"Critique of Pure Yglesias"
I think I’ve decided that Matt Yglesias is headed out of my RSS feed. It’s not that I find him ideologically objectional or his work to be shoddy but rather that he has become utterly banal. He is a generalist to a fault, applying his well developed sense of logic and reason to an enormously broad set of topics. Increasingly I am finding that his analysis, while logically coherent, suffers from his lack of even a minute amount of substantive knowledge of the topic at hand.
Whatever the merits of logical coherence devoid of substantive knowledge, I would think the results would actually be anything but banal. Try to think of what the reverse—a blogger who was a logical mess, but had tons of factual knowledge—would read like. That, I think, would be hugely banal. About everything you could say “oh, it’s very complicated and knowledgeable experts disagree.”
And note that I think the tone and form of argument deployed in this post is pretty typical even though the subject matter (myself and my writing) is something I’m extremely well-informed about.