The Magazine

‘Communities’ Organizer

From the Scrapbook

Sep 17, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 01 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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One more difference. Besides the delegates, Charlotte was full of political tourists, liberal activists, professional progressives, and left-wing gadflies, many of whom had probably hoped to see President Obama at Bank of America Stadium, before his speech was moved back to the Time Warner Cable Arena. At the Republican convention, on the other hand, there were few such hangers-on. 

There was kitsch in Tampa, to be sure. But the wares for sale were more anti-Obama than explicitly pro-Romney. Republicans, even those who like Mitt Romney, just don’t view their candidate with the same devoted fervor. There was nothing to match the pro-Obama calendar spied by Slate’s Dave Weigel in Charlotte, which cited John 3:16 and described the president as “Heaven Sent.” All in all, that’s probably a good thing for Republicans.

Leiter Reading

The Scrapbook likes forthright, no-nonsense arguments, even ones we disagree with. Our interest was piqued when we discovered that Princeton University Press will publish, this coming October, a book called Why Tolerate Religion? In it, Brian Leiter makes the case that “no one has been able to articulate a credible principled argument for tolerating religion qua religion.” Bold! 

But who is this Brian Leiter? Princeton’s press release describes him only as a “popular University of Chicago blogger,” specifying that he is “host of the popular philosophy blog Leiter Reports.” That makes Leiter sound like one of those street “characters” who never really graduate and just sit around Hyde Park playing hacky sack or guitar or chess.

Well, no. Leiter is actually the Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School. None of this is mentioned anywhere in Princeton’s press release. What does it say about the prestige of higher education when one of the best academic publishers in the country chooses to conceal its author’s departmental affiliation and to present him as a blogger instead?

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