Wednesday, April 06, 2005

House WHAT Committee?

Since this is my first blog post, I hesitate to rattle on about a subject to which so many pixels have been devoted - but what the heck. The recent study on academia's lefty ideologues is given good treatment today by blogger and the incomparable Reason magazine's assistant editor Julian Sanchez. The basic points made in the study range from the patently obvious to the highly implausible. As Julian notes, it seems very unlikely that, with all the ebb and flow that our political culture has undergone in the past 20 years, the ranks of professedly liberal academia would spike as much as the study claims. Taking Julian's point about the problem with trying to integrate mercurial political circumstances with relatively static ideological convictions, it strikes me that studies of this nature are not only biased toward error, but, if ideological neutrality in academia is chief among desired outcomes, are quite counterproductive. Among other pitfalls, such publicly-hailed studies threaten to tempt principled conservatives to fall for promoting the dubious notion of "viewpoint diversity." A very potent idea indeed - clicking on over to Glen Whitman's post yesterday on the same subject, the eye is caught by the name of a "legislative" organ with (dare I say it) a downright Orwellian ring to it: the House Choice and Innovation Committee. Now I suppose I'm willing to put my credibility on the line by saying that I can't recall ever hearing or reading the words "House Choice and Innovation Committee" before. In any case, it seems that congressional Republicans are completely averse to affirmative action methods which claim racial diversity as a compelling state interest, but ideological diversity - well, the government better get to work on that right away, since the US Congress clearly has a more sophisticated understanding of the intellectual poisons that threaten today's bright young minds than they or their parents do. Time to Innovate, apparently.


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