hosted Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream this afternoon, promoting a "common sense" budget on behalf of Businsess Leaders for Sensible Priorities
. Normally, I don't care for Medved's shtick of inviting leftie cranks to come on and make their cases for thinks like reparations for slavery. It's basically a form of the strawman argument with real, living strawmen, who come on and make arguments that demonstrate by their own fatuousness how harebrained thier positions are. It's usually contentious and degenerates into shouting, namecalling and in the end nobody is persuaded of anything.
Today's show was different. Mr. Cohen was civil, as was Michael Medved and most of his callers. What was great was that when Cohen proposed to cut spending on the missile defense technology, a technician for Lockeed called up and refuted his contention that they system doesn't work. When he spoke of people going to bed hungry in the U.S., Medved showed him statistics about the high rates of obesity among "poor" pepople and the 50% increase in the cost of the food stamp program under the Bush administration
. One caller pinned Mr. Cohen with information and proposals for nuclear power that blew away his call for spending $100 billion to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by promoting hybrid vehicles.
Cohen was reduced to stubbornly restating his talking points which were being shredded as he spoke. It was the classic case of a leftie citing statistics that don't make sense or hold up on analysis, and refusing to accept anything to the contrary. Nuclear technology makes far more sense than increased dependence on fossil fuels, without any air pollution, but opponents show that they aren't serious by maintaining that it's just too dangerous.
John Podesta bemoans the lack of new ideas and intellectual support coming from the Democrat side for their positions, but the problem isn't that they don't have enough think tanks. It's that they and their "intellectuals" refuse to accept rationality, and cling to their old socialist faith and environmental myths, no matter how much fact and research you pile up in front of them. Until they show a willingness to accept reality, their prospects will not improve. The major stories of this past week, the NYTimes publication of classified information and the decision of the Supreme Court to grant terrorists a full panoply of due process rights, can't help but boost the shift to conservatism. Of course, it's possible that the liberal media combine will slow the trend by refusing to report truth, but, short of mass insanity of the American electorate, which is certainly possible, it's inexorable that rational voters will be more and more conservative.