When I mentioned offhandedly that I don't read Kos or Brad DeLong, DeLong ripped me a new one with his typical grace:
Let me say that in my view this is a serious mistake: reading people with whom one does not already agree is, after all, the only way one can can become smarter. Otherwise one becomes stupider every day.
Of course, it's not my disagreements with him that keeps me from reading DeLong. I read and regularly link lots of left and left-leaning blogs: Crooked Timber, Charles Stross, Kevin Drum, The Reality Based Community, Balkinization, and a bunch of law professor collective blogs most of whose authors lean left.
I don't read Delong because it's not possible to get smarter by reading the smarmy vitriol pumped out by such a completely hateful person. Recall my post "a discussion with the likes of Brad DeLong is not productive"?
I figured that out a long time ago. But now my friends Larry Ribstein, Jonathan Adler, JW Verret, and Todd Henderson have figured it out too. I won't bother you with the merits of the argument, because you can't have an argument--let alone a conversation--with someone with Delong's consistent pattern of, as Adler puts it, "selective editing" and misrepresenting his opponent's positions. To quote Adler again, "Yes, this is the same Professor DeLong who repeats baseless accusations against other academics and then, when asked to substantiate his charges, selectively edits his comment threads and then dissembles about said editing when called on it."
I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who said "I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."
Hence, I agree with Larry that "a discussion with the likes of Brad DeLong is not productive." With luck, this'll be the last time his toxic style of intellectual thuggery and execrable personality will be mentioned in these pages.
I'm prompted to make an exception to my non-DeLong policy, however, by a recent post from the electronic pen of his buddy Paul Krugman:
Some have asked if there aren’t conservative sites I read regularly. Well, no. I will read anything I’ve been informed about that’s either interesting or revealing; but I don’t know of any economics or politics sites on that side that regularly provide analysis or information I need to take seriously. I know we’re supposed to pretend that both sides always have a point; but the truth is that most of the time they don’t. The parties are not equally irresponsible; Rachel Maddow isn’t Glenn Beck; and a conservative blog, almost by definition, is a blog written by someone who chooses not to notice that asymmetry. And life is short …
I take it then that DeLong will agree with me that Krugman is geting "stupider every day"?
In any case, confident that he'll soon be posting something about how I'm an idiot, I now return this blog to its usual status as a DeLong-free zone.