatched affections were not invented in the ’70s. Loneliness is not a product of liberation.

Look back at the Fonz. A supposed chick magnet who had a lot of one-night stands but nurtured a secret lonesomeness and clung to a surrogate family for support. He mentored a prototypical nice guy who wished for the aggressive edge of his idol but had a lot more luck finding stable, fulfilling relationships.

So color me unconvinced that my cohort faces some uniquely opaque moment in the grand history of male and female relationships. I’d guess that the guys rationalizing their romantic failures today by invoking changing gender roles were the same guys rationalizing their romantic failures because women just wanted rich guys, or bad boys, or sissies, a few generations ago. Love is complicated, but it was ever thus. The excuses might change with each generation, but the feelings do not.

UPDATE #3: Ann Althouse and Dayo Olopade at Bloggingheads

UPDATE #4: Wilkinson and Hymowitz at Bloggingheads

UPDATE #5: Dara Lind at The American Scene

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Filed under Families, Feminism

The Last Brother (Edward Kennedy 1932-2009)

kennedybrothers

Just a taste of the posts. I will add more later.

Jonathan Cohn at TNR:

A little after 1 a.m., Senator Kennedy’s office sent out this press release:

Edward M. Kennedy–the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply–died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port. We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever. We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all. He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it’s hard to imagine any of them without him.

R.I.P.

Robert Reich at TPM:

Most Americans will never know how many things Ted Kennedy did to make their lives better, how many things he prevented that would have hurt them, and how tenaciously he fought on their behalf. In 1969, for example, he introduced a bill in the Senate calling for universal health insurance, and then, for the next forty years, pushed and prodded colleagues and presidents to get on with it. If and when we ever achieve that goal it will be in no small measure due to the dedication and perseverance of this one remarkable man. We owe it to him and his memory to do it soon and do it well.

Michelle Malkin:

The U.S. Senator from Massachusetts succumbed to brain cancer at the age of 77 tonight. Put aside your ideological differences for an appropriate moment and mark this passing with solemnity.

There is a time and place for political analysis and criticism. Not now.

Yes, there will be a nauseating excess of MSM hagiographies and lionizations — and crass calls to pass the health care takeover to memorialize his death.

That’s no excuse to demonstrate the same lack of restraint in the other direction. Not now.

Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO:

Seared in my memory: When I interned at the Heritage Foundation, I would sometimes pop into Mass at Saint Joseph’s on the Hill at noon on a weekday. And I would almost always find myself sitting near Ted Kennedy.

He’s responsible for things that are deeply offensive to my conscience and diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Catholic faith, and he probably led some people astray by his example.But our faith also teaches that we are all sinners and that there is redemption. He had some incredibly good forces in his life, not least among them his sister, Eunice, who just died. I pray for the repose of his soul and for his family.

Bill Bennett at The Corner:

He and I attended the same church, and whenever he saw me he would be pleasant. But in the political battles, he was a fierce and tough — and sometimes a ruthless — operator. When he spoke in the Senate, people paid attention, regardless of party. As CNN reports: “Kennedy was one of only six senators in U.S. history to serve more than 40 years. He was elected to eight full terms to become the second most-senior senator after West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd. He launched his political career in 1962, when he was elected to finish the unexpired Senate term of his brother, who became president in 1960. He won his first full term in 1964.”

His biography is not complete without noting the tragedies of and in his family. Nor is it complete without saying he was an early and strong supporter of comprehensive health-care reform and also the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama.

There are the personal failings and tragedies that will mark any obituary of his as well, including the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Were it not for his self-imposed recklessness, he may very well have been president.

He assaulted our causes and nominees with vigor and rancor. Still, in his day he was a powerful orator — and historians will mark his speech to the 1980 Democratic convention as a high water mark and example. To his supporters, I simply give them his words, and leave the rest to historians: “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.” To the American Left, he was their lion. To the American conservative movement, he was our bane. But today, we put the politics aside and wish him and his family God’s peace.

More Lopez

Someone on the BBC’s website linked to my earlier Kennedy comment. More than a few e-mails in response tell me that I deserve to die for spitting on the dead. (I’ll leave out the more colorful language.)

The fact is: I was moved by the sight of Ted Kennedy at Mass. Senator or intern, we’re all facing the same choices and challenges on a basic human level. Maybe I had more in common with Ted Kennedy than I would have ever realized from going to CPAC.

As Bill says, we can’t lie about the facts of life and death in the life of Ted Kennedy. We can’t forget Mary Jo Kopechne. We can’t neglect his treatment of Bob Bork. We can’t pretend that it’s okay to call yourself Catholic (or an “ardent, practicing one“) and be a proponent of legal abortion, for one thing. But some of us are optimistic that there is a hope of redemption. And I say that for the sinner who is Kathryn Lopez as much as anyone.

Steve Benen:

Exactly one year ago today, Kennedy delivered one last national address, making a surprise appearance at the Democratic National Convention. Despite his ailments, Kennedy’s voice still boomed: “There is a new wave of change all around us, and if we set our compass true, we will reach our destination — not merely victory for our party, but renewal for our nation. And this November, the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans. So with Barack Obama, and for you and for me, our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.”

A leader, a statesman, and a hero, the irreplaceable Ted Kennedy will be missed.

James Joyner:

That the Chappaquiddick scandal didn’t make the first several paragraphs — or even first page — of several of these obits is quite remarkable. It would be like writing an obit for Richard Nixon that didn’t mention Watergate or one for Michael Jackson that glossed over repeated allegations of pedophilia.

That said, Kennedy was obviously much more than his actions on the worst night of his life. While he could be incredibly partisan, even vitriolically so on some issues, he was almost universally acknowledged even by opponents as an honorable negotiating partner and an outstanding legislator.

Ed Morrissey

Taylor Marsh:

There will be much speculation about what might have been, if Edward M. Kennedy, the Lion of the Senate, had been present to roar once more, able to be out front on the current campaign. There can be little doubt that had he been well enough to become the face and force in public once again we would be looking at reform from a different place, for Edward had all the passion for this legislation that Pres. Obama lacks. But not even Kennedy could have stopped the “death panel” squeal of Sarah Palin, because the era of Kennedy politicians is gone. And I’m not just talking about the name. It’s about the passion to policy over polemics; the mission to work for the people above all else, including ego. There will never be another era of public servants represented by Edward M. Kennedy, who stands as the lion amidst legislative lambs.

UPDATE: David Frum at New Majority (entire post):

I know exactly the hour when my opinion of Sen. Ted Kennedy permanently changed. I had remained very angry at the Massachusetts liberal for many years since his 1986 speech so unjustly vilifying the great conservative justice Robert Bork:

Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, children could not be taught about evolution.

For 15 years thereafter I could hardly bear to hear his name spoken. Nor was my temper much improved by his rough handling of another great conservative legalist, Theodore Olson, at Olson’s confirmation hearings as solicitor general. I was always ready to laugh at the harsh jokes conservatives told about the senator’s legendarily self-indulgent personal laugh. It seemed a fair judgment on an unfair man.

Then came 9/11. Among the murdered was the brave and brilliant Barbara Olson. Ted asked some friends to help with the deluge of messages of condolence, and my wife Danielle volunteered for the job. Among the letters: a lengthy handwritten note by the senator so elegant and decent, so eloquent and (fascinatingly) written in so beautiful a hand that as to revolutionize one’s opinion of the man who wrote it. It did not dishonor by ignoring or denying the political differences between the two families. It fully acknowledged them – and through them expressed a deeper human awareness of shared mortality, pain, and grief. Not all chapters of his life revealed it equally, but the senator was a big soul, and in his last years, he lived his bigness fully. He knew and he expressed the sorrow of human life, a sorrow so memorably captured by his brother Robert in a passage of poetry quoted upon hearing of the murder of Martin Luther King, and engraved thereby in the American political memory forever:

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.

Rest in peace, leader of the liberals.

Harold Meyerson in Tapped:

He was, as he lay dying, new again. Ted Kennedy outlived the Reagan-Thatcher conservative era to which for so many years he led the opposition. He played a key role in putting Barack Obama in the White House, creating the possibility for a renaissance of American liberalism, the cause he led for the past four decades. He came to Washington one last time to vote for the kind of Keynesian stimulus that had been out of favor in the age of laissez-faire but that embodied, however imperfectly, Kennedy’s belief that government had the ability and the duty to create an economy that not only mitigated capitalism’s excesses but made it work for ordinary Americans.

He did not get to liberalism’s promised land, of course. The universal health coverage he’d fought for throughout his career is still unrealized; his death may make it harder to realize, at least in the immediate months to come. Labor law remains unreformed, and America’s 12 million undocumented immigrants still live in the shadows with no legal path to citizenship. These were all battles that Kennedy would have led; he was the go-to guy, the champion, the orator, the deal-maker for the uninsured, the undocumented, the unable-to-join-unions; the senior senator from Massachusetts and for all the excluded in American life.

Rod Dreher:

And so, the last brother of that mythical generation of Kennedys is gone, and of the children of Joe and Rose, only Jean Kennedy Smith remains. After the death of his brothers, and until the election of Obama, Teddy Kennedy was the iconic American liberal. We always like to say that it’s the “end of an era” when a historically significant figure passes, but in Sen. Kennedy’s case, it really is true. Whatever else one might say about him, Ted Kennedy was a survivor. He endured the rise and fall of American conservatism, though he did not live to see his signature issue — health care for all — become a reality.

[…]

Kennedy was a figure of novelistic tragedy. All the potential for greatness he possessed he squandered because of his inability to transcend his own all too human weaknesses. Chappaquiddick was only the worst of it. He did, of course, achieve a kind of greatness, and one shouldn’t try to take that away from him. But it’s hard to think of him this morning without thinking about what might have been had he been able to bear the burden of history and his slain brothers’ legacies. He could have done so much more with what he had been given. He was a Kennedy. RIP.

Paul Krugman:

I don’t have much to say, except a personal thought. I remember the days, several decades ago, when Ted Kennedy was treated — mainly, but not only, on the right — as a figure of derision. He was mocked for his appearance, his personal life, his unabashed liberalism.

And now he’s remembered as a great man. The thing is, he didn’t change — he always was.

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline:

With the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy, we can expect the usual suspects — liberal talking heads, Senate colleagues and the like — to tell us how Kennedy was a giant of the Senate, among the most influential Senators of the 20th century, etc.

This time, the usual suspects will be right.

I first visited the Senate in 1960, in time to see Lyndon Johnson in action. Johnson was the most important Senator of his era. Ted kennedy may well be the most important Senator since LBJ.

A few years ago, I was with a group that was teasing a well-placed Massachusetts Republican about how his state had given the Senate Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. The Massachusetts Republican pushed back. “Don’t lump Kennedy and Kerry together,” he said. He went on to explain that no Senator works harder for his state than Kennedy does for Massachusetts and no Senator is better to have on your side.

A great many people thought Kennedy was on their side and the outpouring of sentiment we are starting to witness will, in part, be reflection of this fact.

Matthew Yglesias about the ’80 speech:

Its closing line is, I think, crucially important: “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

I’m never able to express myself nearly that well, but what I take Kennedy to be doing here is trying to offer an alternative to the boom-bust mentality that I think often overtakes American progressives. There’s a tendency to get extremely wound up with optimism about the imminent dawn of sudden and radical change for the better, and then intensely bitter, cynical, and depressed when that fails to materialize. The reality, however, is that change is hard. That’s not an excuse for the people who stand in its way, it’s the reality. But if you respond to the difficulty of making things better by giving up or getting frustrated, then it only gets harder.

Building a better country and a world is work—hard work—and it’s work that goes on. And on. And on.

UPDATE #2: Digby notes that it was one  year ago yesterday that Kennedy spoke at the Democratic Convention:

Digby:

It was a privilege to be there.

RIP Teddy.

Atrios on the speech:

Other people will give better tributes, but I’ll just say that I considered it a privilege to see what I assume was Kennedy’s last major public speech, at the DNC last year. Had a side view of the podium, so could see the stool they had placed there for him to sit on, which he never used.

Rick Moran:

Ted Kennedy, the rogue son of a rogue family has died of brain cancer at age 77. Oftentimes, liberals like to compare the Kennedy family to that other famous political family that featured presidents, and legislators of note; the Adams family.

Pardon me if my outrage can’t quite be held in check. The man who fought longer and harder for American independence than anyone of his time – John Adams – had it all over Teddy as far as personal moral behavior and principled, pragmatic leadership. His son, John Quincy Adams, took stands against slavery that made any “political courage” shown by Kennedy to be minuscule by comparison.

Suffice it to say, that the difference between the two families couldn’t be more pronounced and referring to the Kennedy’s in the same breath as the Adams’s is a travesty.

No doubt Kennedy the man was a despicable cad, a notorious roue, and, until late in life, a certified drunk. As most conservative blogs are reporting this morning, “Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.” ‘Nuff said about Kennedy the man.

But history is a relentless bitch of a mistress, holding us to standards of truth and accuracy so that even one so vile as Kennedy must be examined not only in the context of his personal peccadilloes but also for his contributions to his times.

And those contributions were awesome.

There is no doubt that the average Joe working American lives a better life today because of Teddy Kennedy. He is safer on the job, his wages are higher (even non-union workers), his children have more educational opportunities, he is healthier, and wealthier than any working American of any other generation in history. We can certainly criticize liberal excesses in much of the legislation that this master parliamentarian guided through the labyrinthine maze of Congress. But no honest appraisal of Kennedy’s career would be complete without referring to the gigantic impact he had on ordinary, blue collar America.

Jim Geraghty at NRO:

There will be plenty of time to recall all of the reasons Ted Kennedy made enemies in this life, plenty of time for our traditional, “Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.” I’ve got the Michael Kelly collection that includes “Ted Kennedy on the Rocks,” his definitive profile from the early 1990s, which showcases all the highs and all the lows. I’ll go through it sometime soon to recall those sides of Kennedy that won’t be showcased in the montages today, stories like that “sandwich” with Chris Dodd, but today’s not the day for that.

A bit of a thought, though: Many of us have siblings, and many of us love them dearly. Many of us find the thought of losing them horrific; to lose two to assassin’s bullets would drive many men mad. From some stories of Kennedy’s behavior in the years immediately after, perhaps he did go a little mad, or at least sought to drown the pain with drink. Hate the man for his legislation, hate the man for his behavior, but save a little room for some sympathy, too; we would never want to walk in those shoes.

UPDATE #3: Jack Ross in TAC:

Yes, he was a liberal’s liberal, both good and bad, but any senator who said the vote they were most proud of was their vote against the Iraq War deserves a hearty “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!”

What must not go unmentioned therefore is the history behind this.  Ted always seemed to have more of his father in him than any of his brothers – and undoubtedly he was haunted to no end by seeing in Dubya’s zeal to avenge his father’s wimpiness an echo of how nearly Jack brought about nuclear armageddon with his eagerness to destroy the legacy of their father, the architect of Munich.

So in the midst of the coming avalanche of Chris Matthews’ barely disguised homoerotic asphyxiation on the Kennedys, let us pause and pay homage to the Kennedys who dared say no to war.

Timothy Noah at Slate:

In large part, the difference between Ted and his older brothers was a matter of temperament. The backslapping conviviality of electoral politics came more naturally to Ted than to the more aloof Bobby or Jack—a reflection, perhaps, of the younger brother’s closer relationship to his maternal grandfather, John Francis “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, a onetime mayor of Boston and old-school pol who danced Irish jigs and sang “Sweet Adeline” at campaign events. A darker side to this lack of inhibition was the criminally irresponsible behavior Ted displayed in leaving the scene of the auto accident where Mary Jo Kopechne died in 1969 and in the boozing and womanizing Kennedy indulged in before he married Victoria Reggie in 1992.

Ted’s propensity for partisan bellowing notwithstanding, he was a much less predictable political thinker than is generally understood. It is seldom remembered, for instance, that Kennedy was a prime mover behind deregulation of the airline and trucking industries during the late 1970s—and that some on the left later excoriated him for it. Kennedy also worked closely with President George W. Bush to craft the 2002 No Child Left Behind law, which continues to bedevil the teachers’ unions (for some good reasons and many bad ones), and on various bills with his improbable Mormon sidekick, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

More Dreher:

Many of us like to cite the injustice of Kennedy family privilege for Teddy’s lack of accountability, and of course that’s true. But it’s only a partial truth. If you’re a fan of the show “Mad Men,” you know that Ted Kennedy — a contemporary of protagonist Don Draper — was in some ways an analogue of Don Draper. He enjoyed the privileges of being a white male power elitist in the last great heyday of his kind. Adultery, chronic boozing, casual amorality — these were in no way alien to the social milieu in which Ted Kennedy came of age. It didn’t matter that he was a great liberal; you should read the testimonies of women from the 1960s counterculture, about how piggish movement men were. Having the correct politics doesn’t mean one will behave correctly, or even decently.

Whenever we think of Camelot, and the Kennedy mystique, we edit out the vulgarity and the debauchery of the Kennedy men, who were, I feel safe in saying, not uncommon for their time and place and class. But “Mad Men” is all about the difference between what is and what appears to be. I believe we live in a better world, on balance, because that Ted Kennedy (meaning the Kennedy of Chappaquiddick and the upper room at La Brasserie) is less possible today. But given how accomplished Kennedy was as a legislator, I do wonder how much we have lost because a Ted Kennedy is not really possible today — meaning how many talented but deeply flawed men never go into public life because they couldn’t survive the moral judgment of the public regarding their personal sins and failings, and no longer have the protective veil of social hypocrisy to shield themselves.

Terrance Heath and Dayo Olopade at Bloggingheads

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A Blipster, A Hipster, A Buppie, A Yuppie and A Bobo Walk Into A Bar…

blipsterbingo

The Blipsters: Black hipsters. The blipster.info website.

The piece by Dayo Olopade at The Root:

So just what is a black hipster—a “blipster” or “alt-black”? Like many recent cultural trends, this one straddles race, politics, fashion and art. For the purposes of discussion, we’ll stick with men (though I have seen some Flock of Seagulls-looking black females out and about of late). As Lauren Cooper, a Howard University graduate who admits to an indie lifestyle, puts it, “It’s probably easier to pick out a black male ‘blipster’ than a female.”

Simply put: The racial archetypes that had defined the last 15 years of masculine street style have given way to a radically new aesthetic. Gone are the extra-long T-shirts, saggy jeans and Timbs long favored by young black men. They haven’t swapped them for the mopey, emo tees once favored by young whites. Rather, urban youth of all colors now rock snug pants, bright, oversized graphic tees, spotless vanity sneakers and hats with brims flatter than Kansas.

And a skateboard, too, if you can hack it. More than anything, these black hipsters are the “Kick, Push” generation. Just as “swagga” has gone mainstream, the racially ambiguous fashion statements of Lupe Fiasco, Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D. or black skateboarder Steve Williams have become a prominent urban aesthetic, from mallrats in San Diego to grown men in Chicago.

Her conversation with Reihan Salam on the subject at Bloggingheads.

Bold As Love on the Olopade piece:

Problem is that the writer misses the larger point by overemphasizing fashion in his analysis.  Moreover, while he references “indie music”, many of his prominent music examples tend to be hip hop ones (hipster rap, courtesy of Lupe Fiasco and Kanye), so it feels like the implication is that skaters and rappers got together and spawned this trend.  Maybe that’s true.  From a certain perspective.  But you and I know that there was a lot of rock influencing this trend.

Le Chic Batik:

I like that in response to the article someone comments  about pointing out the irony of black kids dressing like white kids, who are in turn dressing like Black and Latino kids from the ’80s. This article lumps together all Black people who do unusual things and calls them “Blipsters”, which is unfortunate, especially since “blipster” sounds like a foot callous.

Chris Bodenner at Andrew Sullivan links to her and to the Root slideshow.

The New York Times article from 2007 on the Blipster phenom.

At Gawker, The Assimilated Negro on the NYT piece:

While illuminating the general populace to the fact that some of us with melanin actually cop to enjoying Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a noble cause worthy of a national holiday, we think the piece is not diligent enough in playing devil’s advocate with these stereotype-busters.

[…]Of course, I go out in bummy clothes and dirty sneakers all the time, and I’d say the subtext to that revolutionary decision is more economical; I’m broke. So I’d tell Nelson George, and the Times, it’s not just the Buppies, Baps, and Boho’s, don’t forget the Blomedians, Blancers, Blunk-rockers, Bloths, Blezebels, Blultural Blapists, and um, Bloggers. We may all be walking around with dirty shredded jeans, but that doesn’t necessarily make it cool. Blool maybe, but not cool. Not at blall.

The “Blipster” conversation also lead into a conversation concerning:

hipster-bingo

Carl Wilson, reacting to a column by Russell Smith on hipsters:

I’m not particularly concerned to defend the hipster, in the sense of the class fragment vaguely gestured at there. But for any anti-hipster screed to qualify as anything but a full-on strawman-torching session providing a smokescreen for a riot of unprocessed anxieties, I’d like to find a writer able to identify, say, three so-called hipsters by name and provide some minimal grounding of generalizations in fact. Even anecdotally. If you actually ask almost anyone five or six questions, I bet they’d soon complicate the stereotype beyond recognition. (As Margaux Williamson’s Teenager Hamlet film in many ways shows.) There are no hipsters, only anti-hipsters – or at least the ratio is approximately the same as that of actually existing Satanists to anti-Satanists during the heavy-metal and Goth panics of the 1980s and 1990s. The question is what in turn the hipster allows the anti-hipster to deny, and what’s being lost in that continuing deferral.

Richard Florida links to Chris on the blipsters and to Wilson and says:

There was a time when this kind of self-expression signified something more than fashion. Today, hipsterism has become just one of several archetypal uniforms – pin-striped banker, polo-wearing preppie, khaki-clad techie, and the like.

Brian Frank:

Richard Florida points to a familiar article about “blipsters” — “black hipsters.” Which is funny, now that I think of it, because the original hipsters were known as [correction: I meant, later known as] “white negroes”:

Later periods of hip convergence include the 1910’s and 20’s, when the radical bohemians of Greenwich Village and the renaissancers of Harlem fed off each other’s energy, and the midcentury heyday of Beat and bebop, two outsider movements that set the stage for the huge (albeit unhip) counterculture juggernaut of the 1960’s. (Norman Mailer’s famous essay from the height of Beat-bebop convergence, ”The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster,” was essentially a sketch for ”Hip: The History,” and is duly mentioned in the introduction.) [David Kamp, NY Times: 2004]

At Sully’s, Florida again.

The Assimilated Negro with more thoughts:

Hipsters are all about post-modern, post-ironic. They are acutely self-reflexive and self-conscious. They are a byproduct of the information generation. There is no longer any external advantage to be gained if we all have access to the same information/power. So the end result is to look internal. To go meta. This sensibility, more than anything else, may be the distinguishing characteristic for a hipster. It is the essence of the “cool” that fuels the hipster locomotive. And this coolness translates to music, fashion, and partying in many ways, as demonstrated by Byron’s great hipster-bingo chart.

(As a related thought, but one too involved to explore in this post, I also see hipsters representing a break from the Christian morality of previous generations, to a more Nietzschean worldview. The hipster sensibility springs from a “will to power” value system, as opposed to a judeo-christian (generally speaking) value system. Hipsters like niche. They like “individual”, which is essentially the ultimate niche. This is notwithstanding the fact that “counter-culture” always eventually morphs into “culture” thereby undermining its own agenda. So they turn away from the external crutch of religion and look to themselves. Sort of an ironic self-help generation.)

I know I missed posts on this topic, will update if I find more.

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It Was A Teenage Wedding and The Old Folks Wished Them Well

penguin_wedding_cake_topper

This would obviously cause some discussion. Mark Regnerus, in WaPo, arguing for marrying young (early twenties, not teenagers):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/24/AR2009042402122.html

Rod Dreher exerpts the op-ed:

http://blog.beliefnet.com/crunchycon/2009/04/a-case-for-early-marriage.html

Peter Suderman dissents, ending with this:

“In the end, Regnerus has only really made that case that getting married young is perhaps not as bad as some have said. But he doesn’t manage to make a positive case for doing so, and in fact, stumbles onto a nearly contrary truth, which is that, at the individual level, the decision to marry isn’t really about age all; it’s about commitment.”

http://theamericanscene.com/2009/04/27/when-to-get-married

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, also writing in the American Scene, argues against Suderman, making the argument about peer pressure not to get married:

http://theamericanscene.com/2009/04/27/re-when-to-get-married

Dayo Olopade, writing in Slate, finds the op-ed lacking;

“If he had made the point that marrying early and then continuing the 20s and 30s trajectory of college, bars, apartments, mistakes, MBAs, JDs, MDs, and PhDs, that would suggest his flacking for marriage were based on some theory of economics and companionship. But his nagging is targeted at the women who have collectively embraced third wave feminist cake-eating because then they won’t procreate. Men who wait and wait for the ring “get there,” he says—whereas women must “beg, pray, borrow and pay” to reclaim fertility later in life. In other words, Regnerus conflates enthusiasm for child-rearing with enthusiasm for marriage—a mythology one would think modern reality continually explodes.”

http://slate.msn.com/blogs/blogs/xxfactor/archive/2009/04/27/yes-means-i-do.aspx

Jessica Valenti, of course, takes on the op-ed:

http://www.feministing.com/archives/015052.html

And Big Media Ezra Klein won’t argue with the op-ed. “I prefer easy topics, like the financial crisis.” But he notes the great success of the environmental movement, as smaller “carbon emissions” is one of the arguments the op-ed makes in favor of getting married early:

http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/ezraklein_archive?month=04&year=2009&base_name=i_take_this_woman_and_her_priu

Any other posts you see, put ’em in the comments.

UPDATE #1: Atrios:

http://www.eschatonblog.com/2009/04/tell.html

UPDATE #2: James Joyner:

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/best_age_for_marriage/

UPDATE #3: Matt Y goes in the wayback machine and gives us some pretty charts, comparing us today to other times and other countries:

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/04/historical-variation-in-age-at-first-marriage.php

UPDATE #4: Ezra posts again, this time with a piece about policy implications:

http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/ezraklein_archive?month=04&year=2009&base_name=yes_but_why_do_they_get_marrie

UPDATE #5: Andrew Cherlin has a response up at the Post, countering the original op-ed.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/27/AR2009042702100.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

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