The Political Brain

THE POLITICAL BRAIN….Ezra Klein says I should read The Political Brain, a new book by Drew Westen. Maybe I will. But I got a copy last week and was immediately put off by sentences like this:

The vision of mind that has captured the imagination of Democratic strategists for much of the last 40 years — a dispassionate mind that makes decisions by weighing the evidence and reasoning to the most valid conclusions — bears no relation to how the mind and brain actually work.

I have no doubt that this bears no relation to how the mind and brain actually work, but I’d like to know which Democratic strategists have ever believed anything like this in the first place. I’m open to being proved wrong, but surely no one over the age of 10 needs to be told that Earth isn’t populated by exiles from the planet Vulcan.

Anyway, that caused me to toss the book into my vastly expanding pile of political books never to be read. But maybe I’ll pull it out. I don’t think any Democratic strategists actually believe what Westen says about them, but it may be that they act that way even if they don’t know it. Next week I’ll give him a chapter or two to convince me.

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