David Sirota has referred to me, very graciously as a political “thinker.” That is, as “a political ‘thinker,’” which either means that I am not “political” (largely true) or not a “thinker” (almost certainly true). But what’s most flattering is that Sirota mentions me in the same sentence as Michael Lind, a brilliant, creative, highly original intellect. Though I don’t always agree with Lind, I’ve always found his writings challenging and insightful.
My friend and colleague Chris Hayes thinks very well of David Sirota as an analyst and as a person, which inclines me to think well of Sirota. He certainly has an arch, often entertaining style, which combines invective and manly aggression with polling data and colorful anecdotes. I gather there’s much else I’m missing, which wouldn’t be the first time. Having read a fair amount of Sirota’s work, I’m reminded that there are vitally important interpretive frameworks that I will never truly understand, among them Sirota’s understanding of trade and political economy, which I have to assume, given Sirota’s striking intellectual self-confidence, vastly surpasses that of the scholarly types (flunkies and greedheads?) I tend to follow.
I have some more thoughts on this subject, but it occurs to me that Sirota and I take part in different conversations, to use James’s framework, and I think this is for the best.