Greg Sargent responds to Joe Klein’s “dirty hippies are correct but I’m still no dirty hippie” post:
To look into the mirror and see a brave and heroic pundit staring back, of course, you need to flatter yourself into believing that you’re challenging entrenched ideas and the people who hold them in some way, even if you aren’t. This impression can be created in several ways. One is to simply dream up a whole class of people, claim they hold "extreme" opinions based on nothing at all, and set yourself up as a lonely warrior against them …. Another way is to dream up a whole series of nefarious but nonexistent motives driving colleagues’ opinions, so that you can deprive those colleagues of credit for those opinions, and position yourself as, again, braver and more heroic than they are — even though you agree with them. That is Klein’s approach — and I submit that at bottom it’s all about vanity.