Jim, true fact: I sat next to Thomas Frank at a 2006 CPAC banquet, which he was covering as a journalist. Thomas Frank is also “a nice guy.” So are they all, all nice guys.
It is possible to be a nice guy and have disastrously wrong ideas. It is also possible to be rude and obnoxious and have excellent ideas. At some point, being right should count for something in politics, but politics is hard on the unfashionable, the unkempt, the ill-mannered and the inarticulate. This is the ultimate meaning of democracy: the glibly persuasive rule, for ill or good.
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