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The War is Lost - Senator Harry Reid

Yglesias remains the left's most over-rated

I have never seen any sign of the supposedly nimble mind of Matthew Yglesias. He writes in a reasonable tone which differentiates him from many on his team, but he almost always manages to be wrong in simple fundamental ways. The Armed Liberal schools him over at Winds of Change. First Mr. Yglesias.

Specifically, I would say that liberals do a better job of recognizing that much as we may love America there's something arbitrary about it -- we're just so happen to be Americans whereas other people are Canadians or Mexicans or French or Russian or what have you. The conservative view is more like those Bill Simmons columns where not only is he extolling the virtues of this or that Boston sports team or moment, but he seems to genuinely not understand why other people don't see it that way. But of course Simmons is from Boston and others of us aren't.

All of which is to say the liberal doesn't, as a political matter, confuse the emotions of patriotism with a description of objective reality or anticipate that the citizens of Iraq or Russia or China or wherever will drop their own patriotisms and come to see things our way. Patriotism is a sentiment about your particular country but it's also a sentiment that's much more widespread than any particular country, and if you can't understand the full implications of that then you're going to go badly wrong.

There actually there is something unique and well worth celebrating in American patriotism. First because we were among the first to throw off the yoke of hereditary privilege and substitute the rule of the governed. Second - and most important - because we are not a patrimony defined by land or by blood - not an accident of geography or a nation bound by a common heritage but instead a people animated by a set of ideas. That Yglesias thinks those ideas are worth as much as the ideas motivating - say, China's polity, or Iraq's - speaks volumes about what he sees when he looks around him.