Kevin begins a post on intellectual honesty and the WMD debate with two separate distractors that will almost certainly take over his comment section, rather than discussion of the substance of the post:

Here are a few touchstones for determining if someone is an intellectual crank: belief in astrology, creationism, or the gold standard.

Whaddya wanna bet that defenders of creationism and/or the gold standard will outweigh WMD discussion? And then, to add fuel to the fire, we get

And here’s one for intellectual consistency and honesty: believing that between Bill Clinton (Lewinskygate) and Ronald Reagan (Iran/Contra), either both or neither deserved to be impeached.


FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. jen says:

    It’s tough to ignore the crack on those of us that believe in creation. But I don’t want to be considered an intellectual crank, so I’m zipping my lip.

  2. Paul says:

    Kevin begins a post on intellectual honesty

    One would be hard pressed, after reading his blog for some time, to figure out what Kevin knows about “intellectual honesty.” He routinely uses non sequitur arguments and is on a first name basis with every straw man he can find.

    But I’ll follow Jen’s lead lest I be called a crank.


  3. Fred Boness says:

    What’s wrong with the gold standard?

  4. Kevin Drum says:

    Paul, I love you too.

    Fred: what conversion rate ($ per ounce of gold) do you think would work? If you think this through, you’ll see what the problem is.

    (Of course, there’s also a basic philosophical argument: what’s so special about gold? It’s just a yellow metal in the ground and should no more be the basis of a modern monetary system than tulips or 7-up.)

  5. Paul says:


    I calls um like I sees um.

    Before you dismiss me as a crank, take some time to consider the possible validity of my critique. I truly believe your writing could benifit from it or I would not have said it.

    One of the hardest thigns we can do is judge our own creations.