Kirchick gets his facts wrong on the ‘reality-based community.’

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"Kirchick gets his facts wrong on the ‘reality-based community.’"

In a Politico op-ed yesterday, Jamie Kirchick accused liberals of embracing “religious extremism.” Kirchick opened his argument by attacking the fact that some liberal bloggers call themselves the “reality-based community,” which he cast as a “direct response” to the “faith-based community” represented by President Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. But Kirchick has his facts embarrassingly wrong. Here’s the actual source of the netroots “reality-based community” moniker:

The source of the term is a quotation in an October 17, 2004, New York Times Magazine article by writer Ron Suskind, quoting an unnamed aide to George W. Bush:

The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”[1]

Last week, Kirchick had another embarrassing error when he attributed John F. Kennedy’s famous “bear any burden” quote to Harry Truman. Publius has more on Kirchick’s Politico op-ed here.

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