Friday, July 12, 2013

Instapundit: The Tests Find Nothing (Hand 'Em The Bill)

"SO, APPARENTLY, I’m an idiot who should keep his mouth shut. Er, well, whatever."

If they're wrong, a lot, should that idea be so hard to get their minds around?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you François Hollande - I mean, Glenn Reynolds - in all his glory.

As receptive to criticism as Ann Althouse, but a little bit more mature ("whatever") when he gets some. And he does get some - what a joke:
"I had no plan to suck up to Reynolds in an effort to gain him as an ally anymore than I planned to teach a pig to sing. As players in punditry go, Reynolds is a major player, and he enjoys his importance. He doesn't swim with minnows like Gid and me. At most, he eats us for a snack. Radley may have been well-intended, but didn't really appreciate the pecking order. 
Of course, there was nothing to stop Reynolds, either before or after he published his Ham Sandwich essay, from speaking with people who were actually knowledgeable about criminal law, whether that was Gid and/or me, or some other trench lawyers, who could explain why good ideas on paper don't play as well in the courtroom.  But no. He didn't. Since it was his essay being published to enlighten the world, it was his duty to get a clue, and his choice not to. 
My point to Radley at the time was the when loud voices with ascribed credibility write something like this, bad things happen. Bad ideas are taken more seriously. Other people will mistakenly assume that Reynolds, lawprof and all, has a clue what he's talking about and his ideas must have merit. After all, lawprofs could never be wrong about lawstuff.  And now that Reynolds had rung the bell, it could not be unrung."

Now, I ask you, how many people have to make the same point - after me, I might add - before the readers will pay attention and stop listening to a credentialed "idiot" who doesn't know what he's talking about?
"While Instapundit is a Big Kahuna on the interwebz and among academics, George Will has a soap box that dwarfs Reynolds. And he's taken Reynolds' "ideas" mainstream, not only crediting Reynolds for his position as an academic, but taking for granted that he's got criminal law chops.  It's unlikely that George checked Reynolds out at Tennessee Law School, where he teaches Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Law, Science, and Technology, Space Law, Internet Law. See criminal law in there? See anything in his past to suggest even a passing familiarity with the actual practice of criminal law? Me neither. 
Yet, I look forward to some fine senators extolling the virtue of a dangerous and hare-brained reform of the law, citing to Glenn Reynolds' Ham Sandwich essays as the font of practical criminal law brilliance.  Because the myth has now been created and George Will gave it legs. 
And this is how we end up with monumentally bad ideas being enshrined in law.  For those who aren't familiar with Instapundit, this from Reynolds' Wikipedia page:  
'Much of Instapundit's content consists of links to other sites, often with brief comments. (His frequent use of "heh," "indeed," and "read the whole thing" have been widely imitated and are often parodied by other bloggers.) Reynolds encourages readers to explore the wider blogosphere and to fully read articles and posts to which he links.' 
And that's the foundation for being a major player on the internet."

Exactly. As I've said a billion times, Reynolds (and Althouse) are too isolated - and too willing to be all "whatever" when criticized - to be of much help where it's needed. They don't care about anything but their own success. We need men and women who are adults, engaged with the world as it is. But, instead, we get petulant children with an attitude problem, thinking they should be telling the rest of us how to live by virtue of being the first to gather a crowd. (Carnival barkers always do,...)

Ideas mean nothing to them, nor does right and wrong ("whatever") or - especially - the bad outcomes their ideas generate (a HUGE "whatever"). Really - anybody on the Right want to follow Glenn and Ann's lead and argue for a President Romney again? Does Romney want to keep insisting the Mormons invented cold fusion? I don't think so.

The worst is how Reynolds and Althouse also take both sides of an issue. One day Glenn's promoting "laughing yoga" and the next it's "GOOD ADVICE: Don’t Romanticize Traditional Medicine. It’s mostly quackery." Well, if this dingbat thinks "traditional medicine" is "mostly quackery" then what does he think yoga is, but "traditional medicine" from India? I'll tell you:

And he doesn't know because he's not willing to learn, and he's not willing to learn because he's "a major player" and there's "the pecking order" that dictates A) he doesn't have to, and B) the rest of us should be screwed only by those greater, and thus more comfortable, than ourselves. Only they can ignore their victims ("he enjoys his importance") with class. Why? Because, once they've passed a certain online celebrity threshold, few think they can be challenged. (I'm shocked by the reverence Althouse and Reynolds have received, in spite of spreading bad ideas, and helping lose elections - it's wild.) I've heard people say as much - "Reynolds is too big." I call it:

The Kim Jong-Un Effect,...