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The Not-Conservatives Strike Back

By Matthew Yglesias

"The Not-Conservatives Strike Back"

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Following up with last night’s right-wing columnist dinner party, Obama sits down with some non-conservatives:

The group included the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne and Eugene Robinson, the Wall Street Journal’s Gerry Seib, National Journal’s Ron Brownstein, the New York Times Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd, and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, among others.

This highlights one of our enduring asymmetries in American political media, namely that everyone who’s not a card-carrying member of the conservative movement is counted, essentially, as a liberal. Or, rather, that the essential dichotomy is held to be between conservatives and not-conservatives rather than between conservatives and liberals. But this group isn’t at all the mirror image of the conservative roster we heard about last night. Some people on it are, but others really aren’t. It’s like the common description of Brookings (rather than, say, CAP/AF) as a “liberal” think tank simply because it’s not a conservative one.

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