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The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

"Ideological" is not synonymous with "partisan"

I've been part of an ongoing debate in the comment thread over on Crooked Timber about whether Jonathan Chait "gets it" about the GOP or if he falls into the MSM trap of describing the GOP Agenda--a series of self-serving and false empirical claims--as conservative "small government/pro-freedom" ideology.

In a new piece he does a much better job at avoiding the Reaganist framing. It's a straight forward explication of Colbert's famous point: "Reality has a well known liberal bias." It's better, but the piece, Why Data Journalism Is Partisan, still slips up, occasionally using "ideological" as a synonym for "partisan".

Here is Chait, describing the criticism of new data driven outlets like Vox and FiveThirtyEight:

The empiricists may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in them. The data journalism movement in general, and Klein’s project in particular, has spurred a fierce ideological backlash.

The Reaganist backlash is real, but it isn't "ideological".  The data says that Obamacare works and supply side economics fails. Reaganists disagree, not because of values or worldview, but because Obamacare benefits poor people at a slight cost to rich people, while supply-side economics benefits rich people to the devastating detriment of everyone else!

Supporting ones own monetary self interest is not an ideology! 

I repeat, Reaganism is not a "system of ideas"; it is a series of false claims, that, if believed, help rich people and hurt everyone else.  


UPDATE: Krugman's comments on the same article here. Note, we independently relay the liberal bias of reality quote, although he attributes it to Rob Cordray, which may be where it originated before Colbert used it at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Conservative Means Never Having To Say, "I learned I was mistaken about something."

Does "Ideology" Have A Consistent Meaning?