Shorter Verbatim Patrick Pexton: “I spent a couple of days last week talking to Social Security experts across the ideological spectrum. Some, mainly those on the left, didn’t like the story, while those on the right did. But some in the middle, like Jonathan Cowan of the Third Way, declared it realistic and on point.”
Baker points out that “it is not clear what standing Jonathan Cowan (an English major at Dartmouth college) has to settle this issue other than fitting the Post’s definition of being in the middle. One need not have a PhD in a policy field to take part in public debate, but being in the middle of the political spectrum (by the Post’s standards) does not make one expert on an issue.” I would add that it’s not clear in what sense a Pain Caucus organization that wants to slash Social Security benefits and has been advancing all of the misleading claims in the original article counts as “centrist” on this issue. Christ, what’s next — Pexton arguing that conservatives can’t be held to any standards at all? Oh, wait, he already did! It’s enough to make you miss Deborah Howell.